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Dark Places: A Novel | [Gillian Flynn]

Dark Places: A Novel

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.
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Publisher's Summary

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer.

Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.

The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details, proof they hope may free Ben, Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she'll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club...and maybe she'll admit her testimony wasn't so solid after all.

As Libby's search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby's doomed family members, including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town.

Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started...on the run from a killer.

©2009 Gillian Flynn; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Gillian Flynn is the real deal, a sharp, acerbic, and compelling storyteller with a knack for the macabre." (Stephen King)
"A gritty, riveting thriller with a one-of-a-kind, tart-tongued heroine." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (6546 )
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4.5 (5484 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Kym Brunner 07-05-14
    Kym Brunner 07-05-14 Member Since 2014

    Read, Write, Pray...Works for Me!

    ratings
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    4
    3
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    Story
    "Creepy Tale that Sticks With You"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Story = 4 1/2 stars overall

    Great narration, fabulous writing with all of Flynn's specific and dead-on details, and an interesting tale. Every day I couldn't wait to find out more of what was going on.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Plain City, UT, United States 06-18-14
    Julia Plain City, UT, United States 06-18-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Least Favorite of Flynn's Novels"
    Would you recommend Dark Places to your friends? Why or why not?

    I have recommended it to a friend, but warned her that its my least favorite of Flynn's three books. With that being said, it is still a worthwhile read.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Will her dark family secret be brought to light?


    Any additional comments?

    I love the multiple narrations in the audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    melrailey Georgia, United States 06-15-14
    melrailey Georgia, United States 06-15-14 Member Since 2007

    Mel

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    "Dark Murder"

    Wow! I have never read a book with so many unlikable characters. Libby, the main character, is totally unlikeable and it so hard to feel sorry for her even though she went through this horrible tragedy. It's actually that tragedy that made her so unlikeable. But despite not liking the characters, I still got caught up in the mystery and wondering exactly what happened that night Libby's family was killed. Was Ben guilty? Or was someone else the murderer and Ben set up? I kept trying to figure out the killer and I was partly correct. I must say, I do like Gillian Flynn's writing style. I read Gone Girl and was amazed by the twists and turns. This book didn't have the twists and turns but she painted a horribly accurate picture of families living in poverty. I think I will go on to read Sharp Objects and see what that one's about and compare it to these two.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    April Leman 06-13-14
    April Leman 06-13-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Deeply intruiguing, constantly keeps you guessing"
    What made the experience of listening to Dark Places the most enjoyable?

    The various narrators perfectly brought the characters to life. They did an excellent job of taking you through the past and present to perfectly tell this story.


    What other book might you compare Dark Places to and why?

    Just like Gone Girl, the author has a way of offering shocking twists that constantly keep you guessing.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    The voices were soothing to listen to and conveyed deep meaning and emotion


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra 06-05-14
    Debra 06-05-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dark, Darker, Darkest!"

    I listened to this as my last in the trilogy of the books written by Gillian Flynn. I found it slow and quite uninteresting for the first two hours or so, but ended up liking it almost as much as her other two books. Her protagonists are always flawed and damaged in some ways, and I found this particular story contained the most damaged, unlikeable characters of all. Yet, somehow, I was mesmerized by the ever darkening details of the 24 year old murder mystery, as it unfolded in present time. It kept me guessing long after I thought I had it figured out. This book is particularly dark and graphic, the darkest of her books in my opinion, but once I was hooked, I couldn't stop listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sarahjean Midwest USA 05-18-14
    sarahjean Midwest USA 05-18-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Drawn in by then Darkness"
    What made the experience of listening to Dark Places the most enjoyable?

    Story line told from several character's perspectives. Fast pace while still proving plenty of background for character development and historical context of complies relationships.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Style of unraveling through many eyes.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Narration brought richness to characters.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could have easily. However, taking breaks to think about the storyline, plot development, and the characters brought additional connection with them and the protagonist's mission.


    Any additional comments?

