What Jenny's Reading

{October 19, 2014}   Review: Gone Girl, Pt. 1

Happy Saturday evening!  I’ve got Part 1 of my Gone Girl recap/review tonight.  I still haven’t finished the book, but the review is getting pretty long so I thought I’d go ahead and post part of it.  This book is great, you guys.  You should totally read it!

1. This is the first movie in a long time that I want to see. So since it’s a book, I thought I needed to read that first. Like my Game of Thrones review, I’m doing this “live” so to speak – meaning I’m writing this as I go, when the ideas hit me, rather than reading the whole book and then writing the review.
2. I should probably finish the Game of Thrones book reviews, shouldn’t I? I did hear that Winds in Winter has a release date now.
3. My very first impression? Amy is fantastic. She is bubbly and seems like a lot of fun. Nick, on the other hand? What a fucking sad sack. Seriously! First he forces her to move from New York to fucking awful small town Missouri. Then he “borrows” her trust fund money to open a freaking bar. He says he’s going to pay her back, but I doubt it.
4. Okay, I have to give a little context to my dislike of Missouri. Sorry in advance if you are a fan of Missouri, or the Midwest in general. When I was eight, my family moved from Michigan to Illinois. We lived there seven years, and we were all miserable. We lived near the Missouri border, just across the Mississippi. In fact, Nick mentions our nearest Missouri neighbor: Hannibal, where Mark Twain lived. He worked there for awhile, I guess. We hear about it when he’s bitching about how difficult his life has been and how hard he’s had to work for things.
5. Holy cats, people. My family came from a relatively small suburb of Detroit, and it was like moving to a foreign country where no one spoke the same language or used the same currency. Literally – did you know that in Michigan we use Canadian change almost interchangeably with American? I mean, you have to travel what, all of an hour or two to spend it, so if a few pieces of Canadian money were mixed in with American nobody cared. I can’t even remember all the times my poor mother was stopped at the grocery because she technically owed them a dollar because of the Canadian thing.
6. All of this is to mean, I can’t even freaking imagine how difficult moving to fucking Missouri from New York City must’ve been. Sometimes I have nightmares about having to move back to that godforsaken place. No joke. So, Amy clearly loved Nick a lot to put up with that bullshit. Anyone who does that immediately gets ALL the points as far as I’m concerned. Sorry, but fuck the Midwest. Name me one thing they do that isn’t done better somewhere else.
7. No, corned beef doesn’t count. Neither does milk. Fuck cow by-products. Also if any one of you thinks to say the words “Maid-Rite,” you can just go jump into a deep hole and die.
8. Chicago and St. Louis are exempted from this tangent, I feel it’s important to point out.
9. Okay. So, they moved to Missouri and Nick opened a bar with his twin sister Margo. The beginning of the book is his five year anniversary with Amy, and he hasn’t even bought her a gift yet. He’s also internally groaning about the “treasure hunt” she will surely organize for him. It’s a thing in her family, to give clues about time spent together to hunt for the actual gift. Nick hates this, because he can never guess the clues.
10. Personally, I think a guy who fails to buy a gift for his wife for their anniversary, until the day of their anniversary, is probably just not paying attention to his wife, rather than her making the clues too difficult. But that’s just me.
11. Nick goes downstairs and sees Amy cooking breakfast, and that’s the last we get of that scene.
12. I actually went back and thought my Nook was skipping pages, but no, that’s how it happened. Nick just went to work, talked to his sister, and then one of their regulars called to say that Nick’s front door was standing wide open. So he goes home and discovers that Amy is gone and there are signs of a struggle.
13. He acts super suspicious about the whole thing. I mean, I don’t think he did anything to her. But when he’s talking to the cops, and everything, he just acts like he wants them to arrest him. He also doesn’t call Amy’s parents till something like midnight, and she’s been missing since noon. Nice, guy. Really nice.
14. Nick stays with his sister that night, and gets drunk, so he’s super hungover for the press conference the next day. He gets into an altercation with the cops at his house.
15. You know what’s so, so strange? In Amy’s flashbacks, Nick is really different than what he’s being presented in his own narrative. Conversely, I’m basing my opinions on Amy from her flashback diary entries, and they are years old, while Nick has very little in the way of compliments for his current-day wife. So: what the fuck happened to these two?
16. I actually feel sorry for Amy, in the flashbacks. She goes on and on about how she refuses to nag her husband, because doesn’t want to be stuck in a sad, loveless marriage. But in all honesty, she’s sacrificing herself, putting up with so much of Nick’s bullshit. Like the time some of his co-workers were laid off, and then took them out drinking. This was also one of their anniversaries, third I think. Or when she met some friends and their husbands for drinks, and he didn’t show. It’s like she’s so desperate to make her life and marriage happy that she’s ignoring the things that she wants and she needs, and has pretty much ended up in a sad, loveless marriage, just different from the ones her friends have.
17. Anyway. So Nick loses his job, and then Amy loses hers. Nick seems to fall into a depression, and he buys expensive clothing “for interviews” using Amy’s money. He leaves the house a complete and utter mess, not taking out garbage, not bothering to clean up after himself. Nothing.
18. To add insult to injury, as it were, Amy’s parents then tell her they need basically every penny of her trust fund because they’ve been irresponsible with their money. She agrees, even though Nick is clearly unhappy about it. But Amy thinks it’s her parents’ money, not hers.
19. She probably should’ve talked to Nick about it before making the decision, but I understand where she was coming from with it.
20. Okay. So now we’re back with Nick. He’s figured out her other treasure hunt clue, and found a sweet note she left him about loving him so much. He’s pissy because he’s apparently already decided they’re done, and that she should’ve made the effort before. How about you, jackass? What effort did you make?
21. His sister tells him that he’s being weird, and to be careful around other people. Then Nick goes with his cronies to search the abandoned mall, which I am certain is a great plan that in no way will go badly. Nope. Great idea all around.
22. They take Amy’s dad, too, and he lightly shades Nick’s failed career as a writer. Ha! Well, he’s also lightly shading himself, as he and his wife were writers too, but still. I choose to believe he’s shading Nick mostly.
23. Turns out the homeless guys know who Amy is, because she’d wanted to buy a gun.
24. I think I’ll start listing out theories as I go through the book, about what’s happening. I know that at the end Amy is some kind of diabolical person, or at least that’s what I’ve heard. So, Theory #1: She hates Nick so much for everything in their marriage that she’s run off and wants to frame him for her kidnapping and/or murder.
25. Amy’s next diary entry is about their horrific housewarming party, after they moved to Missouri. Nick’s mom was still alive and suggested it. We find out that Nick is sour and jerky toward his wife (surprise!) and then there’s an issue with Nick’s dad, an Alzheimer’s patient. He tells Amy to leave the house, she’s a bitch, and he doesn’t want her there. So she does, and walks around the neighborhood, thinking Nick will come get her. He doesn’t.
26. Theory #2: Amy has some kind of mental disorder that is causing her to perceive things differently than what they actually are. I mean, honestly, I think that’s the only way I end up thinking she’s the villain or something.
27. Amy wasn’t able to get her gun. Nick wants the FBI involved now, since the local police aren’t finding anything new. I don’t think that’s how it works, though. I don’t think the FBI can get involved because there’s currently no evidence that Amy was taken across state lines. I’m pretty sure that’s how it would work, to get the FBI involved in this kind of case.
28. Theory #3: Nick is 100% right, and Amy wrote the diary recently rather than over a period of years, to implicate him in her kidnapping and their loveless marriage.
29. All throughout this, Nick’s had a disposable cell phone that keeps going off. Finally, after a very bad day, he gets a text that someone is outside and wants to be let in. But WHO????
30. It’s his mistress. Right. MISTRESS. At least he has the self-awareness to realize that the readers of the book will likely dislike him a lot now, if they ever liked him. Her name is Andie, because of fucking COURSE her name is something like Andie. And she’s super young, he tells us. One of his students, even. Living the cliché, Nick.
31. Theory #4: Andie and Amy are in on it together.
32. Anyway. Andie doesn’t appear all that intelligent, honestly. She doesn’t understand why Nick’s concerned about Amy’s disappearance. Well, I mean, she doesn’t understand why he’s concerned about himself. Seriously, Andie? Here’s a guy in a loveless marriage, who borrowed $80,000.00 from his wife to open his business. Now he’s got a mistress, and is in love with her, but if he asks for a divorce his wife will take the bar and ruin him and his twin sister. So it’s so much easier, isn’t it, to murder her.
33. Incidentally, that’s Theory #5.
34. Margo, Nick’s sister, catches him letting Andie out of the house, because he’s stupid enough to bring her into his own sister’s house while she’s sleeping in the next room. She tells him he’s a “fucking idiot.” Well, yeah. I’d also go with “shitbag” but I can understand how Go was surprised and just went with the easiest insult.
35. Interlude with Amy’s diary. She knows something’s up with Nick, that he’s lying, but I don’t know if she knows about what.
36. Back to Nick. Go is pissed, and freaked out. She’s jumped right to Theory #5, and Nick’s all, don’t be all precious about Amy, you don’t like her, as if liking her has anything to do with concern for a fellow human being who is in trouble.
37. They are twins, did I mention? Well, I’m pretty sure that Go got all the brains. She wants a lawyer, which is a good idea. She also – correctly – calls him out for apparently having no idea how relationships really work.
38. You know what worries me a little? I’m worried that in the end, Amy will be revealed to be a diabolical, totally evil genius, thus handwaving away and justifying all of Nick’s awfulness. That will piss me off.

Anyway, so that’s Part 1.  I should be back with Part 2 soon!


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