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. TheChicago 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.
About Gillian Flynn
GILLIAN FLYNN is the author of the New York Times bestseller Dark Places, which was a New Yorker Reviewers’ Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice; and the Dagger Award winner Sharp Objects, which was an Edgar nominee for Best First novel, a BookSense pick, and a Barnes & Noble Discover selection. Her work has been published in twenty-eight countries. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.
Even after they lost their jobs as magazine writers and he uprooted her from New York and spirited her off to his childhood home in North Carthage, Mo., where his ailing parents suddenly needed him at their side, Nick Dunne still acted as if everything were fine between him and his wife, Amy. His sister Margo, who’d gone partners with him on a local bar, never suspected that the marriage was fraying, and certainly never knew that Nick, who’d buried his mother and largely ducked his responsibilities to his father, stricken with Alzheimer’s, had taken one of his graduate students as a mistress. That’s because Nick and Amy were both so good at playing Mr. and Ms. Right for their audience. But that all changes the morning of their fifth anniversary when Amy vanishes with every indication of foul play. Partly because the evidence against him looks so bleak, partly because he’s so bad at communicating grief, partly because he doesn’t feel all that grief-stricken to begin with, the tide begins to turn against Nick. Neighbors who’d been eager to join the police in the search for Amy begin to gossip about him. Female talk-show hosts inveigh against him. The questions from Detective Rhonda Boney and Detective Jim Gilpin get sharper and sharper. Even Nick has to acknowledge that he hasn’t come close to being the husband he liked to think he was. But does that mean he deserves to get tagged as his wife’s killer? Interspersing the mystery of Amy’s disappearance with flashbacks from her diary, Flynn (Dark Places, 2009, etc.) shows the marriage lumbering toward collapse—and prepares the first of several foreseeable but highly effective twists. – Kirkus Reviews
The Lies That Buoy, Then Break a Marriage
The New York Times Book Review – May 29, 2012 (Excerpt)
Gillian Flynn’s ice-pick-sharp “Gone Girl” begins far too innocently by explaining how Nick and Amy Dunne celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary. Amy got up and started making crepes. Nick came into the kitchen, appreciating his wife’s effort but wondering why Amy was humming the theme song from “M*A*S*H.” You know, that “suicide is painless” thing.
“Well, hello, handsome,” Amy says to her husband.
“Bile and dread inched up my throat,” Nick recalls, although Ms. Flynn’s spectacularly sneaky novel does not explain that, not right away. Anyway, Nick leaves the house after breakfast. He heads to work. While he is gone, Amy disappears into thin air.
It almost requires a game board to show how Nick and Amy move through this book. They met at a party in Brooklyn and were momentarily smitten. (Move one step forward.) Eight months later they connected for real. They got married. (Another step forward.) Then Nick lost his job. (One step back.) So they had to move back to Nick’s hometown, Carthage, Mo., which Amy hated. (Another step back.) In Missouri they had the kinds of fights, infidelity, money troubles and other noir-style problems that witnesses will remember now that Amy’s gone. (Nick, go to jail.) [Read the full article...]
The Marriage Is The Real Mystery In ‘Gone Girl’
NPR Book Review – June 5, 2012 (Excerpt)
Gillian Flynn’s new novel, Gone Girl, begins on the morning of Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary — the day Amy disappears.
It opens with a rather sinister reflection: “When I think of my wife,” Nick says, “I always think of her head…. You could imagine the skull quite easily. I’d know her head anywhere.”
Both Nick — whom police suspect of foul play — and Amy tell their stories in alternating chapters, with Amy represented through her journal. But Flynn tells NPR’s Linda Wertheimer that the book’s real mystery is the nature of Nick and Amy’s strained marriage. [Read the full article...]
The Avengers - Gillian Flynn’s ‘Gone Girl,’ and More
The New York Times Book Review – June 15, 2012 (Excerpt)
“This is the hardest part,” confides one of the untrustworthy narrators in GONE GIRL (Crown, $25), “waiting for stupid people to figure things out.” There’s no need to rub it in, because Gillian Flynn’s latest novel of psychological suspense will confound anyone trying to keep up with her quicksilver mind and diabolical rules of play. Not that there’s anything underhanded about her intentions: she promises to deliver an account of the troubled marriage of Nick and Amy Dunne, who alternate as narrators, and so she does. The trickery is in the devilish way she tells their story.
On the occasion of this young couple’s fifth wedding anniversary, Nick tries to ignore the big questions weighing on his mind (“What have we done to each other? What will we do?”) and steels himself for the elaborate and humiliating treasure hunt his wife always makes of her gift presentation. But Nick’s brooding takes a darker turn when Amy disappears, amid signs of a struggle, from their house on the Mississippi River in North Carthage, Mo., and he suffers the painful transformation from distressed husband to suspected murderer. [Read the full article...]
A marriage gone missing
The Chicago Tribune Book Review – July 28, 2012 (Excerpt)
There are wounds that mark the body and wounds that mark the psyche. Often, but not always, they do both.
In her first two books—the Edgar-nominated “Sharp Objects” and New York Times best-selling “Dark Places”—Chicago novelist Gillian Flynn gave us heroines whose mutilated bodies testify to harrowing trauma and closely guarded secrets. In her third, the rivetingly twisted “Gone Girl,” she gives us the physically flawless Amy Elliott Dunne.
The beautiful and clever Amy and her journalist-turned-bar owner husband, Nick, are five years into a marriage that, to put it mildly, hasn’t gone as planned. Cut loose from their New York magazine jobs, forced to dig deep into Amy’s trust fund to bail out her fiscally hapless parents, hit with news that Nick’s mom is fatally ill, they swap their Brooklyn brownstone for a rented McMansion in Nick’s recession-busted Mississippi River hometown of Carthage, Mo. [Read the full article...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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