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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Thriller

Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

Excellent choice

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Quick take

The nasty, riveting, bestselling phenomenon that made Gillian Flynn the reigning queen of thrillers.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Psychological

    Psychological

  • Illustrated icon, 400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Well_Known

    Famous author

  • Illustrated icon, Unreliable_Narrator

    Unreliable narrator

Synopsis

Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. 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?

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.

Why I love it

Stories of total rupture are utterly irresistible to me. One moment a character is humming along, not trying to draw too much attention to themselves or rock any boats and then suddenly another straw lands on their back. And all hell breaks loose. Gone Girl—Gillian Flynn’s breakout hit—centers on just such a story. It gripped me from page one the first time I read it and every time since. There are few books possessed of the kind of propulsive energy and unnerving psychological insight it possesses.

When we first meet Nick and Amy Dunne, they seem the embodiment of a modern American marriage. Nick is a small business owner and professor at the local university; Amy a seemingly lab-designed housewife, keeping an immaculate suburban home. But beneath the veneer, tension and anger lurk barely contained. The Dunnes have been lying to each other and the world for a long time. Perhaps since they left New York City for a quiet Michigan town to support Nick’s mother who contracted cancer. However, that all changes when Amy goes missing . . . suddenly all eyes are on Nick. Who is he really? What is he capable of? Now everyone sees blood on the white picket fence.

Gone Girl is a book about expectations. How they force us into performing for ourselves and others. How they test our boundaries and place great weight on our most important relationships. How, if we let them fester, they might even break us. It also features an astonishingly compelling female lead, who when she decides to throw off ALL expectations, unleashes a fury that sucks in a whole nation. Pick this book up and buckle up, this rabbit hole goes to deeper and darker places than you could ever imagine, and it stays entertaining to the very end.

Member ratings (14,068)

  • Emily C.

    Lake Forest Park, WA

    Read this aloud with my boo and we ❤️❤️❤️ it. So much fun to discuss the twists and turns and the unreliable narrator?!?!? We immediately watched the movie together and howled! Super fan for life.

  • Katy D.

    Albany, NY

    One of my favorites of all time. I’m glad I read it before the movie came out because it doesn’t do it justice. Best to read if you don’t know anything about the plot (so the twists won’t be ruined)

  • Gina D.

    Lake Hopatcong, NJ

    Will forever be one of my all time favorite books. The twists and turns, the raw emotions, the twisted mind of the “villain”…it’s all just incredible. I love the end, I think it’s so realistic!

  • Gianna M.

    Mount kisco, NY

    Quickest 400+ read ever !  Each character was brilliantly written. The details behind each moment are equally  fascinating. I do wish that we had closure at the end of knew how their life ended up.

  • Jessica K.

    New York, NY

    Idk how I haven’t read this until now but it’s so good. The writing is just so good. I love how dark Flynn is.the pure vitriol in some of the entries and the dualities of her characters is just gold.

Thriller
First Lie Wins
No One Can Know
Middle of the Night
Listen for the Lie
A Talent for Murder
One Perfect Couple
Darling Girls
Kill for Me, Kill for You
Murder Road
Daughter of Mine
The Fury
Only if You’re Lucky
The Other Mothers
The Resort
When I’m Dead
The Soulmate
What Lies in the Woods
She Started It
The Only One Left
Dark Corners
Blacktop Wasteland
All the Dangerous Things
The Only Survivors
The Broken Girls
The Family Game
The Push
We Were Never Here
Things We Do in the Dark
The Golden Couple
The Collective
The Stranger Upstairs
Gone Tonight
Too Good to Be True
The Last Word
You Are Not Alone
Rock Paper Scissors
Not a Happy Family
A Flicker in the Dark
The Last Flight
Reckless Girls
The House Across the Lake
The Wife Upstairs
The Last Thing He Told Me
The Maidens
Everything We Didn't Say
Invisible Girl
The Paris Apartment
You're Invited
The Last Party
Dark Places
Pieces of Her
The Wife Between Us
Sharp Objects
None of This Is True
The Silent Patient
The Winter Sister
The Other Woman
Necessary People
The Family Upstairs
The Night Swim
Girl A
The Hunting Wives
Just Another Missing Person
First Born
The Lies I Tell
Breathless
Thriller
View all
First Lie Wins
No One Can Know
Middle of the Night
Listen for the Lie
A Talent for Murder
One Perfect Couple
Darling Girls
Kill for Me, Kill for You
Murder Road
Daughter of Mine
The Fury
Only if You’re Lucky
The Other Mothers
The Resort
When I’m Dead
The Soulmate
What Lies in the Woods
She Started It
The Only One Left
Dark Corners
Blacktop Wasteland
All the Dangerous Things
The Only Survivors
The Broken Girls
The Family Game
The Push
We Were Never Here
Things We Do in the Dark
The Golden Couple
The Collective
The Stranger Upstairs
Gone Tonight
Too Good to Be True
The Last Word
You Are Not Alone
Rock Paper Scissors
Not a Happy Family
A Flicker in the Dark
The Last Flight
Reckless Girls
The House Across the Lake
The Wife Upstairs
The Last Thing He Told Me
The Maidens
Everything We Didn't Say
Invisible Girl
The Paris Apartment
You're Invited
The Last Party
Dark Places
Pieces of Her
The Wife Between Us
Sharp Objects
None of This Is True
The Silent Patient
The Winter Sister
The Other Woman
Necessary People
The Family Upstairs
The Night Swim
Girl A
The Hunting Wives
Just Another Missing Person
First Born
The Lies I Tell
Breathless