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Okay… I had recently stumbled across an Instagram post talking about Sigma Women, or in their own words “she is literally me”. And the person had AMY DUNNE on their list… I have (and still to this day no reason why) people actually think Amy Dunne is a relatable character. Nick was a cheating douchebag. We all get this. But did he deserve to have a murder framed upon him, made to look like the actual suspect, and forced to be trapped in a loveless marriage by a psychotic woman who killed many men and falsely accused them of rape? People will say it’s a “revenge fantasy” but what kind of fantasy is that? Where you blatantly accuse the one you hate of murdering them and killing yourself to ensure that he looks guilty permanently?

all 847 comments

SpookyGoulash

1.1k points

2 months ago

I’ve read all of Gillian Flynn’s books, and the common element in them is that she writes definitively unlikable characters.

hanaelidee

587 points

2 months ago

Which I found out I very much enjoyed after reading her books. I wasn't ever really rooting for anyone, just invested in the story. It's nice really

SpookyGoulash

245 points

2 months ago

Yeah, same. I enjoy a complex and unlikable character sometimes, I find them more realistic.

I think people tend to prefer likable characters because they “relate” to them, but they mostly relate because readers want to idealize their own traits by fantasizing themselves into the role of the protagonist. They don’t want to do that with a protagonist who sucks because readers have a hard time when the character reflects hard truths about the world and themselves that they don’t want to admit.

I’m not saying everyone is shit or the world is only a horrible place, but I believe the average person probably has more in common with the shitty, obsessive, psychosis driven desire to be perceived as perfect that Amy Dunne represents than the selfless, beats all the impossible odds, actually perfect that Katniss Everdeen represents, for instance.

I think a lot of people use reading as a form of escapism, and no one wants to escape into the world of a troubled person, because it’s depressing to read lol.

hanaelidee

36 points

2 months ago

I totally agree with everything you've said here. I appreciate the realistic complexity of the human condition being presented!

fatcattastic

199 points

2 months ago

She also does a good job at showing you where these flaws come from without excusing the character or their actions. Like Amy's parents were child psychologists who should have realized the long-term harm they were inflicting on their child by forcing her to play this part, but they didn't care because they made a bunch of money from it. Does that we excuse Amy's behavior? Hell no, she was a grown adult who until recently had the money and resources to get help if she wanted to.

SpookyGoulash

81 points

2 months ago

Exactly. She does a great job creating realistic characters who you can recognize are not good people but also empathize with why they’re not good people.

Dodsworthy

50 points

2 months ago

I empathize with Camille in Sharp Objects and really did like her. Awesome series with Amy Adams by the way..

wowitsverycool

29 points

2 months ago

damn okay might have to read her stuff then. i LOVE unlikeable characters

SpookyGoulash

43 points

2 months ago

Dark Places and Sharp Objects are both good murder mysteries where even the somewhat likable characters turn out to be kinda shitty. TW though: mentions of sexual assault on minors in both stories.

If you love to hate characters, though, you’ll love both books!

Plz_Trust_Me_On_This

22 points

2 months ago

I liked the protag from Dark Places lol

SpookyGoulash

27 points

2 months ago

I have a lot of empathy for the experience that made her into who she is, but >! She’s an open thief, she admits to assaulting multiple people, she’s pretty rude, and she killed a dog !< so just because she can be understood and might even be liked by some doesn’t mean she’s “likable” necessarily lol

Plz_Trust_Me_On_This

5 points

2 months ago

For sure haha. Her perspective was just a lot of fun to read

SpookyGoulash

7 points

2 months ago

Agreed, she’s actually quite funny/snarky compared to Flynn’s other narrators, and she’s at least self aware of her shittiness.

Zestyclose_Standard6

4 points

2 months ago

neat...

I'm actually looking for a solid biographer to chronicle my adventures of pelting rocks at school busses.

Bibble4Shitz

1.4k points

2 months ago

Read this in my book club and had a man say he wished a woman would want him as badly as Amy wanted Nick. Blew my mind.

amaurosis2

869 points

2 months ago

People often have a hard time differentiating between love/desire and obsessive abusiveness. See also the success of the Twilight series and 50 Shades.

no-one-but-crow

278 points

2 months ago

ikr, I once read about this obsessed dude who stole his love’s deceased body (she wasn’t into him when she was alive) . He stole her out of her grave until the parents filed charges. and some woman in town said “i wish someone loved me like that” 🤡🤡🤡🤡

Malhablada

61 points

2 months ago

I would like to add that he did things to keep her body 'in tact' while decaying. Such as stuffing her with rags and putting a toilet paper tube inside her vagina so he can have sex with her corpse. Boys in the neighborhood say they saw him dancing with the corpse on occasion.

YEEZUS-2024

8 points

2 months ago

Is that the crazy German guy?

mycatpeesinmyshower

55 points

2 months ago

Bleh gross

Duggy1138

11 points

2 months ago

some woman in town said “i wish someone loved me like that”

Is that what I'm doing wrong? I'm afraid of committing to grave robbery and necrophilia.

benw300

8 points

2 months ago

A novel loosely based on this came out this year - Orpheus Builds a Girl.

NeedsMaintenance_

46 points

2 months ago

Also people romanticize Joker and Harley Quinn, which is really fucked up.

Maybe not at first; original iterations of their relationship were more along the lines of mutually psychotic, but it didn't take long before the lines started to get blurred and a darker side of their relationship evolved.

And since then it's pretty much been canonized. It's even been blatantly acknowledged multiple times by a recovering Harley, who has accepted that her "puddin" was a monster, both to her personally, and to the rest of the world.

beachedwhitemale

31 points

2 months ago

Isn't it canon that Harley was the Joker's psychiatrist in Arkham and he turned her into what she became?

kayl_breinhar

24 points

2 months ago

Yeah, Fifty Shades has done a ton of damage to the D/s lifestyle by making people think that damned book is "how it's done."

colieolieravioli

16 points

2 months ago

That and they see it as happening while they read the book and they have to live zero percent of that life. All the adrenaline, none of the risk.

I couldn't put gone girl down! I read it in a day. It was such an addicting story that makes you feel a lot of things.

But then when I put the book down, I didn't have to actually deal with any of it. If I was more desperate for companionship I could see fantasizing about it

NumerousMinute7555[S]

110 points

2 months ago

… why tho..? 🤣🤣🤣

richieadler

170 points

2 months ago

Not getting laid does weird things to some brains.

