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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,9931323219 (3.86)4 / 1029
On the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick's wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife?… (more)
  1. 202
    Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson (becksdakex)
  2. 92
    The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Anonymous user)
  3. 51
    Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (timmeloche)
    timmeloche: I found similarities in that the narration tends to be unreliable. I also disliked the characters but thoroughly enjoyed the book.
  4. 107
    Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (claudiemae)
    claudiemae: I really enjoyed this book,my first read by this author. I got "Gone Girl,because i like how this author writes.But,I did not like "Gone Girl',really,was this written by Gillian Flynn? I was dissapointed,and hope she can do better with her next one,she does have talent.… (more)
  5. 10
    The Breaker by Minette Walters (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: In these character-driven and intricately plotted psychological suspense stories, seemingly devoted husbands become prime suspects in their wives' disappearances. As investigations unfold, disturbing secrets are unearthed -- casting both couples' relationships in a new and unsettling light.… (more)
  6. 10
    Die for You by Lisa Unger (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Dark, disturbing secrets belie seemingly perfect marriages in these fast-paced, compelling psychological suspense novels, which unfold from multiple perspectives. In each, the narrator searches for a missing spouse who may not be the person they thought they knew.… (more)
  7. 10
    Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse (fannyprice)
  8. 11
    Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich (novelcommentary)
    novelcommentary: Similar marriage themes
  9. 00
    The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler (Lirmac)
  10. 00
    Consequences by Aleatha Romig (GirlMisanthrope)
    GirlMisanthrope: "Consequences" too has twists and turns, becomes sinister, while detailing an insane relationship. Cold, calculating, then a shocking ending.
  11. 00
    Painkiller by N. J. Fountain (Roro8)
  12. 11
    Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Both novels have multiple points of view, an unreliable narrator, and a complex, clever plot, but only Gone Girl is stuffed with filthy language.
  13. 11
    Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller (Moomin_Mama)
    Moomin_Mama: Both books are page-turners that are full of dark humour with underlying commentaries on the modern media, marriage and class. Both have extremely flawed characters who are not easy to sympathise with but that is all part of the fun.
  14. 12
    Faithful Place by Tana French (kathleen.morrow)
  15. 02
    Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (buchowl)
  16. 02
    In the Woods by Tana French (Ling.Lass)
    Ling.Lass: Unreliable narrators, psychopaths, unsympathetic characters who miss their chance at redemption
  17. 03
    The Other by Thomas Tryon (jen.e.moore)
    jen.e.moore: Tremendous works of psychological suspense and genuinely horrific crimes.

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English (1,294)  Dutch (5)  Catalan (4)  French (4)  German (3)  Swedish (2)  Hungarian (2)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (1,319)
Showing 1-5 of 1294 (next | show all)
Good stuff. The last few chapters seemed rushed, but overall a satisfying read. ( )
  usquare | May 24, 2020 |
I resisted reading "Gone Girl" for a long time because of the hype around it and the movie. I love Gillian Flynn's other works, especially "Sharp Objects," but I was skeptical about "Gone Girl." The hype is, in this case, justified - I absolutely loved "Gone Girl." It kept me guessing the entire time and Flynn throws in a twist just when you think you've figured out the last one. Fantastic writing, marvelous plot, characters you love one moment and turn on the next..."Gone Girl" is certainly worthy of 5 stars. ( )
  bookishtexpat | May 21, 2020 |
Are you fucking kidding me?! That's it?! That's all I get? The ending doesn't have to be happy, but it sure as hell doesn't have to be this. Screw you, Gillian Flynn(I pronounce it Jillian because I can speak English and you aren't trapped on an island in the 70s). I can't give this any stars because, though the writing was okay, the story didn't start until page 250 and I actually hated it, so ( )
  hexenlibrarian | May 19, 2020 |

Very solid psychological thriller. Gillian Flynn is great at creating needy, damaged, compelling characters. I probably wouldn't like these people in real life, but I'm fascinated by them in Flynn's capable hands. This starts off a bit less dramatically than her other two novels, but it works. ( )
  ChristopherSwann | May 15, 2020 |
I stayed up until 4am, trying to finish "Gone Girl" to the very last page, even though I had to work the next morning. I just HAD TO know what happened next... I am SO glad I did so.

