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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places (edition 2009)

by Gillian Flynn

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,9782721,285 (3.83)215
Title:Dark Places
Authors:Gillian Flynn
Info:Phoenix (2009), Kindle Edition, 370 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:mystery, thriller, USA, read in 2013

Work details

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

  1. 82
    Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (kraaivrouw)
  2. 30
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Dark Places was undoubtedly influenced by In Cold Blood, but brings an interesting form of storytelling to superficially similar plot lines.
  3. 31
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (becksdakex)
  4. 20
    In the Woods by Tana French (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These psychological suspense novels feature characters who, as young children, witness horrible crimes and must now revisit their painful pasts to discover the truth. The stories are fast paced, chilling, and atmospheric.
  5. 21
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  6. 10
    A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: A similarly troubled protagonist and an equally tensely-plotted and well written mystery.
  7. 00
    Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (sturlington)
  8. 00
    Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These intricately plotted, fast paced and suspenseful murder mysteries feature young women struggling with dark family secrets and intense drama. Both expertly switch between past and present to slowly reveal disturbing truths.
  9. 00
    The Fault Tree by Louise Ure (RidgewayGirl)
  10. 00
    Every Dead Thing by John Connolly (kraaivrouw)
  11. 01
    The Dark Rose by Erin Kelly (amyblue)
    amyblue: Both books have a strong sense of place, compelling main characters and involve both a present day and a past story. Also both are very intricately plotted thrillers.
  12. 12
    Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult (VictoriaPL)

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» See also 215 mentions

English (258)  Dutch (5)  French (2)  German (2)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (270)
Showing 1-5 of 258 (next | show all)
it was a good book I was surprised of who and how of this book. ( )
  KimSalyers | Oct 1, 2016 |
This is my third Gillian Flynn book and I must say, it’s my least favorite. I read Gone Girl first followed by Sharp Objects and finally Dark Places. I was so looking forward to reading this after reading two very good books of hers. I wasn’t as emotionally enthralled by Dark Places as I was her other novels.

I can see why this book is popular, but I just didn’t love it as much as everyone else. I love novels with a twisted storyline and screwed up characters, but Gillian Flynn’s version only got me to about 70% of what I was hoping for.

The synopsis is what drew me to this book in the first place as well as the fact that almost 250,000 readers rated it at over 4 stars. My interest was up and down throughout the novel. I zoned out a few times in the middle, but towards the end, I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. I wish she could have maintained that suspense throughout the book. It wasn’t until I got to the last two CDs of the audiobook when I reached the point where I needed to know how it ended and finally get my whodunit answer. Parts in the middle of the book made me feel like I was never going to finish.

I enjoyed the narrative style and plot form – three points of view with a complex plot structure that goes back and forth in time. The story alternates between the present and the mid-1980s while the narration alternates between Libby, Ben and their mother. Libby’s mother and two older sisters were murdered when Libby was seven. Libby testified that her brother Ben killed them, but members of a club, who follow famous crimes, don’t think Ben is the killer. Twenty-five years after her family’s death, Libby is still haunted by it.

I think overall Gillian Flynn did an excellent job writing in this format. It’s hard for a writer to pull this off, but when it’s done well, it’s an effective device. Some authors, who use this form of writing, make their story difficult to follow, but for the most part, she didn’t have a problem.

This was a nice mix of character-driven and plot-driven. There were many plot twists and whenever I tried to guess what would happen next, I guessed wrong. Some of the characters I didn’t particularly like, but they were very well developed. I just wasn’t fond of their personalities. A couple of the characters were so greasy that they were disgusting. These are the characters that dropped the f-bomb like they had a daily quota and they were constantly using trashy slang terms for sexual body parts. It wasn’t just those two things that made them greasy. It was other stuff too, but why spoil all the fun?

Overall, it was good, but not great. If you’ve never read a Gillian Flynn novel, I suggest starting with Sharp Objects and then reading Gone Girl. Save this one for last.
( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
While I did not find this novel too unreadable from darkness as many others have claimed, the darkness is there, shining out from Libby's character as it should have.

This novel is brilliantly taut with the evil darkness that resides within us all. Darkness hiding in the deepest corners of our beings, daring never more than a peek at the surface. This novel explores that darkness as it unfolds in the storyline through the heart of the characters.

Gillian Flynn is an excellent author. ( )
  Deankut | Sep 26, 2016 |

This should probably be a standard GIF for any of the Flynn novels I've read so far. I just can't get into them the way the majority seems to be able to.

The short of it: I loathed Gone Girl. I rarely deal out one star ratings but GG got her hands on the singular golden ticket. I liked Dark Places so much more than GG but it's still just an 'eh, ok' read for me.

I think that's another reason a Daria gif seems perfect for this non-review. These books remind me of that show the characters would watch, Sick, Sad World - with the shock plot stories that would flash up in the background of some scene in Jane's bedroom. Flynn's books feel like that to me, grab-bag shock plots.

What I'm getting at, other than the fact that I've watched an ill-proportioned amount of Daria in my lifetime, is that there wasn't anything in this book (or the others I've read so far) that I could connect with. I don't need likable characters or a reliable narrator - digging into a book with someone you really can't relate to can be just as entertaining and rewarding as a character you completely relate to/respect/like. What I need is an amount of relevance and substance that plugs me into the story, into the characters. This tragedy could definitely be relevant, on the surface it's very much so. That's just it though, that 'on the surface' part of the equation. Digging deeper into the thick of things made me feel like this book was more about manipulating the shock of the tragedy rather than layering in any real psychological exploration/substance.

I hate to write an author off but I don't think I'll be revisiting any more Flynn novels in the foreseeable future. Maybe if I do revisit her work at some point I'll spot what I'm missing. ( )
  lamotamant | Sep 22, 2016 |
Did not finish this...too gruesome and disturbing ( )
  NHreader | Aug 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 258 (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.
“I have a 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. It’s the Day blood. Something’s wrong with it. I was never a good little girl, and I got worse after the murders.”
“I was not a lovable child, and I’d grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.”
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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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