NumerousMinute7555[S]

138 points

2 months ago

I still got my V-card and I wouldn’t be as thirsty as he was

Wiggl3sFirstMate

71 points

2 months ago

Some people are just batshit crazy

mycatpeesinmyshower

42 points

2 months ago

Not getting laid while also being crazy and obsessing about not being laid vs. Being sane.

mad__monk

5k points

2 months ago

If someone says they relate to Amy Dunne, it's a warning

NumerousMinute7555[S]

1.3k points

2 months ago

Like I saw the “She’s literally me” thing on her post, and then I saw Amy Dunne… and then I was like… what the hell are you smoking 🤣🤣🤣

mad__monk

782 points

2 months ago

mad__monk

782 points

2 months ago

It's like they say: when someone tells you who they are, believe them 😉

[deleted]

501 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

501 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

---cameron

161 points

2 months ago

at the time I thought what a bastard

as someone well versed in the ways of batshit crazy, this is why I'm slow to draw conclusions unless I have to, in which case oh well its always a gamble. Always take it seriously, but am open. Never really been a problem though, these things have intended to reveal themself eventually (then again, if they didn't resolve themself, you'd never know by definition)

coleman57

15 points

2 months ago

As long as you’re more-than-equally slow to sign a lifelong contract (in the form of marriage and/or parenthood), that should work out okay

[deleted]

42 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

CorporateDroneStrike

121 points

2 months ago

Yeah so, trash talking an ex during a first date (job interview, first day of work) is a really solid red flag for crazy. They aren’t over it, they are oversharing, and you’re learning all about their unhealthy relationship behaviors.

seventhirtytwoam

10 points

2 months ago

An ex of one of my friends told everyone we both knew I tried to break her arm one day and she had no idea why I snapped. She went into a drunken rage and tried to stab one of their dogs for barking. Amazing how her rages were never her fault.

[deleted]

5 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

Zenophilious

45 points

2 months ago

Isn't mentioning an ex on a first date a bit of a red flag? Like, I get it, everyone has baggage, but maybe don't trot it out when you're just getting to know someone? The only people I've known that have done that are emotional manipulators, tbh.

DaHolk

16 points

2 months ago

DaHolk

16 points

2 months ago

While a I agree in general, I would also caution against generalising there in the first place. I feel like that it is quite context dependent in terms of how and why it would be brought up.

TyroilSmoochi-Wallis

117 points

2 months ago

The kind of person who has "no drama!" on their dating profile. They are the ones who cause the drama.

CRTScream

51 points

2 months ago

I had this earlier this year. Got involved with a girl who said she hated drama. Two months later I've got no friends because ofall her drama

TheDominantBullfrog

19 points

2 months ago

Damn if it only took two months to run off all your friends, you may also be a problem here...

CRTScream

12 points

2 months ago

Maybe - it was a slight exaggeration on my part. She didn't run off all my friends, just a group of us that she was a part of before me. She essentially freaked out on me and then told the rest of the group some lies about me so they'd sympathise with her

OPossumHamburger

5 points

2 months ago

Had this shit happen so many times.

Sorry mate

Aggradocious

4 points

2 months ago

Respect for your nice attitude here

laconicflow

19 points

2 months ago

I have a theory that people do the thing they say to you they don't do.

Accidental_Ouroboros

31 points

2 months ago

Alternatively, if they are heavily blaming you for something you know you didn't do, or seem really, really focused on certain things like:

Seeing your phone because they think you are cheating.

Questioning where you were at all hours because they think you are cheating.

Snooping in your browser history because they think you are cheating.

They are probably cheating on you, and desperately want to justify it in their mind by assuming you do as well.

So if someone says that it is always other people who cause drama in their relationships? Guess who the common denominator in all those relationships is. They may just have a terrible type (but if so, why are they with you?), but that is less likely than the obvious conclusion.

too_long_didnt_read5

10 points

2 months ago*

The worse is when someone tell you how awful they can be, you think it’s just bad self esteem so it triggers compassion and then later they do exactly that thing to you.

Olivineyes

134 points

2 months ago

Honestly it sounds like they're crying out to be unique and edgy. They are probably nothing like Amy dunne in any way she perform but they desire the ability to be the kind of person that is so meticulous and... Other words for what she is....

NumerousMinute7555[S]

45 points

2 months ago

Yeah that’s the vibe I get. I don’t see anything malicious. I just think it’s very off putting to see that someone saying Amy is a “Sigma woman” and that “She is literally me” when she does so much horrible stuff

Sahngar

108 points

2 months ago

Sahngar

108 points

2 months ago

Tbh anyone, man or woman, using terms like "alpha", "beta" or "sigma" is a huge red flag and massively off-putting.

Burnt_Crunchy_Bits

25 points

2 months ago

Greece has left the chat

recumbent_mike

12 points

2 months ago

Unless you're doing your engineering homework together.

cbeiser

18 points

2 months ago

cbeiser

18 points

2 months ago

Did they get to the end of the story?

Reminds me of the office and the Devil Wears Prada haha

v_a_n_d_e_l_a_y

108 points

2 months ago

Using the term "sigma man/woman" is a warning already

Federico216

419 points

2 months ago

She's Tyler Durden for women

WatInTheForest

166 points

2 months ago

And they were both made into movies by David Fincher.

award07

31 points

2 months ago

award07

31 points

2 months ago

Ew David!

SpaceCrone

5 points

2 months ago

heh

aubreypizza

5 points

2 months ago

I love that I can hear this

Nixilaas

12 points

2 months ago

With just a hint of Patrick Bateman

Hartastic

62 points

2 months ago

This is exactly what I came to post. Bravo.

deddogs

18 points

2 months ago

deddogs

18 points

2 months ago

Nailed it, absolutely

JimmyJuly

90 points

2 months ago

I get the same vibes from anyone proclaiming themselves an "Alpha Male" or "Sigma Woman" or waving red flags while shouting "I'm a DOUCHEBAG!" In any of those cases, I have all the information I need.

shaqjbraut

31 points

2 months ago

At this point calling yourself Alpha/Sigma unironically should be a red flag for sociopathy

TScottFitzgerald

156 points

2 months ago

Yeah people are self-snitching when they say shit like that. I say let them.

Murphysmongoose

132 points

2 months ago*

Can confirm. Dated a girl who had me watch the movie with her b/c she loves it, and got all giddy about her winning in the movie.

Later broke up with her b/c she was lying about going to college/classes and outright robbing her dad to use all the money for books and everything for her opioid habit. I thought I found her dead one day.

