Kyle's Reviews > Dark Places

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
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M 50x66
's review
Jun 22, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012-favorites, adult, awesome-cover, best-books-of-all-time, better-than-expected, favorite-characters, favorites, mystery, mind-blowing, phenominal, really-excited, violence-galore, what-did-i-just-read, amazing-atmosphere, will-definitely-re-read
Recommended to Kyle by: Kelly Leigh
Recommended for: People who like their characters (and stories) fucked up

If somebody went up to me and told that all women are victims of male brutality and evil, I would do two things. First off, laugh in their face and tell them to get some perspective.

Second, I'd tell them to go fuck themselves and choke on their snobb-y ness. There are, as I like to call them, man haters that believe that women are superior to men in every single damn way, and have higher morals, and all people of the opposite sex are rapists and murderers who deserve to rot in Hell. I'm sorry, but women can be just as vicious, cold, and just plain "evil" as men can be. Gillian Flynn is a writer who has some perspective, and the woman are just as pathetic as the men. Everyone is this book is a liar, a thief, depressed, stuck-up, cold, wicked, twisted, and will do anything to get what they want.

I knew I was going to like this. Did I think I would love it? I had no clue. There are some 4 star books that I do love, but they're just not quite 5 star quality either (okay, I have given 5 stars to "fun" books as well). Maybe I had my expectations too low by expecting 4 stars. All I know for certain that if this book is an indicator of what I can expect from Gillian's other two books, she will wind up on my Kyle's Favorite Authors sidebar on my profile. Even if they aren't 5 stars, if they maintain good quality, they're a sho-in.

I just re-watched The Dark Knight in preparation for The Dark Knight Rises, and oh boy do I love my sociopathic clowns (oh and R.I.P. Heath Ledger - you're talent was beyond human comprehension). This is potentially a reason for why this book and I were meant to meet. If you see who I reccomend this book to, you'll know that this is not for people who think chic-lit is hard-core.

This is for people who think books about evil people are brilliant.

Almost twenty five years ago in the early hours of January 3rd, 1985, seven-year-old Libby Day crawled out the window of her mother's bedroom to save herself from a bloody massacare that left her two sisters and mother dead. Who did she testify as the killer? Her eldest sibling, fifteen-year-old Ben Day, who was almost accused of practicing in Satanic worship and killing animals for sacrifice. Now thirty-two, Libby is depressed, pathetic, and living off charity given to her being the soul survivor of the killings. However, she barely has over $900 left, unemployed, and is desperate for cash. When a offer from the Kill Club, a group of people obsessed with murderous mysteries, her's in particular, is given to potentially figure out who really killed the Days (she might have never actually seen Ben kill her family), she jumps on it.

Is she in over her head?

The mystery is well thought out, and not predictable in the least. Well, in just about 90% of that regard. I slightly figured one part of it out, and it does become more and more obvious the closer everything begins to unravel of course, at least one part of it. Some 3rd person chapters are told from Patty Day (mother)'s POV, and some of them from Ben, all of them from the 24 hours leading up to the massacare. Every question raised regarding it is given a logical answer, even if it seemed like nothing. Pay attention to details people - you'll see just how spectacular Flynn thought this through.

I wouldn't go as far as to say the characters are likeable, or even very sympathetic. However my heart does break for Libby, since she does have reason to be mad, depressed, even if it could be a bit of laziness as well. However not one character is unnessecary, and they all have their baggage. Diondra was never a character I liked, or even cared for, even when you find out she probably has a dysfunctional home life. Bitchiness can only be justified by so much.

The story is very quick, and those last 300 pages were extremely riveting (well, last 300 pages in the large print edition, which is the only kind my library had). The atmosphere is absolutely incredible, and had me convinced my dreams would be haunted by this. There are some scenes in this book were your eyes will be popping out of your head, especially if you hate brutality against animals. I was lying under a blanket with the AC blasting on as high as I could get it, so when you hear it's winter, there's snow on the ground, tempature is low, and there's killers in the night, I was a very freaked out reader.

This also deals with some pretty great themes, such as corruption, murder, acceptance, paranoia, and the human urge to condem something they don't understand fully.

So, if you can handle rather explicit sex, violence, and have enough perspective to accept that women and men alike are volatile and destructive, and love your mysteries dark and gritty (and unpredictable of course) this is the book you need to read.

I cannot wait to read Sharp Objects, which is available for pickup at my library.

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Reading Progress

June 22, 2012 – Shelved
July 6, 2012 – Started Reading
July 6, 2012 –
page 38
6.18% "My "awesome book" detector is going off."
July 8, 2012 –
page 324
52.68% "324/606 - Really good so far!"
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: 2012-favorites
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: adult
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: awesome-cover
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: best-books-of-all-time
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: better-than-expected
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: favorite-characters
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: favorites
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: mystery
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: mind-blowing
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: phenominal
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: really-excited
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: violence-galore
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: what-did-i-just-read
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: amazing-atmosphere
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: will-definitely-re-read
July 9, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Kelli Oh man, this is so rad and makes me so happy to hear how much you loved this book, which means I know you as a reader! What you like etc. Yay! Score! Can't wait to hear/ read your review.

Kyle It was so disturbing, and the animal killing is probably going to haunt me for a long time, and I wouldn't be surprised if my nightmares were shaped around that scene. XD Why this woman's books are not as hyped as SOME authors are (cough Veronica Roth cough) will forever be a mystery to me.

Kelli I know, right? Flynn is a phenomenal writer, IMO. Just has a way with words. I can't wait for you to read Sharp Objects. I think you'll have a love affair with that book.

Kyle Here's hoping!

message 5: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Hmm... Gillian Flynn is your proof that women are evil and feminists are "man haters"? This is fiction, dude. Read the newspaper for some perspective.

message 6: by Luna (new) - added it

Luna As a feminist myself, I encounter this 'women are evil' too trope too. Yes there are screwed up women. But globally, historically, which gender suffers more? Like Melissa said, reading the newspaper adds perspective. Almost everyday I read about a woman being raped/murdered. It happens every day. I am not a man hater. Perhaps this review is not an attack on feminism, but sadly it appears to be. If it isn't, then I apologize. But I will not be ashamed in calling out sexism and misogyny.

message 7: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I've noticed a trend with mystery/thriller writers, especially female authors, where the perpetrator ends up being a woman or girl. I believe this is due to the fact that it is so rare in real life. Because it is so rare it makes for a more shocking or unexpected twist. I also think that it is an attractive concept for female writers because it creates a focus on complex, intense female characters. But again, the reason it has become a powerful device is because it is so rare in reality.

message 8: by Luna (new) - added it

Luna Melissa wrote: "I've noticed a trend with mystery/thriller writers, especially female authors, where the perpetrator ends up being a woman or girl. I believe this is due to the fact that it is so rare in real lif..."

On point. I agree.

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