#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The “mercilessly entertaining” (Vanity Fair) instant classic “about the nature of identity and the terrible secrets that can survive and thrive in even the most intimate relationships” (Lev Grossman, Time).
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Janet Maslin, The New York Times • People • Entertainment Weekly • O: The Oprah Magazine • Slate • Kansas City Star • USA Today • Christian Science Monitor
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. 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?
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY San Francisco Chronicle • St. Louis Post Dispatch • Chicago Tribune • HuffPost • Newsday
“Absorbing . . . In masterly fashion, Flynn depicts the unraveling of a marriage—and of a recession-hit Midwest—by interweaving the wife’s diary entries with the husband’s first-person account.”—New Yorker
“Ms. Flynn writes dark suspense novels that anatomize violence without splashing barrels of blood around the pages . . . Ms. Flynn has much more up her sleeve than a simple missing-person case. As Nick and Amy alternately tell their stories, marriage has never looked so menacing, narrators so unreliable.”—The Wall Street Journal
“The story unfolds in precise and riveting prose . . . even while you know you’re being manipulated, searching for the missing pieces is half the thrill of this wickedly absorbing tale.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
|Publisher:||Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group|
|Edition description:||Unabridged, 15 CDs, 19 hrs.|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.70(d)|
About the Author
Gillian Flynn is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Gone Girl, for which she wrote the Golden Globe-nominated screenplay, and the New York Times bestsellers Dark Places and Sharp Objects. A former critic for Entertainment Weekly, she lives in Chicago with her husband and children.
Read an Excerpt
Nick Dunne the day of
When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. The shape of it, to begin with. The very first time I saw her, it was the back of the head I saw, and there was something lovely about it, the angles of it.
Like a shiny, hard corn kernel or a riverbed fossil. She had what the
Victorians would call finely shaped head. You could imagine the skull quite easily.
I’d know her head anywhere.
And what’s inside it. I think of that too: her mind. Her brain, all those coils, and her thoughts shuttling through those coils like fast,
frantic centipedes. Like a child, I picture opening her skull, unspooling her brain and sifting through it, trying to catch and pin down her thoughts. What are you thinking, Amy? The question I’ve asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are
you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?
My eyes flipped open at exactly six a.m. This was no avian fluttering of the lashes, no gentle blink toward consciousness. The awakening was mechanical. A spooky ventriloquist- dummy click of the lids:
The world is black and then, showtime! 6- 0- 0 the clock said— in my face, first thing I saw. 6- 0- 0. It felt different. I rarely woke at such a rounded time. I was a man of jagged risings: 8:43, 11:51, 9:26. My life was alarmless.
At that exact moment, 6- 0- 0, the sun climbed over the skyline of oaks, revealing its full summer angry- god self. Its reflection flared across the river toward our house, a long, blaring finger aimed at me through our frail bedroom curtains. Accusing: You have been seen.
You will be seen.
I wallowed in bed, which was our New York bed in our new house,
which we still called the new house, even though we’d been back here for two years. It’s a rented house right along the Mississippi River,
a house that screams Suburban Nouveau Riche, the kind of place
I aspired to as a kid from my split- level, shag- carpet side of town.
The kind of house that is immediately familiar: a generically grand,
unchallenging, new, new, new house that my wife would— and did—
“Should I remove my soul before I come inside?” Her first line upon arrival. It had been a compromise: Amy demanded we rent, not buy,
in my little Missouri hometown, in her firm hope that we wouldn’t be stuck here long. But the only houses for rent were clustered in this failed development: a miniature ghost town of bank- owned,
recession- busted, price- reduced mansions, a neighborhood that closed before it ever opened. It was a compromise, but Amy didn’t see it that way, not in the least. To Amy, it was a punishing whim on my part, a nasty, selfish twist of the knife. I would drag her, caveman- style, to a town she had aggressively avoided, and make her live in the kind of house she used to mock. I suppose it’s not a compromise if only one of you considers it such, but that was what our compromises tended to look like. One of us was always angry. Amy, usually.