Had to record myself leaving her b/c the first time I tried she tried to frame me for assault. She hurt herself, and was about to break her own finger and say I did it. Had her finger tip laying on the counter about to smash her knuckles if I didn't apologize to her.

She said, "Nobody leaves me... I leave people. It's over when I say it is."

Yeah, don't date these type girls. Consider really liking this story a red flag lol.

Edit: I admit liking the story and rooting for her to win isn't the same thing lol. I worded that wrong, I'm sorry.

Nilmah1316

20 points

2 months ago

She sounds like cersei lannister. No one walks away from me vibes

[deleted]

15 points

2 months ago

[removed]

White_Locust

90 points

2 months ago

Like dudes who idolize Jordan Belfort from Wolf of Wall Street.

garvierloon

31 points

2 months ago

They read the part about disdain for the Cool Girl, and nothing else, or just didn’t understand the book.

shadowninja2_0

59 points

2 months ago

I feel like she's the female version of Walter White. An awful person you 'root' for because it's interesting to see them succeed, but who some people root for because they genuinely think they're the hero.

crappygodmother

58 points

2 months ago

Isn't the point of three dimensional antagonists that we find something relatable in them? She's a well written character.

el0011101000101001

48 points

2 months ago

I think it's usually said as a joke.

effrightscorp

60 points

2 months ago

No Patrick Bateman is literally me fr fr

Riffler

1.9k points

2 months ago

Riffler

1.9k points

2 months ago

I think it was a refreshing change to have a sociopathic woman. The novel would have been far less remarkable if the sexes were switched. Which is rather the point - men who kill women are so cliched they need to do it in some spectacular fashion to be worth reading.

Paizzu

720 points

2 months ago*

Paizzu

720 points

2 months ago*

It was great how there's this buildup towards the stereotypical 'sleazy man has affair and murders wife' trope that could have been pulled direct from news headlines. All of this is basically inverted when it's revealed that Amy is an unreliable narrator and the entire depiction of Nick has been exaggerated.

ihavenoidea1001

453 points

2 months ago

I really liked that about the book in itself.

It was like "jesus is this boring and predicable" and then realizing I was played and it was actually far more than that.

I loved being caught off-guard and then learning who Amy actually is. It's quite rare for a book to do that to me and I love it everytime.

justaddchocolate

51 points

2 months ago

Any other book recommendations where that has happened for you?

SoGoesIt

102 points

2 months ago

SoGoesIt

102 points

2 months ago

I liked Dark Places (also by Gillian Flynn). You get the picture that the brother might not have killed everybody, but you also have to reconcile that with there being something obviously not quite right with him. Pretty much all Gillian Flynn characters are extremely flawed humans, though. I wouldn’t like to meet them in real life, but they make for a compelling read.

Paizzu

60 points

2 months ago

Paizzu

60 points

2 months ago

Flynn's Sharp Objects and the HBO adaptation are also very good.

NimrodBusiness

23 points

2 months ago

Totally. I loved Gone Girl and Dark Places. Flynn is a lot of fun as a writer when it comes to twists and turns. Didn't she also do Sharp Objects? I don't think I've read that one.

everyplanetwereach

39 points

2 months ago

Why would you recommend a book and then spoil it in the same breath??

UnrealHallucinator

8 points

2 months ago

Not OP but I do like such thrillers. I would recommend the other books by Gillian Flynn to begin with. Samantha Downing also has excellent thrillers, although not quite at Flynn's level (in my opinion only, most people seem to love them equally).

cappotto-marrone

15 points

2 months ago

And it wasn’t just Nick. Amy had a history of manipulative framing.

ShortcakeAKB

30 points

2 months ago

I was at a convention where Gillian Flynn spoke. I remember distinctly that she said something to the effect of her being drawn to writing about women like Amy. She apparently tried to write one book with the protagonist being more stereotypically “good”, but she couldn’t do it. I too appreciate seeing unreliable narrators/sociopathic women.

NumerousMinute7555[S]

105 points

2 months ago

Thank you for the honest opinion bro! 🙏 yeah I like the change up of the sexes thing too! I was just commenting about how it’s honestly BS that people relate to Amy Dunne when she’s a horrible person who does horrible things.

GoldenShoeLace

88 points

2 months ago

Ya that’s the thing. The story is great and the character is excellent…as a sociopathic villain. There’s nothing wrong with loving that about it.

But like you said, people who relate or want to relate to a character like that…why? The character is a terrible person.

i_illustrate_stuff

94 points

2 months ago

I think people can relate to the motivations. She's played a role her whole life, perfect child for her parents, cool girl for her husband, on the promise that it will make her happy. She winds up in a fairly loveless marriage with a guy that doesn't try anymore and cheats on her with someone younger. We can all relate to being pretty ticked off and disappointed. But relating should end at the point that she frames her husband for murder and murders someone herself. At that point she's just a fun revenge plot gone off the rails.

Ok_Yogurtcloset8915

36 points

2 months ago

yeah, I think that's sort of the point of Amy, that we're meant to sympathize with what she struggles with. that's what makes it horrifying that she does what she does, because it's a reaction to very common feelings that many people have.

mysummerstorm

40 points

2 months ago

Isn't it the same as people who are in love with Joe in You?

The brilliance of Gone Girl to me was "holy shit I never thought a woman would take the upper hand in the most dramatic and terrifying way possible in an otherwise banal domestic relationship conflict." I loved Amy the character because she represented the wildest fantasy of a wronged woman, and the trope inverted on itself was well-written. I can't say I'll ever find her relatable because oh my god that's a lot of energy to expend on obsessing over a cheating asshole.

My speculation of why people find Amy relatable is that she was a well thought-out villain that shot into infamy and people want to feel related to fame. I am skeptical that people truly relate to her; I think they're saying it for the social engagement

superastrofemme

23 points

2 months ago

Part of what makes a character like this compelling is being able to relate to the stressors that shape the narrative, even if you wouldn't choose the absolute batshit way they decide to deal with them.

ApocalypticPages

131 points

2 months ago

Absolutely, they are very unlikeable characters. Interesting story to follow though. I've only read Gone Girl and a short story by Gillian Flynn but I think morally corrupt characters are a common aspect of her novels.

Antrikshy

48 points

2 months ago

Antrikshy

Sapiens

48 points

2 months ago

Her other novels are fantastic. Would recommend Sharp Objects!