This story is so messed up, but beautiful all at the same. There may be other authors that know how to write about those sickly, dark places in the human soul, but I don't know anyone who can rival Flynn. But it isn't just darkness in these stories that I love; there is also intensely developed characters and character driven plot lines, and also the presence of a very smart and impressive plot as well.
Gone Girl was on my list of books to read for a while now, and I'm not ashamed to say Stephen King's review and praise that sent me to the library for it. There are very few authors who can do this genre well. I think Flynn did it, and with bells on.

In chapters narrated alternately by each spouse, journalists Nick and Amy meet cute in Manhattan, fall in love, get married. On the surface, Nick and Amy Dunne have a perfect marriage, and appear to be the ideal couple, but almost from the novel's outset something seems not quite right -- Nick's oddly detached view of his wife borders on the creepy, while Amy's diary entries suggest a needy perfectionist who evades reality in girly fantasies about wedded bliss. Then both of them fall victim to the recession and end up in Nick's Missouri hometown, for Nick's parents. Yes, they both have lost their jobs: Nick was a movie reviewer for a magazine; Amy wrote personality quizzes. Then Amy disappears on their fifth anniversary, and what some may see as a sublime life begins to crumble, seemingly the victim of a violent abduction.

Nick is less than honest in describing his whereabouts that day and it's not long before the local police start to regard him as the guilty party.

For the first 200 pages, the reader remains just as bemused as the investigating authorities about Amy's fate. And then exactly halfway through the novel, a sudden revelation takes the story into even darker territory, while also requiring a complete and total revaluation of all that's been told so far.
(I had to get up and leave the book for a whole day, I was THAT pissed off. At the author, at the characer in question, even at the novel. MAN!! No one gets to me like this!! And the next night, I went crawling back for more. Flynn has that kind of power over her reader - she grabs you by the hair - TIGHT - and doesn't once let go, until the bitter, bitter end.)

Flynn handles this quite brilliantly and sustains credibility right to the closing pages, and though some readers may find the final twist not entirely persuasive, the author's mastery of plotting and pace makes this an outstanding thriller.

The intricacies of a marriage — the give and take, the negotiations, the compromises and, it is hoped, the love — are the most private parts of the relationship. What is normal in a household — private jokes, neglected anniversary gifts, little lies — can be, in the wrong circumstances, suspicious and deceptive behavior. That adage of no one knows what goes on behind closed doors moves the plot of “Gone Girl,” like nothing else.

The couple’s individual personalities emerge as “Gone Girl” alternates between Amy’s diary and Nick’s narration. Neither can be counted on to be telling the truth about themselves or their relationship, and the cracks emerge. Each knows how to push the other’s buttons, and it never is a pretty sight.

The vivacious, smart Amy is obsessed with being perfect and having the kind of soul-mate relationship that her psychologist parents have. Somehow, Amy has never lived up to the Amy at the center of the series of best-selling children’s books written by her parents. Good-guy Nick isn’t quite as innocent, or as nice, as he purports to be, forever fearful that his “father’s rage could rise up” in him anytime. As the spouse, Nick knows that he is the logical suspect in Amy’s disappearance, and apparent murder, and his demeanor seems to suggest his guilt. He lies quite easily and often to the police, often doesn’t answer his phone, trying to hide a secret life. And then there are his creepy computer searches, her incriminating diary and Amy’s friends — ones he never knew existed — who claim the couple’s marriage was anything but peaceful.

Issues of gender and economics are themes that Flynn touched on as well. The main characters are without jobs, frustrated by the economy and have moved to a small dying midwest town. Concepts of what make a woman appealing and what is expected from a woman are consistently but subtly danced around in both Sharp Objects and Gone Girl. Family ties and relationships are unwound and what remains is not all that pretty. But it's also a blackly comic dissection of the way men and women approach relationships and then of the way they behave inside those relationships.

Male readers will cringe at Flynn's unflinching exposure of masculine baseness, venality and self-delusion, while she's just as beady-eyed about the way women can deceive, manipulate and control their partners -- the savagery of her insights barely tempered by the gleefully comic prose in which she couches it, so that you wince at the barbs while acknowledging their unerring accuracy.

*This book is a psychological thriller, but it will not give you nightmares. This will not happen in your real life, but if in the off-chance you think it could, you need to run and get help immediately. Call a doctor. Call a lawyer. Call the FBI. And get a gun.

