I'm so excited to talk about the first book in our House Party Blog Book Club: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I'd heard so many good things about this book and in my opinion it delivered. I will say that I think Gillian Flynn is a special kind of person to be able to come up with this sociopath. Yikes! I felt the twist of assuming Nick killed Amy to finding out she's not who we think she is and that, in fact, she orchestrated the whole thing, was genius. Frightening, but genius! I love when I'm surprised by a book. And this book was such a page-turner I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. My mother hated the ending as did a lot of people I talked to, but I actually thought it was really original - psycho - but original. It could have turned into a "Fatal Attraction" with Nick killing Amy, or a "War of the Roses," where they kill each other, but there was something not pat about this ending and I liked that it was somewhat unresolved. I'd love to hear what you thought as well. Here are some discussion questions, courtesy of LitLovers, to get you thinking about the book, so feel free to answer them here in the comments or just tell me what you thought.
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. 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?
4. 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?
5. 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?
6. 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.
7. Flynn divides her narrative into two parts. Why? What are the differences between the two sections?
8. In what way does Amy's background-her parents' books about her perfection-affect her as an adult?
9. Did you suspect Nick's big secret? Were you surprised-shocked-by it? Or did you have an inkling?
10. 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?
11. Movie time: who would you like to see play what part?
Be sure to check back next week and vote for our next book!
Image courtesy of Guillermo Ossa