Gillian Flynn

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Gillian Flynn

Goodreads Author

Kansas City, MO, The United States



member since
September 2011

About this author

Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She has so far written three novels, Sharp Objects, for which she won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller; Dark Places; and her best-selling third novel Gone Girl.

Her book has received wide praise, including from authors such as Stephen King. The dark plot revolves around a serial killer in a Missouri town, and the reporter who has returned from Chicago to cover the event. Themes include dysfunctional families,violence and self-harm.

In 2007 the novel was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar for Best First Novel by an American Writer, Crime Writers' Association Duncan Lawrie, CWA New Blood and Ian Fleming Steel Daggers, win

Gillian Flynn is currently not accepting new questions.

Popular Answered Questions

Gillian Flynn Hi Bo,
Great question. I've learned that you can't worry and write at the same time. If you let yourself go down that road, then what you do (and…more
Hi Bo,
Great question. I've learned that you can't worry and write at the same time. If you let yourself go down that road, then what you do (and believe me, I've done this) is write with a little nagging angel on your shoulder, who's wringing her hands and worrying that people might get upset. It's not a good way to write well. So I put everyone out of my head and write the story I need to write. Then I have a very important and useful conversation with those close to me. For instance, the mother in Sharp Objects is nothing like my mom and my husband and I are nothing like the Dunnes, but I think it's completely viable for them to ask me any questions they'd like—and I certainly want to know if they feel I've mined something unfairly from our relationships. (I try very hard to avoid the autobiographical, and if a character starts feeling too much like someone I know in real life, I take that as a sign I'm being lazy.) Thankfully I happen to be blessed with friends and family and a husband who love books and love that I'm a writer and respect that my imagination can take me to some very unsavory places that have nothing to do with them.
Gillian Flynn Hi Dominic,
I think the short answer to the first question is: My brain goes very easily into the darkness. It always has. There are people who like to…more
Hi Dominic,
I think the short answer to the first question is: My brain goes very easily into the darkness. It always has. There are people who like to see what's under the rock and people who don't, and for some reason I've always been one of those to say, "Hey, let's flip over that rock."
Pulling back out is the trickier part. I had to first actually acknowledge that writing toxic stories can infect my mood (it seemed a little too "writer-y" to admit that at first). But especially during the darker scenes for Gone Girl, I would catch myself bringing the nastiness upstairs with me and inflicting it on my poor husband. So I learned to give myself about 15 minutes at the end of each day to purge myself of the foul mood. I usually play a video game or pull up a really great musical dance number on my computer. I dare anyone to watch the Moses Supposes dance number from Singin' in the Rain and not be blissfully cheery by the end of it. So it's become a very healthy habit—I even have a plaque on my desk that reads: "Leave the crazy downstairs." Very good advice.(less)
Average rating: 3.96 · 1,602,376 ratings · 155,610 reviews · 15 distinct works · Similar authors
Gone Girl
3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 1,137,914 ratings — published 2012 — 171 editions
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Dark Places
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 234,927 ratings — published 2009 — 112 editions
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Sharp Objects
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 217,683 ratings — published 2006 — 112 editions
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The Novels of Gillian Flynn...
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 2,630 ratings — published 2012 — 5 editions
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The Complete Gillian Flynn:...
4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 1,983 ratings8 editions
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L'amore bugiardo - La versi...
3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 48 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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3.5 of 5 stars 3.50 avg rating — 40 ratings — published 2012
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 32 ratings — published 2012
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The Grownup
3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 61 ratings — expected publication 2015 — 8 editions
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L'amore bugiardo - La versi...
3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 25 ratings2 editions
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Gillian Flynn voted for Gone Girl as Best Mystery & Thriller in the Semifinal Round of the 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
" Thanks to everyone for such a pleasant day and all the great questions! Very nice visiting with you all,
More of Gillian's books…
“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”)”
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

“There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.”
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

“There's a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.”
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl


What should we read first?

For more info on each of these, look to the "This Poll Is About" section below the Answers.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn

On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick's wife Amy disappears. There are signs of struggle in the house and Nick quickly becomes the prime suspect. It doesn't help that Nick hasn't been completely honest with the police and, as Amy's case drags out for weeks, more and more vilifying evidence appears against him. Nick, however, maintains his innocence. Told from alternating points of view between Nick and Amy, Gillian Flynn creates an untrustworthy world that changes chapter-to-chapter. Calling Gone Girl a psychological thriller is an understatement. As revelation after revelation unfolds, it becomes clear that the truth does not exist in the middle of Nick and Amy's points of view; in fact, the truth is far more dark, more twisted, and more creepy than you can imagine. Gone Girl is masterfully plotted from start to finish and the suspense doesn't waver for one page. It's one of those books you will feel the need to discuss immediately after finishing because the ending doesn't just come; it punches you in the gut.
  5 votes 35.7%

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon

Telegraph Avenue

Michael Chabon

“Telegraph Avenue,” Michael Chabon’s rich, comic new novel, is a homage to an actual place: the boulevard in Northern California where Oakland — historically an African-American city — aligns with Berkeley, whose bourgeois white inhabitants are, as one character puts it, “liable to invest all their hope of heaven in the taste of an egg laid in the backyard by a heritage-breed chicken.” The novel is equally a tribute to the cinematic style of Quentin Tarantino, whose films its characters study and discuss, and whose preoccupations pepper its pages: kung fu, cinematic allusions and the blaxploitation films of the 1970s; and an interest in African-American characters and experience. Chabon and Tarantino make an unlikely duo; while the latter’s films tend toward gaudy eruptions of violence, Chabon bends Tarantino’s sensibility to a warmhearted novel about fatherhood in which the onstage violence consists of two graphic childbirth scenes and a 15-year-old boy whacking a chubby thug with a wooden sword. A self-help book in the style of Andrei Tarkovsky would be hardly more oxymoronic.

