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Gone Girl
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message 1: by Nicolette (last edited Dec 26, 2012 03:52PM) (new) - added it

Nicolette (cocopuff09120) Start discussion here for Gone Girl.

Discussion questions to think about:

1. Consider Amy and Nick Dunne as characters. Do you find them sympathetic...at first? Talk about the ways each reveals him/herself over the course of the novel. At what point do your sympathies begin to change (if they do)?

2. Nick insists from the beginning he had nothing to do with Amy's disappearance. Did you believe him, initially? When did you begin to suspect that he might have something to do with it? At what point did you begin to think he might not?

3. How would you describe the couple's marriage? What does it look like from the outside...and what does it look like from the inside? Where do the stress lines fall in their relationship?

4. On their fifth anniversary, Nick wonders, "What have we done to each other? What will we do?" Is that the kind of question that might present itself in any marriage? Yours? In other words, does this novel make you wonder about your own relationship? And can you ever truly know the other person?

5. Amy and Nick lie. When did you begin to suspect that the two were lying to one another...and to you, the reader? Why do they lie...what do they gain by it?

6. Do you find the Gillian Flynn's technique of alternating first-person narrations compelling...or irritating. Would you have preferred a single, straightforward narrator? What does the author gain by using two different voices?

7. A skillful mystery writer knows which details to reveal and when to reveal them. How much do you know...and when do you know it? In other words, how good is Flynn at burying her clues in plain sight? Now that you know how the story plays out, go back and pick out the clues she left behind for you.

8. Flynn divides her narrative into two parts. Why? What are the difference between the two sections?

9. In what way does Amy's background—her parents' books about her perfection—affect her as an adult?

10. The Dunnes move to North Carthage, near Hannibal, the home of Mark Twain. How has Tom Sawyer been worked into Gone Girl...and why? What does that extra-textual detail add to the story?

11. Did you suspect Nick's big secret? Were you surprised—shocked—by it? Or did you have an inkling?

12. Does Amy try hard enough to like North Carthage? Or is she truly a duck out of water, too urbane to ever fit into a small, Midwestern town?

13. What are Amy's treasure hunts all about? Why does she initiate them for Nick?

14. Critics, to a one, talk about the book's dark humor and author's wit. What passages of the book do you find particularly funny?

15. Movie time: who would you like to see play what part?

(Questions by LitLovers)


Ciska (ciska_vander_lans) I read this book earlier this year and really do not understand all the fuss. I experienced this book as slow and though it was good at points I would not pick up another book by this author anytime soon.

What I liked was they way the author managed to give both points of view a real own voice. There was a major difference in style and use of words. I did admire that.


message 3: by Savanes, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Savanes | 2006 comments Mod
Ciska wrote: "I read this book earlier this year and really do not understand all the fuss. I experienced this book as slow and though it was good at points I would not pick up another book by this author anytim..."

I liked the book but I found it slow too. Also, I found that it was quite predictable (but most people don't) and finally I really didn't like the way the story ends even though it is totally believable. As a last word maybe I should mention that mystery is not my thing... :)


message 4: by Nicolette (new) - added it

Nicolette (cocopuff09120) My copy came today!


Mariska I'm on the waitinglist in the library...


message 6: by Nicolette (new) - added it

Nicolette (cocopuff09120) Uh oh! Are you very far down the list?


Hobofeet I liked this book, I didn't read the book blurb so initially thought it was going to become a he's done the murder but doesn't remember, split personality, etc..yawn!I liked the unusual angle and thought he was just a typical bored in a relationship guy, neither was making any effort and she was a very intelligent, egotistical sociopath but found the ending a little unrealistic considering the characters. I couldn't see Amy settling for that lifestyle and having a child would have meant her coming second in life. Mind you, I could see her murdering the child by creating a 'freak accident' when she tired of playing mum.