*You will not like these characters. Hell, you may even hate them. But you will not be able to tear your eyes from the pages. Flynn’s unpredictable plot of “Gone Girl” careens down an emotional highway where this couple dissects their marriage with sharp acumen.

*Gillian Flynn never stopped surprising me. Not once. After 50 pages, I trusted no one, yet she was always two steps ahead of me...even when I KNEW she was two steps ahead of me. She is brilliant, if even a bit off her rocker. (I mean that with the utmost respect!) If you don't have a problem with language, you might find yourself murmuring explatives under your own breath. If you do have a problem with language, this might not be the book for you. If you're on the fence, put you big girl panties on and start reading "Gone Girl".

I think Flynn easily makes Amy and Nick both sympathetic and unlikable. Empathy for either varies from chapter to chapter as “Gone Girl” shows the disintegration of their marriage. Nick is weak and distant, but Amy is definitely a sociopath who will go to any lengths to punish a perceived slight. She blames her parents for making her who she is, in the end, and has not a single regret about this. Maybe (?) neither is evil, but their flaws often dominate their personalities, leading to a chilling and surprising finale.

Reportedly, Reese Witherspoon has been so taken with Gone Girl that she's bought the rights and intends to star in it, which seems like shrewd casting. Indeed, with the right director, it could be an outstanding movie.

But read the book first, which is already outstanding -- one of the finest American novels I've read in a long time.

Never before have three words sent chills down my spine: "Play nice, Nick." I had rather dark, silent, and disturbing dreams all night.

(The last quote is the best. And it really made me think... I totally agree, as well.)
“Bang bang bang. I understand now why so many horror movies use that device-the mysterious knock on the door-because it has the weight of a nightmare. You don't know what's out there, yet you know you'll open it. You'll think what I think: No one bad ever knocks.”
― Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
“I felt a queasy mixture of relief and horror: when you finally stop an itch and realize it’s because you’ve ripped a hole in your skin.”
― Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
“For several years, I had been bored. Not a whining, restless child's boredom (although I was not above that) but a dense blanketing malaise. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can't recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn't immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A commercial. You know the awful singsong of blase: Seeeen it. I've literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality really can't anymore. I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared scripted. It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless automat of characters. And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don't have genuine souls.”
― Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl ( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 1294 (next | show all)
Flynn writes bright, clever, cynical sentences. Maybe too many of them in Gone Girl. The same facts and ideas seem to repeat themselves. But that’s a minor gripe in a book that never slacks in tightening the suspense.

The basic questions the mystery asks are these: did the journalist husband murder his well-to-do missing wife or is she setting him up to pay a creepy price? On Flynn’s slick way to reaching the answer, she pulls the rug from under us readers three times. Or was it four?
added by VivienneR | editThe Toronto Star, Jack Batten (Jun 2, 2012)
This American author shook up the thriller scene in 2007 with her debut Sharp Objects, nasty and utterly memorable. Gone Girl, her third novel, is even better – an early contender for thriller of the year and an absolute must read.
added by Milesc | editThe Observer, Alison Flood (May 20, 2012)

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Flynn, Gillianprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Graziosi, FrancescoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heyborne, KirbyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, JuliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zani, IsabellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Love is the world's infinite mutability: Lies, hatred, murder even, are all knit up in it; it is the inevitable blossoming of its opposites, a magnificent rose smelling faintly of blood.

           Tony Kushner, THE ILLUSION
To Brett: light of my life, senior and
Flynn: light of my life, junior
First words
When I think of my wife, I always think of her head.
I don’t know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. It we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.
I'm a big fan of the lie of omission.
I hated Nick for being surprised when I became me.
You are an average, lazy, boring, cowardly, woman-fearing man. Without me, that’s what you would have kept on being, ad nauseam. But I made you into something. You were the best man you’ve ever been with me. And you know it.
It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Book description
Golden boy Nick Dunne, brings his socialite wife, Amy, back to live in his hometown on the Mississippi River. She is miserable and on their fifth wedding anniversary she disappears. Soon Nick finds himself lying,  and acting inappropriately but continues to claim his innocence with his twin sister at his side.
Haiku summary
Lies disguised as truth/Is she dead or simply gone?/Ask Punch and Judy. (BrileyOC)

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