Do not blame me for this particular grievance, Amy. The Missouri
Grievance. Blame the economy, blame bad luck, blame my parents,
blame your parents, blame the Internet, blame people who use the
Internet. I used to be a writer. I was a writer who wrote about TV
and movies and books. Back when people read things on paper, back when anyone cared about what I thought. I’d arrived in New York in the late ’90s, the last gasp of the glory days, although no one knew it then. New York was packed with writers, real writers, because there were magazines, real magazines, loads of them. This was back when the Internet was still some exotic pet kept in the corner of the publishing world— throw some kibble at it, watch it dance on its little leash,
oh quite cute, it definitely won’t kill us in the night. Think about it: a time when newly graduated college kids could come to New York and
get paid to write. We had no clue that we were embarking on careers that would vanish within a decade.
I had a job for eleven years and then I didn’t, it was that fast. All around the country, magazines began shuttering, succumbing to a sudden infection brought on by the busted economy. Writers (my kind of writers: aspiring novelists, ruminative thinkers, people whose brains don’t work quick enough to blog or link or tweet, basically old,
stubborn blowhards) were through. We were like women’s hat makers or buggy- whip manufacturers: Our time was done. Three weeks after
I got cut loose, Amy lost her job, such as it was. (Now I can feel Amy looking over my shoulder, smirking at the time I’ve spent discussing my career, my misfortune, and dismissing her experience in one sentence.
That, she would tell you, is typical. Just like Nick, she would say. It was a refrain of hers: Just like Nick to . . . whatever followed,
whatever was just like me, was bad.) Two jobless grown- ups, we spent weeks wandering around our Brooklyn brownstone in socks and pajamas,
ignoring the future, strewing unopened mail across tables and sofas, eating ice cream at ten a.m. and taking thick afternoon naps.
Then one day the phone rang. My twin sister was on the other end. Margo had moved back home after her own New York layoff a year before— the girl is one step ahead of me in everything, even shitty luck. Margo, calling from good ole North Carthage, Missouri,
from the house where we grew up, and as I listened to her voice, I
saw her at age ten, with a dark cap of hair and overall shorts, sitting on our grandparents’ back dock, her body slouched over like an old pillow, her skinny legs dangling in the water, watching the river fl ow over fish- white feet, so intently, utterly self- possessed even as a child.
Go’s voice was warm and crinkly even as she gave this cold news:
Our indomitable mother was dying. Our dad was nearly gone— his
(nasty) mind, his (miserable) heart, both murky as he meandered toward the great gray beyond. But it looked like our mother would beat him there. About six months, maybe a year, she had. I could tell that Go had gone to meet with the doctor by herself, taken her studious notes in her slovenly handwriting, and she was teary as she tried to decipher what she’d written. Dates and doses.
“Well, fuck, I have no idea what this says, is it a nine? Does that even make sense?” she said, and I interrupted. Here was a task, a purpose, held out on my sister’s palm like a plum. I almost cried with relief.
“I’ll come back, Go. We’ll move back home. You shouldn’t have to do this all by yourself.”
She didn’t believe me. I could hear her breathing on the other end.
“I’m serious, Go. Why not? There’s nothing here.”
A long exhale. “What about Amy?”
That is what I didn’t take long enough to consider. I simply assumed
I would bundle up my New York wife with her New York interests,
her New York pride, and remove her from her New York parents—
leave the frantic, thrilling futureland of Manhattan behind— and transplant her to a little town on the river in Missouri, and all would be fine.
I did not yet understand how foolish, how optimistic, how, yes,
just like Nick I was for thinking this. The misery it would lead to.
“Amy will be fine. Amy . . .” Here was where I should have said,
“Amy loves Mom.” But I couldn’t tell Go that Amy loved our mother,
because after all that time, Amy still barely knew our mother. Their few meetings had left them both baffled. Amy would dissect the conversations for days after—“And what did she mean by . . . ,” as if my mother were some ancient peasant tribeswoman arriving from the tundra with an armful of raw yak meat and some buttons for bartering,
trying to get something from Amy that wasn’t on offer.
Amy didn’t care to know my family, didn’t want to know my birthplace, and yet for some reason, I thought moving home would be a good idea.
My morning breath warmed the pillow, and I changed the subject in my mind. Today was not a day for second- guessing or regret, it was a day for doing. Downstairs, I could hear the return of a long- lost sound:
Amy making breakfast. Banging wooden cupboards (rump- thump!),
rattling containers of tin and glass (ding- ring!), shuffling and sorting a collection of metal pots and iron pans (ruzz-shuzz!). A culinary orchestra tuning up, clattering vigorously toward the finale, a cake pan drumrolling along the floor, hitting the wall with a cymballic crash. Something impressive was being created, probably a crepe,
because crepes are special, and today Amy would want to cook something special.
