Gone Girl is a thriller novel in the mystery and crime genres, by the American writer Gillian Flynn. It was published by Crown Publishing Group in June The sense of suspense in the novel comes from whether or not Nick Dunne is involved in the disappearance of his wife Amy. In several interviews, Flynn has said that she was inspired to write the novel by the disappearance of Californian Laci Peterson in late Portraying her principal characters as out-of-work writers, she made use of her own experience being laid off from her job as a writer for Entertainment Weekly.
Critics in the United States positively received and reviewed the novel. Reviewers praised the novel's use of unreliable narration , plot twists , and suspense.
A film adaptation was released on October 3, , directed by David Fincher , but written by Flynn herself, with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike starring in lead roles. The film was met with both commercial success and widespread critical acclaim. The first part of the novel centers on Nick Dunne and his wife Amy's marriage.
Its point of view alternates between that of Nick and Amy, whose perspectives on their marriage are very different. For example, Nick describes the couple's relationship in the present day, while Amy's diary entries depict their relationship in the past.
What “Gone Girl” Is Really About
Amy's diary portrays Nick as an aggressive, moody, idle, and threatening husband, while Nick describes Amy as someone who is needlessly difficult, anti-social, stubborn, and an irrational perfectionist.
This causes their marriage to take a turn: Amy loved their life in New York, hates living in the Midwest, and soon begins to resent Nick for making her move to his hometown. On their wedding anniversary, Amy disappears without a trace, and Nick eventually becomes a suspect in her disappearance. Among other reasons, his lack of emotion about Amy's disappearance and the discovery that Amy was pregnant when she went missing lead both the police and the public to believe that Nick may have murdered his wife.
In the second half of the book, the reader learns that the main characters are unreliable narrators and that the reader is not being given all of the information. Nick is revealed to have been cheating on his wife, and Amy is revealed to be alive and in hiding and trying to frame Nick for her "death" as revenge for his perceived wrongs against her.
Her pregnancy and her diary entries are revealed to be fake; Amy fabricated them in order to incriminate Nick further. However, her plan is foiled when she is robbed at the motel she is hiding in. Desperate, she seeks help from her ex-boyfriend Desi Collings, who agrees to hide her in his lake house but soon becomes possessive, causing Amy to feel trapped. Meanwhile, Nick has discovered that Amy is framing him for her murder based on the items she bought using credit cards in his name and hid in his sister Margo's woodshed, along with her anniversary gift of Punch and Judy puppets, one of which is missing a handle.
However, since the clues she left for him on their anniversary treasure hunt are so vague, and based on their inside jokes that no one else would get, he has no way of proving it. Together, he and his lawyer work to change the public's perception of Nick. He is granted an interview with a popular talk show host, during which Nick pretends to be apologetic for his infidelity and appeals to Amy to come back.
It goes well with the public, but unfortunately, the police have discovered the items in the woodshed that Nick swore he did not buy: boxes of demeaning and violent porn videos, and Amy's diary. A few weeks later, they bring out the missing handle from the Punch and Judy puppets that had been soaked in Amy's blood and discovered in the river and arrest Nick. At Desi's lake house, Amy sees the TV interview and is convinced that Nick really does want her back.
She murders Desi after seducing him and returns to her husband, who is out on bond.
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Upon her return, she fabricates a story that she had been kidnapped and imprisoned by Desi. Although Nick knows she is lying, he has no proof and is forced to return to married life with Amy as the media storm dies down. Though forced to remain with his wife, Nick soon begins writing a memoir detailing Amy's crimes and deceptions. Aware of Nick's intentions to expose her lies, Amy uses Nick's semen they had saved at a fertility clinic to make herself pregnant.
She then forces him to delete his book by threatening to keep him from their unborn child. In the end, Nick deletes his memoir and chooses to stay with Amy for his child's sake. Her other two books were about people incapable of making commitments, but in this novel, she tried to depict the ultimate commitment, marriage: "I liked the idea of marriage told as a he-said, she-said story, and told by two narrators who were perhaps not to be trusted.
Flynn admits to putting some of herself in the character of Nick Dunne. Like Dunne, she was a popular culture writer. Also, like Dunne, she was laid off after many years at the same job. I definitely wove that sense of unrest and nervousness into Nick's character.
Asked how she can write so believably about a man's inner life, Flynn says, "I'm kind of part guy myself. In that essay, Flynn confesses to sadistic childhood impulses like "stunning ants and feeding them to spiders.
