Study Guide

Gone Girl Chapter 9

By Gillian Flynn

Chapter 9

Nick Dunne—One Day Gone

  • Nick doesn't take Go's advice about avoiding alcohol, and drinks half a bottle of booze during a mostly sleepless night on her couch. When he does sleep, he has nightmares about Amy being murdered in their kitchen and screaming his name.
  • The next morning, he drives Go's car back to his house so he can get some acceptable clothes for the press conference (his own car is being inspected by the cops for suspicious evidence). When he arrives, all the neighbors are standing around the three cop cars parked outside his home. The neighbors offer their condolences, especially Mike, whose wife spent the previous night crying and looking at pictures of Amy. Nick figures that by now, his wife's face must be all over the Internet.
  • The cops are exploring every inch of Nick's house and Officer Velasquez, one of the young officers originally dispatched the day before, escorts him upstairs so he can get clothes. Picking out clothes for your vanished wife's disappearance press conference is awkward enough as it is, but we imagine that having to do it with a police officer watching you and your wife's anniversary gift lying on the floor just makes it worse.
  • Nick asks if he can open the gift and his request is totally shut down, even though it's obvious someone opened the wrapping paper with a razor, then rewrapped it. Velasquez tells Nick that they know what's inside, but he isn't allowed to know. He gets in a minor tangle with her over this issue and is promptly told that his house is a crime scene and he has to leave. Nick obeys, deciding that getting all up in a cop's grill probably isn't a good idea.
  • When he arrives at the station, Boney informs him that the Elliotts have arrived. They're standing there with their arms wrapped around each other, doing their slightly creepy public display of affection act. This makes Nick really uncomfortable because his own parents divorced when he and Go were twelve and were never like that. Nick makes another foray into his past to talk about his dad's temper and its abusive effect on his family.
  • The Elliotts are beside themselves with grief and fear, but Rand insists that they will find Amy—there's simply no other option. Around 11:30AM, all is ready for the press conference, including an audience of reporters, a slick PR lady, and Go, Nick, and the Elliotts standing around a blown up photo of Amy.
  • Because of his dad's temper, Nick gets paranoid about how he appears in front of people, and when it's time for him to make a statement to the press, he kind of caves under his people-pleasing pressures, not to mention his hangover. He is determined not to cry because, as his father always told him, "Men don't cry"—but as a result, the news footage of the conference makes him appear wooden, bored, and unemotional, i.e. not exactly the way you want to appear when your wife has gone missing and you've already behaved slightly suspiciously. The worst part is that out of nowhere, he actually smiles on camera.

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