First edition, signed and inscribed on title-page (“With deep, dark regards! Gilli Flynn”), and at end (“Thanks for reading this! Sorry that I have the crabbed handwriting of a serial killer! Gilli Flynn.”) Some literary license is at play here: Flynn’s hand is quite readable and she deploys it extensively throughout the book to great effect, no more so than about her ending: “People love it or hate it. I had no idea it’d be so divisive. Some people HATE the ending. For me, it was the only way it could—or should—end. I admit it is not the most satisfying end, but it’s the one that rings true… When people tell me how much they hated the ending—and they do this often and remorselessly!—I ask what they wanted to happen (I’m a glutton for punishment). The usual answer is something like ‘I wanted justice!’ What about this book would possibly make you believe there would be justice? I always like an open ending anyway—it encourages unease and it encourages imagination. And so, Amy style, that is my last word on the subject. (Or is it?)”
Many of the extensive annotations that appear on almost half of the book’s pages elucidate her thoughts and feeling about the characters she has created, and how they work in the novel’s structure. “I [heart] Go!” Flynn writes. “I think Go is a key character—Nick can be such a chauvinist that he needs a woman in his life to vouch for him…if Go likes him it goes a long way.” The passage (p.73) where she laments the way hyper technology has dulled our human and imaginative responses (“We are all working from the same dog-eared script…”), she writes: “One of my favorite sections in this book—I took it out because I wasn’t sure it belonged here—but then put it back in because I just liked it.” We get interesting biographical tidbits along the way, such as Flynn’s experience working at a yogurt store in a mall. She was compelled at times to don a yogurt cone costume (“Not fun!”). ‘My husband and I were married not too long before I started this book. I remember all the ‘work, work, work’ advice/warnings.” There are even ink drawings of a cat and a catfish. A joyous performance.
FLYNN, Gillian (b. 1971). Gone Girl. New York: Crown Publishers, 2012. 8°. Original cloth-backed boards; dust jacket.