Lory Sakay | 36 comments I guess all the fuss is about how it is a different take on the regular suspense or whodunit book, but agree with everyone above.... I did not enjoy it much. Although it was shocking that Amy could be such a maniac (and, yes, intriguing) it was a let down that she was not found out and that Nick continued to be so easily manipulated by her.


message 9: by Cathie (last edited Jan 03, 2013 01:18PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cathie (catitude) | 1511 comments I think you get what you expect in life and they expected each other and the hell they have created.

As a lot of people mention the end of the book. Go to this link (but not until you finish the book!)
http://nochargebookbunch.com/2012/09/... It's Gillian Flynn telling why she wrote the ending as she did.

(Thank you Ciska for orginally posting this link in another bookclub)


message 10: by Izzy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Izzy | 0 comments I'm almost done with this book (less than 50) pages to go, and I'm surprised by how much I like it! Thrillers aren't usually for me because they always seem to be so predictable, and while I guess there were some predictable elements here, the angle was different enough that I'm quite enjoying it.

I also like that the author chose to do dual perspectives so you can intimately get to know both Amy and Nick. If it was only Amy or only Nick, I feel like the characters would be too polarized.


message 11: by Lory (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lory Sakay | 36 comments Cathie wrote: "I think you get what you expect in life and they expected each other and the hell they have created.

As a lot of people mention the end of the book. Go to this link (but not until you finish the..."


Thanks Cathie. I always enjoy hearing the author's view of their novels. I usu. don't really like happy ending but this one was very "unnerving" and definitely left me wondering. I guess Flynn's objective was achieved.


message 12: by Vadim (new)

Vadim Vadam | 1 comments First of all, the book is drop dead brilliant—haven’t been so riveted or engaged (or sad the ride had to end) in a long time.

I’m a little unclear on a few things, though, and I believe my uncertainty has nothing to do with the writing but is largely owing to my not being as sharp as the material and its clever structure. Specifically, as I examine my impressions of the characters and my understanding of the narrative, I find myself getting confused between what one is supposed to understand as actually having happened and the fiction that Amy created in her fake journal entries.

As I understand events, Amy and Nick moved to Missouri where Amy surrendered her last bit of money so that Nick and Go could buy the bar. In the ensuing year Amy seems to have been a good sport in terms of helping with Nick’s mother, trying to fit in with the new community, and not complaining about the move. Now, I know that Amy was not happy at the time and certainly was not afraid to show it, and I know she acted like someone who was depressed, behavior that greatly irritated Nick. After only a year Nick initiates an affair which he carries on for the following full year.

I should preface my inquiry with an aside on my personal feelings on the subject of infidelity. Cheating may be one of the most hurtful acts a human can commit against another. I have done it, and I own what that reversals about my character. I have experienced it and know the pain it causes. I believe strongly, however, that it is a wrong that has degrees. I have on two occasions given myself to a heated moment and slept with someone to whom I was not married. That was wrong and repugnant. I have never, though, perpetrated the kind of lengthy deceit involved in something like Nick’s year long affair. In that kind of infidelity the sex ebbs into insignificance, for me at least, when compared to the daily insult, disrespect, and cowardice—not to mention the routine mockery of commitment and honesty--of a long term “affair.” It is human cruelty in its most extreme and loathsome incarnation. This is what Nick does. Moreover, when he still has every reason to believe that Amy has been abducted and has been murdered…or worse, he still goes ahead and screws the girl with Go in the next room.

Here is my question: What had Amy done (of which Nick was aware) at that point to so alienate him, to so destroy any regard for her or the love he (once) felt for her that he would do this? Had the relationship gone so far south at that point? During the part of the book before Nick (and the reader) has good cause to suspect Amy’s subterfuge (the part when I briefly thought Nick was a murderer) the affair was "in character", but I’m having such a hard time reconciling Nick the POS adulterer with the Nick we see at the end of the book.