It was our five- year anniversary.
I walked barefoot to the edge of the steps and stood listening,
working my toes into the plush wall- to- wall carpet Amy detested on principle, as I tried to decide whether I was ready to join my wife.
Amy was in the kitchen, oblivious to my hesitation. She was humming something melancholy and familiar. I strained to make it out— a folk song? a lullabye?—and then realized it was the theme to M*A*S*H.
Suicide is painless. I went downstairs.
I hovered in the doorway, watching my wife. Her yellow- butter hair was pulled up, the hank of ponytail swinging cheerful as a jumprope,
and she was sucking distractedly on a burnt fingertip, humming around it. She hummed to herself because she was an unrivaled botcher of lyrics. When we were first dating, a Genesis song came on the radio: “She seems to have an invisible touch, yeah.” And Amy crooned instead, “She takes my hat and puts it on the top shelf.”
When I asked her why she’d ever think her lyrics were remotely, possibly,
vaguely right, she told me she always thought the woman in the song truly loved the man because she put his hat on the top shelf. I
knew I liked her then, really liked her, this girl with an explanation for everything.
There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.
Amy peered at the crepe sizzling in the pan and licked something off her wrist. She looked triumphant, wifely. If I took her in my arms,
she would smell like berries and powdered sugar.
When she spied me lurking there in grubby boxers, my hair in full
Heat Miser spike, she leaned against the kitchen counter and said,
“Well, hello, handsome.”
Bile and dread inched up my throat. I thought to myself: Okay, go.
I was very late getting to work. My sister and I had done a foolish thing when we both moved back home. We had done what we always talked about doing. We opened a bar. We borrowed money from Amy to do this, eighty thousand dollars, which was once nothing to Amy but by then was almost everything. I swore I would pay her back,
with interest. I would not be a man who borrowed from his wife— I
could feel my dad twisting his lips at the very idea. Well, there are all
kinds of men, his most damning phrase, the second half left unsaid,
and you are the wrong kind.
But truly, it was a practical decision, a smart business move. Amy and I both needed new careers; this would be mine. She would pick one someday, or not, but in the meantime, here was an income, made possible by the last of Amy’s trust fund. Like the McMansion I rented,
the bar featured symbolically in my childhood memories— a place where only grown- ups go, and do whatever grown- ups do. Maybe that’s why I was so insistent on buying it after being stripped of my livelihood. It’s a reminder that I am, after all, an adult, a grown man,
a useful human being, even though I lost the career that made me all these things. I won’t make that mistake again: The once plentiful herds of magazine writers would continue to be culled— by the
Internet, by the recession, by the American public, who would rather watch TV or play video games or electronically inform friends that,
like, rain sucks! But there’s no app for a bourbon buzz on a warm day in a cool, dark bar. The world will always want a drink.
Our bar is a corner bar with a haphazard, patchwork aesthetic. Its best feature is a massive Victorian back bar, dragon heads and angel faces emerging from the oak— an extravagant work of wood in these shitty plastic days. The remainder of the bar is, in fact, shitty, a showcase of the shabbiest design offerings of every decade: an Eisenhowerera linoleum floor, the edges turned up like burnt toast; dubious wood- paneled walls straight from a ’70s home- porn video; halogen floor lamps, an accidental tribute to my 1990s dorm room. The ultimate effect is strangely homey— it looks less like a bar than someone’s benignly neglected fixer- upper. And jovial: We share a parking lot with the local bowling alley, and when our door swings wide, the clatter of strikes applauds the customer’s entrance.
We named the bar The Bar. “People will think we’re ironic instead of creatively bankrupt,” my sister reasoned.
Yes, we thought we were being clever New Yorkers— that the name was a joke no one else would really get, not get like we did.
Not meta- get. We pictured the locals scrunching their noses: Why’d you name it The Bar? But our first customer, a gray- haired woman in bifocals and a pink jogging suit, said, “I like the name. Like in Breakfast
at Tiffany’s and Audrey Hepburn’s cat was named Cat.”
We felt much less superior after that, which was a good thing.
