Gone Girl

Gone Girl

4.05 (1,838,159 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 419 pages
  • 163 x 234 x 33mm | 658g
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 030758836X
  • 9780307588364
  • 32,885

Review quote

"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."
--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."

"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."

"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

"Gone Girl [is] a thriller with an insane twist and an insidiously realistic take on marriage."
--New York magazine

"A twisting, turning, zooming-up-the-charts thriller."
--Real Simple, announcing their book club pick

"An unnerving, gorgeously written marital thriller that features one of the most compelling narrators in recent memory... Anyway, go read Gone Girl. It's quite good."
--The Atlantic Wire

"Buy Gone Girl and don't settle down for a long winter's nap or any kind of nap. I read it in two days, nonstop, useless for anything but my own incredible pleasure."
--Liz Smith, New York Social Diary

"Gillian Flynn's killer thriller is unputdownable, and just when you think you know where she's going, she's gone."

"A satisfyingly scathing take on a marriage so broken even the truth is built on lies."
--Family Circle

"If, instead, you're a fan of gripping, well-crafted tales about complex relationships, try Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn."

"After a chilling, bombshell twist, you won't know which clues to trust nor whom to believe."
--Woman's Day

Flynn's ability to reach further and further into the deep, dark recesses of the human psyche brings a much greater edge and feeling of suspense to this novel. Gone Girl is a fast-paced, always surprising page-turner of a book...Gone Girl is a superbly crafted novel by a talented and daring young writer and it will keep you guessing until the very last sentence."
--Cincinnati City Beat, John Kelly

"A highly original thriller that's also a razor-sharp depiction of a relationship gone off the rails."

"Masterfully plotted."

"Dark yet funny with a devious twist, this is everything that made Flynn's Sharp Objects a bestseller--but better."

"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."

"Full of midnight-black wit and gorgeous writing...About halfway through the book, something happens...That's the moment you should check the clock and firmly put the book down if you have to rise early the next day. Because trust me, if you keep reading, you won't stop till you finish it."
--Dallas Morning News, Joy Tipping

"Gillian Flynn's third mystery is burned-coffee black and flavored with cyanide. (As far as I'm concerned, those are compliments of the highest order.)...Flynn is a master manipulator, deftly fielding multiple unreliable narrators, sardonic humor, and social satire in a story of a marriage gone wrong that makes black comedies like "The War of the Roses" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" look like scenes from a honeymoon. Veteran mystery readers may see as far as the opening of the second act, but Flynn has more surprises in store on her way to the sucker-punch of an ending. It is, in a word, amazing."
--Christian Science Monitor, Yvonne Zipp

"A perfect wife's disappearance plunges her husband into a nightmare as it rips open ugly secrets about his marriage and, just maybe, his culpability in her death... One of those rare thrillers whose revelations actually intensify its suspense instead of dissipating it. The final pages are chilling."
--Kirkus (starred review) "[W]hat looks like a straightforward case of a husband killing his wife to free himself from a bad marriage morphs into something entirely different in Flynn's hands. As evidenced by her previous work (Sharp Objects, 2006, and Dark Places, 2009), she possesses a disturbing worldview, one considerably amped up by her twisted sense of humor. Both a compelling thriller and a searing portrait of marriage, this could well be Flynn's breakout novel. It contains so many twists and turns that the outcome is impossible to predict."
--Booklist (starred review) "Flynn cements her place among that elite group of mystery/thriller writers who unfailingly deliver the goods...Once again Flynn has written an intelligent, gripping tour de force, mixing a riveting plot and psychological intrigue with a compelling prose style that unobtrusively yet forcefully carries the reader from page to page."
--Library Journal (starred review) "Flynn masterfully lets this tale of a marriage gone toxically wrong gradually emerge through alternating accounts by Nick and Amy, both unreliable narrators in their own ways. The reader comes to discover their layers of deceit through a process similar to that at work in the imploding relationship. Compulsively readable, creepily unforgettable, this is a must read for any fan of bad girls and good writing."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Gone Girl is one of the best -and most frightening -portraits of psychopathy I've ever read. Nick and Amy manipulate each other -with savage, merciless and often darkly witty dexterity. This is a wonderful and terrifying book about how the happy surface normality and the underlying darkness can become too closely interwoven to separate."
--Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of Faithful Place and Into the Woods

