On their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick and Amy Dunne should have enjoyed a serene party. No one expected the house to be a crime scene. Amy has vanished and Nick is the prime suspect. Everyone seems to believe that he killed her and hid the body, but even though his behaviour seems to reinforce that belief, Nick professes only innocence. No one believes him, especially given his strange fantasies and daydreams. When they find Amy’s diary, more facts come to light. The diary reveals her true side, showing how controlling and domineering she really was. Nick was considered to be the ideal husband in the entire town, but is there a possibility that Amy’s control-frenzy could have driven him to commit the ultimate crime?
I picked up this book from a street vendor during my recent trip to Pune. I had read many good things about this book & hence started reading it immediately.
What I liked:
- For most part, the book is hard to predict. While I did guess correctly that this woman was MAD, a sheer Gone
GirlCase even when she was trying to paint an innocent house wife through her diary, many twists in the later half are kind of hard to predict. This maybe because we as readers are so used to the innocent people getting justice. But then that hardly happens in the real world. “In the real world the monsters win.”
- Nick is equally bad. This isn’t just in Amy’s brains. He is a terrible husband. He cheats on her with another woman, he has frequent thoughts about harming her, he is a free loader who doesn’t care about his wife. This isn’t just her psychosis at work. He is bad, she isn’t blind! She sees the truth in him.
- At one point of time, when Amy has returned home, the author did convince me for sometime that these two are really made for each other. It was brief, but it was there.
- Amy winning every single time left me greatly disturbed. Her thoughts are alarming. Once she sets her mind to something she is like a machine. Relentless & with no emotions other than a determination to screw whomever is on her hit list. The author has put in a lot of effort herself in making Amy’s plans so perfect. Admirable!
What I didn’t like:
- Amy is painted like a demigod. She isn’t Amazing Amy just in the books her parents wrote. Gillian Flynn has written her own Amazing Amy here. She is infallible. Even God isn’t that perfect! No one is. Not even THE best planner. Everything works out her way in the end. Desi & she meet a guy in the bar. I had been so sure this guy would recognize her from the bar & would prove an important witness against her. But he is forgotten as the story progresses. Lucky Amy! She accuses Desi of kidnapping her from her home on the day of her anniversary. And it is just her luck once again, that he wasn’t some other place at that time? His mother can offer no alibi? What are the chances of that happening? Amy stole her Nick’s semen samples from the lab. A treatment which has such a low success rate is an instant success for Amazing Amy?! The two people she had falsely implicated in her childhood are not valid witnesses for various reasons. Again lucky! Jeff & Greta who robbed her while she was on the run, never figure out that Lydia/ Nancy/ Amy are all the same? They don’t come out in the open for publicity which would generate more money? Again lucky. Every single time Amazing Amy is a victim. How come no one is tired or suspicious of her whimpering? A friend who stalks her & attacks her, two boyfriends who rape her, a husband who almost killed her. All this in 40 years. That is like she has been victimized every decade 😛 Also, it is surprising that a woman who uses rape as a sort of defense to punish the “bad” guys never gets raped or abused in spite of hanging out with cons like Jeff & psychos like Desi. They are all goody goody just for her? Amy is well protected by the author. Luck, timing, coincidences, people’s stupidities, the decency in the indecent people all work in her favour always.
- After going through hell with Amy, Nick is actually happy with the idea of being a father. He drops all efforts of trying to prove her crime so that they can live as one big happy family? Is that even possible with Amy? I couldn’t help but pity the baby who would be unfortunate enough to have such parents. A mother as mad as Amy & a father as irresponsible as Nick.
- This was one novel where I would have liked an open ended story. I would have liked Nick to continue his efforts to prove Amy’s guilt. I would have liked for him to devise plans to take his kid away from her. Instead as soon as he hears of her pregnancy he is dreaming of cradles & toys. If he wants to be so different than his Dad shouldn’t he aim at providing a safe, happy & normal environment to his child? Something which he never had.
- The lawyer was really useless. While he was introduced like some Saul Goodman, he was just plain terrible. I do not recall a single good advice which he gave Nick. Gillian Flynn just kept Nick in a soup till Amazing Amy could come out & save him.
This book should have been titled Amazing Amy. It would have made more sense & would have satisfied the psychotic heroine; who is obviously the authors favourite; a great deal. I did enjoy reading the book & would definitely recommend it.
A 3.5/5 for the book. I would have liked it better if Amy had been a little less amazing 😛