As usual, I’ve spent the day reading instead of revising for an exam (in this case: Spanish grammar). Yesterday, I finally started Gone Girl, for the third time. I’m not sure why it’s taken me so many attempts to get into this book- I’m not sure if it was due to a reading slump, or if I was watching a TV show at the same time and ended up paying more attention to the rerun of a Friends episode I’d seen countless times before (I tend to do that a lot). I noticed when picking up this book for the third time that I’d left the bookmarks (and by bookmarks I mean old train tickets and Tesco receipts) in, and I’d barely progressed beyond the first chapter.
This time, this third time, I was hooked.
I will often marathon books in a day, or even several hours. Gone Girl was no exception. It was well written and I was on edge (in a good way). As a person who will generally believe everything anyone says (to a certain extent), I was thoroughly engaged as the author manipulated me into questioning who was innocent and who was guilty. I was feeling sympathetic towards some characters and then all of a sudden my opinion changed drastically. As someone who has read quite a lot of books, especially over the last year or so, it can be quite easy to predict endings based on genre clichés. However, this was a different story, and I don’t just mean in the literal sense.
All was well, until I got to the ending.
Imagine you’re on a train, heading home (or a different much loved destination). You’re heading towards your desired station at a rapid pace, the journey is smooth and everything has fallen into place. The rubbish collector happens to pass your seat just as you finish your much needed coffee. The giant crowd of kids get off at the next stop just as you feel your patience waning. A monotone magical train lady voice announces that your train will be arriving at the destination shortly. You glance around, checking your possessions off a mental list: tickets, phone, keys, bag, headphones. You look out of the window and see familiar landmarks: a favourite bookstore, a river flowing as fast as the train, the same grubby office buildings that have been embedded in your long term memory.
Then the train stops.
There are no explanations, your ending is tantalisingly out of reach and you can’t do anything about it.
That’s how I felt about the ending of Gone Girl.
I could almost taste the closure: and it never came. I will never know what happens to Nick and Amy, and all of a sudden the fast pace became too fast, and came crashing to a sudden halt. Leaving me incredibly frustrated. I’m not sure whether it was supposed to symbolise that neither of them can get a happy ending because they both did terrible things, or just to make the events “realistic” or maybe even somewhat “relatable” at a push. Who knows.
Am I the only one who feels this way? If you read this when it first came out, does it still niggle at the back of your mind now?
Maybe it’s a manipulation inside a manipulation, or maybe I’m now overthinking it and I need a cup of tea.
Let me know your thoughts.