"The plot has it all. I have no doubt that in a year's time I'm going to be saying that this is my favorite novel of 2012. Brilliant."
--Kate Atkinson, New York Times bestselling author of Started Early, Took My Dog and Case Histories

"Gone Girl builds on the extraordinary achievements of Gillian Flynn's first two books and delivers the reader into the claustrophobic world of a failing marriage. We all know the story, right? Beautiful wife disappears; husband doesn't seem as distraught as he should be under the circumstances. But Flynn takes this sturdy trope of the 24-hour news cycle and turns it inside out, providing a devastating portrait of a marriage and a timely, cautionary tale about an age in which everyone's dreams seem to be imploding."
--Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of The Most Dangerous Thing and I'd Know You Anywhere

"Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl is like Scenes from a Marriage remade by Alfred Hitchcock, an elaborate trap that's always surprising and full of characters who are entirely recognizable. It's a love story wrapped in a mystery that asks the eternal question of all good relationships gone bad: How did we get from there to here?"
--Adam Ross, New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Peanut

"Just this minute I finished a week of feeling betrayed, misled, manipulated, provoked, and misjudged, not to mention having all my expectations confounded. Considering how compulsively I kept coming back for more, I am seriously thinking of going back to page one and doing it all again."
--Arthur Phillips, author of The Tragedy of Arthur

"I cannot say this urgently enough: you have to read Gone Girl. It's as if Gillian Flynn has mixed us a martini using battery acid instead of vermouth and somehow managed to make it taste really, really good. Gone Girl is delicious and intoxicating and delightfully poisonous. It's smart (brilliant, actually). It's funny (in the darkest possible way). The writing is jarringly good, and the story is, well...amazing. Read the book and you'll discover--among many other treasures--just how much freight (and fright) that last adjective can bear."
--Scott Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan

"Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl reminds me of Patricia Highsmith at the top of her game. With Gone Girl, she's placed herself at the top of the short list of authors who have mastered the art of crafting a tense story with terrifyingly believable characters."
--Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of Fallen

"Gone Girl manages to be so many stellar things all at once--suspenseful, inventive, chilling, funny, unsettling--as well as beautifully plotted and fiercely well-written. Gillian Flynn is a thrilling writer."
--Kate Christensen, author of The Great Man "Reminds suspense readers of the old Alfred Hitchcock stories...This is one puzzle you do not want to miss."
--Amy Lignor, Suspense Magazine
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About Gillian Flynn

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.
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Rating details

1,838,159 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 39% (710,795)
4 37% (685,626)
3 17% (309,105)
2 5% (88,930)
1 2% (43,703)

