Gone Girl (Flynn) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for Gone Girl:

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. How would you describe the couple's marriage? What does it look like from the outside...and what does it look like from the inside? Where do the stress lines fall in their relationship?

4. 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?

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. 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.

8. Flynn divides her narrative into two parts. Why? What are the difference between the two sections?

9. In what way does Amy's background—her parents' books about her perfection—affect her as an adult?

10. The Dunnes move to North Carthage, near Hannibal, the home of Mark Twain. How has Tom Sawyer been worked into Gone Girl...and why? What does that extra-textual detail add to the story?

11. Did you suspect Nick's big secret? Were you surprised—shocked—by it? Or did you have an inkling?

12. Does Amy try hard enough to like North Carthage? Or is she truly a duck out of water, too urbane to ever fit into a small, Midwestern town?

13. What are Amy's treasure hunts all about? Why does she initiate them for Nick?

14. 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?

15. Movie time: who would you like to see play what part?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

(Publisher-issued questions are here.)

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