I feel ambivalent about this book; I was hooked for the whole of Part 1, and was up until 4 am reading it because I couldn't wait to learn the ending.I feel ambivalent about this book; I was hooked for the whole of Part 1, and was up until 4 am reading it because I couldn't wait to learn the ending. I'm not sure if this is the premise for the movie, same title, that was released in 2009 (according to IMDB). My review won't include anything too specific so as to not ruin with spoilers for anyone.
I chose the book because it was on a list for top Thrillers from a magazine, and was hailed as the first modern psychological thriller. It was also high up on the list. When I saw it was about 200 pages (ebook version), I thought what the heck, I'll go out of my comfort zone and try a new author!
I just zipped through Gone Girl about a week ago, and coincidentally, both books have 2 points of view. Only in this case, you only loathe 1 character as opposed to both. Both books left me feeling unsatisfied. Both books had anticlimatic endings (in my humble opinion). The Collector, however, I feel was depressing, and some of the writing I couldn't quite make out because it seemed to ramble.
I'm sure this review will upset people because I know it's considered a classic in its genre and its time. My ebook edition came with book club discussion points and an interview with the author, John Fowles.
I haven't read many reviews about it to keep me from reading spoilers, but I want to say you're expecting and routing for one turn out, but the rug is pulled from your feet and you want to scream when the author pulls the whole bait and switch scam. (John Fowles, I shake my fist up at you in Heaven!!.)
I'm still processing, but for now I give it 3 stars because the book did suck me in so hard even if it was horrible- the story is horrible, not the writing. Maybe 3 1/2 if I could, but that's a maybe. I'm just irritated more about reading 2 crap endings in a week's time.
If anyone reading this has read or is planning to read this book, please comment below, because I'd be interested in hearing your opinions and what you have to say....more
Dark Places was the third of the three Gillian Flynn novels that I read, and I rank it as 2nd best after Gone Girl. I was still hooked on the book likDark Places was the third of the three Gillian Flynn novels that I read, and I rank it as 2nd best after Gone Girl. I was still hooked on the book like crack, but Gone Girl blew me away.
So we have the same set up here as the other antagonists from her other works. In other words, the main characters are absolutely awful and reprehensible, but the book is such a page turner, you really can't put it down. Its literally literary crack, and I want more, more, more from Ms. Flynn and in mass quantities!
The book takes place in Kansas City about a girl who was the sole survivor of the gruesome murder of her family, except her brother, who was currently serving a life sentence after being accused and convicted for the crime. The whole family was pretty trashy, she especially. I want to say the story starts when she was about 30, and broke: a trust fund that amounted to a little over $300,000 was collected for her from good samaritans, but she's so damn lazy that instead of using the money for college or a down payment on a home, she just sat on her ass until it wasted away. She uses people, she's a scam artist, and a kleptomaniac!
One of the worst things she thinks about was how another girl who was also orphaned under similar circumstances "stole her thunder" and how the poor victim stood in her way from getting more donations.
I told you she was terrible.
She does get a little more likeable, I guess, as the story progresses. The plot revolves around a true crime fan club who believe her brother was set up, and pay her to interview people to figure out the truth. At the same time, you get the POV of the brother and mom the day and night of the event, but of course she can't read their thoughts.
I really liked how through reading I would think I knew who the culprit was, then something else would come up to change my mind. I am usually good at predicting these things, so I don't like novels that give up the answer easily.
This is a fast paced psychological thriller, and I would recommend to anyone, especially if they got sucked into Gone Girl as I did. Gone Girl, in my opinion was more addictive than crack, the fast pace starts earlier. Dark Places you need to give a chance to hook you in, and once it does, I'm pretty much positive most people wouldn't be able to put down- even if its for the simple fact that you hate the book and or characters, but need to know what happens next!...more
OK, so I watched Gone Girl a couple nights before, which in turn made me really wanted to read the book!
The movie kept me on the edge of my seat, andOK, so I watched Gone Girl a couple nights before, which in turn made me really wanted to read the book!
The movie kept me on the edge of my seat, and I was wishing I had read the book first because I knew it had to be more exciting. Although I already knew how the story was going to end, I love this book and kept hoping the ending would be different. Its not. In fact, I gave my younger sister my old ereader, so she has access to anything I download. She had also seen the movie, and like me, was part of the 50% who didn't like the ending. I told her she was free to read the book because it was now in my library, and the first thing she asked me was "DOES THE ENDING CHANGE?!" Me: no, but its still goo- Sis: then I'm not interested Me: no really, the book is riveting and explains more Sis: (irritated) No, Joanna, I want the ending to change or I'm not going to read it!
I thought that was amusing, maybe I can reach out to Ms. Flynn and request she write an alternate ending to satisfy my sister :)
So I wish I would have read Flynn's books in a different order, because I read this one first and it was by far the best. However, as I mentioned earlier, I HATE THE ENDING! I described in my review for The Collector, by John Fowles, there were some similarities, and I described reaching the end of The Collector as feeling a rug was pulled from under my feet as I reached the finish line.
What I find fascinating about this book is that I hate both protagonists, or perhaps I should call them antagonists because both (husband and wife) are loathsome, vile, creatures. The man is soooo stoooopid, and the woman is such a sociopath/narcissist. If they rate levels for sociopaths, she's the worst of the worst. I won't go into too much detail here, but let's just say her other two works involve f-ed up women, psychos, to the extent I'd be nervous if I was her husband.
Ms. Flynn, I have no doubt, could get away with murder. It's kind of scary how fool proof the plan is in this book!