Our customer reviews

OK. This book was addicting. I smashed it in about 2-3 hours. I needed to know how it ended and that is the sign of a good book. It kept me wanting more. A truly riveting story. BUT. (bum bum buuuummm) Amy's character was infuriating for me! The massive plot twist in the middle of the book was surprising yet awfully unbelievable. (WARNING: SPOILERY) I needed Gillian Flynn to give me more backstory as to how Amy became the character that she was. She gave me a little (her parents, her only child situation) but it just wasn't enough! The acts she commits are horrible and extreme yet there not a strong enough justification as to why she commits them. This really ruined the book for me yet i have so many mixed feelings. This is the first book that has left me literally dumbfounded. I just don't know how to feel and it's ANNOYING. All in all, i probably would recommend this book just so i could talk to people about it and what they though. Give it a go, but BE WARNED.show more
by Janine
Two reviews - both 3 stars My Review Did I enjoy this book: Not really. But it kept me reading until the end. Hereâ??s the thing. It is a different story with some different angles. But I didnâ??t like any of the characters. None of them. There was no one that I cared about. There were quite a few times I wanted to DNF this book. If it hadnâ??t been for book group and a willingly read spoiler, I probably would have DNFâ??d this book way before the halfway mark. (Probably before the quarter mark.) Thatâ??s how much I didnâ??t care. So, you may ask, what kept me reading? Well, I wanted to see how it ended. I wanted to see if there was a clever catch, an interesting twist, something redeeming for any of the characters. ***SPOILER ALERT â?? STOP READING NOW IF YOU DONâ??T WANT TO KNOW DETAILS.*** There was nothing redeeming. I thought Amy was a psychotic, bored, rich b*****. Nick was spineless, weak, and pissed off (with good reason). The cops were incompetent. Boney I liked because she knows the truth. Unfortunately, she canâ??t prove it. Go was an afterthought. Iâ??m not sure what purpose she served. The parents were crazy. I was hoping it had been their plan to salvage the Amazing Amy books. The ending?!?!? What?!?!? I donâ??t even remotely understand that. It was a let down. ***SPOILER OVER â?? YOU MAY RESUME READING.*** Okay. The book is fairly well-written. A few too many words and descriptions for my taste. It could probably lose about 100 pages and be just as good, maybe even better because it wouldnâ??t be so long. The plot was different and well-thought out. Every angle was covered and explained. It was an intriguing story. Just too much for me. I wish I had cared about one of the characters. I wish one of the characters would have received their just desserts. Would I recommend it: Tough question â?¦ I may if someone asks me about it. But I wouldnâ??t actively recommend it to all the people I know. Will I read it again: I will not. Belinda's Review Did I enjoy this book: It was very complicated, but overall, I did. Flynn does a great job of keeping the suspense going all the way to the end. Whatever you think you know about where the storyâ??s going, youâ??re probably wrong. Interestingly, there were times when the book felt weirdly comical. And Iâ??m not sure that was the authorâ??s intent. But like I said, the book was complicated. The first time was at the mall raid. A former magazine writer turned college professor along with his Psychologist/writer father-in-law barge into an abandoned mall turned crack house with a handful of townie thugs toting baseball bats to rat out any suspects. It seemed more Paul Blart: Mall Cop than Dirty Harry. And the author had the oddest habit of taking a word and adding â??ily to the end to create an adverb. Someone sat down â??pissilyâ?? or grunted â??shitily.â?? But my favorite (I swear Iâ??m not making this up) was when Officer Boney looked at Chance â??winkily.â?? I got so hung up on this I had to do some investigating of my own. I started keeping a log. I looked them up in the dictionary. And my darkest fears became a reality. They arenâ??t words at all. Main character, Amy, befuddled me even more than the adverb mystery. Even early in the novel, we know something is seriously wrong with this girl. Apparently, she agrees with her husband that women who turn their husbands into â??dancing-monkeysâ?? are ridiculous and sheâ??ll have no part of it. This includes behaviors most people would consider every day consideration. Like showing up for a dinner party with your wife when you say you will. Even stumbling in at 4 a.m. drunk and belligerent with a womanâ??s phone number and receipts from strip joints in his pocket on their anniversary is ok with her. She concedes that sheâ??s â??being a girlâ?? by feeling upset over this. I halfway expected to discover her parents had written a book in their childrenâ??s series entitled, Amazing Amy: Gets Her Brain Sucked Out. Why else would she behave so stupidily? (sorry, couldnâ??t stop myself on that one.) But read on, thereâ??s nothing stereotypical about this character. Sheâ??s goofy, creepy, psychotic, hard (maybe impossible) to understand. But like the story line, whatever you think you know about Amy early on in the book is probably wrong. Concluding thoughts: really complicated, unpredictable book with some bright spots and a few awkward chuckles. Would I recommend it: Unless youâ??re one of those weirdos who gets hung up on adverbs, you might enjoy this one. Will I read it again: No.show more
by Chrissy
