Gone Girl

Gone Girl

by

Gillian Flynn

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Gone Girl: 35. Nick Dunne, Eight Days Gone (1) Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the morning, desperate to “contain” the drama he’s started with Andie, Nick tries calling her and leaving her voicemails apologizing for his actions—but she does not pick up. Boney pulls into the driveway, and Nick opens the door for her—she has two cups of coffee, and insists she just wants to “check on” Nick. She seems sympathetic, and tries to remind Nick that she’s on his side, but he doesn’t believe her.
Nick is alienating anyone who could possibly speak well of him—first Rand and Marybeth, and now Andie. He’s totally unable to control the people around him—he’s the opposite of Amy, who has a way of spinning every misfortune into a secret advantage.
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Boney tells Nick that cops have turned up Amy’s purse on a riverbank outside of Hannibal, Boney says the purse has Nick’s fingerprints all over it and has been deliberately, conspicuously placed to be found. Boney asks Nick if he’s been to Hannibal lately—he deflects the question, insisting Boney talk to Tanner Bold. Boney is bemused by Nick’s choice of a lawyer—Tanner, she remarks, is “the guy guilty people call in.”
Amy’s machinations just keep on rolling—Nick, though, hardly even feels affected by each new piece of evidence anymore. He doesn’t care how he looks, because he’s never going to look anything but bad—all he cares about is finding a way out of Amy’s mess.
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An hour later, Tanner arrives at Go’s house. He, Nick, and Go all settle down together at the kitchen table with all of Amy’s clues, and Tanner asks Nick to tell him a story that will convince him that Amy is framing Nick for murder. Nick explains that Amy is both brilliant and self-righteous, and tells some anecdotes from the course of their relationship to illustrate just how far Amy will go to punish someone she believes has done her wrong. Nick lays out how Amy found out he was cheating, created a “fishy” crime scene, saddled Nick in credit card debt, and then picked an argument the night before she went missing standing near an open window.
Nick is probably kicking himself for not having seen the truth earlier, given Amy’s penchant for retribution—and her belief that she’s somehow better than everyone else around her. Nick can now see that Amy has played him through and through, orchestrating nearly everything he’s experienced the last several weeks.
Themes
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Nick continues explaining each of Amy’s twisting, rhyming clues, laying out for Tanner the diabolical intent behind each one. He admits that he was sidelined by the warm, loving notes Amy left him at each stop, and tells Tanner that Amy knew he’d be distracted by flattery.
Amy hates Nick—but she knows him better than anyone. They share a sense of narcissism, perhaps borne out of serious self-esteem issues, and Amy was able to prey upon that to keep Nick playing into her hand.
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As Tanner looks at all the steps of the treasure hunt, he points out that there are incriminating pieces of evidence at each stop—panties that don’t belong to Amy at Nick’s office, a purse in Hannibal, and credit-card purchases in the woodshed. With equal parts horror and intrigue, Tanner asks Nick what Amy could have possibly hidden at his dad’s house.
Tanner realizes something that Nick hasn’t yet—that there’s still one incriminating piece of evidence waiting to be found. Nick, Tanner, and Go must now race the police to get to what’s waiting at Bill’s.
Themes
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Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon