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Monday, October 22, 2012

Gone Girl.

So I started reading Gone Girl last week, and yesterday I returned it to the library. Not because I finished it that fast, but because I didn't want to mire myself in such negativity. This coming from a girl who likes murder mysteries and vampire sex!

I don't know why but Gone Girl didn't settle with me, despite being really well written. It revolves around a seemingly happy married couple who are anything but, and what happens when, on their 5th wedding annivesary, the wife Amy goes missing. As the husband, Nick is naturally the prime suspect. Since I only read about 40 or 50 pages I'm not giving anything away by saying that, plus I think that, and more, is on the book cover's inside flap.

The reason why I didn't like it is because it's a long book, and I knew I would get seriously emotionally fucked with for a prolonged amount of time, and I wasn't up to the task. I didn't want to feel creeped out and sort of nauseated by the cruel things people do to their loved ones, and I knew that was what I was in for. There was a particularly depressing moment when, after Nick talks about how awkward and... sort of pretentious and self centered his wife's very laborious and time consuming wedding gift was, you read in a flashback (via Amy's diary) how excited she was to plan it all out and how she knew he'd love it.

That's reality in relationships but it broke my heart in a small way, and I didn't want to invest so much of my time, emotions and imagination in something that would ultimately leave a bad taste in my mouth. However I had no qualms recommending it to Kendra, who admittedly likes her stories to be a little melodramatic, a little depressing, a little dark.

I guess I'm just a girl scout Pollyanna when it comes to that sort of thing. Although I love Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series which is such a far cry from Pollyanna, I don't know what to say. Wait, I do know what to say: I didn't like immersing myself in a toxic marriage. I didn't want to read this book and then start imagining all these horrible things existing in my own marriage. Many people would suggest that that very thing is what makes good fiction, getting you to open your eyes, to I don't know, let the story in. But I am not here for that.

There was one line where Amy writes that she doesn't want to be That Wife, that she was perilously close to becoming it, that she didn't want to get mad at her husband for drinking all night with his just-fired friends on their anniversary, but she could feel it happening. I think all of us have felt that way, the mad-but-don't-wanna-be, but in that instant I was reading way too much into the story. Was I That Wife? That Wife meaning whatever it is you don't want to be. Do I needle into Todd too much, am I a shrew, the queen of  harpies, a fishmonger's wife?

And that's when I realized I just didn't want to finish it. I flipped to the last page to see how it ended and my God I am so glad I did because it confirmed some suspicions I had.

I'm trying not to give away the ending, so I will just say that as I get older, I have realized that I just might end up missing out on a lot of good fiction, good movies, etc, because the tone is too depressing. I'll never read Faulkner and after wiking some plots of his stories, I don't think I'm missing out on much. It all sounds like one big reason to take a Prozac. I don't want to waste my time and energy on something that will make me feel sadder or angrier than I was when I started. My time and my life and my imagination are precious to me, so I won't willingly spend 400 pages' worth of my life feeling creeped out and depressed right before bed.

Maybe that makes me sound like a dumbass, but it's how it is.

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