About Gone Girl

Gone Girl was one of the best books I had read up until the last few pages. Then it became the worst book I'd ever read.  To paraphrase one of the customer reviews on Amazon: "This book is like a fine bottle of tequila with an ugly worm at the bottom." I could not have said it better.  For such a good, imaginative mystery to end so badly was a mystery in itself. How could the author, Gillian Flynn,  so smart, so creative be so clueless about how to end her story?

Foolishly I assumed the producers of the film would fix the ending. They did not. And the ending is more offensive visually than in print. That they did not know to change the ending is a sad commentary on our current culture's lack of any sense of a clear distinction between right and wrong, or any content of character. That this book and film are so successful is not good.

Spoiler alert!!  Do not read further if you have not read the book or seen the film and intend to do so!  If you believe the rave reviews and want to read or watch, read no further.  You have been warned.

The story is one of marriage, economy, troubled childhood, weakness,  psychopathology, and pure evil.  Evil wins, hands down. Those who rave about the film seem to miss that point completely. Why is that?

A wife disappears on the morning of the couple's fifth anniversary. The husband is a slacker, the obvious suspect. The marriage was stressed.  The wife was the subject of her wealthy parents' children's books based on her falsified childhood.  Loss of jobs and bad economy leads them to move to husband's home town  in Missouri which the wife loathes. Her disappearance becomes a media sensation; ythe husband is convicted by press.

But in fact, the wife had for many months  planned her own "murder "in order to frame her husband. She is a psychopath of the worst, most seriously disturbed kind. The truth of this gradually unfolds to the husband and to the reader/viewer. 

The wife's plan to actually kill herself is altered along the way. When she sees her husband lie so effectively and so glibly on television begging for her return, she is excited.  She wants him back.  She brutally kills a rescuer/benefactor, Neil Patrick Harris, completely miscast in the film.  She returns home, bloodsoaked, to her media-surrounded home.  All those who had pronounced the husband guilty are shocked. 

Her parents are relieved and grateful. But now the reader/viewer knows that she is a monster of ISIS proportions; a woman so damaged and disturbed that no one in her sphere could ever have a normal life.  The husband tries to tell police she is a murderer; they say they have no proof she was not a victim of the "kidnapper" she killed. This is a major flaw in both the book and film because the evidence abounds.

And here is where it all goes so wrong.  The wife tells the husband she is pregnant so he decides to stay with her. He tells his twin sister who is his rock and best friend that he cannot let her have his baby and raise it without him.  The End!

While the  husband is weak and unmotivated to achieve, and an adulterer, he is not a narcissist, not a psychopath.  Wife clearly presents as both deadly narcissist and psychopath.  No remotely sane person would agree to stay with a person so obviously insane, let alone to bring a child into the world to raise with that person.  The ending is the most unsatisfying of any book or film in my experience. It is also unbelievable. Normal people, people within the huge range of normal, do not choose to live in a nightmare or to subject children to said nightmare. The ending obliterates all the good writing that came before.  

This book and film,  so astonishingly good until the end, is a toxic addition to our contaminated culture. 

Gone Girl was one of the best books I had read up until the last few pages. Then it became the worst book I'd ever read.  To paraphrase one of the customer reviews on Amazon: "This book is like a fine bottle of tequila with an ugly worm at the bottom." I could not have said it better.  For such a good, imaginative mystery to end so badly was a mystery in itself. How could the author, Gillian Flynn,  so smart, so creative be so clueless about how to end her story?

Foolishly I assumed the producers of the film would fix the ending. They did not. And the ending is more offensive visually than in print. That they did not know to change the ending is a sad commentary on our current culture's lack of any sense of a clear distinction between right and wrong, or any content of character. That this book and film are so successful is not good.

Spoiler alert!!  Do not read further if you have not read the book or seen the film and intend to do so!  If you believe the rave reviews and want to read or watch, read no further.  You have been warned.

The story is one of marriage, economy, troubled childhood, weakness,  psychopathology, and pure evil.  Evil wins, hands down. Those who rave about the film seem to miss that point completely. Why is that?

A wife disappears on the morning of the couple's fifth anniversary. The husband is a slacker, the obvious suspect. The marriage was stressed.  The wife was the subject of her wealthy parents' children's books based on her falsified childhood.  Loss of jobs and bad economy leads them to move to husband's home town  in Missouri which the wife loathes. Her disappearance becomes a media sensation; ythe husband is convicted by press.

But in fact, the wife had for many months  planned her own "murder "in order to frame her husband. She is a psychopath of the worst, most seriously disturbed kind. The truth of this gradually unfolds to the husband and to the reader/viewer. 

The wife's plan to actually kill herself is altered along the way. When she sees her husband lie so effectively and so glibly on television begging for her return, she is excited.  She wants him back.  She brutally kills a rescuer/benefactor, Neil Patrick Harris, completely miscast in the film.  She returns home, bloodsoaked, to her media-surrounded home.  All those who had pronounced the husband guilty are shocked. 

Her parents are relieved and grateful. But now the reader/viewer knows that she is a monster of ISIS proportions; a woman so damaged and disturbed that no one in her sphere could ever have a normal life.  The husband tries to tell police she is a murderer; they say they have no proof she was not a victim of the "kidnapper" she killed. This is a major flaw in both the book and film because the evidence abounds.

And here is where it all goes so wrong.  The wife tells the husband she is pregnant so he decides to stay with her. He tells his twin sister who is his rock and best friend that he cannot let her have his baby and raise it without him.  The End!

While the  husband is weak and unmotivated to achieve, and an adulterer, he is not a narcissist, not a psychopath.  Wife clearly presents as both deadly narcissist and psychopath.  No remotely sane person would agree to stay with a person so obviously insane, let alone to bring a child into the world to raise with that person.  The ending is the most unsatisfying of any book or film in my experience. It is also unbelievable. Normal people, people within the huge range of normal, do not choose to live in a nightmare or to subject children to said nightmare. The ending obliterates all the good writing that came before.  

This book and film,  so astonishingly good until the end, is a toxic addition to our contaminated culture.