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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,3181247239 (3.86)4 / 992
  1. 201
    Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson (becksdakex)
  2. 81
    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: A Novel by Louise Erdrich (novelcommentary)
    novelcommentary: Similar marriage themes
  9. 00
    The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler (Lirmac)
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 00
    Painkiller by N. J. Fountain (Roro8)
  13. 01
    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.
  14. 01
    In the Woods by Tana French (Ling.Lass)
    Ling.Lass: Unreliable narrators, psychopaths, unsympathetic characters who miss their chance at redemption
  15. 12
    Faithful Place by Tana French (kathleen.morrow)
  16. 12
    The Other by Thomas Tryon (jen.e.moore)
    jen.e.moore: Tremendous works of psychological suspense and genuinely horrific crimes.
  17. 02
    Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (buchowl)

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English (1,221)  Dutch (5)  German (4)  Catalan (4)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  Hungarian (2)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (1,246)
Showing 1-5 of 1221 (next | show all)
This book is a thriller that keeps the reader turning pages throughout its unpredictable plot until the conclusion. Flynn tackles the subject of the delicate balance of marriage and what is takes to keep a relationship going long-term through inevitable ups and downs. Highly recommended read for an original story. ( )
  LorianBartle | Nov 15, 2018 |

Hail to the Hogarth Shakespeare series, where the Bard's works are retold by a number of today's acclaimed novelists. Among those published within the series to date: Margaret Atwood - The Tempest, Jo Nesbø - Macbeth and Anne Tyler - The Taming of the Shrew. Gillian Flynn is on the docket for Hamlet, my absolute favorite Shakespeare play. In order to familiarize myself with Ms. Flynn's writing before I dive into her rendition of Hamlet, I had the pleasure of reading Gone Girl.

Gone Girl is one of the most popular novels here on Goodreads (nearly 2 million ratings; over 125,000 reviews) and the 2014 film starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike achieved blockbuster status. Although nearly everyone acknowledges Gone Girl is a page-turner, reviews have been mixed and extreme, judging the book as either very bad or very good.

Leading the list for Gone Girl as bad book we have unlikable, superficial characters, an unending sewer of psycho babble and parodies of the writing style (there's even a parody book - Gone Bitch). Addressing one aspect of the negativity, Gillian Flynn said: "If you are someone who reads books to feel like you have a friend on the page, my book is not going to be the book for you."

A sampling of Gone Girl as good book features: stunning chiller, astounding twists, irresistible characters. Furthermore, Gone Girl was a New York Times Book of the Year. And in her New York Times book review, Janet Maslin raved: "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." Likewise, Alison Flood in The Guardian: "Flynn, an extraordinarily good writer, plays her readers with the finesse and delicacy of an expert angler. . . .Thriller of the year. An absolute must read."

Fanfare with toy trumpets and kazoos: you can count me among those judging Gone Girl a very good novel. Although, I must admit, I am partial when novels are written with multiple narrators, or, what I refer to as rotating first person. Gillian Flynn's novel has two alternating narrators: husband Nick and wife Amy. I'm also fond of narrators who are unreliable and thus infuse the story with great suspense. Seen in this way, on a scale of ten, Gone Girl rates a ten.

And that's just for starters. Other aspects I especially enjoyed: 1) the sophisticated layering of character for both Amy and Nick, 2) penetrating insights on the current state of American class, culture and society, and 3) the ways in which the novel incorporates the pervasive influence of mass media. Turning to these one at a time:

In the very first chapters we hear the voice of Amy but this turns out to be only Diary Amy. Deeper into the story we come across Avenging Amy, Ozark Amy, Nearly True Amy, layer after layer. Amy is exceedingly bright, degrees from both Harvard and Yale where she studied psychology. She was exploited as a child and adolescent, her mother and father made rich via publishing Amazing Amy books that tracked her growing up year by year. Family, friends and society in general expected Amy to be as perfect as her fictional twin. Bad news, folks – she’s only human. Ironically, her soulmate, Nick, whom she married when she was 33, also has a twin, twin sister Margo.

Missouri boy come to New York to pursue his career as magazine journalist. Nick marries Amy when he’s 29 and a few years thereafter loses his job. Hearing from his sister Margo that their mother is sick and needs help, he decides to move back with Amy. Nick’s parents divorced and his abiding memory as a boy is of his women-hating father. Fun fact: Nick tells us Amy read Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle on a Fiji beach during their honeymoon. Too bad Nick didn’t take more interest in Amy's novel: it features a wife who runs away! One of the more appealing parts of the story is watching Nick jolted into the need to transform.

It’s the clash of high life New York City versus unemployed, dopesick, rundown small town Middle America. NYC born and bred Amy’s first words on entering their house in an ugly, deserted development: “Should I remove my soul before I come inside?” And Nick admits that Amy considered being forced to reside in Zeroville (my name for Nick’s sour home town of Carthage) as “a punishing whim on my part, a nasty, selfish twist of the knife.”