I pulled into the parking lot. I waited until a strike erupted from the bowling alley— thank you, thank you, friends— then stepped out of the car. I admired the surroundings, still not bored with the broken- in view: the squatty blond- brick post office across the street
(now closed on Saturdays), the unassuming beige office building just down the way (now closed, period). The town wasn’t prosperous, not anymore, not by a long shot. Hell, it wasn’t even original, being one of two Carthage, Missouris— ours is technically North Carthage,
which makes it sound like a twin city, although it’s hundreds of miles from the other and the lesser of the two: a quaint little 1950s town that bloated itself into a basic midsize suburb and dubbed it progress.
Still, it was where my mom grew up and where she raised me and Go,
so it had some history. Mine, at least.
As I walked toward the bar across the concrete- and- weed parking lot, I looked straight down the road and saw the river. That’s what
I’ve always loved about our town: We aren’t built on some safe bluff overlooking the Mississippi— we are on the Mississippi. I could walk down the road and step right into the sucker, an easy three- foot drop,
and be on my way to Tennessee. Every building downtown bears hand- drawn lines from where the river hit during the Flood of ’61,’75,
’84, ’93, ’07, ’08, ’11. And so on.
The river wasn’t swollen now, but it was running urgently, in strong ropy currents. Moving apace with the river was a long single- fi le line of men, eyes aimed at their feet, shoulders tense, walking steadfastly nowhere. As I watched them, one suddenly looked up at me, his face in shadow, an oval blackness. I turned away.
I felt an immediate, intense need to get inside. By the time I’d gone twenty feet, my neck bubbled with sweat. The sun was still an angry eye in the sky. You have been seen.
My gut twisted, and I moved quicker. I needed a drink.
Reading Group Guide
In order to provide reading groups with the most informed and thought-provoking questions possible, it is necessary to reveal important aspects of the plot of this novel. If you have not finished reading Gone Girl, we respectfully suggest that you wait before reviewing this guide.
Gone Girl Reading Guide
A Reader’s Guide for Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
For additional features, visit www.gillian-flynn.com.
In order to provide reading groups with the most informed and thought-provoking questions possible, it is necessary to reveal important aspects of the plot of this novel. If you have not finished reading Gone Girl, we respectfully suggest that you wait before reviewing this guide.
Deceit, infidelity, suspicion . . . and that’s only the beginning.
When Nick and Amy fall in love, they are the confident, handsome man and the beautiful, privileged young woman embracing in front of their Brooklyn Heights brownstone and sharing a laugh at the expense of less blissful couples. Eventually, their picture-perfect union falters: Amy grows weary of the “cool girl” image she’s portrayed; Nick gives rein to old impulses and easy lies. As with many marriages, friction works its way into everyday exchanges, and the glow of the honeymoon fades. But with Amy and Nick, that fracture takes a much darker turn.
In a story full of surprising twists, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl tracks the course of a marriage gone spectacularly wrong. For the protagonists, it’s a psychological battle with everything at stake; for the reader, an excavation of human failings and incredible depths of betrayal . . . and a mystery whose resolution is every bit as troubling as its beginning.
Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. Do you like Nick or Amy? Did you find yourself picking a side? Do you think the author intends for us to like them? Why or why not?
2. Does the author intend for us to think of Nick or Amy as the stronger writer? Do you perceive one or the other as a stronger writer, based on their narration/journal entries? Why?
3. Do you think Amy and Nick both believe in their marriage at the outset?
4. Nick, ever conscious of the way he is being perceived, reflects on the images that people choose to portray in the world—constructed, sometimes plagiarized roles that we present as our personalities. Discuss the ways in which the characters—and their opinions of each other—are influenced by our culture’s avid consumption of TV shows, movies, and websites, and our need to fit each other into these roles.
5. Discuss Amy’s false diary, both as a narrative strategy by the author and as a device used by the character. How does the author use it to best effect? How does Amy use it?
6. What do you make of Nick’s seeming paranoia on the day of his fifth anniversary, when he wakes with a start and reports feeling, You have been seen?
7. As experienced consumers of true crime and tragedy, modern “audiences” tend to expect each crime to fit a specific mold: a story, a villain, a heroine. How does this phenomenon influence the way we judge news stories? Does it have an impact on the criminal justice system? Consider the example of the North Carthage police, and also Tanner Bolt’s ongoing advice to Nick.
8. What is Go’s role in the book? Why do you think the author wrote her as Nick’s twin? Is she a likable character?
9. Discuss Amy’s description of the enduring myth of the “cool girl”—and her conviction that a male counterpart (seemingly flawless to women) does not exist. Do you agree? Why does she assume the role if she seems to despise it? What benefit do you think she derives from the act?
