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Publisher's Summary

Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times best seller Gillian Flynn, takes that statement to its darkest place in this unpausable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago 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.

©2012 Gillian Flynn (P)2012 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"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." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25,436
  • 4 Stars
    13,361
  • 3 Stars
    4,415
  • 2 Stars
    1,481
  • 1 Stars
    1,251

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    26,266
  • 4 Stars
    10,249
  • 3 Stars
    2,897
  • 2 Stars
    790
  • 1 Stars
    618

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22,749
  • 4 Stars
    11,121
  • 3 Stars
    4,172
  • 2 Stars
    1,566
  • 1 Stars
    1,298
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

hateful characters make for an uninspiring story

I'll start by saying I literally hated how often this author misused the word "literally". Add to that the fact that both protagonists (husband and wife) are ugly, hateful characters, though in different ways. Even the more benign characters, like "the girl"s parents, are willfully blind to their situation and passive aggressive in dealing with their daughter, so saying they're benign is not very high praise. I really didn't care much about what happened because I disliked the characters so much, and the best I can say is that the pathological protagonist was inventive and intelligent in creating cruel situations. I don't mean cruel in the physical sense (no scenes of torture, or anything), but in the emotional and psychological sense. Nasty. I won't bother with another of her books, but I knew that by the second time she misused "literally"

24 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • North San Juan CA
  • 04-09-13

good suspense, way way too long

The reminiscences and ruminations of the characters constantly reduced the narrative flow to a barely moving cold molasses sludge. The book requires three, count um', three downloads, as opposed to the normal two. It is simply thirty percent too long. However, the plot is crafted with brilliance, and because of that I suffered through to the end to see how it came out. But it wasn't fun. If there was an abridged version (there may be, I don't know) then I would have gladly given 4 stars. The thing is, all the character introspection has no place in this piece of suspense brilliance, since the characters barely contain enough dimensionality to support the plot - this is not Madam Bovary. But it doesn't need to be - it is a damn good and original suspense journey that needs some hard pruning.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Listening is better than reading this one

I had started this story in book format but just couldn't find time and my friend kept insisting so I started the audio and for the first time I enjoyed the audio better than a book. Literally could not turn it off!

Now the writing is great, the characters so rich and different, and you never know where the story is going even though it is content to let you think you do...
but the voice acting in this is p h e n o m e n a l!

The first person narrative is shared between Nick and his wife Amy, and to me its seems these actors really knew the story inside and out and truly though about what their characters personality and emotional state before they recorded this. I have downloaded alot of audio books in the last year and many books have been pleasantly read to me but this was like an audio play and it made the whole book flow like a movie in my mind.

Now let me just say this. Keep going with the story until you get to the second part. You will know you are at the second part because they will literally say Part 2. There were a few times I got frustrated with the story because I though I knew were it was going. I Didn't...
If its not your cup of tea even after you get to part 2, then feel free to stop listening but I would give it at least that long.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ella
  • toronto,, Ontario, Canada
  • 08-31-12

Two Wack-Jobs

You never know what goes on behind closed doors. Sure every marriage has its share of manipulation and if it’s a bad marriage, look out! But Nick and Amy Dunne’s bad marriage is so diabolical that I had to wonder a little about the sanity Gillian Flynn, the author. What a wonderfully fiendish imagination! Both Nick and Amy are so incredibly and deliciously deranged, their personalities actually come to life. It‘s like watching real people in real time. There’s very little I can say about the actual storyline, as this thriller has so many plot twists it would be a shame to spoil it. Suffice it to say, Gone Girl is a love story gone awry.

The rollercoaster of excitement is mind-blowing. That slow burn in your belly as you inch your way closer and closer to the top and when you finally get to the crest and your anticipation is at its peak ready to plunge into what should be the most thrilling section, the electricity goes out and the ride crawls to a disappointing halt. Something terribly sad happened at the end of this book, the author got lazy. This story could have had so many incredibly satisfying endings, but this wild ride fizzled and instead of leaving me limp, panting and completely satiated, I felt unsatisfied, cheated and angry. “What the **** was that,” were my exact words when it was over? Fabulous book, apathetic ending. Shame.

Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne did a good job with the narration. Pleasant, easy voices to listen to with the right amount of drama, blending nicely with the story.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Marriage manual for the damned. Lovely.

Ha. There are parts that were a little redundant but overall the performance and the storyline kept pace at a level beyond what i expected. Are we all just terrible when it comes to compromising in a marriage or is the secret in here... makes you wonder. Dark, fun and more than I expected it's a solid storyline with a nice little kick in the pants ending. In the end, you have to think about who it is that really was in the wrong despite murder, infidelity and blackmail... maybe it's just the recipe for making better people after all... i didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did, the performance really brings the frustration and anger to life. Well played.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Rob
  • Hillsborough, NJ, United States
  • 09-11-12

Story and characters that are not worth your time

What disappointed you about Gone Girl?

This book started out OK- flipping back and forth between Nick and Amy and got you wondering what was going on. But in the end, this is a novel about two horrible people in a story that is way too hard to accept and believe. When you have a story where there is no character to relate to or root for, at the end you just end up disappointed. There are many ways that Nick is presented as a weak and undesireable character, but being asked to believe or accept the choices he makes at the end along with his little weak moments when we are supposed to believe he can't live without Amy is too much. And I don't care how "bright" Amy is, even if I believe her initial machinations, there is no way I can believe that Desi conveniently was doing nothing that anyone can alibi or vouch for on the day Amy disappears (along with many other things I couldn't believe), so he is conveniently available for her to use as a kidnapper. There are just too many ways in which the characters and the action left me with an "Ok, sure!" reaction.As to the writing style and characterization, the "voice" she gives the main characters is at times cringe-worthy and often inconsistent.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Actually the ending fits perfectly with the preposterous story and characters.

What about Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne ’s performance did you like?

The performances were above average.

What character would you cut from Gone Girl?

None

41 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

There's More Here Than Meets The Ear

Just when you've settled into a fascinating story things happen that throw you--in a good way. The story lends itself to two narrators and they are first rate. Gillian Flynn is a talented "crafter" of a roller coaster tale that will hold your interest from start to finish. The Audible credit you spent on this book is well spent.

27 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a ride!

I am giving nothing away. This book was everything I love: good writing, 3 dimensional, compelling characters (I didn't say likable), a complex and twisted plot, and an outcome I couldn't second guess. The first part of the book was the set-up where, piecemeal, the details of the relationship and related events were disclosed. Second part, the ride. Unaware until it was too late to turn back, I was drawn out to sea, pulled by a growing riptide of Flynn's deft, dark imagination, to where I never expected to go. I both loved and was disturbed by this clever work; I will be reading it again, and most definitely checking out the rest of of Flynn's work. The excellent narrative duo suited the protagonists very well, and helped sell an unusual tale.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully done

I tend to avoid pop culture as so much of it is derivative or poorly written, but this is one that stands out. It is a thoroughly enjoyable and fast paced page-turner of a mystery thriller and a lot of fun.

The rotating narrators is a technique that works perfectly. Hard to say too much without giving something away.

I liked the "voices" of the characters, especially Amy after the halfway point. I did have a couple of issues with the dialogue in the first part in regards to Nick, both from the author, and from the narrator, that didn't fit, but not worth going into here. If you're listening to this book you're here for exactly what it will give you and not for stylistic/literary crit, and there was nothing here so egregious that I couldn't overlook it and have fun with this.

Now and then you run across something that is done so well that it's tempting to call it an unrepeatable performance and genre changing, like Hunt for Red October, or the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and other standouts. Recommending this to many people.

Only caveat would be if you're put off by some explicit sexual moments and language.

I get what I want from Shakespeare, and I got what I wanted from Flynn. Not that this is a literary masterpiece, but it is standing rather tall on the thriller shelf.

It may be that Flynn is a far better writer than most of the pop mystery stuff that pours out daily and I may look at her others. Hard to beat this one though.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Teresa
  • United States
  • 04-15-13

Don't waste your time!

Two of the most juvenile, annoying characters and the readers are just as bad. I am shocked at the "great reviews". It is almost as bad as 50 shades of you know what.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful