8 August 2016

all the things I didn't want to learn from Gone Girl

I once picked up gone girl, read few chapters, didn't like it, threw it back.

I read it again because two women from our book club said exactly the same thing, "Areeba, give it a read" after I told them how disturbing books are my favorite. I trusted them & I never regretted it.

Gone girl is what I never expected it to be. I LOVED every bit of it. It was disturbing, shocking, funny, pathetic, everything I could ever ask for. If you're planning to read it, please don't read this post because it has spoilers. MAJOR SPOILERS. For once, I want to write my heart out about a book.

I grew up watching failed marriages, broken homes, disturbed wives and tired husbands. Most of them described their lives as pathetic after their marriage. And I wondered if a marriage is such a hard thing, how do two people survive it? (well many don't, but that's another case) And the gone girl almost solved the mystery for me: marriage is an abnormal thing but you find ways to live with it and this book describes probably the darkest one. Maybe Gillian Flynn wanted the newest, internet obsessed generation to understand what a normally abnormal thing marriage can be.

Flynn, the queen, understands. She wrote in gone girl:
"I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script."

Amy, the wife, is the smartest psychopath and people want to BE with her. 

Nick, the husband, is really lame. The loser type nobody wants to help. 

Amy is my darling, she's a psychopath and that makes her even more dear to me. Fictional psychopaths are my personal favorites.

"You drink a little too much and try a little too hard. And you go home to a cold bed and think, That was fine. And your life is a long line of fine.” -Amy

Gone girl is the type of book I keep rereading and it has taught me stuff I didn't even want to know. I am probably the least interested person in marriage right now but I've learned things about it that I think I should preach. Ta-da!

there are no rules but there are rules
“I was told love should be unconditional. That's the rule, everyone says so. But if love has no boundaries, no limits, no conditions, why should anyone try to do the right thing ever? If I know I am loved no matter what, where is the challenge? I am supposed to love Nick despite all his shortcomings. And Nick is supposed to love me despite my quirks. But clearly, neither of us does. It makes me think that everyone is very wrong, that love should have many conditions. Love should require both partners to be their very best at all times.”

how two people complete each other, mostly
"We're a sick, fucking toxic Möbius strip, Amy. We weren't ourselves when we fell in love, and when we became ourselves - surprise! - we were poison. We complete each other in the nastiest, ugliest possible way. You don't even really love me, Amy. You don't even like me."

we complete each other in the nastiest, ugliest possible way - maybe this is exactly what marriage is, maybe little more civilized than this, but this is what it is

great marriage never happens
"Give me a man with a little fight in him, a man who calls me on my bullshit. (But who also kind of likes my bullshit.) And yet: Don’t land me in one of those relationships where we’re always pecking at each other, disguising insults as jokes, rolling our eyes and ‘playfully’ scrapping in front of our friends, hoping to lure them to our side of an argument they could not care less about. Those awful if only relationships: This marriage would be great if only… and you sense the if only list is a lot longer than either of them realizes."

never expect your spouse to like your "real self"
“Committing to Nick, feeling safe with Nick, being happy with Nick, made me realize that there was a Real Amy in there, and she was so much better, more interesting and complicated and challenging, than Cool Amy. Nick wanted Cool Amy anyway. Can you imagine, finally showing your true self to your spouse, your soul mate, and having him not like you? So that’s how the hating first began.”

when you're married, your marriage 'happens' to you
“I know women whose entire personas are woven from a benign mediocrity. Their lives are a list of shortcomings: the unappreciative boyfriend, the extra ten pounds, the dismissive boss, the conniving sister, the straying husband. I've always hovered above their stories, nodding in sympathy and thinking how foolish they are, these women, to let these things happen, how undisciplined. And now to be one of them! One of the women with the endless stories that make people nod sympathetically and think: Poor dumb bitch.”

life partners can surprise you, really really really surprise you
“The old Amy, the girl of the big laugh and the easy ways, literally shed herself, a pile of skin and soul on the floor, and stepped this new, brittle, bitter Amy ... a razor-wire knot daring me to unloop her, and I was not up to the job with my thick, numb, nervous fingers. Country fingers. Flyover fingers untrained in the intricate, dangerous work of 'solving Amy'. When I'd hold up the bloody stumps, she'd sigh and turn to her secret mental notebooks on which she tallied all my deficiencies, forever noting disappointments, frailties, shortcomings.”

“One should never marry a man who doesn’t own a decent set of scissors. 
That would be my advice. It leads to bad things.”

Thanks Amy, will keep in mind.

What's your MOST favorite book?


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