  4 votes 28.6%

To Sell Is Human  The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

Daniel H. Pink

To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights. He reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it's no longer "Always Be Closing"), explains why extraverts don't make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an "off-ramp" for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds.

Along the way, Pink describes the six successors to the elevator pitch, the three rules for understanding another's perspective, the five frames that can make your message clearer and more persuasive, and much more. The result is a perceptive and practical book--one that will change how you see the world and transform what you do at work, at school, and at home.

  2 votes 14.3%

The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft

The Call of Cthulhu

H.P. Lovecraft

An American author of horror, fantasy, and science fiction (crucial in the development of the sub-genre, weird fiction). The Call of Cthulu, the tale of a horrifying underwater monster coming to life and threatening mankind, is H.P. Lovecraft's most famous and most widely popular tale, spawning an entire mythology, with the power to strike terror into the hearts of even the Great Old Ones.
Lovecraft's guiding aesthetic and philosophical principle was what he termed "cosmicism" or "cosmic horror", the idea that life is incomprehensible to human minds and that the universe is fundamentally inimical to the interests of humankind. As such, his stories express a profound indifference to human beliefs and affairs.

He is now regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. According to Joyce Carol Oates, an award-winning author, Lovecraft—as with Edgar Allan Poe in the 19th century—has exerted "an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction".The popular science fiction and fantasy author Stephen King called Lovecraft "the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale." King made it clear in his semi-autobiographical non-fiction book Danse Macabre that Lovecraft was responsible for King's own fascination with horror and the macabre, and was the single largest figure to influence his fiction writing.

  1 vote 7.1%

Party Monster  A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland by James St. James

Party Monster: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland

James St. James

"Disco Bloodbath" is a dazzling, dizzying, amazingly vivid, and startlingly fresh look at a subculture that for several years pranced its hedonistic way across the dance floors of New York City's trendiest clubs. It is also perhaps the funniest book about a murder you will ever read. Like its author, who experienced it all and has lived to tell the tale, it's a true original.

When self-proclaimed king of club kids and party promoter extraordinaire Michael Alig was convicted in November 1996 of killing a drug dealer known as Angel, a spotlight was trained on a world few people even knew existed. Author James St. James knew that world, of course; in fact, he was one of its creators. He also knew the rules, knew them inside out, because he helped write them. And while it was a life and a lifestyle in which just about anything was acceptable so long as it wasn't boring, murder was considered a no-no. So when Alig confessed his part in the crime to St. James, our author knew that there could be no going back -- and that this time the party really was over.

  1 vote 7.1%

Mathilda Savitch by Victor Lodato

Mathilda Savitch

Victor Lodato

Fear doesn’t come naturally to Mathilda Savitch. She prefers to look right at the things nobody else can bring themselves to mention: for example, the fact that her beloved older sister is dead, pushed in front of a train by a man still on the loose. Her grief-stricken parents have basically been sleepwalking ever since, and it is Mathilda’s sworn mission to shock them back to life. Her strategy? Being bad.

Mathilda decides she’s going to figure out what lies behind the catastrophe. She starts sleuthing through her sister’s most secret possessions—e-mails, clothes, notebooks, whatever her determination and craftiness can ferret out. More troubling, she begins to apply some of her older sister’s magical charisma and powers of seduction to the unraveling situations around her. In a storyline that thrums with hints of ancient myth, Mathilda has to risk a great deal—in fact, has to leave behind everything she loves—in order to discover the truth.

  1 vote 7.1%

Behind the Beautiful Forevers  Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

Katherine Boo

Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting“ in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter—Annawadi’s “most-everything girl“—will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.”

But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.

  0 votes 0.0%

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of Pi

Yann Martel

Life of Pi is a masterful and utterly original novel that is at once the story of a young castaway who faces immeasurable hardships on the high seas, and a meditation on religion, faith, art and life that is as witty as it is profound. Using the threads of all of our best stories, Yann Martel has woven a glorious spiritual adventure that makes us question what it means to be alive, and to believe.

  0 votes 0.0%

14 total votes
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Topics Mentioning This Author

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The Book Challenge: Heather's 2008 Challenge 111 258 Dec 07, 2008 08:15AM  
Mystery/Thriller ...: JF, NR 188 198 Jun 24, 2009 03:36AM  
Mystery/Thriller ...: Library Saturday 44 111 Aug 09, 2009 01:08PM  
74725 Ask Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbott — 1051 members — last activity Oct 10, 2014 06:54AM
Join us on Tuesday, August 14 for a special discussion with Megan Abbott and Gillian Flynn. Two authors with two of the hottest books of the summer, G ...more

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Cathie Congratulations on the Goodreads win!

Kristin Hi Gillian, thank you so much for accepting my friend request! I'm a huge fan of your books and your writing style. You're such an inspiration to me as I too aspire to be a published author one day.

Happy Reading..and Writing! :)

Νόρα Thank you for accepting my friend request!I love ALL your books and your style of writing!Cannot wait for the next!

message 1: by Lee

Lee Thompson Thank you for the add, Gillian! Really looking forward to reading your work!

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