    Dark, sad and, frightening could describe the feel of this story; yet, hope, perseverance, even love are threaded through the tapestry of a tale of a family facing poverty, children living as outcasts, adults trying to do right for their children, and ultimately triumph of the very children who survived a tragedy unimaginable to most.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rita Big Lake, AK, United States 05-15-14
    Rita Big Lake, AK, United States 05-15-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Very Dark Places"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I listened to the entire book, I would have to say I like the fact that it ended the best.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    Libby at the age 30 could have sounded more like a woman in her 30's not a teenager. Overall, narrator' were very good.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I wouldn't go see it.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a very dark story. I cannot say I liked it. It had a surprising twist, again very dark and very sick. I would not want the main character in my life or around my family or friends. This story destroys any sympathy, care or attachment I would normally have for the main character.

    Why did I rate it 4 stars overall? I can't say it is badly written. The narrator's were good. I just found no redeeming value in the moral character of any of the stories characters.

    Would I recommend this book to my friends or family, no.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tess Stickles 05-08-14
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    "Really Dark Places"
    Where does Dark Places rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I had been warned beforehand that Dark Places was not as good as Flynn's Gone Girl. Gone Girl has been one of the few audiobooks I've not only been able to listen to in it's entirety but would opt to listen to over watching tv, which is very rare for me. This is not Gone Girl but it is quite good.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gillian Flynn writes flawed characters and makes them somehow likeable. I'm not sure if it's the the writing or the narration or maybe a little of both. I liked Libby Day and how she reminded me of the person inside that I don't dare let anyone see.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Lowman brought a dry wit to the story that some may not have interpreted though just reading words on a page.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not really. It starts a bit slow. I never thought about not finishing but I thought it would be a book that would last me a few weeks sitting in traffic. Instead, I started listening to it at work, in the car and a few times at home.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy 05-03-14
    Tammy 05-03-14

    Wife, mom of one amazing son, and I have the second best job in the world, working in a bookstore :)

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    "Not for the weak of heart"
    What made the experience of listening to Dark Places the most enjoyable?

    The characters were so well developed, it really was like reading a true life experience.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Dark Places?

    I guess when Libby started to question the "truth" about her brother


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    They brought the intensity and emotions to life


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Dark Places, enter if you dare.


    Any additional comments?

    This was probably the hardest story, subject-wise, to listen to. There were some parts that made me cringe and I almost wanted to fast forward, but resisted. I was pulled into the story from the get go and could not get enough. I listened to Gone Girl and thought it was pretty good, but Dark Places is so compelling, so well written, so so very dark. If you do decide to give it a listen, keep telling yourself that its just a story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharron Hamilton, ON, Canada 05-02-14
    Sharron Hamilton, ON, Canada 05-02-14 Member Since 2012

    I LOVE haunting, atmospheric writing that plays in your head like a movie. I adore books of a mysterious, suspenseful and creepy nature. I am a big fan of Horror/Zombie/Apocalypse and other genres which center on Mystery and strong character development.

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    "DARK is right. Well written but just too macabre."

    Although I liked elements of this book and I often enjoy fiction of a melancholy nature, this one felt just a tad "icky" for my taste. The subject matter of this book contains themes of sex, murder, violence, isolation, depression, anger and justice but is heavily focused on negativity in general (in my opinion). The book centres on a crime of a young woman's past---the brutal slaughter of her entire family and her brother sentenced to life in prison for it. As she wrestles with her personal demons of anger, hate and general misery she is confronted with learning the truth about what really happened to her family.

    While I found the mystery of the story quite good, the writing solid and the character development impressive, I couldn't enjoy the miserable protagonist or the side-story of her brother. The protagonist was stubborn, hateful, rude and foolish and I personally couldn't relate to her nor did I find satisfaction in her "development." The Narrative also centres on her incarcerated brother's past which was painfully slow, drawn-out, and disturbing. Again, my personal taste didn't derive satisfaction from scenes involving awkward sexual situations and teenage sociopaths doing drugs and killing cows. Although descriptive and visceral, not my cup of tea!

    Overall, this book was expertly written and subject matter aside, it was fantastic. This book would be a great option for those looking for non-traditional characters, dark subject matter and suspenseful murder mystery drama. I rated it based on my personal taste, not quality. Please keep that in mind and no offence to the author!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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