10. Is there some truth to Amy’s description of the “dancing monkeys”—her friends’ hapless partners who are forced to make sacrifices and perform “sweet” gestures to prove their love? How is this a counterpoint to the “cool girl”?
11. What do you think of Marybeth and Rand Elliott? Is the image they present sincere? What do you think they believe about Amy?
12. How does the book deal with the divide between perception and reality, or between public image and private lives? Which characters are most skillful at navigating this divide, and how?
13. How does the book capture the feel of the recession—the ending of jobs and contraction of whole industries; economic and geographical shifts; real estate losses and abandoned communities. Are some of Nick and Amy’s struggles emblematic of the time period? Are there any parts of the story that feel unique to this time period?
14. While in hiding, Amy begins to explore what the “real” Amy likes and dislikes. Do you think this is a true exploration of her feelings, or is she acting out yet another role? In these passages, what does she mean when she refers to herself as “I” in quotes?
15. What do you think of Amy’s quizzes—and “correct” answers—that appear throughout the book? As a consistent thread between her Amazing Amy childhood and her adult career, what does her quiz-writing style reveal about Amy’s true personality and her understanding of the world?
16. Do Nick and Amy have friends? Consider Nick’s assurance that Noelle was deluded in her claims of friendship with Amy, and also the friends described in Amy’s journal. How “real” are these friendships? What do you think friendship means to each of them?
17. What was the relationship between Amy and Nick’s father? Do you think the reader is meant to imagine conversations between the two of them? Why does Nick’s father come to Nick and Amy’s home?
18. Amy publicly denounces the local police and criticizes their investigation. Do you think they did a good job of investigating her disappearance? Were there real missteps, or was their failing due to Amy’s machinations?
19. Do you believe Amy truly would have committed suicide? Why does she return?
20. Were you satisfied with the book’s ending? What do you think the future holds for Nick, Amy, and their baby boy?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
For those Anonymous users that gave this one star without any text explaining that low rating...you suck. And you make the rest of us that want to remain anonymous look bad. This is a smart, clever thriller that dissects the marriage of Amy and Nick Dunne. It's a dark, twisted story that will leave you shocked. (At least, I was shocked...and I can't stop talking about how much I loved it.) I should mention, I didn't like Flynn's first novel, I only picked this one up because I only heard good things from people I trust.
I refuse to summarize this story. I believe this is a fantastic book that should be relished without any prior knowledge of its plot. Wonderful prose. Insightful observations. Great character development. There are so many comments I would like to make, but I would ruin the suspense for others. I was/am so emotionally charged at the ending that I want to become a character in the story. Without spoiling the plot for those who chose to enjoy this incredible book, I suspect that many readers will have a similar reaction and would like to join me as residents of Carthage, Missouri.
I read...a lot. Like, I need to read. After reading "Gone Girl," I know why. Very seldom will you come across a book that finishes so well. The story keeps you reading...so many stories can do that. This one, however, does what so few can accomplish by ending well. Satisying, is the best word I can think of. I realized I keep looking for a book that will satisfy all my cravings in a good story: suspense, humor, anger, sadness, relief. A fine book doesn't have to leave you guessing throughout the plot to keep you wanting more. Flynn keeps it straight to the point with enough twists to make it twisted without becoming too complicated to follow. This book will grab you like a hyped-up media headline and won't let you go! We all get caught up in the mainstream, bombshell news casts, and this book takes you right there in the middle of it. Love the technique and can't wait to see what Gillian Flynn comes up with next!
