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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places

by Gillian Flynn

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2,3071482,751 (3.85)172
Title:Dark Places
Authors:Gillian Flynn
Info:Phoenix, Paperback

Work details

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

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English (138)  Dutch (5)  French (2)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (147)
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
Very dark, indeed. Libby Day is an unforgettable character. ( )
  rglossne | Aug 20, 2014 |
Great stuff, I enjoyed all the twists and interesting characters. Until close to the end of the story, I didn't have a clear idea of who the evil villain was... The one scene with the cattle led me to believe who really did the deed. Enjoyed this one a great deal. ( )
  Tina417 | Aug 19, 2014 |
Review Contains Major Spoilers

I have pretty mixed feelings on Flynn's worldview in general. I haven't read Sharp Objects, but I have read Gone Girl, and I see a few striking similarities in the way that the characters in each novel are drawn. In both Dark Places and Gone Girl, each of the characters is fundamentally incapable (and I would even venture to say disinterested) in any sort of connection with another human being. All of Libby's interactions are superficial and self-interested, and she even feels disdain/confusion toward Lyle in a few places for wanting to get to know her a little better or for considering her a friend. Both in Dark Places and in Gone Girl the characters value artifice and one-upsmanhip over authenticity or emotion. Flynn certainly knows how to craft a plot, but I just don't buy any of her characters and their motivations. Maybe I would be less fatigued by Flynn's characters if I hadn't read Gone Girl first, or if I had just read one of them, but taken together it seems that Flynn has a very specific worldview, and it's one that I'm not sold on.

I also think the ending fell a little short of the mystery and intrigue in the lead-up. The double murder thing was just a little too clever for me to swallow. I buy that Diondra would have killed Michelle, but Ben's inaction and lack of surprise really grated on me. Especially since he just let Diondra turn the murders into a Satanic scene. It felt weird that he didn't at least raise a token objection at any point in the process. I think I was hoping that Trey was more involved. He was pretty convincingly drawn as an asshole, and his presence at the murders would have been more plausible. It also would have been more plausible for the baby to have been Trey's, in my opinion, but that would have screwed up the ending with the whole Baby Day thing.

Overall, I did like Dark Places while I was reading it, but I don't think it's going to stick with me, and parts of it certainly felt like a let down. ( )
  junerain | Aug 7, 2014 |
I originally went to the library to get one of Flynn's other works, Gone Girl, but I picked up Dark Places instead because Gone Girl was, ha-ha, gone. This is the first of Flynn's works that I've ever read, and while I finished it quickly and found it fairly interesting, I must say I don't really see what all the hype is about.

The one thing that put me off about this book is that much of what happens in the story seems to have been put in there just for shock value. Libby's first experience with the "Kill Club" at their underground meeting almost made me physically sick--I am an avid horror/thriller reader and not easily shocked nor quickly sickened--and I really don't see what the gritty, dark, creepy, and just deeply gross atmosphere added to the plot. The many different subplots that lead up to the murder just seem overly dramatic and unrealistic, especially since they somehow all happen at the same time. Flynn hits all the typical shock-worthy bases: a paedophilia scandal, teen pregnancy, sex, drugs, heavy metal, American farm life and poverty, angry teenagers and family drama, deadbeat dads, absentee rich parents, people whose lives were ruined by the ups and downs of the economy, life insurance fraud, incompetent mothers, etc., etc.. A combination of one or two of these elements might have made a really excellent, intricate story, but trying to shove them all into one big, dramatic bundle just makes it feel like Flynn was trying too hard to be shocking and edgy.

All the same, it's not a bad story. You do want to find out who was responsible for the gruesome murders, and you want to see how (or if) Libby finally comes to terms with her life and what's happened in it. I would recommend it to people who already like mysteries and thrillers, but I wouldn't encourage someone who's never read the genre to start with this one. ( )
  athenaharmony | Aug 3, 2014 |
Oy. How does Gillian Flynn think of these stories?!?! By far, this has been my least favourite of the three of her books that I've read. This felt very different for me than Gone Girl and Sharp Objects - more evil, much darker (though, it's not like her others are full of daisies and kittens...) The way it ended was not what you expect (so it was exactly what you expect) and you can't help but feel horribly sorry for Libby throughout the entire thing while still thinking she's a huge idiot. Much like Gone Girl, you don't like anyone in this book but you can't help but turn the pages. ( )
  janeycanuck | Jul 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gillian Flynnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dean, RobertsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowman, RebeccaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lyytinen, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Days were a clan that mighta lived long, But Ben Day's head got screwed on wrong, That boy craved dark Satan's power, So he killed his family in one nasty hour, Little Michelle he strangled in the night, Then chopped up Debby: a bloody sight, Mother Patty he saved for last, Blew off her head with a shotgun blast, Baby Libby somehow survived, But to live through that ain't much a life --Schoolyard Rhyme, circa 1985
To my dashing husband, Brett Nolan
First words
I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.
Libby Day "I have meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Libby Day, still haunted by the day she witnessed the murder of her family on their farm in Kinnakee, Kansas, and twenty-five-years after testifying that her fifteen-year-old brother Ben was the killer, Libby is contacted by the Kill Club and devises a money making scheme that leads her back into a killer's path.
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After witnessing the murder of her mother and sisters, seven-year-old Libby Day testifies against her brother Ben, but twenty-five years later she tries to profit from her tragic history and admit that her story might not have been accurate.

(summary from another edition)

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