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Gone Girl
Cover of Gone Girl
Gone Girl
A Novel
Borrow Borrow Borrow
#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 TIME'S TEN BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE AND ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY'S BEST BOOKS OF THE DECADE
    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
    "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."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
  • #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 TIME'S TEN BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE AND ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY'S BEST BOOKS OF THE DECADE
    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
    "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."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
  • Available formats-
    • Kindle Book
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    • EPUB eBook
    Languages:-
    Copies-
    • Available:
      5
    • Library copies:
      5
    Levels-
    • ATOS:
      5.6
    • Lexile:
    • Interest Level:
      UG
    • Text Difficulty:
      4

    Recommended for you

     
    Awards-
    Excerpts-
    • Chapter One Chapter One

      Nick Dunne
      the day of

      When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. The shape of
      it, to begin with. The very first time I saw her, it was the back of the
      head I saw, and there was something lovely about it, the angles of it.
      Like a shiny, hard corn kernel or a riverbed fossil. She had what the
      Victorians would call finely shaped head. You could imagine the
      skull quite easily.

      I'd know her head anywhere.

      And what's inside it. I think of that too: her mind. Her brain, all
      those coils, and her thoughts shuttling through those coils like fast,
      frantic centipedes. Like a child, I picture opening her skull, unspooling
      her brain and sifting through it, trying to catch and pin down
      her thoughts. What are you thinking, Amy? The question I've asked
      most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person
      who could answer. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every
      marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are
      you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?

      My eyes flipped open at exactly six a.m. This was no avian fluttering
      of the lashes, no gentle blink toward consciousness. The awakening
      was mechanical. A spooky ventriloquist- dummy click of the lids:
      The world is black and then, showtime! 6- 0- 0 the clock said— in my
      face, first thing I saw. 6- 0- 0. It felt different. I rarely woke at such a
      rounded time. I was a man of jagged risings: 8:43, 11:51, 9:26. My
      life was alarmless.

      At that exact moment, 6- 0- 0, the sun climbed over the skyline of
      oaks, revealing its full summer angry- god self. Its reflection flared
      across the river toward our house, a long, blaring finger aimed at me
      through our frail bedroom curtains. Accusing: You have been seen.
      You will be seen.

      I wallowed in bed, which was our New York bed in our new house,
      which we still called the new house, even though we'd been back here
      for two years. It's a rented house right along the Mississippi River,
      a house that screams Suburban Nouveau Riche, the kind of place
      I aspired to as a kid from my split- level, shag- carpet side of town.
      The kind of house that is immediately familiar: a generically grand,
      unchallenging, new, new, new house that my wife would— and did—
      detest.

      "Should I remove my soul before I come inside?" Her first line upon
      arrival. It had been a compromise: Amy demanded we rent, not buy,
      in my little Missouri hometown, in her firm hope that we wouldn't
      be stuck here long. But the only houses for rent were clustered in
      this failed development: a miniature ghost town of bank- owned,
      recession- busted, price- reduced mansions, a neighborhood that closed
      before it ever opened. It was a compromise, but Amy didn't see it that
      way, not in the least. To Amy, it was a punishing whim on my part, a
      nasty, selfish twist of the knife. I would drag her, caveman- style, to a
      town she had aggressively avoided, and make her live in the kind of
      house she used to mock. I suppose it's not a compromise if only one of
      you considers it such, but that was what our compromises tended to
      look like. One of us was always angry. Amy, usually.

      Do not blame me for this particular grievance, Amy. The Missouri
      Grievance. Blame the economy, blame bad luck, blame my parents,
      blame your parents, blame the Internet, blame people who use the
      Internet. I used to be a writer. I was a writer who wrote about TV
      and movies and books. Back when people read things on paper, back
      when anyone...

    About the Author-
    • 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.
    Reviews-
    • Publisher's Weekly

      Starred review from March 26, 2012
      There’s the evil you can see coming—and then there’s Amy Elliott. Superficially, this privileged Gotham golden girl, inspiration for her psychologist-parents’ bestselling series of children’s books, couldn’t be further from the disturbingly damaged women of Edgar-finalist Flynn’s first two books, Sharp Objects and Dark Places. But as Amy’s husband, Nick Dunne, starts to realize after she disappears from their rented mansion in his Missouri hometown on their fifth anniversary—and he becomes the prime suspect in her presumed murder—underestimating Amy’s sick genius and twisted gamesmanship could prove fatal. Then again, charmer Nick may not be quite the corn-fed innocent he initially appears. 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. Agent: Stephanie Rostan, Levine Greenberg.

    • Kirkus

      Starred review from May 1, 2012
      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. 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. One of those rare thrillers whose revelations actually intensify its suspense instead of dissipating it. The final pages are chilling.

      COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    • Library Journal

      January 1, 2012

      Amy disappears on her fifth wedding anniversary, and while Nick has not been a model husband, could he really have killed her? It's soon evident that if Amy is dead, that's the least of the reader's worries. Flynn's last novel, Dark Objects, was a New York Times best seller, but this one is expected to break her out.

      Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

    • Janet Maslin, New York Times

      "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."

    • People (four stars) "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."
    • USA Today, Carol Memmott "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."
    • Associated Press, Michelle Weiner "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...."
    • Boston Globe "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."
    • South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Oline Cogdill "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."
    • Salon "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."
    • Wall Street Journal "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."
    • New York Times "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 Daily News "[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
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