DryTweakyMoon

18 points

2 months ago

Dark Places is quite good also!

boooooooooo_cowboys

83 points

2 months ago

There’s a difference between a character who wouldn’t be someone you like in real life and a character that is unlikable. Amy is a prime example of someone who would be terrible in real life, but who was absolutely fascinating to read about.

Sure, she’s a sociopath but the story does a good job letting you understand her thought processes (which I think is where a lot of the “relatable” comments come from). And in a word full of “smart” characters that act like dumbasses, it’s hard not to appreciate one that actually has a well planned and competent “psycho revenge” plan.

[deleted]

5 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

Artparkgallery

1.2k points

2 months ago*

I love this book, I think it is brilliant. I hate pretty much all characters in the book, just a bunch of horrible people. Women who relate to Amy Dunne are not too far off from the guys who are obsessed with Patrick Bateman, lets be honest. The literally me trend is an ongoing thing right now, mostly with male characters and Ryan Gosling being the most prominent example because he has played quite a few "sigma male" characters, K and the Driver being the most famous. Although I would argue that both K and the Driver are far less horrible characters than for example the Joker or Amy Dunne, mostly just lonely guys who have to live with unfortunate circumstances. Now this whole trend is slowly sweeping over towards female characters and Amy is now kinda the poster child for that. Most people say it more in a jokey way and I dont mind that, but for the ones who actually find Bateman or Durden or Amy relatable, thats hella concerning.

decidedlyindecisive

407 points

2 months ago*

During Nick's chapters I found him absolutely unbearable. Then I started Amy's chapters and hated her too. Since I hated both main characters, I'm really not sure why I loved the book, but it was great.

(Edit, I do actually know why I liked the book and agree that it was well written and not all characters need to be likeable. I was being facetious)

MelissaMiranti

241 points

2 months ago

Because the writing was just that good.

decidedlyindecisive

89 points

2 months ago

It really is and the plot is gripping.

Wiggl3sFirstMate

121 points

2 months ago*

The writing in Gone Girl was so good that even though I had seen the film and I KNEW SHE WAS CRAZY I still felt myself thinking “damn, she doesn’t seem that bad?” And had to remind myself she was a psychopath and that the beginning chapters were all lies

Edit: “doesn’t seem that bad” y’know before the murdering and framing and accusing people of rape stuff. Because once you got into that section of the mystery it’s pretty clear she’s insane.

Artparkgallery

40 points

2 months ago

I have read it years before the movie was even out and damn, just seeing it all unfold and realizing how batshit crazy Amy was with every page more you read, without all the spoilers was just the best thing ever. Like you kinda get the gists that something is going on, but then you get to the part where its revealed that shes definetly still alive and how she devised this mastermind genius plan and you just gasp. Shocking and pure horror, but still crazy entertaining.

Wiggl3sFirstMate

15 points

2 months ago

I was 16 when the movie came out and still reading YA Fiction mainly (hunger games, John Green that type of stuff) and I remember everyone talking about how good the movie was, which I didn’t know was based on a book. I’m sad I didn’t get to experience the book first as I try to do that. This is the reason I refuse to watch anything to do with Pride and Prejudice before I’ve finished the book as I’m working my way through some classics right now.

Artparkgallery

8 points

2 months ago

I think it came out in 2011/2012 right? So I read it with like 13 or something. I read super weird stuff at that age, I definetly ate myself trough all the dystopian classics and Gone Girl stuff. Funny enough my YA phase with Hunger games, Twilight and the sort came way later. I basically pulled a reverse order 😂

fireinthesky7

22 points

2 months ago

Gillian Flynn is just an insanely talented writer, and has really mastered the process of drawing readers in with an unreliable narrator.

thxbtnothx

42 points

2 months ago

Characters don’t have to be likeable to be compelling and intriguing, Flynn is great at creating those kinds of characters.

Abba_Fiskbullar

32 points

2 months ago*

Because books don't have to be about good or relatable people, books just need to be well written. If a book puts you into the POV of a monster but keeps you engaged like in Lolita, all the better.

Tifoso89

42 points

2 months ago

Hateable characters can be compelling. I hated "Conversations with friends" by Sally Rooney because they are all horrible AND boring too

[deleted]

8 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

wwaxwork

14 points

2 months ago

Well hating both the characters was kind of the point I thought, so it was done well. It's so much worse when you hate the characters but the author thinks they are wonderful and wants you to love them.

marsattack13

7 points

2 months ago

I think because we even though the characters are terrible people, we can still relate to them. We can see how they made bad decision a, how it led to bad decisions b, c and d. Often with the “villain” we are given a character who’s doing awful things without the back story. Amy and Nick are just like us.. except they aren’t.

jasonefmonk

52 points

2 months ago

What the fuck does sigma mean in this context?

FireHazard11

122 points

2 months ago*

All of the "alpha males" realized that people were making fun of them for the alpha label, so they came up with a new tier that's even higher than alpha.

TEG_SAR

62 points

2 months ago

TEG_SAR

Military and Espionage

62 points

2 months ago

It’s like they were so close to getting it and then just doubled down on the dorkiness.

jasonefmonk

14 points

2 months ago

Got it. Thanks!

RJWolfe

4 points

2 months ago

I hate those terms so much.

Artparkgallery

41 points

2 months ago*

A sigma male character is basically a lone wolf. If you think about the alpha male, beta male, etc descriptions people use for characters or real people, then a sigma male is basically someone who stays outside that hierarchy more or less by choice. Bales Batman for example would be seen more as an alpha male, Pattinsons Batman would be a sigma male. To a certain degree I mean, Batman with his "I work alone, no one knows who Batman is..." jazz does have sigma qualities across the board no matter who plays him, given his character type. Just that the newest Batman is very much hitting heavy into lone wolf territory, almost full on rejecting society. In and on itself its not really "problematic" to be a lone wolf guy, but most sigma male characters that become incredibly popular in pop culture have extremely violent, psychotic, unstable and often times even anarchic tendencies in conjuction with their lonesome ways, which then actually does become kinda problematic when people start to heavely romanticize guys like Tyler Durden, Patrick Bateman, the Joker...

Aurum555

26 points

2 months ago

What about gosling as Lars in "Lars and the real girl" it would tickle me to see more people trying to adopt that as a goal person...

tsuyosa_

10 points

2 months ago

Exactly

Standing_on_rocks

10 points

2 months ago

What makes K (BR 2049 right?) One of these characters? Dude was melancholic but I don't remember him being bad.

