Three weeks after I got cut loose, Amy lost her job, such as it was. Like the Mc Mansion I rented,the bar featured symbolically in my childhood memories— a place where only grown- ups go, and do whatever grown- ups do.(Now I can feel Amy looking over my shoulder, smirking at the time I’ve spent discussing my career, my misfortune, and dismissing her experience in one sentence. Maybe that’s why I was so insistent on buying it after being stripped of my livelihood.A former writer and critic for Entertainment Weekly, her work has been published in forty-two countries. Chapter One Nick Dunne the day of When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. The very first time I saw her, it was the back of the head I saw, and there was something lovely about it, the angles of it. Like a child, I picture opening her skull, unspooling her brain and sifting through it, trying to catch and pin down her thoughts. The question I’ve asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose it’s not a compromise if only one of you considers it such, but that was what our compromises tended to look like. Back when people read things on paper, back when anyone cared about what I thought. ,” as if my mother were some ancient peasant tribeswoman arriving from the tundra with an armful of raw yak meat and some buttons for bartering,trying to get something from Amy that wasn’t on offer.Like a shiny, hard corn kernel or a riverbed fossil. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every marriage: What are you thinking? I’d arrived in New York in the late ’90s, the last gasp of the glory days, although no one knew it then. .” Here was where I should have said,“Amy loves Mom.” But I couldn’t tell Go that Amy loved our mother,because after all that time, Amy still barely knew our mother. Amy would dissect the conversations for days after—“And what did she mean by . Amy didn’t care to know my family, didn’t want to know my birthplace, and yet for some reason, I thought moving home would be a good idea. Her yellow- butter hair was pulled up, the hank of ponytail swinging cheerful as a jumprope,and she was sucking distractedly on a burnt fingertip, humming around it.That’s what I’ve always loved about our town: We aren’t built on some safe bluff overlooking the Mississippi— we are on the Mississippi. A Reader’s Guide for Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn For additional features, visit Eventually, their picture-perfect union falters: Amy grows weary of the “cool girl” image she’s portrayed; Nick gives rein to old impulses and easy lies. Does the author intend for us to think of Nick or Amy as the stronger writer? Do you think Amy and Nick both believe in their marriage at the outset? Nick, ever conscious of the way he is being perceived, reflects on the images that people choose to portray in the world—constructed, sometimes plagiarized roles that we present as our personalities. How does this phenomenon influence the way we judge news stories? Discuss Amy’s description of the enduring myth of the “cool girl”—and her conviction that a male counterpart (seemingly flawless to women) does not exist. Why does she assume the role if she seems to despise it? Do you think this is a true exploration of her feelings, or is she acting out yet another role?
GILLIAN FLYNN is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Gone Girl and the New York Times bestsellers Dark Places and Sharp Objects. Her brain, all those coils, and her thoughts shuttling through those coils like fast,frantic centipedes. I would drag her, caveman- style, to a town she had aggressively avoided, and make her live in the kind of house she used to mock. Do not blame me for this particular grievance, Amy. Blame the economy, blame bad luck, blame my parents,blame your parents, blame the Internet, blame people who use the Internet. I was a writer who wrote about TVand movies and books.She had what the Victorians would call finely shaped head. New York was packed with writers, real writers, because there were magazines, real magazines, loads of them. ” That is what I didn’t take long enough to consider. My morning breath warmed the pillow, and I changed the subject in my mind. She hummed to herself because she was an unrivaled botcher of lyrics.This was back when the Internet was still some exotic pet kept in the corner of the publishing world— throw some kibble at it, watch it dance on its little leash,oh quite cute, it definitely won’t kill us in the night. I simply assumed I would bundle up my New York wife with her New York interests,her New York pride, and remove her from her New York parents—leave the frantic, thrilling futureland of Manhattan behind— and transplant her to a little town on the river in Missouri, and all would be fine. Today was not a day for second- guessing or regret, it was a day for doing. When we were first dating, a Genesis song came on the radio: “She seems to have an invisible touch, yeah.” And Amy crooned instead, “She takes my hat and puts it on the top shelf.”When I asked her why she’d ever think her lyrics were remotely, possibly,vaguely right, she told me she always thought the woman in the song truly loved the man because she put his hat on the top shelf.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. The kind of house that is immediately familiar: a generically grand,unchallenging, new, new, new house that my wife would— and did—detest. But the only houses for rent were clustered in this failed development: a miniature ghost town of bank- owned,recession- busted, price- reduced mansions, a neighborhood that closed before it ever opened.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. This was no avian fluttering of the lashes, no gentle blink toward consciousness. A spooky ventriloquist- dummy click of the lids: The world is black and then, showtime! It was a compromise, but Amy didn’t see it that way, not in the least.As I watched them, one suddenly looked up at me, his face in shadow, an oval blackness. For the protagonists, it’s a psychological battle with everything at stake; for the reader, an excavation of human failings and incredible depths of betrayal . Do you think they did a good job of investigating her disappearance? Were there real missteps, or was their failing due to Amy’s machinations? Do you believe Amy truly would have committed suicide? If you don’t find the book or article you’re searching for, send an email request with full details to the [email protected], and we will see if we can find it and post it on the site.Searching the Database: The search bar (above) on this website will search only the filenames for the term or phrase entered.It’s a reminder that I am, after all, an adult, a grown man,a useful human being, even though I lost the career that made me all these things.I won’t make that mistake again: The once plentiful herds of magazine writers would continue to be culled— by the Internet, by the recession, by the American public, who would rather watch TV or play video games or electronically inform friends that,like, rain sucks!