Along these lines, I’ve gone back and reviewed some of the book, and at no point does Nick ever seem to draw a connection between his infidelity and what Amy is doing to him. Now, I’m not saying I expect him to say he deserves this awful revenge—he doesn’t, and I am not saying what Amy did was justified—it wasn’t. I AM saying that Nick never has one moment of reflection where he acknowledges that Amy didn’t deserve to be treated like crap, where he shows he understands that his retched behavior is what triggers the whole shit storm. Am I wrong? Does he? Maybe he is so profoundly narcissistic that he CANNOT make the connection in which case his pathology approaches Amy’s. If that is the case, my argument stands that such version of Nick cannot be reconciled to the Nick in part 3.

Folks, please share your enlightening thoughts.

PS Casting? As Nick and Go? Who else but Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Emily Blunt in talks for Amy.


Mariska The library finally called that I can pick up the book :) Can't wait to start!


Cathie (catitude) | 1511 comments Yea Mariska! :-)


Tanya I felt a lot of Amy's hangups had to do with the book her parents wrote about her. Her need to show the world that her life was perfect and happy. I think she went into the relationship with Nick thinking it was going to be her happily ever after, but as the years went on the relationship had cracks. I didn't feel as if this characters were compatible romantically, and that when the facade of the "perfect" relationship starting cracking Amy became desperate to sticky tape it together. I really enjoyed the book would say one of the best books I read last year. Always keeps you guessing.


message 16: by Jojo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jojo (jojosbooknook) | 717 comments I was wary going in to this, a friend had said that she couldn't get in to it so I wasn't too sure what to expect. However, I loved it and read it in two evenings. I liked the switch of perspective between Amy and Nick, it was good to have the story told from two sides. My Kobo froze on last page that listed the chapters so I knew that she wasn't dead going in to the story (note to self, skip those pages in future!). I'm not sure how this affected my reading of the story as I knew that she was "Gone" so I never really saw Nick as a murderer.

I did not take to Nick as a person, in the first chapter I found him dismissive of his wife; at that point we know nothing of Amy except what he tells us, and that is very little. On the other hand I did what Journal Amy wanted and I liked her...at first. As the book went on I came to dislike her, but also feel pity for her. She seemed to suffer from some kind of mental illness and I could imagine her appearing on an episode of Criminal Minds!

As for the ending, by that point I didn't like either Amy or Nick and I thought that they deserved each other. I didn't like the fact that Nick never seemed to realise that his affair was the catalyst for what happened. You have to assume that at some point Amy would have snapped anyway but not to the extreme that she does in the book. While what Nick did in no way justifies what Amy did I do kind of see why Amy would want revenge!

I was left with questions about Desi, when she called him was that her knew end game? Did she realise that he would insist on 'helping' her? How was she going to explain everything if she returned without someone to pin the blame on?

Overall, considering it was a book that left me with little good feeling towards either of the main characters I loved it and have been recommending it to people ever since!


message 17: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy Evenson Tanya wrote: "I felt a lot of Amy's hangups had to do with the book her parents wrote about her. Her need to show the world that her life was perfect and happy. I think she went into the relationship with Nick t..."

I also found the book written by her parents about Amy was at the root of most of her problems. Who could possibly live up to the expectations real or imagined that were the result of the book and the hub-bub about it. Shame on the parents who "used" their daughter, not just once but repeatedly.


message 18: by Nox (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nox Babcock (pinkfatticorn) | 1 comments I liked the first 70% of the book, after that I thought it became really stupid. The irregular plot twists lead me to think "hey this thriller could be really different". Yeah...no it wasnt. The ending was contrived and dull. There were so many holes in the ending and unbelievable considering Amy's character. I now tell my friends not to waste their time reading the book.


Cathie (catitude) | 1511 comments People either Love this book or Hate it...it seems there's no middle of the road with this one :-)


message 20: by Jojo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jojo (jojosbooknook) | 717 comments I loved the book but at points hated the characters!


Cathie (catitude) | 1511 comments Nick and Amy are very twisted people, lol. I don't like the fact that she got away with what she did to Desi, even though he was very creepy too. I think if Flynn were ever to make a sequel to this book, it would be interesting to see Desi's mother's revenge on Amy! lol. She was very twisted too!


message 22: by Jojo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jojo (jojosbooknook) | 717 comments a sequel would be good, I'd like to see how the child turns out....is he/she just as twisted as the parents? It would be good to see Desi's mother get revenge, maybe she would team up with Nick since I don't see him being able to pull anything off!


message 23: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy Evenson Joanne wrote: "a sequel would be good, I'd like to see how the child turns out....is he/she just as twisted as the parents? It would be good to see Desi's mother get revenge, maybe she would team up with Nick sin..."

Somehow I doubt the child would survive Nick and Amy as parents....


message 24: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (hammiam) 6. Do you find the Gillian Flynn's technique of alternating first-person narrations compelling...or irritating. Would you have preferred a single, straightforward narrator? What does the author gain by using two different voices?

I think that the use of first-person narrative, and the alternating narrative in particular, is why I enjoyed this novel as much as I did. It helped create an element of suspense that kept me turning the pages.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

I listened to the audiobook of Gone Girl & I wonder if that has made a difference in my thoughts on the book. I liked the book and thought that it was well written. However, I did think the book got really slow somewhere in the middle. I was surprised by the ending & think that Amy turned out to be a really creepy villain.

I read in some of the comments in this discussion that all book critics mentioned how funny they found the book. I find this remarkable, because I didn't think any part of it was funny or witty.


message 26: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy Evenson I'm with you Cathy. I found nothing humorous at all in the book and if something was.... then I would have to say "sick humor". Not my idea of funny.


message 27: by Lizzie (new) - added it

Lizzie (lizziebeans) I'm #968 on the holds list in my library system. There are 250 total copies, but I don't think I'll be reading this before the end of January. I'm interested to see how I'll like it considering all the mixed reviews on here.


Cathie (catitude) | 1511 comments Lizzie, stop reading the reviews, lol! And don't read the spoilers!! I have a feeling this discussion will be going on for awhile. Jump back in when you get the book :-)


message 29: by Lizzie (new) - added it

Lizzie (lizziebeans) Cathie wrote: "Lizzie, stop reading the reviews, lol! And don't read the spoilers!! I have a feeling this discussion will be going on for awhile. Jump back in when you get the book :-)"

I briefly skimmed what was being said :) If it started getting detailed, I skipped down to the next.


Cathie (catitude) | 1511 comments It's a really good read but you have to go into it NOT knowing what will happen, lol.


message 31: by Lynn, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lynn | 4035 comments Mod
I raced through the book as I found it very addictive and couldn't stop reading (really, I've been naughty reading instead of working when no one was around!) despite the unlikeable characters. Full of 'what will happen next', the tension was built very effectively.

However as we got closer to the end I began to feel that the actions of the characters were unrealistic and the ending for me was definitely a WTF? Really? reaction.

The author says "I can only say I wrote the ending that was the most unsettling to me. I am a big fan of the ending of unease"
I'm all for unsettling unease (it fits with the whole feel of the book) but I'd have preferred a bit more realism.


Ace06 | 2 comments I just finished reading this book a couple weeks ago. I heard really great things about this author so I was excited to read it. I thought the beginning was slow but once it picked up i was entertained through to the end so it made up for the slow beginning. parts were a bit predictable like tht loco desi and her pregnancy. But I did enjoy seeing how easily she could manipulate Nick and I did get a kick out of how crazy she was.


message 33: by Tiia (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tiia Wright Baker | 9 comments Lizzie wrote: "I'm #968 on the holds list in my library system. There are 250 total copies, but I don't think I'll be reading this before the end of January. I'm interested to see how I'll like it considering all..."

