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Thread: Gone Girl

  1. #31
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    finished the book today.

    there were certain parts i definitely felt were more detailed and more interesting, but i liked the movie better, overall. it was just so...visceral. i did like the end of the book a tiny bit better, though.

  2. #32
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    [SPOILERS]

    "This is what people like? Boy do I not have my finger on the pulse of America."

    This entire book read like a cautionary tale about a psycho-bitch feminist penned by a MRA (Men's Rights Advocate, and yes I realize the author is female. There are female MRA's). I can just hear some douchebag in an argument using Amy as an example of those crazy/coy/succubus females who use their lopsided women-y rights to keep good white doods (with a couple flaws) like Nick down. I suppose you could point out that real psycho women out there exist. Fair enough, it's just that the book made such a point of mentioning Amy's feminist parents and Nick unconvincingly struggles with his own misogyny repeatedly.

    Okay, fine you say, it's just a story not a political statement. Well, see, if we leave all those issues aside it's not that great a story either. I don't know about the movie, but good god about 70% of the book was incredibly dull. It felt like it went on and on. I spent the first half wishing for something, anything, unexpected to happen. Then the Amy twist happened, but that was one of the first things I had predicted, despite the cheap Nick fake-outs: "Unfortunately for Amy I had already made that decision." Riiight. Even if you didn't see that one coming the other 30% of the story seems to exist purely to put a black mark on your psyche (fucked up for the sake of being fucked up). If you liked Se7en you're good to go, but I hated it.

    There are other random annoying anomalies: 90s Gen-X suckup references (Hasbro, ska and the Butthole Surfers bro). I know it's a reference to the whole ex-pop culture writer thing, but it feels so fucking contrived. Actually, it feels like the author is begging to be liked. Nick's an unlikeable idiot who we're told is funny, but he never actually is (hey, remember that show don't tell thing? That's in the book too!). Which reminds me: 2/3rd's of the main characters are writers; is that supposed to be a cute meta thing? It has to be, Gillian Flynn is a former Entertainment Weekly writer. People that enjoy the book will probably like that additional detail, but discovering it only added to my irritation.

    Whatever. I will say this: it made me feel something: revulsion, disillusionment, cranky bowels (why do you think I'm bothering to write all this?). Things like this actually affect me. That's why I also hated Se7en. I realize that the dark side wins in real life, often even, but do I really want to add that weight to my own scarred mind with a mediocre gimmick book like this? No thanks. I'll never read anything by Flynn again.
    Last edited by Magtig; 10-19-2014 at 08:35 AM.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magtig View Post
    There are other random annoying anomalies: 90s Gen-X suckup references (Hasbro, ska and the Butthole Surfers bro).
    It's not funny you say that.

    "I'm trying to wean myself off my very Gen X abuse of the word 'literally,' " said Gillian Flynn, author of the phenomenon known as "Gone Girl." " 'Gone Girl,' " she went on, "contains at least 33 uses of the word, which is 32 more times than any single novel needs. I just have a deep, wrong love of that word; it's so punchy. I basically (literally) use it instead of an exclamation mark."

    An interview with Flynn.

    Flynn, who was pregnant at the time, retreated to her windowless basement office, Cheetos-stained keyboard and beloved crumbling desk (held together with knotted towels), and wrote a longish novel about a bad marriage. The titular character, Amy, who has spent her life crested in privilege and goodwill, goes missing; Nick, her philandering journalist husband who lost his job, becomes the suspect, a target for everyone from the media to Amy herself. And so, not unlike Judith Flynn, who read "Sharp Objects" and its sadistic mother-daughter relationship and called her daughter ("Honey, is there anything you wanted to say to me?"), her husband read a draft and asked his wife of then-two years: "Uh, do we need to talk?" Flynn (in both cases) laughed. She told him to mark anything too close to home (but he didn't request any changes).


    "Nothing in (the book) was specific to my marriage," she said. "I was more fascinated with how true crime is covered, how in the face of nothing happening for months, TV makes its own narrative." (Her screenplay for the film would eventually include a line, spoken by Affleck, seemingly commenting on his own years in the bull's-eye: "They disliked me, then they liked me. They hated me, and now they love me.") Brown, who read a draft, found "little gems of criticism running through the book, seeming to crystallize everything: The way that female characters are never allowed to own their darkness in pop culture, the recessionary mood of the country, a certain kind of guy who is permanently in transition, all bound up into a marriage/media critique."
    Last edited by allegro; 10-20-2014 at 12:43 PM.

  4. #34
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    I just finished reading this, but haven't seen the movie yet.

    I knew about the twist in the middle before I started reading it, but the thing that I really liked was that I was convinced enough by Amy's diary that I still started to doubt that the spoiler was right. Enough details, and some of them being corroborated (the fear of blood), that I was starting to believe that he really had killed her.

    And I might go back and re-read it, but I'm sure that at one point before Nick finds out that Amy is pregnant he says that he was the one that didn't want kids. I even remember him beating himself up over not being able to admit it to her parents. But maybe I'm wrong, and maybe I'm confusing that with parts of Amy's diary.

    Neither of the two in the story are honest people. Are we sure that what we read was really a story told by two people? Or were we just reading Nicks side of the story the whole time?

  5. #35
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    I picked up this book yesterday to read over winter break and have heard nothing but good things so far. Can't wait!!!

  6. #36
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    Obligatory spoiler alert

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