Gone Girl

Gone Girl : A Novel

4.11 (2,765,566 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.11 (2,765,566 ratings by Goodreads)
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#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
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Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 164 x 239 x 34mm | 646g
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 030758836X
  • 9780307588364
  • 38,664

Review quote

"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."--The 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

"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."--Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"An ingenious and viperish thriller . . . 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)

"It's simply fantastic: terrifying, darkly funny and at times moving. . . . [Gone Girl is] 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."--Michelle Weiner, Associated Press

"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."--The Boston Globe

"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

"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."--Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"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. . . . It is, in a word, amazing."--Yvonne Zipp, The Christian Science Monitor

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

"Brilliantly constructed and consistently absorbing . . . 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."--The Columbus Dispatch
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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; the New York Times bestsellers Dark Places and Sharp Objects; and a novella, The Grownup. A former critic for Entertainment Weekly, she lives in Chicago with her husband and children.
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Rating details

2,765,566 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 42% (1,173,362)
4 36% (984,864)
3 15% (422,380)
2 4% (117,986)
1 2% (66,974)

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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