The same essay argues that women fail to acknowledge their own violent impulses and incorporate them into their personal narratives, though men tend to cherish stories of their childhood meanness. Flynn said she admired the "ominous" ending of Notes on a Scandal and the pathology of a bad marriage from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
For the conclusion of Gone Girl , Flynn drew from Rosemary's Baby : "I love that it just ends with, you know, 'Hey, the devil's in the world, and guess what? Mom kind of likes him! However, she tries not to read any one genre exclusively, and she also admires Joyce Carol Oates , Margaret Atwood , T.
Boyle , and Arthur Phillips , who are better known as realistic contemporary writers. Gone Girl is an example of mystery, suspense, and crime genres.
A Reader's Digest review, for instance, notes that the book is "more than just a crime novel". The review goes on to describe Gone Girl as a "masterful psychological thriller" which offers "an astute and thought-provoking look into two complex personalities".
However, the novel does more with these devices than the thriller genre requires: "While serving their usual functions, they also do much more, launching us into an unnerving dissection of the fallout of failed dreams.
In her New York Times review, Janet Maslin also writes that the elements of Gone Girl that "sound like standard-issue crime story machinations" are not, because both narrators are also consummate liars and cannot be trusted to convey the truth about their own stories. Gone Girl's themes include dishonesty, the devious media, the unhappiness that comes with a troubled economy, and the superficial nature of appearance.
The characters lie to each other and the reader about affairs and disappearances.
Amy fabricates a fake diary to implicate her husband for her disappearance and murder. Flynn says that, in writing the book, she wanted to examine how people within a marriage lie to each other: "marriage is sort of like a long con, because you put on display your very best self during courtship, yet at the same time the person you marry is supposed to love you warts and all.
But your spouse never sees those warts really until you get deeper into the marriage and let yourself unwind a bit. An underlying theme is the brief undertone of feminism, most notably represented in Amy's 'Cool Girl' speech. For some, it is in this monologue that the otherwise despised Amazing Amy emerges as an unlikely heroine of sorts; flying the flag for women who refuse to succumb to the pressure to morph into the male's ideal.
Several reviews have also noted how well Gone Girl shows the tricky nature of media representation. Nick seems guilty due to media coverage before a trial occurs. Flynn has also said that she wanted this novel to capture the sense of bankruptcy that both individuals and communities feel when the economy spirals.
Not only have both her main characters lost their jobs, they have also moved to a town that is blighted by unsold houses and failed businesses. I wanted it to really feel like a marriage that had been hollowed out in a city that had been hollowed out and a country that was increasingly hollowed out," said Flynn. Amy's "Cool Girl" speech and the vital task of Nick's performing for his media spectators, highlight the importance of establishing and maintaining appearances, however false.
She only returns to him after he gives a convincing public performance in the role of perfect husband. However, it is not his sincerity she is attracted to, she knows he is putting on an act, but the appearance of it.
What Does The Ending Of Gone Girl Really Mean?
Amy views Nick as her ideal husband in the end because she knows he must appear to be her ideal husband, permanently, due to her blackmail and the risk of public condemnation. In exchange, she will appear as an ideal wife and mother, a trade Nick accepts. Both prefer the appearance the other projects over the reality of the person they married.
By the end of its first year in publication, Gone Girl had sold over two million copies in print and digital editions, according to the book's publisher.
Gone Girl - What it all Meant
Reviewers express admiration for the novel's suspense, a plot twist involving an unreliable narrator, its psychological dimension, and its examination of a marriage that has become corrosive. Entertainment Weekly describes it as "an ingenious and viperish thriller. Many reviewers have noted the difficulty of writing about Gone Girl , because so little in the first half of the novel is what it seems to be.
In his Time review, Lev Grossman describes the novel as a "house of mirrors. In an article in Salon. The same article argues that Gone Girl was snubbed because it belongs to the mystery genre. Judges awarding top literary prizes "have all refrained from honoring any title published within the major genres.
Gone Girl Analysis
Natasha Walter, one of the Women's Prize judges in , told the Independent that there was considerable debate amongst the judges about the inclusion of Gone Girl in the finalists' circle.
Walter indicated that crime fiction is often "overlooked" by those in a position to make literary commendations. It is an unabridged edition on fifteen compact discs and takes The novel's author Gillian Flynn was engaged to write the screenplay.
Witherspoon was drawn to the script because of its strong female character and its use of multiple perspectives and non-linear structure. New Regency and Fox agreed to co-finance the film. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Gone Girl Front cover.
Main article: Gone Girl film. Gone Girl. New York, New York: Crown.
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