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The Quilty Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.


There is no way to talk about this book without spoilers

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

So, if you haven't read it, you are warned.


Stop reading.


Okay, now:


It was a total mindfuck, but I was never fully invested in any part of it. There's some great use of language, and Gillian Flynn can certainly write, but the actual Nick and Amy Dunne thing, I'm unconvinced.


You found it! Brilliant man. It may help that I decided to not make this year’s treasure hunt an excruciating forced march through my arcane personal memories. I took a cue from your beloved Mark Twain: “What ought to be done to the man who invented the celebrating of anniversaries? Mere killing would be too light.


Yes, Amy Dunne is clearly a sociopath, although that word doesn't take her character even close to far enough: she's a tabula rasa with a mean streak a mile wide. There's no there, there. She's emptiness with a pretty smile. She's a hologram of a human being - a reflection of the person she's manipulating. No substance at all.


Someone who is that lacking in identity, though, someone who can take off and put on personalities as though they are a costume, would be so mentally ill that there would be no way for her to remain in the community. She'd either be institutionalized, or she'd be Julia Roberts. There's no way that Amy Dunne could exist in Carthage, Missouri, or even New York City. Somewhere, someone - most likely a teacher, or even her parents - would've got onto her. 


That night at the Brooklyn party, I was playing the girl who was in style, the girl a man like Nick wants: the Cool Girl. 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.


So, I don't buy Amy Dunne. She's too perfect, too manipulative. No one is unbeatable, and no one thinks of everything. But when that is combined with her utter incompetence in being Ozark Amy, yeah, I'm not buying it. She has manipulative super-powers, but she gets robbed by a pair of toothless fish-thieving morons?


As for Nick? He's a dickweasel of the most basic variety. Too handsome, too charming. If anyone deserved what Amy is dishing out, I suppose he did.


“I don’t even want to ask,” he said. “You two are the most fucked-up people I have ever met, and I specialize in fucked-up people.


I did kind of like the ending, though. It was fucked up, like the book.


“My gosh, Nick, why are you so wonderful to me?”

He was supposed to say: You deserve it. I love you.

But he said, “Because I feel sorry for you.”


“Because every morning you have to wake up and be you.”