Hi Lizzie,
I only got the book yesterday so I will be reading it late with you :)


message 34: by Christine (new) - added it

Christine (christinekinsella) | 25 comments Tiia wrote: "Lizzie wrote: "I'm #968 on the holds list in my library system. There are 250 total copies, but I don't think I'll be reading this before the end of January. I'm interested to see how I'll like it ..."
I have a hold at my library too and won't be reading it for a while :\


Jessica | 25 comments Vadim, I think Nick was trying to push Amy to be the one to break the marriage and that his affair was part of that attempt. Ultimately, I think their marriage was a contest of wills.


Jessica | 25 comments Joann, I'm not convinced that Nick's affair was the absolute catalyst for the ensuing madness. Rather, I think the affair was a symptom of the emptiness of their marriage, which Amy then reacted to. In a way, I think Nick's affair was a more honest and human reaction than anything Amy did. Having an affair is kinda (I hate to say it) a normal reaction. At least wanting to have one is. Having an obsessive need for constant and deep validation is psychotic.


Patty (pepperrn) | 38 comments i read this in November last year and loved it. i was a bit disappointed in the ending, i was wanting more conclusion after the baby. I think Nick gave up to easily to her and her demands. Overall though i did like it


Whitney Joanne wrote: "a sequel would be good, I'd like to see how the child turns out....is he/she just as twisted as the parents? It would be good to see Desi's mother get revenge, maybe she would team up with Nick sin..."

The reason I hated the ending was because I just couldn't bear the thought of this poor baby being subjected to such awful parents! Maybe it was because I read a lot of this book while nursing my 6 month old, but I just couldn't handle the thought of Amy having a baby. I also agree with whoever posted that Amy would probably come up with some "accident" that the child suffers when she gets tired of playing mom.


message 39: by Pat (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pat Bailey | 1 comments It's not a psychological thriller, it's more like psychological craziness. Are we born unstable or do we develop in society as unstable? Clearly Amy falls into one of those categories and the author gives you plenty of reason why she has developed into what she is in her relationship with Nick. Nick and Amy's backgrounds are rolled out in the pages of this book giving you an understanding of their warped personalities. I was engulfed in the book to find out what happened but I walk away from the book thinking that the story is so odd.


Michele | 3 comments I enjoyed Gone Girl although I am not exactly certain why. It is not my usual kind of book. Generally I have difficulty with people (characters) being ugly to each other. There was a lot of ugly in this book. I kept finding myself wondering how Flynn could come up with all that crazy thinking, ploting, and acting out.
It took me out of my comfort zone.


message 41: by Lynn, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lynn | 4035 comments Mod
Always a good thing when I book takes you out of your comfort zone don't you think Michele?

I have to agree that there was definitely a lot of ugly, but she was very clever to keep the interest in me despite that.


Michele | 3 comments Lynn,
I kept reading too. I would be interested in reading another book by Flynn - I think.
Thank you for spelling my name with one L.


message 43: by Lynn, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lynn | 4035 comments Mod
No problem, thanks you for spelling my name with no e ;)


Anima Miejska | 1698 comments I've just got a copy of the book, and thanks for all the comments and recommendations, I decided to read, eventhough, it's past the reading deadline. This group indeed is inspiring :)


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

What's this book about? I really want to read it


message 46: by Lynn, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lynn | 4035 comments Mod
Goodreads book description:
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?


message 47: by Kristie, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kristie | 5860 comments Mod
I'm currently #599 on the hold list at my library. Hopefully I'll read it by 2015!


Cathie (catitude) | 1511 comments Kristie, keep on the list :-). It's still #3 in overall fiction book sales on Publishers Weekly Book Lists.


message 49: by Kristie, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kristie | 5860 comments Mod
Cathie wrote: "Kristie, keep on the list :-). It's still #3 in overall fiction book sales on Publishers Weekly Book Lists."

Thanks. They have about 150 copies, so I'm hoping it doesn't take more than a few months. I have a bunch of other reads to keep up with in the meantime. :)


Patty (pepperrn) | 38 comments Michele wrote: "Lynn,
I kept reading too. I would be interested in reading another book by Flynn - I think.
Thank you for spelling my name with one L."


i just started Dark Places. Love her books so far


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