It is interesting to me--but not surprising--that a tiny segment of this book's readers give it low marks. I detect two consistent themes in those reviews. Before I get to that, let me put in writing my FIRST reactions to this novel: creative and complex story, daring approach, flawless context, remarkably courageous personal insight, glib-witty-brutal-unflinching narrative. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even when it made me itchy and twitchy and feel uncomfortably exposed. And THAT brings me to the second theme in those negative reviews. (I'll get to the first one in a moment). Be assured, if you decide to read this book you're going to find little pieces of yourself and of people you know or care about woven through the cast of characters. And it won't be the best pieces, either. It will be the quirks and traits and harsh sentiments that all of us hope to keep hidden, not only from others but from ourselves, as well. Not everyone can look at that kind of naked emotion and see it as powerful, revelatory writing. Some of us are going to find it uncomfortable enough to dislike the book and to find flimsy complaints on which to blame that dislike: characters, language, writing style. And some of us are going find it uncomfortable enough to dislike the book but recognize nonetheless that it is a riveting story told with skill, imagination, and intelligence, and therefore we have to go for criticism number one... the ending. Those are the criticisms that make the least sense to me. I can't imagine, after nearly 500 pages of wandering around in the skulls of these characters, what sort of happy or tragic or poetically just ending the critics might have anticipated. The end of the book (but certainly not the end of the story) is as natural and logical as all that leads us to it. Granted, that's not very natural or logical for most of us, but it's what THESE characters would do; it's what they DESERVE. And in that there is a sort of literary integrity. It's not a Hurray! or a Yahoo! or a Gotcha! It's not TV. It's a continuation of the lives these pathetically twisted people have knowingly, willingly, compulsively built for themselves.
This book grabbed me from page 1 and didn't let go until the end! It was one of those novels that made me hurry and put the kids to bed so i could find out what happened next. Didn't want it to end! So glad i discovered this author and look forward to reading her other two books.
I really enjoyed this book, and like everybody else, couldn't wait to finish to see what happened. The twists and turns just kept on coming. Is it "Brilliant"? - not so much. Is it "awful"? No. it's not that either. It's a fun read, and I would recommend it, but the comments about the ending are valid. Yes, it's what they both deserved, and it's predictable in retrospect; i just wanted something a little more satisfying and wrapped up neatly. I wanted the character who deserved to be exposed to be exposed - and I wanted the character who deserved to get revenge to get it
After reading the reviews, I purchased this book with high hopes. Four hundred and some pages later when I finished the last page, I sat there and thought, really, that's how it ends?? I was disappointed. Definitely not a happy ending.
Great Book with great story line. Kept me entertained
Beginning was mediocre but a great twist in the middle. Ending was horrible. Almost like the author gave up. Wouldn't suggest spending your $$.
I think that the story is well written however, none of the main characters (and very few of the supporting characters) are likable - at all. I kept waiting for someone, anyone, to show even the tiniest bit of humanity or redemption. The world is not populated entirely by egotistical sociopaths. This was a horribly, unsatisfying read.
I guess that for me, this was more of a "good" book than a book that I liked. The characters were certainly engaging, there was a good amount of suspense, and the author nicely balanced the narrative voices of very different characters. I can certainly appreciate the fact that it was well-written (if a bit slow at points). I think there were a few issues for me that would make me remove one star: I am not personally interested in "missing women" news sensationalism, I have a hard time enjoying unpleasant characters, and by the last third of the book, I felt things were getting a bit ludicrous (and then I found the ending rather unsatisfying). Having said that, I am still thinking about this book a couple of days later, so that says something good.
This might be the FIRST book I have ever read that truly kept me enthralled until the final word. There were so many twists and turns in the plot of "Gone Girl" that I could hardly find a good stopping point to take a shower... and this is not a short book! I just couldn't put it down! I don't want to put a single spoiler, but I will share the general plot. Nick and Amy are a young married couple, living the Manhattan life when they are caught up in the recession. Facing the loss of their jobs and the news of Nick's mother's devastating illness, they decide to move to the midwest to help her in her final days. The foundation of their marriage begins to show cracks that have been there for some time, and what follows is an incredible mystery that is horrifying and unbelievable, and will keep you up all night.
At first, you are intrigued - it keeps you reading. After a little while, you get bored - you realize that there is not one redeeming character in this story and you keep reading just to find out what happens at the end... then you finish - realizing that you have wasted both your time and money on this book. I was so disappointed - quite possibly the worst ending ever! Poor character development, bad - no, TERRIBLE - ending, just a very disappointing book.
This book is so good and its movie worthy
The writing was very good and the plot certainly draws you in, however, if you like the book you're reading to be wrapped up neatly, bow and all, you're not going to find that here. It's like buying a 25 chapter book that was only printed to the 23rd chapter and placed in your hands with a receipt and a "have a nice day!".
I liked the book but i think the build up sets up the reader for a let down. I kept waiting for the extraordinary and it never came.
