Gone Girl

By Gillian Flynn,

Book cover of Gone Girl

Book description

THE ADDICTIVE No.1 BESTSELLER AND INTERNATIONAL PHENOMENON
OVER 20 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
THE BOOK THAT DEFINES PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

Who are you?
What have we done to each other?

These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy…

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Why read it?

24 authors picked Gone Girl as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I loved reading this book like millions of others who made it such a blockbuster, best-selling book.

Many people assume this book was based on the sensational real-life case of missing Laci Peterson and her husband Scott (later convicted of murder.) Author Gillian Flynn–although agreeing there were parallels between the two stories has said her gripping, page-turning fictional novel about a cheating husband and a missing wife was not directly drawn from the Peterson story.

But she was still clearly inspired by that and other high-profile media cases like this that she covered as a journalist before becoming a crime…

Yes, of course this is now a classic thriller. Still, I have to recommend it here because I love Gillian Flynn's writing style and how she structured her twists. Especially through the diary entries, you get very close to the main characters, and I could really empathize with everything. 

I was drawn deeper into the story and really wanted to solve the mystery of what happened to the wife. Then, it shocked me.

This book spoke to me on so many levels.

A failing marriage is dramatic enough, but the death of the spouse you’re no longer in love with? That amps things up. What about being blamed for it? Ratcheted higher still. Every time I thought I’d found the end of the drama, the author threw in a new twist.

This story was delightfully perverse (if there is such a thing), and when I read the end, I literally gasped—and it takes a lot to get that kind of reaction from me. This is “dysfunction” on steroids.

The Vixen Amber Halloway

By Carol LaHines,

Book cover of The Vixen Amber Halloway

Carol LaHines Author Of Distant Flickers: Stories of Identity & Loss

New book alert!

Who am I?

The anthology form unites diverse voices around a common theme—in the case of Distant Flickers, identity and loss. The stories in the anthology explore intense personal relationships—of mother and child, old lovers, etc. Some of the stories are in the moment and some recounted with the perspective of time, some are fable-like, some formal, and others more colloquial. Reading them the reader is struck by the variety of approaches a writer might take to a subject. The device of the contributor’s notes enables the reader to see the story behind the story and how life informs art—life furnishing the raw material or day residue of the story.  

Carol's book list on themed anthologies

What is my book about?

Ophelia, a professor of Dante, is stricken when she discovers that her husband Andy has been cheating on her with a winsome colleague. What follows is Ophelia’s figurative descent into hell as she obsessively tracks her subjects, performs surveillance in her beat-up Volvo, and moves into the property next door to Amber’s, which has gone into foreclosure.

She spies on the lovers, growing more and more estranged from reality. Andy’s betrayal reawakens the earlier trauma of abandonment by her mother at the age of eight. When Andy and Amber become engaged, Ophelia snaps. The story is a jailhouse confessional, a dark comedy, an oeuvre of women’s rage, a suspenseful revenge fantasy, and a moving portrait of one woman’s psychological breakdown.

The Vixen Amber Halloway

By Carol LaHines,

What is this book about?

Ophelia, a professor of Dante, is stricken when she discovers that her husband Andy has been cheating on her with a winsome colleague. What follows is Ophelia's figurative descent into hell as she obsessively tracks her subjects, performs surveillance in her beat-up Volvo, and moves into the property next door to Amber's, which has gone into foreclosure. She spies on the lovers, growing more and more estranged from reality. Andy's betrayal reawakens the earlier trauma of abandonment by her mother at the age of eight. When Andy and Amber become engaged, Ophelia snaps. The story is a jailhouse confessional, a…


This book was a bestseller, and not only thanks to its clever plot.

The writing is terrific: sharp, fresh, witty, full of details that snag your attention. The characters are both quirky and fully dimensional. If you saw the movie but never read the book, please turn that around. I believe a novel is a film that unspools in your head: Your reading breathes life into the characters, your mind’s eye creates the action, the voice of the writer speaks inside you.

For me, a book has an intimacy a movie never can—and Flynn’s characters repay intimacy, even though it…

This book truly terrified me, more than any horror has.

The human mind and the capabilities without a conscience left me feeling mentally sick. It had my own mind doing somersaults long after reading. As disturbing as it was, I found it difficult to put the book down. It’s definitely one you won’t forget.

I admit: Gone Girl was my gateway drug into psychological thrillers, a genre I remain addicted to this day.

Before that, I mostly read literary fiction and Penguin Classics, (which was fine, but a little dull). I consider Gone Girl an absolute masterwork and must have read it at least five times, studying every detail of how she pulled it off!

Flynn turns Amy’s utterly taboo actions into a highly-astute commentary about women’s experiences in modern society, articulating and expressing suppressed aspects of the female psyche in a way that I found incredibly validating. IMO, her “Cool Girl” manifesto ought…

From Philippa's list on dark psychology in thriller fiction.

One of the tropes we crave in psychological and domestic thrillers is the killer twist that pulls the rug from under our feet and leaves us questioning everything we thought we knew.

Gone Girl was the book that sparked my interest in psychological thrillers and it was that twist that did it for me. It comes at the midway point and it completely blindsided me.

Like many subsequent books in the genre, it features an apparently ordinary husband and wife, but who are keeping dark secrets behind closed doors. It’s an utterly compelling read and a brilliant examination of the…

Maybe you have seen the film. If not, or even if you have, I suggest you read the novel.

Throughout the story, we follow the two narratives of a married couple. The wife mysteriously disappears on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, and the husband becomes the prime suspect.

While he is the main narrator, her point of view leading up to the disappearance is told through her own diary. I don't want to reveal too much, but the way Flynn uses the two narrator voices to unfold the story in this psychological thriller is nothing but brilliant.

One…

She likes to do the same as me: Take the structure of a potboiler/page-turner and see how far below the surface you can go. It's a contemporary, accessible, entertaining thriller—but so much more. There are lots of layers to this juicy tome, and it's insanely well-written. Keeps you thinking long after finishing. The movie’s pretty good too!

Gone Girl is one of the most gripping books I’ve ever read. Flynn is exceptional at portraying two simultaneously unreliable narrators. The humor is hilarious, and the tension is terrifying. There were several moments where I thought I was guessing the narrative ahead, only for the book to put me in my place so hard I felt like it had scalded my palms. Even though the setting is relatively normal compared to the other books I’ve selected here, Flynn excels at detailing various environments throughout. I was thrilled that this excellent book got a proper adaptation by one of the…

From Livio's list on riveting worlds.

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