Author – Gillian Flynn
Language – English
Genre – Thriller
Publisher – Crown Publishing Group
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge . Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
My views –
The book starts at Amy and Nick’s fiffts wedding anniversary, and read Nick’s narration in real time and Amy’s via her diary that she has kept throughout her relationship with Nick. At the beginning Amy from the diary feels like a nice woman who falls in love with the perfect guy, marries him but as the days progressed she turns into a ignored wife. As the recession hits Amy and Nick both loose their jobs, Amy is kind of a blue blood with a book series dedicated to her from her parents but Nick don’t have that security to fall back to and feels insecure about money. As Nick’s mom gets on her deathbed they move back to his home town to help them also Nick takes money from his wife to start a bar with his sister Margo meanwhile Amy is bored at home mostly. Their relationship also gets abusive and Nick end up hitting her, she provokes him, according to her self. At this point she starts to feel scared of Nick and her diary entries stop.
Nick’s narration felt much sinister to me, in the first chapter he talks about opening his wife’s skull. As we move ahead he starts to feel more and more suspicious. He constantly lie to his sister,ignore his parents and has an affair with one of his students & don’t have any idea of his wife’s pregnancy . But he felt ‘too bad to be true’ and with further narration we do realise that he might actually not be the killer, rather he is just gullible. Amy’s moves him like a pawn to wherever she wanted after her disappearance through her little hint notes and her realise this much later when it was almost too late.
This book was just amazing. And I can’t help but say I have never disliked both main characters as much before, although I had brief deep sympathy for the ‘diary Amy’ TBH but as the book progressed and her psychopathic tendencies started to show up I kind of started feeling scared for Nick and later Desi.
Amy is one of the best literary females I have encountered in a while. Her character is meticulously layered . Readind her account feels like slowly removing some sort of onion peels layers by layers but not knowing what would come out. But even till the last page I couldn’t truly hate her, stay with me here, she is definitely a total psychopath but at some level she is a girl who wanted to be loved and appreciated by everyone.
Bearing the weight of her parents picture perfect marriage and being the inspiration of ‘amazing Amy’, she lives in a constant lie, that is explained so well in the cool girl monologue ( below in italics). She never learn to make real bond, she just keeps on presenting herself as the ‘cool girl’ but when she sees all her brownie points taken away from her, her money, her home ,her NYC life, friends, her husband starts to cheat on her; she starts to turn more and more towards her dark side, although her similar ‘acts’ in the past are shown in the book but this time she takes it too far. I hate her but I also feel she needs help.
Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.
Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”)
Nick is also suffering from the same state, he needs constant approval from people to feel good in his life, he comes back for the aid of his parents but don’t sympathize with them alot, constantly feel insecure because his wife had more money and cheats on her for ‘ make himself feel better’. He is also too gullible for his own good but he somehow manages to mend ways in just the last pages.
Also because both the characters are such pretenders in earlier days of their relationship they both did that and their relationship flourish but as time passes by the masks started to melt slowly and Nick became a cheating husband, who didn’t care about his wife, her happiness, his parents or anything else rather that himself and Amy who is vindictive at some extra levels, when finds about her husband’s affair took things up a notch and patiently planned for a full year to stage a full on crime seen, to stage her ‘murder’, fake pregnancy and then ultimately murder Desi only to get away with everything and get things as she wanted.
I don’t like either characters as people, but as characters they are so damn good. They are unreliable, the lie, the cheat and whatnot and this whole thing kept me on the edge the full time. I read this book in two nights I guess and it was worth it, now I’m planning to watch the movie based on the book (heard it’s good)
If you are looking for a good psychological thriller. Look no further.