The once thriving mall is shut down and is now occupied by an army of homeless, hopeless, unemployed men and women addicted to drugs such as oxycontin. Nick’s reflection during his search of the mall one night: “Carthage had a bigger drug epidemic that I ever knew: The cops had been here just yesterday, and already the druggies had resettled, like determined flies. As we made our way through the piles of humans, an obese woman shushed up to us on an electric scooter. Her face was pimply and wet with sweat, her teeth catlike.”

Amy’s father Rand tells Nick: “When Amy talked about moving back here, back along the Ole Mississippi River, with you, I pictured . . . green, farmland, apple trees, and those great old red barns. I have to tell you, it’s really quite ugly here. I can’t think of a single thing of beauty in this whole town.”

Ugly, ugly, ugly – the more I read, the more I was surprised Amy lasted two whole years before her exit. The main story, of course, is Amy and Nick, but Gone Girl also makes a bold statement on the sorry condition of American economics and society. In this way, similar to Colin Harrison’s You Belong To Me, Gillian Flynn’s novel could be used as a supplemental text for a course in sociology.

Following Nick’s reporting Amy’s disappearance, a barrage of reporters, cameras and microphones converge on the scene. Instantly, Nick and everyone else involved in the case, including the police, not only have a flesh-and-blood identity but also a public media identity – and, in many way, the media identity is of primary importance.

Initially Nick comes off as an insensitive, unfeeling lout. When more facts in the case surface, the media portray him as a murderer who has been unfaithful to his wife. Realizing he could face serious jail time and even the death sentence, Nick hires savvy Big Apple lawyer Tanner Bolt.

As Tanner explains, “The media has saturated the legal environment. With the Internet, Facebook, YouTube, there’s no such thing as an unbiased jury anymore. . . . So why not use it – control the story.” Why not, indeed. With the help of Tanner’s coaching and leaning on his past experience as a journalist, the TV audience will be treated to a new Nick Dunne.

And Nick can see what happens when someone doesn’t have the capacity to work the media to their own advantage. Jacqueline Collins, mother of the man cast as the bad guy, doesn’t stand a change insisting on her son’s innocence when interviewed on national TV. “She always started off steady, but her mother’s love worked against her. She soon came across as a grieving woman desperate to believe the best of her son, and the more the hosts pitied her, the more she snapped and snarled, and the more unsympathetic she became. She got written off quickly.”

Meanwhile, three guesses who can REALLY work the media to their advantage. Make that one guess – Amy. Brilliant, clever, beautiful, exceptionally well-spoken, forever camera ready and, oh so manipulative, by using the media Amy has finally outpaced fictional Amazing Amy in being truly amazing.

Amy gets the last word in Gone Girl and she gets the last word here.

It is now 2018 and Amy and Nick are back living on the top floor of a spanking new Brooklyn condo overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Of course they are wealthy following the return of Amy's trust fund money and the successful launch of her book Amazing. And more good news: not only do they have a bright, lively little boy but also an even brighter little girl. Amy continues to write. As does Nick, who has published his first novel, a love story which is now on the best seller list. Nick wasn't surprised - after all, he has a brilliant, amazing editor.

Does this sound like the improbable combination of Lady Macbeth and a happy ever after fairy tale? You bet it does. Thank you, Gillian!

"I have a book deal: I am officially in control of our story. It feels wonderfully symbolic. Isn't that what every marriage is, anyway? Just a lengthy game of he-said, she-said? Well, she is saying, and the world will listen, and Nick will have to smile and agree. I will write him the way I want him to be: romantic and thoughtful and very very repentant - about the credit cards and the purchases and the woodshed. If I can't get him to say it out loud, he'll say it in my book. Then he'll come on tour with me and smile and smile." - Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
1 vote Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
I finally FINISHED this book. It took me so long because I recently went back to work, so when I do get to read its barley a chapter or 2 then bed time haha.
Well anyways, on to the review...
I love when books are way better than the movie. But I do love the movie from beginning to end. At first when you start reading this novel it took me awhile to even get into it. I don't know why but it was a slow read for me. But I did LOVE it. I had already seen the movie before I even thought about reading this book. In which I regret cause I already knew the turn out. BUT NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS MOVIE is correct. The movie is never better than the book. Like most novel turned movies, it kept alot out of the movie that was in the book. Still was shocked as I kept reading. But all in all I give the book a 4.5 star rating. I love anything written by @thegillianflynn I recommed this book to anyone who hasn't seen the movie yet. PLEASE READ THIS FIRST haha. Plot twist and Thriller, YES PLEASE. • ( )
  MissTamaraDawn | Oct 30, 2018 |
I wasn't expecting this to be such a fun one. I listened to it during my commute to and from work and I really looked forward to it. The narration was fantastic. I'd definitely recommend it. ( )
  Max_Tardiff | Oct 29, 2018 |
This is a fantastic book. A little different than her other two, mostly because they aren't as gruesome, but written just as wonderfully. A lot of twists in the plot that were completely unexpected. Loved it! ( )
  thisismelissaanne | Oct 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 1221 (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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

No descriptions found.

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On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations 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 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 really know the one they love.… (more)

» see all 14 descriptions

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