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Dark Places: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
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Dark Places: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Gillian Flynn

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4,5883051,046 (3.83)228
Member:TheCriticalTimes
Title:Dark Places: A Novel
Authors:Gillian Flynn
Info:Broadway Books (2010), Edition: 1 Reprint, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
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Dark Places: A Novel 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. 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.
  4. 31
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (becksdakex)
  5. 10
    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.
  6. 21
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  7. 10
    A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: A similarly troubled protagonist and an equally tensely-plotted and well written mystery.
  8. 10
    Every Dead Thing by John Connolly (kraaivrouw)
  9. 21
    Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult (VictoriaPL)
  10. 00
    Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (sturlington)
  11. 00
    The Fault Tree by Louise Ure (RidgewayGirl)
  12. 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.
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» See also 228 mentions

English (292)  Dutch (5)  French (2)  German (2)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  All (304)
Showing 1-5 of 292 (next | show all)
"Dark Places" is dark and not ordinarily a novel that I would select on my own to read. However, it was a selection choice for me as part of LibraryThing's Secret Santa 2014. I had just finished watching the movie "Gone Girl" and the ending was not what I had anticipated. [I had not read the book and had only seen snippets of the movie trailer - never in its entirety.] So with the availability to pick a new novel to read from the pile of 'next to read', I selected "Dark Places".

As I started the novel, I didn't know that I could finish it. I can't sit through an episode of "Dexter" or "Criminal Minds" and the novel was taking me into the dark. But I am very familiar with the Kansas landscape as I've driven it many times to visit a favorite aunt and uncle. And most importantly, there was Libby Day. And without a doubt, this is Libby's story and I couldn't put the novel aside until I learned the entire story.

It is reading at its best - descriptive, intriguing, compelling, thoughtful, gripping, burrow between the covers, grab the blanket a little tighter. It is a page-turning, emotional story that at various moments seem to be presented without emotion. But life is sometimes like that - raw, bleak, dark, haunting thoughts of the past, and buried secrets of the past. The question is - Can you emerge? Can you 'try just a little harder'? I would have missed this novel and am glad I did not. Everyone should spend time with Libby Day.

**************
Interesting. Just read (05-Mar-2015) that this novel will be released in film from France on 08-Apr-2015 but with no promotion in the United States. Trailer and more information is available at: http://www.nylon.com/articles/dark-places-trailer ( )
  Corduroy7 | Nov 16, 2017 |
I have to give this three stars because I understand it was well written; good choice of words and evocative. I only read it for my book club though and if not for that I wouldn't have. I did not like one of these characters. I certainly couldn't identify with any of them. It is completely not my style in any way, shape, or form. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
Libby Day's mother and two older sisters were notoriously murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice" of Kinnakee, Kansas in 1985. Her brother, Ben, was convicted of the murders due to swirling rumors about him and a lack of evidence to convict anyone else. Since the day of the murders, Libby has been living off donations from sympathizers, book deals, and interviews. When her funds start to dwindle, she is confronted by the Kill Club, a group of conspiracy theorists who believe Ben is not responsible for the killings. In turn for money, Libby embarks on a journey to find out what really happened that night in 1985. Alternating between Libby's present day perspective and the 1985 perspectives of her mother and Ben, this book will keep any reader up all night trying to figure out the true story.


Taylor W. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.

( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
Dear Lord, this book was all kinds of messed up.

You know the saying "the suspense is killing me" , right? Well, this book is essentially the epitome of that phrase. The suspense just eats away at you for the entirety of 343 pages of intense mind-screwery, trauma and a special kind of oh-my-god-what-the-hell-is-happening?. I mean, it's expected from a mystery book but still, IT WAS REALLY SUSPENSEFUL.

**Let me tell you a story that will give you an indication of how compelling of a mystery this was:
12:15pm: "I'm just gonna read a couple of chapters and then start studying, this feels like it's gonna be a 'meh' book anyway..."
11:40pm: "OHMYGOD. On a scale of 1-10, my productivity level today has probably been a -10. BUT, BUT, I FINALLY KNOW HOW THE MURDER HAPPENED!!!!!!!!!!!"
And that, my friends, is enough of an accomplishment in one day for me. ***


Back to the book.