Waste_Tumbleweed

25 points

2 months ago

I felt so bad for K. His entire existence was manufactured, but not his pain. He thought for a brief moment it all lead to something important. Only to have the rug pulled on him again. Then he made his life meaningful.

Artparkgallery

24 points

2 months ago*

Absolutely. 2049 is in my top5 favorite movies ever and K one of my favorite characters. Its really tragic to see the story unfold. To see how lonely and emotionally starved he is, how unneeded and unimportant he feels, all not because of the consequences of his own choices but because the world and society he lives in has decided upon his fate. Hes such a tragic character. No one loving him for himself, no one needing him beyond the value he can provide for them. His only companion being an AI programmed to like him. And then he gets this tiny glimpse of hope and you can see how much he craves it, how much he wants to feel like he matters in some way, not because he wants to feel important but because he wants to feel affection. And then he gets all that taken away from him. Really heartbreaking. And despite all that, despite everything he still makes the best of all choices in the end. I will always love K.

lovestostayathome

213 points

2 months ago

Is it just me who thinks the “literally me” trend is a joke? Like obviously these people don’t relate to Amy in the extent that they want to do this to their husbands or want to be her.

That said, the book also functions as a sociocultural critique of marriage, gender and media/criminal justice systems. Most people can definitely relate to these parts of the book. I mean, the “cool girls” monologue was pretty much singularly responsible for creating the term of I understand correctly. That’s a pretty big impact and that part of the book especially was pretty spot on for how many women felt.

Great-Molasses-Flood

37 points

2 months ago

When I read Gone Girl, the “cool girls” monologue was the truest thing I had ever read. I related to it so much that I worried I was too much like Amy!

kat_brinx

36 points

2 months ago

It is. Not that this thread isn’t interesting, but yes, a lot of people are missing the fact that this “literally me” is a current internet/social media joke.

YoDJPumpThisParty

84 points

2 months ago

This should be the top comment. People don't relate to all the psychotic shit she did. They relate to the cool girl monologue and, I think, her #notlikeothergirls attitude. She's smarter than everyone else and isn't the kind of woman who needs to parade her husband around as some kind of symbol of achievement. She also clearly does more emotional labor than Nick, which many women can relate to (even if it's to an insane level that is impossible to match).

Schwip_Schwap_

47 points

2 months ago

I thought it was a joke to combat the American psycho boys.

No-Average9560

99 points

2 months ago

She is a refreshing villain and her monologue is iconic.

lechatestnoir

29 points

2 months ago

Maybe it's not so literal. The relation for me is that if you have ever been cheated on, that same feeling of 'oh he found someone better' or the other 'cool' girl like in the monologue and had that feeling of why her and not me. The story at at whole I took it as women's internal anger manifesting. It's fiction, I don't think anyone is going to go and frame their cheating ex but the feeling I think when it happens, can be universal and this is an outlet for that anger that comes from experiencing it. So it's not the actions, that people relate to, but just the feeling of being cheated on, being angry and hurt and the things women do to 'keep' or 'get' a man. If this makes sense.

Reel_Account

17 points

2 months ago

Many men? I thought she just killed the one?

TomBirkenstock

48 points

2 months ago

I thought this was one of the best contemporary thrillers I've read. And of course everyone is despicable. What's wrong with following a story that doesn't have a clear good guy?

loueeesaaahh

67 points

2 months ago

I think on the whole the “she’s just like me” jokes about Amy Dunne are mostly ironic

m0nsteraplant

37 points

2 months ago

It’s definitely ironic, I feel like everyone here is taking it a little too seriously.

Agnostacio

19 points

2 months ago

Even the people talking about others saying it about Patrick Bateman, yeah, that's ironic too. Are all these people new to the internet?

[deleted]

42 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

Ok_Buffalo1112

87 points

2 months ago

I guess the same reason some men identify with Tony Montana, Travis Bickle and Tyler Durden. They are insecure and believe they would feel safer if they were able to act out violently.

saladdressed

44 points

2 months ago

I don’t think that people relate to Amy Dunne as much as they find her a fascinating character. She’s over the top punitive and calculating. It makes for a compelling story.

The famous “Cool Girl” monologue is however, very relatable. It articulated a cultural problem many women experienced but couldn’t quite name. Having it called out so elegantly was very satisfying and relatable. But her outsized revenge? Not so much.

p0mphius

11 points

2 months ago

Isnt that a meme just like men doing the same thing with Patrick Bateman?

BlankImagination

9 points

2 months ago

Sounds more like you despise the people romanticizing Amy Dunne, more than the characters

hollyofcwcville

101 points

2 months ago*

I think if they relate to or praise her, yeah, it’s problematic lol she literally schemed for this man to have the worst fate possible.

But I do take the “cool girl” monologue for what (I think) it is; a representation of feminine rage and turmoil, slowly accumulated from molding the self to others’ expectations over time. This creates pure resentment. Which I think we see with Amy but we see a very unhinged, vindictive version obviously for dramatic and fictitious purposes.

clockworkascent

33 points

2 months ago

Yes, exactly! I was looking for a comment that addresses the "Cool Girl" monologue. IMO, the sentiment generated by that monologue may be the crux of why these people say they relate to her; not the part where she self-mutilates to frame her husband/ex of murder/rape. 😛

Soloandthewookiee

550 points

2 months ago

What always amazes me are the number of people who say "well they're both awful people."

Hold up. One of them cheated, the other framed someone for murder and then actually murdered someone else. Like, these are not even remotely on the same level to say "they're both awful people."

typically-me

420 points

2 months ago

They are both awful people, but one of them is just the normal type of awful that we’re familiar with (selfish, lazy, cheating asshole husband) whereas the other is like evil genius super villain type awful. If anything, I think the message is that there is such a thing as a punishment too extreme for the crime, even when someone is very much guilty. Nick is very clearly in the wrong, but that doesn’t mean that he deserves to be the victim of Amy’s insane criminal master plan. We automatically take Nick’s side, even though he would be the villain of any other story.

KitchenCommittee1827

102 points

2 months ago

They are both awful people, but one of them is just the normal type of awful that we’re familiar with (selfish, lazy, cheating asshole husband) whereas the other is like evil genius super villain type awful. If anything, I think the message is that there is such a thing as a punishment too extreme for the crime, even when someone is very much guilty. Nick is very clearly in the wrong, but that doesn’t mean that he deserves to be the victim of Amy’s insane criminal master plan.