Having read and reviewed Gillian Flynn's "Sharp Objects", I was happy to receive this latest work from the author. I like dark fiction, mystery, and the odd bit of creepiness, and this newest title definitely fits the bill. This novel is told in the first-person POV of Nick Dunne, interspersed with diary entries from Amy, his wife. Nick was a successful magazine writer and his wife Amy wrote quizzes for magazines in New York. Life was good, especially because Amy also had a decent trust fund from her parents, two psychologists who are the writers of the "Amazing Amy" series of children's books, based loosely on their daughter's life. Shortly after Nick loses his job, closely followed by Amy losing hers, Nick receives a call from his twin sister Margo "Go". Their well-loved mother is dying of cancer, and Nick decides, without consulting his wife beforehand, that they will move back to his hometown of North Cartage, Missouri to help Margo take care of her. Nick and Margo had always talked about opening a bar, so they borrow from Amy to do so, while Amy ends up being the one sitting with their mother during her treatments, with nothing to do and no friends. On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick receives a call from his neighbor. His door is wide open and their cat is sitting on the porch. Nick arrives to find a scene of disorder, with a heavy ottoman overturned and other signs of violent struggle throughout the house. Worst of all, his wife is missing. This is a story of the dark side of marriage and humanity. Ms. Flynn is a talented writer, expert at drawing a mental picture that so perfectly chills the reader: "There's something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold." With most missing-person cases, close family are the immediate suspects, and Nick finds himself followed closely by the two detectives assigned to the case. Following the clues left by his wife's anniversary "treasure hunt", we also suspect Nick, even while he voices his innocence. Amy's diary entries only add to our suspicions, as we follow the trail of a marriage gone cold, filled with dark bursts and suspicions. When I wasn't reading this book, I was thinking about it. When I was reading it, it was difficult to put down. I was drawn in from the first page, and totally transfixed thereafter. This is a brilliant piece of psychological writing that will have lovers of dark fiction wishing there were more pages. This one will definitely be on my "Best Reads" of 2012 list. Pick it up; you won't regret it. QUOTES I simply assumed that 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. These messages and orders brought to you by my father, a mid-level phone-company manager who treated my mother at best like an incompetent employee. At worst? He never beat her, but his pur, inarticlate fury would fill the house for days, weeks, at a time, making the air humid, hard to breathe, my father stalking around with his lower jaw jutting out, giving him the look of a wounded, vengeful boxer, grinding his teeth so loud you could hear it across the room. Throwing things near her but not exactly at her. I'm sure he told himself: I never hit her. I'm sure because of this technicality he never saw himself as an abuser. But he turned our family life into an endless road trip with bad directions and a rage-clenched driver, a vacation that never got a chance to be fun. Don't make me turn this car around. Please, really, turn it around. He came home from work and kissed me full on the lips, and he touched me as if I were really there. I almost cried, I'd been so lonely. To be kissed on the lips by your husband is the most decadent thing. In the videos, I wore clothes Amy had bought me, and I brushed my hair the way she liked, and I tried to read her mind. My anger toward her was like heated wire. "...why are you so wonderful to me?" He was supposed to say: You deserve it. I love you. But he said, "Because I feel sorry for you." "Why?" "Because every morning you have to wake up and be you." Writing: 5 out of 5 stars Plot: 5 out of 5 stars Characters: 5 out of 5 stars Reading Immersion: 5 out 5 stars BOOK RATING: 5 out of 5 stars Sensitive Reader: Some profanity Book Clubs: Definitely a great pick - there will be lots to discuss as you move through the book and the direction of the story and the feel for the characters change.show more
by Julie Smith
When I first started reading this book I expected it to be a run of the mill crime / thriller story. I was hoping it wouldn't turn out to be a formulaic whodunnit, there are enough of those on the market already, but thought it would be an entertaining enough read. The story centres around a high-flying American couple, she's the heiress to a literary fortune, he's a career journalist; both lose their jobs and subsequently move from New York to his home town in Missouri, open a bar and settle down. But it all goes wrong in the opening chapters as she goes missing on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary. The book is seen from two different perspectives, his and hers. While we follow Nick Dunne through the days after his wife's disappearance, we follow her story through her diary entries leading up to it. Not as confusing as it sounds. Nothing is ever as it seems though, I won't put spoilers here but this is not a cut and dried case. As readers we are along for the ride and can only get hints through the couple themselves - from his narrative and from her diary. If you like a good thriller you will love this book, its characters are intricate and interesting, you step inside their heads and see both sides of the story...but like a good conversation you only get what the other side is willing to reveal until they decide to tell you more. This is a classy read and has led me to look at Flynn's other books, but I'll definitely be reading this again to see what I missed the first time.show more
by Sara
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