Let's talk about the characters for a sec. They were all just screwed up in varying degrees, really. But, for some strange reason, they kind of grow on you and you start rooting for them as the story progresses. Personally, I didn't think any of them were lovable in any way but that was totally fine by me. I liked Ben. Twisted, twisted Ben. Although some of the stuff he did was really stupid. Libby was really great as a narrator too. I loved her straight up, no BS attitude. Altogether, I found that the characterization was just superb. Every character had their own little quirk and whether normal (or close to normal; none of the characters in this book were normal by any means) or down-right aggravating, (yes, I'm talking about you, Diondra - you too Runner) they were without a doubt distinct.

Another thing I LOVED about Dark Places was the way in which it was crafted in terms of chronology and the unraveling of events. It alternated between Libby's perspective and the series of events that culminated with the murder, in detail, starting from the day before the murder all the way up to a few hours after. Overall, it was just aptly executed. Flynn managed to maintain that element of compulsion and tension throughout both timelines and ended the story with a flair that combined the two together. Excellent storytelling, especially for a mystery thriller like this.

This book has definitely rekindled my latent desire for mystery/thriller. Maybe I'll read Gone Girl soon, I heard it's insane. >:) ( )
  fatmashahin | Sep 23, 2017 |
(I read this along with Manjiri. Finish up already! I wanna discuss.)

This book. My god. I had read Gone Girl and I kind of thought I knew what to expect, but this book blew my expectations out of the water. The Days are very well-fleshed out - poor, battered by the world, struggling to keep the ends meeting, while driven to actions based on their unique and sometimes horrific circumstances. It's kind of a story where all the things that could go wrong, going wrong, but the author builds everything up in such a believable way that you don't feel that to be the case.

One of Gillian's strongest points is that she can write characters who are cynical and borderline sociopathic, and she can still make you empathise with them, and even sometimes make you identify with them. She has a "matter-of-fact" writing style where she does not have long flowery sections describing the situation, but rather short terse sentences, written in almost a conversational style which keep you taut and engaged. She makes generous use of similies, not only to describe what a character is thinking, but to describe situations, ambience, and motivations. This makes for a really vivid reading experience - gripping, engaging and reading till your eyes hurt kind of experience. To give an example, this is what Libby is thinking when she's trying to figure out what to do for money -

I tried to picture things I could do for money. Things that grown-ups did. I imagined myself in a nurse’s cap, holding a thermometer; then in a snug blue cop’s uniform, escorting a child across the street; then wearing pearls and a floral apron, getting dinner ready for my hubby. That’s how screwed up you are, I thought. Your idea of adulthood still comes from picturebooks. And even as I was thinking it, I saw myself writing ABCs on a chalkboard in front of bright-eyed first graders.

First of all this is extremely vivid, and it draws you closer to the character because you are reading their unfiltered, frank internal monologue. Next it shows she knows she's messed up, a messed up childhood without parents has left her without the adulting skills she needs. This self-awareness is again extremely endearing because it's so common to many of us in our late twenties/early thirties. Finally, even when thinking about the absurdity of her thoughts, she's still playing the teacher in her head. It's such a flawed, but human description.

Gillian breaks a lot of cliches and expectations in this book. I expected Diondra's child to be Trey's, Trey to be involved in the killings, and a lot of other things that just did not happen. She kept me guessing till the end of the book, and that's a great feat. Too often I come across literature where I think, "Oh, I figured that out already.", "How can he be so blind!", but this book was anything but that.

Anyway, this would be a great read for almost anyone, unless you are craving for some philosophical Dostoyevsy. Great for getting back into reading, because it's edge-of-the-seat stuff. It also has a great story, somewhat gratifying, but realistic ending, great characterisation, and some disturbing stuff. Go read it! ( )
  Crontab_e | Sep 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 292 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gillian Flynnprimary authorall editionscalculated
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dean, RobertsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowman, RebeccaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lyytinen, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
To my dashing husband, Brett Nolan
First words
I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.
Quotations
“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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