There are two points of view, the husband and wife, and you begin to see that they're a case of "I can't live with you, but I can't live without you, either". The relationships in this book are all so sick, but you can't stop reading although you may feel disgusted. I'm not sure if I would have been surprised with the ending if I read it before the movie, but I was shocked when I watched it onscreen the previous week. I just felt as a reader I was left with no closure.
It's hard to review this book without spoilers, but if you want to read about an intense game of cat and mouse, I still recommend it. Apparently opinions are split down the middle about the ending, so don't rely on my opinion about it, you may feel different. If you like the ending though, you to may be a psychopath! Just kidding.
The fact that the ending pissed me off but I still gave it 4 stars then immediately read her other books should tell you how hard it was to put down. Just a head's up, I wasn't sucked in right away, but I patiently kept reading because the movie was so intense. I'm really excited for her next book! Its amazing how you can love the book and hate everyone in it!
One more thing, in my opinion here's how I rate her 3 books, best to worst:
Gone Girl Dark Places Sharp Objects (at the bottom of the list because I was able to figure out what was going on before the ending)...more
I didn't realize that this was the sequel to the shining when I decided to purchase it. I felt like I hadn't been reading anything in a long time, andI didn't realize that this was the sequel to the shining when I decided to purchase it. I felt like I hadn't been reading anything in a long time, and it was high time I try something out as I've been vegging in front of the tv way too much lately, binging on Netflix episodes. It's too easy, and I feel like I don't have to think. Anyway, I figured getting back into reading should be looked at like rehab from my new tv addiction, so I started with what I thought would be an easy read from an author who I think is a pretty good story teller, and whose quality of writing has improved drastically since he first started.
So as I began reading this book, these names kind of started popping up that sounded a little familiar: Danny Torrance, Dick Hallorann, Overlook Hotel, etc. I know that sometimes King will mention characters in other books, so I googled these names, and low and behold I realized I was reading the sequel to The Shining!!
I didn't really feel there was much relevance between the major plot and The Shining, other than the fact that we see the kid grown up with his own problems. I didn't really understand the dynamics of the new "bad guys". I mean, I understood how they harmed people, and what they needed, but I think it would've been nicer if King had extrapolated more on the connection between the Overlook and our new bad guys. It was kind of touched upon briefly, but I felt cheated.
I also had trouble following the final "battle scene". Grown up Danny Torrance, and his co-protagonist, Abra, a young girl who shares Danny's gift of "Shine", battle the baddies; The "True Knot", a group of supernaturals, I guess for lack of a better term. I had trouble picturing what the heck was happening, and I'll probably have to re-read about 30-40 pages in that last action scene. I don't want to give any spoilers, but it was just kind of weird, and I don't think the tactics they used made much sense or were explained properly when I read it. For example, there was a third person on the good side in the equation, and in one part, he did a random cartwheel. I don't know the point of the cartwheel.
I also felt there was a major plot hole: (view spoiler)[ The reason the True Knot became sick and desperate to prey on Abra, was because they "ate" a kid who had suffered from the Measles. The theory was that since Abra had been inoculated, her immunity would save them. The kid was not much older than Abra, and it made no sense that he would've ever suffered measles. The story is taking place now in modern times. I find it hard to believe this particular kid-a middle class rising star in baseball from the Midwest- would have NOT been vaccinated for Measles if born in the 80s-90s. Heck, I was vaccinated for Measles in 1980! I did a google search and found out it was targeted for elimination in 1978. This really bugged me throughout the book for some reason! (hide spoiler)]
Maybe my reading comprehension has deteriorated since I started binging on Netflix, and it was an excellent read? Not sure, but I'll give it 3 stars. At first I felt engaged and was interested, but I didn't feel it was up to par to the Stephen King novels I enjoy. King's books are usually hard for me to put down (*with some exceptions). It should be noted that I downloaded this book on Oct 27, and finally finished it on my commute from work On Dec 4th. The first half I read fairly quickly, but then I found myself putting down and reading a lot less regularly. I basically finished it because I felt I needed to know the ending.
NB: I didn't always enjoy King. I didn't like his writing style in his earlier works. It wasn't until he became more seasoned, that I got turned on to his works late. So I'm NOT a King hater. Just didn't love this story :(. If he wrote another book about the True Knot, which he actually did leave open in this book, I'd be interested to pick it up to read more about them. He didn't totally ignore them, but I didn't think they got the same attention as other baddies he's had in his books. I guess they kind of felt like they were out from left field.
I thought the writing was ok, I read it slowly because I found myself getting bored for some parts. I love the tv series, and I appreciate there are lI thought the writing was ok, I read it slowly because I found myself getting bored for some parts. I love the tv series, and I appreciate there are literary differences, but in this case I have to say I think from what I've read so far, the first season floored the first book. I'm probably going to read the 2nd book and give it a chance because I'm hoping that the writing improves as the author gains experience.
I guess it's just weird and confusing how Dexter seems to talk to himself like a schizo in the book, it was kind of hard for me to get used to the style. He's also a lot more brutal, the show makes his character a lot more likable. I'm giving it 3 stars because it's short and easy, something good to read in between epic reading projects....more
The book is interesting, but poorly written. A real lack of editing here, and I can't understand why spellcheck didn't pick up these errors in the eleThe book is interesting, but poorly written. A real lack of editing here, and I can't understand why spellcheck didn't pick up these errors in the electronic edition.
The stories are interesting, though I don't know I believe all of them completely. Some seem way too exagerrated and outlandish. Things that could land questions from authorities in print (ex: "mafia" connections and being accessory to murder in one case). I also don't believe she had the balls to mouth off to her future mother-in-law as was described in a chapter.
It's pretty amazing, though, and at some times revolting. I was sucked in more out of curiosity, was a good book to read on the train while commuting, but the horrible writing/lack of editing drove me nuts....more