One thing you need to know is this is a spoiler-free review/reflection of sorts for Gone Girl. I’ve been spoiled by reading the comments on the trailer for the upcoming movie on YouTube and I felt awful about it. It hardly dented my experience, but I feel I would have enjoyed it more had I not obsessively looked for anything Gone Girl-related while in the middle of reading it. The second (and the last) thing is I expect you to indulge me on a lot of gushing and praise for this compelling psychological thriller.
I haven’t been this blown away by a book in AGES, and I read a lot! I am just over the moon that it was as amazing as I expected it to be, because I sought after this book for months in the Philippines. I remember scouring bookstores, only to leave disappointed as it was always sold out. I’ve been planning to purchase it to devour over a tedious eight hour flight to Dubai (for the holidays, 2013), but to no avail. Although by a weird stroke of luck, I was able to buy a copy at the duty free store in Dubai International Airport just before we left.
Then life kept me busy, and I was not able to devote any reading time until August.
I was completely hooked after reading the first few chapters. I brought it everywhere, from paying taxes, doctors’ clinics, emergency rooms, malls, even to a taping for a reality television singing competition! In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have done that, because I tend to get expressive as the plot twists or thickens, and I’m sure my flabbergasted facial expressions and “Oh, my gods” received a few strange, ‘What is wrong with her?’ stares, especially in that blasted bank where I pay the taxes.
You’ll understand how I feel if you read it. In fact, if you haven’t yet, and you somehow happen to stumble upon this entry for God knows why, I strongly suggest you read it, and get back to me, because I’ve been dying to discuss it with someone, because believe me, I have a lot to say about it.
I can’t really comment on how it altered my point of view on romantic relationships, as I often tend to lean towards the negative aspects of it anyway, with a few exceptions (my relationship goals with whoever is courageous enough to take on the storm that is my psyche). I will, however, comment on the part that struck me the most, one I consider as one of the major themes of the book: expectations on how other people should behave and how you should behave around other people.
In my opinion, it is a given that people will have a perceived notion of you, and it is up to you to either play it up because you see that this persona greatly pleases them, or decide to shatter that illusion at once and show what you’re really made of. As much as this generation claims to be ‘real’, I know that, one way or another, we’ve all been victims of adopting a persona just to be appreciated.
Sometimes, it works out for the best, as some people become a better version of themselves and successfully integrate their actual personalities while maintaining this mask, until both are meshed into a unique brand that is solely them. Sometimes, it doesn’t work out and they get so fed up of keeping up with this caricature they’ve created of themselves, they resent the ones they think made them do it in the first place. This is how seemingly smooth relationships become volatile.
Gone Girl explains its benefits and consequences in detail, mixing it with a mystery that should have been a cliche, but will have you turning the pages and losing sleep over obsessing about the latest development on the case of Amy Elliott Dunne.
Or maybe that’s just me.