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Dramatic,
Dark,
Interesting

280 reviews

Gone Girl: A Novel
by Gillian Flynn

Published: 2014-04-22
Paperback : 422 pages
6 members reading this now
969 clubs reading this now
9 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 236 of 280 members
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable ...
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Introduction

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn. 

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?   With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Essay from Gillian for Powells:

http://gillian-flynn.com/for-readers/

Suggested by Members

Can you relate to Nick and Amy and their love story?
What desparate actions have you taken in your relationships? What motivated those actions? Love, need, desire to be in control?
by kimloves2read (see profile) 05/08/16

What do you htink of the husband as a man?
What do you hthink of the wife as a woman?
Did they deserve each other and why?
by bonjour (see profile) 09/10/14

Mental Health- yikes.
Is this a commentary on dating/ marriage!? We loved the "cool girl" tirade!!
Parental responsibility /awareness- What part did Amy's parents play?
by KathyPrigge (see profile) 04/24/14

Character flaws of each character. Alternative endings. Author's style of writing.
by ReadtoSuceed (see profile) 03/10/14

Why didn't they just get a divorce?
by Deemann11 (see profile) 02/24/14

How does a relationship get so out of balance?
Is any marriage 100% honest and open all of the time?
by bookview (see profile) 12/18/13

Did you sympathise with Nick or Amy?
by JeanieC (see profile) 11/15/13

What happened to the ending?
by pa03963 (see profile) 05/29/13

In the first part of the book, did you think Nick was guilty?
Do you think anyone could plot a fake murder as well as Amy?Was that realistic?
by griffymom (see profile) 05/14/13

nature or nurture?
Sociopath or amoral?
by annabelle1091 (see profile) 05/11/13

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

GILLIAN FLYNN’s debut novel, Sharp Objects, was an Edgar Award finalist and the winner of two of Britain’s Dagger Awards. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Brett Nolan, and a rather giant cat named Roy.

“Ice-pick-sharp… Spectacularly sneaky… Impressively cagey… Gone Girl is Ms. Flynn’s dazzling breakthrough. It is wily, mercurial, subtly layered and populated by characters so well imagined that they’re hard to part with — even if, as in Amy’s case, they are already departed. And if you have any doubts about whether Ms. Flynn measures up to Patricia Highsmith’s level of discreet malice, go back and look at the small details. Whatever you raced past on a first reading will look completely different the second time around.” —Janet Maslin, New York Times

“An ingenious and viperish thriller… It’s going to make Gillian Flynn a star… The first half of Gone Girl is a nimble, caustic riff on our Nancy Grace culture and the way in which ''The butler did it'' has morphed into ''The husband did it.'' The second half is the real stunner, though. Now I really am going to shut up before I spoil what instantly shifts into a great, breathless read. Even as Gone Girl grows truly twisted and wild, it says smart things about how tenuous power relations are between men and women, and how often couples are at the mercy of forces beyond their control. As if that weren’t enough, Flynn has created a genuinely creepy villain you don't see coming. People love to talk about the banality of evil. You’re about to meet a maniac you could fall in love with. A” —Jeff Giles, Entertainment Weekly

“An irresistible summer thriller with a twisting plot worthy of Alfred Hitchcock. Burrowing deep into the murkiest corners of the human psyche, this delectable summer read will give you the creeps and keep you on edge until the last page.” —People (four stars)

“[A] thoroughbred thriller about the nature of identity and the terrible secrets that can survive and thrive in even the most intimate relationships. Gone Girl begins as a whodunit, but by the end it will have you wondering whether there’s any such thing as a who at all.” —Lev Grossman, Time

“How did things get so bad? That’s the reason to read this book. Gillian Flynn — whose award-winning Dark Places and Sharp Objects also shone a dark light on weird and creepy, not to mention uber dysfunctional characters — delves this time into what happens when two people marry and one spouse has no idea who their beloved really is.” —USA Today, Carol Memmott

“It’s simply fantastic: terrifying, darkly funny and at times moving. The minute I finished it I wanted to start it all over again. Admirers of Gillian Flynn’s previous books, Sharp Objects and Dark Places, will be ecstatic over Gone Girl, her most intricately twisted and deliciously sinister story, dangerous for any reader who prefers to savor a novel as opposed to consuming it whole in one sitting….” —Associated Press, Michelle Weiner

“Gillian Flynn’s third novel is both breakneck-paced thriller and masterful dissection of marital breakdown… Wickedly plotted and surprisingly thoughtful, this is a terrifically good read.” —Boston Globe

“That adage of no one knows what goes on behind closed doors moves the plot of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn's suspenseful psychological thriller… Flynn's unpredictable plot of Gone Girl careens down an emotional highway where this couple dissects their marriage with sharp acumen… Flynn has shown her skills at gripping tales and enhanced character studies since her debut Sharp Objects, which garnered an Edgar nod, among other nominations. Her second novel Dark Places made numerous best of lists. Gone Girl reaffirms her talent.” —South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Oline Cogdill

“A great crime novel, however, is an unstable thing, entertainment and literature suspended in some undetermined solution. Take Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, the third novel by one of a trio of contemporary women writers (the others are Kate Atkinson and Tana French) who are kicking the genre into a higher gear… You couldn’t say that this is a crime novel that’s ultimately about a marriage, which would make it a literary novel in disguise. The crime and the marriage are inseparable. As Gone Girl works itself up into an aria of ingenious, pitch-black comedy (or comedic horror — it’s a bit of both), its very outlandishness teases out a truth about all magnificent partnerships: Sometimes it’s your enemy who brings out the best in you, and in such cases, you want to keep him close.” —Salon