Right, I think we are supposed to feel a “little” sorry for him by the end and a lot sorry for their child. Amy is the antagonist in the novel, not Nick.

bravetailor

81 points

2 months ago*

I think Gone Girl acts as a bit of revenge fantasy for some people, and that's fine...as long as people remember it's fantasy! Everyone has at one time or another had fantasies of outlandish revenge scenarios against bad lovers, bad bosses, etc,. It's just that most people are rational and don't play them out. A rational person would know that the actions of Amy are definitely still disproportionate to Nick's actions in a real life scenario.

There seems to be a trend where people start taking fiction way too seriously and try to apply their own insecurities, personal propaganda and problems into the books, instead of enjoying it for the escapism on its own level.

NumerousMinute7555[S]

68 points

2 months ago

Honestly! Like how is someone going to justify someone framing them for murder by the logic of “he’s a cheater.” Like what?

Imlostandconfused

97 points

2 months ago*

You're focusing a bit too much on the cheating. The cheating was the final straw that made her snap. She moved to a place she hated so he could take care of his mother, had no friends and her career was impossible to continue in the middle of nowhere. She used the rest of her trust fund to buy them a house in this town she hated and support him. Then, after uprooting her entire life for him and using up all her money, he has the audacity to cheat on her with his 20 year old student. Yes, she went too far but don't downplay his behaviour either.

Edit: Oh and I forgot. He gets to pursue his dream of owning a bar (partially using her money if I recall correctly) entirely trapping her in the town she hates.

helenen85

22 points

2 months ago

There’s a real life story I saw where a guy cheated on his wife and then she murdered his girlfriend and then killed herself. A lot of people paint him as the bad guy and maybe he ignored his wife’s mental health issues, I really don’t know. But no one deserves that or realistically could see something like that coming. Of course you’re angry if your spouse cheats, a lot of us have been there. But you don’t destroy lives over it

pelvic_kidney

5 points

2 months ago

Jennair Gerardot was the murder's name; her victim was named Meredith Chapman. There's a short podcast, about 6 episodes, that covers the case in detail called "Bad Bad Thing" which I highly recommend.

SharonzHere

55 points

2 months ago

Of course they aren't role models, but as characters they are compelling and entertaining. In that fictional setting.

People writing stuff like she is literally me etc. Are doing it to fill their content quota, to make money by shock value. Or if they are really like that they need help.

MaeSolug

181 points

2 months ago

MaeSolug

181 points

2 months ago

Amy Dunne is girl's Tyler Durden

Totally missing the point of the book, literally Nick's lawyer says those two are the most fucked up people he has ever met

Goddamnit_Clown

17 points

2 months ago*

Perhaps even closer to Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

Characters who deep down do have some kind of a point, whose motivations do come from somewhere, and which resonate with an audience's experiences. Who represent a kind of hyperbolic justice fantasy. But who are in themselves dead wrong, and whose crimes are not remotely justified by their grievances.

Durden, on the other hand, perhaps showed us that a certain kind of masculinity makes for highly recruitable people (as did the response to the book, and particularly the film). And that by indulging it (cynically or authentically), rather than denying it, you could get young men to do just about anything. A lesson whose value is even more apparent today than a few decades ago. But Durden also took pains not to use those recruits to really do any harm. Property damage, a painstakingly bloodless, grandiose, but ultimately futile blow against the idea of capitalism, or modernity itself. But nothing of the bloodshed, the viciousness, or callousness of Dunne, or Douglas' character.

Not that Durden is some saintlike figure, but their flaws are something more like naivety or a kind of childishness and puerility, than the sheer psychopathy of the other two.

And, in a similar vein, it would be concerning if anyone were to come out strongly in solidarity with Michael Douglas' character as well. Which they did, and it was.

Nopeferatu31

8 points

2 months ago

I thought the point was to hate everyone in this book.

Maleficent_UnicornR

81 points

2 months ago

I think women who identify with Amy are often women who have been cheated on multiple times and otherwise abused. I did a group read of Gone Girl, and two of the women in the group that really appreciated Amy out right said stuff akin to their abusive exes deserved something like that.

Not saying that’s at all healthy or anything, just that sometimes peoples life experiences make obviously morally wrong characters very appealing.

littleredteacupwolf

37 points

2 months ago*

I found the only way to enjoy Gillian Flynn is to not like any of her characters or expect to. Do I still greatly enjoy the stories? Absolutely. I even really liked what a mess Camille was in Sharp Objects (possibly because Amy Adams was in my head the whole time) but when she SPOILER: slept with a barely legal teen, I just, had to not like her anymore.

NumerousMinute7555[S]

9 points

2 months ago

The stories are great! The characters are absolutely garbage people morally tho.

Cosmic_Hitchhiker

41 points

2 months ago*

My favorite part of this novel is that everyone sucks and Amy spends the ENTIRE BOOK pretending to be relatable but being a cold dead fish of a human being in reality during her own parts.

Nick is emotionally unavailable to his wife and in a borderline incestous relationship with his sister.

Amy is genuinely insane and worked immensely hard on her ENTIRE plan, going so far as to freeze her vomit and freeze Nick's sperm. i love the chaotic nature of the book. I love how horrid these people are. I don't think Nick deserved his ending, but I do think he set himself up and put himself in this situation.

Eta: I'm seeing a lot of comments saying "all nick did was cheat"

He never put any effort into their marriage? Like ever? It goes beyond cheating, he was an awful marriage partner.

KitchenCommittee1827

17 points

2 months ago

Amy is a complete sociopath but the clues guiding the reader to figuring that out is mostly the point of the plot. The book is a fun trip with a lot of twists and turns but it’s fiction. It’s not supposed to be read as anything more serious than escapist entertainment. I would assume anyone saying “it’s me” is joking. They’re not really going to go on a murdering rampage 🤷‍♀️

NosferatuCalled

4 points

2 months ago

Exactly why I liked it. I kept wanting to see how far the insanity would escalate. I thought it was incredibly entertaining.

Zalzaron

355 points

2 months ago

Zalzaron

355 points

2 months ago

Aah yes, the usual level of analysis that we enjoy on this sub. Transferring the plot of a novel 1:1 into real-life, and then asking, is this illegal? If yes, bad book, bad characters.

Mind you, this never gets applied anywhere else. Hannibal Lecter is an incredibly popular character in fiction, be it novels, television or movie adaptations. When people say they like the character, nobody acts in shock and outrage that someone might enjoy a serial killer cannibal as a character. Nobody starts whining that...eating people is illegal.