We've all read the stories in newspapers - a woman goes missing and the husband is the prime suspect. And he loudly proclaims his innocence....even as the evidence mounts.... Gillian Flynn put her own spin on this idea in her latest book - Gone Girl. It is the day of Nick and Amy's fifth anniversary. It is also the day Amy disappears. Left behind - the first cryptic clue in a treasure hunt Amy always sets up for Nick. The first part of Gone Girl is told in alternating chapters from Nick's present time viewpoint, with flashbacks to memories. Amy's voice is heard from the pages of a diary, starting from seven years ago and building up to the day she disappears. The narratives each tell a completely different story. Who is telling the truth? The second part - well, I'm not going to spoil the plot for you, so I'll stop there. I am a huge fan of psychological thrillers and with Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn has crafted one of the best I've ever read. Really. The plot line is completely unpredictable. It's rare for me to be completely surprised at the direction a book takes, but I was this time. Flynn toys with us in a completely delicious and devious manner. You'll want to read carefully - there are lies, secrets and omissions scattered throughout the book and each revelation ratchets up the stakes just a little higher. While Gone Girl is a razor edged thriller, Flynn also explores marriage, attraction, family relationships and the media with that same sharp edged eye. Flynn's prose are are arresting, painting vivid images that crackle with intensity. "....the girl a man like Nick wants: the Cool Girl. Men always say that as the defining compliment, don't they? She's a cool girl. Being the cool girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she's hosting the world's biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want." This is the first book I've read by Flynn, although I have since picked up her second book Dark Places. I loved the dedication to her husband...."What can I say about a man who knows how I think and still sleeps next to me with the lights off?" The buzz you've been hearing about Gone Girl? All true and more. This is THE book to read this summer. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Just bleary eyed - 'cause you won't be able to put it down!
Loved the book. This is definitely one of the types of books im into.
I read the reviews before reading this book. I loved that it was said to be "unputdownable." As I was reading I disagreed with that statement until shortly after the first 150 pages. It took me a few days to get into it but once I reached that point, I really had a difficult time putting it down. If I had to put it down, I was constantly thinking about *what could be happening in the book* as if I were part of the community - I finished the remainder of the book in one day. So, if you are like me and find it to be slow moving at first, stick with it! I do not want to discuss the plot. A reader should go into it knowing very little. Having read other reviews, I could see some things coming and that ruined it for me. Had I not read about certain reviews I may have thought even more highly of the book. I wish people would refrain from comments referencing their reaction to the ending of a book. They may not mean to but it puts a new reader in a certain mindframe to be looking for things as they read rather than experience either the same shock or let down (which ever the book delivers). I highly recommend reading this book If you enjoy damaged/dynamic characters, mystery, and intrigue. I found the method of storytelling to be superb. I enjoyed hearing the story told through different characters. It all came together perfectly.
I love thrillers but in this one i kept waiting for the twist that never came. I liked the first third of the book - it was curious that you didnt actually know what was going on and whether or not he killed her i enjoyed the buid up. When you find out what happened its like reaaally?, okaaaay if you say so.... so i kept waiting for the big surprise. The middle third of the book was just ok and kept me on the hook waiting for the end. So then the end came and what a let down. That was it really? That was her huge master plan? Her checkmate move? This woman that was this super genius? That was it? That was how she won the game? I agree with one of the earlier posters in that it would have made a good Law and Order episode, but thats about it. Its not overly intelligent. Theres not a huge cliff hanger or a twist. Its a quick and somewhat entertaining read. However i can see the book that this book was trying to become and it just never quite became it. It goes downhill as it unfolds and the ending was subpar.
Flynn's first two books were gripping; Gone Girl surpasses them. All the great reviews are justly deserved. And I have to agree with the comment about the Anonymous reviews who gave the book such a low rating without any explanation--what's up with that?
I couldn't put this book down. It keeps you guessing and at the edge of your seat. It is a great psychological mystery. A must read this summer.
Awful ending, ruined the read for me.
I think a lot of customers are expecting books where all the plots are direct and wrapped up. You're not supposed to love the characters like you would Harry Potter. 'Gone Girl' is a mystery, a thriller, the best of psychological torment. It is a book about people and relationships as much suspense and fear. There are amazing depths here. The wonderful thing about Ms Flynn is that she keeps getting better. I was lucky enough to get the ARC of this and read it one day. Passed it on to my wife and she did the same. Then, unlike a lot of books or series these days, we spent hours discussing the story. An amazing book by an amazing author!
It started good. But aoubt 3/4 through you began hating both main characters and the ending was absolutely terrible. I read non stop and it's been awhile since I regretted the time spent on a book