This book has been praised up and down here there and everywhere. Already there are lists for "The Next Gone Girl" of the year. There's apparently going to be a movie adaptation. And this is one of those times when I just don't get it.
I'm pretty unimpressed, actually.
So here are the two narrators of the story. There's Nick. The needy, self-centered, whiny, insecure, covert narcissist mama's boy with daddy issues.
Only he doesn't cry though. Because whiny men are like that. They try to hide it as best they can because they want everyone to like him so that everyone knows what a NICE GUY he is. He loves unconditional approval like a sad, whiny puppy. Even if he shits on your rug. He's that kind of guy.
And he's not a TERRIBLE person exactly. But he's not great either. I guess this is the writer's way of saying that no one is all good. It would have been nice if she tried to show that without using this completely hollow, self-absorbed, "Even when I'm trying to seem selfless it's still all about me or all about resolving my issues and me, me, ME!" moron as an example.
Then there's Amy, the wife who goes missing. I can't get too into her without giving away major spoilers for anyone who might be interested in reading the book, but this is how I picture her.
Nick and Amy are the kind of New Yorkers that the rest of us New Yorkers love to hate. Which I would have been fine with. I don't need to like the characters to enjoy the book. But I just didn't enjoy the book.
The plot is predictable. I was too busy hating Amy and Nick to notice it at first, but it's pretty obvious. The story is vapid. Privileged people are like that. There's nothing interesting there. The stakes aren't high enough because while the privileged have plenty to lose, they usually don't lose much of it when they do. The only time the stakes were high, and things started to get a little interesting was toward the very, very end. And by then I just didn't give a shit.
The characters fall flat a lot of the time. Stereotypes everywhere. Everyone in this book is wearing a neon sign describing exactly who they are and what they're going to do before the writer even gets around to it. This was disappointing for me because I was promised dark, sick characters. And I love that. The darker and more twisted the better.
The story tries to bring up interesting issues, such as comparing how the upper middle class whine and whine about their problems while other middle class workers lose their jobs, many becoming homeless and living in a shut down mall and drug use is common. The ones who still havet their homes obviously look down on them and rumors of them committing gang rape and possibly kidnapping Amy arise. While they fear their homeless, the homeless also fear them, and might actually have better reason to. It shows how the civilization is not really all that civilized. But it's only mentioned in such a small part of the story, you almost forget about it. This was incredibly disappointing.
This story is the kind of trashy Lifetime TV "based on a true crime" movie that are geared toward stereotypically bored upper middle class Midwestern white suburbanites who like to snoop on their equally boring neighbors and would just salivate at the idea of something this interesting happening near them so that they'd have something other than PTA meetings and pot lucks to look forward to.
The thing is, I figured those people died off in nature and now only exist in trashy Lifetime movies.