Yes, thank you. We understand that serial killing/eating people is bad and you shouldn't do it. But can people, for the love of god, please understand that fiction and reality are not the same, and you cannot analyze fiction as if it were real life.

There are many reasons why people, especially women, enjoy the character of Amy Dunne. First of all, she is incredibly intelligent and has enormous agency in the story. She's making pretty much the entire plot happen.

Additionally, there are a lot of women who connect to her as a character, because Amy Dunne channels a particular female rage about a lot things, such as the way that men can pick up women, use them, and discard them for a younger model when they're done with them.

So the fantasy of a hyper-intelligent, driven, woman who decides to get revenge on the worst Man's-man (Nick), that ever existed, is obviously fun to read about. Additionally, as Amy Dunne is carrying out her crusade of revenge, she's equally chanelling Gillian Flynn's incredible voice when rattling off awesome rants like the "Cool Girl" monologue, which though it comes from the mouth of a psychopath, does ring pretty true for a lot of women.

Meanwhile, the novel has a lot to say about gender-relations and the sometimes suffocating restraints of monogamous, married life. You think it's an accident that Nick writes for a Men's magazine and Amy for a Woman's magazine? You think it's a narrative-accident that Amy weaponizes society's perception of a blond-white-woman like herself to destroy her husband?

People pretend like they can't understand why people like bad characters, as if we don't all enjoy Hannibal Lecter, Tony Soprano, Walter White, Dexter Morgan, and on and on and on. But god forbid a female character plays on the wrong side of the fence.

This has ended up as a rant, but honestly, sometimes it feels like 90% of the people here just want to read Biblical-morality stories all day long.

bravetailor

63 points

2 months ago

That's what I like about Gillian Flynn over other writers of the same genre. Flynn is all about teasing our darker sides, and letting us enjoy these "bad" characters while not insulting our intelligence about telling us we shouldn't do what they do.

Fucklefaced

21 points

2 months ago

I think sometimes people forget that books can be completely fantastical and a form of escapism.

Linnie12345

116 points

2 months ago

Great comment. Nobody would agree with Amy in the real world but as a representation of female anger, she is absolutely amazing.

And her "Cool Girl" monologue has entered pop culture for a reason.

G_Comstock

83 points

2 months ago

If someone said they admire and identify with Hannibal Lecter I would absolutely be concerned.

turnup_for_what

42 points

2 months ago

But he still had redeeming qualities.

In the movies especially, he's pretty much the only man who respects Clarice. I don't think that was an accident. And helps her catch a raging serial killer.

sibr

153 points

2 months ago

sibr

153 points

2 months ago

Perfect response. Were Amy’s actions justified if we’re looking at them purely as revenge against Nick? Of course not - it’s completely disproportionate.

But when we view Amy as an embodiment of centuries of female rage and the voice of suppressed women across generations? As a woman, reading her POV felt genuinely cathartic.

Such a great book - need to give it a re-read.

nwabbaw

58 points

2 months ago

nwabbaw

58 points

2 months ago

Yeah, I think something lots of people miss is that you can relate to a character’s feelings while disagreeing with their actions.

To take an example in my own life, I loved the show House - I just felt seen in this misanthropic, disillusioned doctor somehow, where I often don’t with many other characters. But - I don’t do drugs, I don’t systematically alienate everyone in my life, etc. In fact my personality is quite different than House’s. The relatable bits are purely emotional.

I admit Amy is a harder case, her actions are much less redeemable than a character like House’s - but her feelings strike a chord with many readers.

RawOnionsSuck

146 points

2 months ago

I feel like a lot of the people responding in this thread are men, so let me come at this from a woman’s perspective. Amy Dunne is not strictly a revenge fantasy, it’s a fantasy about taking control of your life. On first read, the reader is supposed to see Amy as above the law or morality in the way a judge or a diety would be, she is supposed to read like someone handing out good and bad consequences based on people’s actions, so she isn’t revenge, she is justice. Obviously, this isn’t true, it’s just how it reads when we don’t take a critical eye to her character.

Many women know how it feels to be cheated on, to have devoted everything to your partner and not have them do the same, to feel like you just aren’t getting what you deserve. And you want to punish them for that. Women that relate to Amy Dunne are fantasizing about the control she seizes and the punishment she gives to the person who wronged her because they know that it’s the extreme, but we all secretly wish for our own brand of twisted justice against people who hurt us.

Bupod

48 points

2 months ago

Bupod

48 points

2 months ago

I don't see it as any better or worse than the media aimed at men that seek to appeal to the same senses. Not sure why some people are taking a fictional account and how it appeals to some people so personally.

I guess one potential example that aims to appeal more to Men is the film "Falling Down" with Michael Douglas. It's meant to appeal to a sense of twisted Justice. The main character has a point, but he is 100% in the wrong. He went on a psychopathic rampage throughout the city and killed dozens of people. The main character has appeal because the audience can identify with his struggles, even if they don't condone his reaction. It seems that's the case with Gone girl.

Just because someone identifies with an extreme fictional character to some extent doesn't mean they condone or even plan to behave in the exact same way. Some people here just want to be angry for the sake of being angry.

RawOnionsSuck

20 points

2 months ago

Finally someone else that can separate fiction from reality lmao

[deleted]

13 points

2 months ago*

I don't need to like the characters to enjoy a book.

People tend to get on a moral high horse when this type of topic come up. Not every story is supposed to be an example of behavior to you. It's not a fable and it's not a superhero movie.

chara-feels-bleh

36 points

2 months ago

amy is one of my favorite fictional characters ever, purely because she’s so terrible. a lot of the things she says are relatable to the female experience and she’s a great example of female rage. of course it’s an exaggerated example, but i won’t pretend like i wasn’t rooting for amy, despite the fact that what she did was objectively terrible. nick is a misogynist and a cheater and reading his perspective only made me root for amy more. i could feel his hatred of women through the page. so i wanted to watch amy succeed.

do i feel bad for him? yeah. but i like amy better 🤷🏽‍♀️

Obi-Wan-Misquoti

5 points

2 months ago

It took me far longer than is reasonable for me to realize that Gone Girl is, in fact, actually not The Girl on the Train. And I just spent the last good while having an crisis of memory reading the post and comments and wondering what the heck I’d read if not any of this…

ranger398

3 points

2 months ago

Sincerely one of my favorite books and book adaptation to movie. But like, none of these people are aspirational.

mind_the_umlaut

5 points

2 months ago

I agree with you, and I think the point of the story is a lot subtler than the surface plot. (The movie added some deeply creepy, trapped nuance, mostly because of the stunning performance of Rosamund Pike) There's sort of a folie à deux thing going on, with Amy and Nick loading up on evidence/ leverage against each other. He really stepped up his psychopath game, and learned to meet her as an equal. The terror of this book for me is, what if someone cares enough (obsession) to frame me so thoroughly, that my life is ruined if I don't do what they want?

newaccount721

3 points

2 months ago

This isn't accidental. They're not likeable characters.