“Ms. Flynn writes dark suspense novels that anatomize violence without splashing barrels of blood around the pages… But as in her other books, Ms. Flynn has much more up her sleeve than a simple missing-person case. As Nick and Amy's alternately tell their stories, marriage has never looked so menacing, narrators so unreliable.” —Wall Street Journal

“A portrait of a marriage so hilariously terrifying, it will make you have a good hard think about who the person on the other side of the bed really is. This novel is so bogglingly twisty, we can only give you the initial premise: on their fifth anniversary, Nick Dunne’s beloved wife Amy disappears, and all signs point to very foul play indeed. Nick has to clear his name before the police finger him for Amy’s murder.” —Time

“Readers who prefer more virulent strains of unreality will appreciate the sneaky mind games of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, a thriller rooted in the portrait of a tricky and troubled marriage.” —New York Times

“[Flynn has] quite outdone herself with a tale of marital strife so deliciously devious that it moves the finish line on The War of the Roses… A novel studded with disclosures and guided by purposeful misdirection… Flynn delivers a wickedly clever cultural commentary as well as a complex and driven mystery… What fun this novel is.” —New York Daily News

“Flynn’s brilliantly constructed and consistently absorbing third novel begins on the Dunnes’ fifth wedding anniversary… The novel, which twists itself into new shapes, works as a page-turning thriller, but it’s also a study of marriage at its most destructive.” —Columbus Dispatch

“Gillian Flynn's barbed and brilliant Gone Girl has two deceitful, disturbing, irresistible narrators and a plot that twists so many times you'll be dizzy. This "catastrophically romantic" story about Nick and Amy is a "fairy tale reverse transformation" that reminded me of Patricia Highsmith in its psychological suspense and Kate Atkinson in its insanely clever plotting.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“For a creepy, suspenseful mystery, Ms. Pearl suggested Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, a novel due out this week. "You will not be able to figure out the end at all. I could not sleep the night after I read it. It's really good," Ms. [Nancy] Pearl said. "It's about the way we deceive ourselves and deceive others."” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Gillian Flynn's new novel, Gone Girl, is that rare thing: a book that thrills and delights while holding up a mirror to how we live… Through her two ultimately unreliable narrators, Flynn masterfully weaves the slow trickle of critical details with 90-degree plot turns… Timely, poignant and emotionally rich, Gone Girl will peel away your comfort levels even as you root for its protagonists—despite your best intuition.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Flynn’s third noir thriller recently launched to even more acclaim than the first two novels, polishing her reputation for pushing crime fiction to a new literary level and as a craftsman of deliciously twisting and twisted plots.” —Kansas City Star

“I picked up Gone Girl because the novel is set along the Mississippi River in Missouri and the plot sounded intriguing. I put it down two days later, bleary-eyed and oh-so-satisfied after reading a story that left me surprised, disgusted, and riveted by its twists and turns… A good story presents a reader with a problem that has to be resolved and a few surprises along the way. A great story gives a reader a problem and leads you along a path, then dumps you off a cliff and into a jungle of plot twists, character revelations and back stories that you could not have imagined. Gone Girl does just that.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“To call Gillian Flynn's new novel almost review-proof isn't a put-down, it's a fact. That's because to give away the turn-of-the-screw in this chilling portrait of a marriage gone wrong would be a crime. I can say that Gone Girl is an ingenious whodunit for both the Facebook generation and old-school mystery buffs. Whoever you are, it will linger, like fingerprints on a gun… Flynn's characters bloom and grow, like beautiful, poisonous plants. She is a Gothic storyteller for the Internet age.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer

“The setup of Gone Girl lulls readers with what appears to be a done-too-often plot, but, oh, how misleading that is. This thriller is told in alternating voices, a risky form of narrative that works masterfully here because the characters are so distinct and convincing…. The first half of the story leads readers on a merry chase and gives the term "red herring" new meaning. The second half takes readers on a calculated descent into madness. The ending…is one of the most chilling we've seen in recent years.” —The Sacramento Bee, Allen Pierleoni

“If you do have room in your summer reading for new mysteries, pack Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. It's my pick for one of the summer's best.” —Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

“In this fast-paced thriller, Flynn tracks the disintegration of a marriage and asks: How does a couple go from uttering passionate vows to living separate lives?” —All You

“Gillian Flynn’s terrific psychological thriller, Gone Girl, wanders into an alternate criminality, to the darkest corners of mind and matrimony, using Occam’s razor to slit its own throat… Aside from the plot’s high entertainment value, Flynn has buttressed her book with humor and great writing.” —The Daily Beast

“Gone Girl is a dark, satisfying, psychological thriller… Gone Girl is at times brilliant, compelling, surprising, diabolical, and it’s definitely dark and twisted… It ranks as one of the best books I’ve read in the past year…I’d highly recommend it if you’re a fan of psychological thrillers or just plain great fiction.” —Examiner.com

“Pick up the sharp, mercilessly entertaining psychological thriller Gone Girl, written by Gillian Flynn as though with a razor, giggling all the while.” –Vanity Fair

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by [email protected] (see profile) 02/05/20

The third part of the book was pointless and stretched a bit too much. Hollow. First part is a bit exciting.

 
by mrstodd (see profile) 11/08/19

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 11/03/19

We rated this an A.

 
by csandbox (see profile) 10/09/19

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