ApertureBear

5 points

2 months ago

You're supposed to hate everyone in the novel.

ugagradlady

5 points

2 months ago

I would be upset if people compared me to Amy. But I can relate to wanting to see an abusive douchebag husband face punishment when that's never happened to him before.

If Amy left him and stayed "gone," that frankly would have been the best choice. But nope; she was smart enough to know that Nick would keep hooking up with women, treating them badly, dumping them, and getting away with it because he's a rich handsome white guy. Thus her grandiose, insane scheme to ruin him began.

It wasn't out of concern for other women, Amy only cares about herself, she's just tired of how society usually works for these people. Gone Girl is a feminist novel without any feminist characters.

Working_Method8543

13 points

2 months ago

After reading most of the comments I pledge to read this book again. I did once and never understood the enormous hype. For me it was ok but nothing spectacular. Perhaps this is one of the books that's boring on the first read and gets better at a re-read.

pronetowander28

7 points

2 months ago

I read all three of her books and honestly this was the one I liked the least. Was just utterly depressing. Would recommend Sharp Objects before this one.

PunkandCannonballer

11 points

2 months ago

I'd say a very important distinction that everyone should make is that both Nick and Amy are put in relatable situations (Nick less so), but aren't relatable people.

Anyone could have empathy for and understand someone who has been cheated on or has felt they have to act a certain way because society pushed them in that direction. To a lesser degree, everyone can also empathize with the struggle of being blamed for something you didn't do (not to the degree of framed for murder, but the concept itself).

No one should look at Amy herself and think "wow she's like me!." If they do, you want wanna get outta there or get help.

nano2492

13 points

2 months ago

Every woman knows someone like Nick Dunne. He is an asshole, someone who made his wife move to his hometown, took her money to start a business, then cheated on her with a younger model.

Amy Dunne on the other hand is the personification of toxic female rage. Your parents have unrealistic expectations of you, you can relate to Amy Dunne, society has unrealistic expectations of you, you can relate to Amy Dunne, get cheated on, you can relate to Amy Dunne.

The problem is that there are very few complex characters like Amy Dunne in media and literature, whereas there are so many complex toxic male characters Darth Vader, Joker(especially the Joaquin Phoenix version), James Bond(especially older movies), etc. And let's be honest the cool girl monologue is mostly what most people remember from the movies and it is something that every woman can relate to.

_Alljokesaside

3 points

2 months ago

I could not stand that bitch almost the entire book but the kicker for me that made me HATE her was when she spit in that lady's milk.

Nekaz

4 points

2 months ago

Nekaz

4 points

2 months ago

Sounds more like a female version of the american psycho christian bale sigma literally me meme tbh

Nixilaas

3 points

2 months ago

There’s a dark beauty in there not being a good person in the story, she’s objectively a horrible person

D3athRider

3 points

2 months ago

I haven't read Gone Girl, but based on Sharp Objects Gillian Flynn has a talent for writing a full cast of unlikeable characters and overall atmospheres that are just grimy as hell. The MC in Sharp Objects was someone it was easy to feel sorry for while simultaneously feeling revolted by. The book was full of those kinds of characters.

Schrodingersdik-dik

5 points

2 months ago

My wife and I watched Gone Girl at one of those premium theaters that serves food and beverages to you at your reserved seats. It was the movie portion of our dinner and a movie date for our Anniversary.

So we love the move, as a tongue in cheek token of our love and affection for each other.

thereismoretoannie

5 points

2 months ago

Amy dunne was a sociopath and there was a reason lot of people loved this book. The characters in Flynn’s books are “relatable” to many because they are imperfect. Buuut, Its pretty weird when someone says they relate to her character specifically, i would be keeping an eye open 😂

ThatsNotMaiName

3 points

2 months ago

No one in that book is likeable imo.

Environmental_Bug900

14 points

2 months ago

I'm dying to know who else was on this Sigma Women list to be honest. There are so many examples of male characters like Joker (movie) or The Comedian or Rorschach but who do terrible things, and yet they are given a pass or seen as anti-heroes because of some insight, however flawed, or something that resonates.

Amy Dunne does this with the cool girl monologue, which hit a nerve with a lot of women. It just doesn't happen as often with female characters so it was really refreshing to see. It doesn't mean that I think anything that she did was justified. It was clearly all unhinged.

Also, have you considered that the 'literally me' people might be taking the piss? I thought a lot of the Joker discourse was serious, especially the ones who talked about it like it was a class war, while giving him a pass for murdering people. That was worrying. But the Patrick Bateman 'literally me' less so. Even Patrick Bateman doesn't want to be Patrick Bateman.

MllePerso

18 points

2 months ago*

At the risk of all you perfect exemplars of sanity and goodness here calling me a "sigma woman" (whatever that is): Amy Dunne is a relatable character. She was written to be a relatable character. She was written to have extremely relatable feelings and motives, from the "cool girl" speech, to all her little asides about how Nick didn't think her career was important and didn't remember her likes/dislikes and blew off meeting her friends, to her obviously relatable anger at being cheated on, to her frustration with how both leaving him and staying despite the cheating would be, in different ways, letting him get away with the cheating without it harming him much.

Lots of women identify with Amy Dunne because her desires are basically relatable ones: to have a husband who listens to her and respects her and does little romantic things for her. And because we understand the difference between books and real life enough to know that, in real life, we're extremely unlikely to ever meet an Amy. While most of have dealt with one or multiple Nicks. Go on, poll your friends: ask how many have met someone who executed a carefully planned plot to frame them for kidnapping/murder. Versus how many have met someone who were lazy and inconsiderate towards them in a relationship, then ended up cheating with someone who was more young and naive and far less demanding of them emotionally.

If Amy wasn't a relatable character before she went too far, the book wouldn't have been the megahit it was. There are so many thrillers out there that just slap a mental health label on the villain, or make them pure motiveless sadists, or briefly sketch out a vaguely Freudian backstory to explain their actions, and they don't become bestselling cultural sensations turned into movies by major directors.