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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 (7207 )
5 star
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Overall
4.3 (6063 )
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Story
4.5 (6033 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Susan Overland, MO, USA 06-27-09
    Susan Overland, MO, USA 06-27-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    "Awesome Story"

    This book held my attention right to the end. Interesting characters. Great narration. A mystery with some very surprising turns. Loved it!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Chicago, IL, United States 02-03-15
    Lauren Chicago, IL, United States 02-03-15 Member Since 2011

    I guess I'm a baby...I just love to be read to.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "LIBBY DAY"

    I LOVE GILLIAN FLYNN. Please stop making movies and write more books. Dark Places will keep you guessing until the very end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Farrell California, USA 07-11-14
    C. Farrell California, USA 07-11-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    "Dark Places of the Mind"
    Would you listen to Dark Places again? Why?

    Dark Places is definitely worth a second listen. Gillian Flynn has such amazing insight into psychological complexes, trauma and motivations. It's as much of a pleasure to get to know her characters as it is to follow along the twisting paths of the plot. (I always find myself casting the inevitable movie as I listen.) I also loved her descriptions of Kansas, my home state.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    As with "Gone Girl," Gillian Flynn unfolds the story masterfully. Bit by bit, events are slowly revealed, as you view the same circumstances through different characters' eyes. Flynn shows how wrong we can be in our perceptions of others, as when listening to the story, I realized I was wrong in my judgement of the characters.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I found the narration of the three main characters, particularly Libby and Ben, to be almost painfully slow at times. I suspect the reason was to contrast the delivery (slow, flat) with the sometimes gruesome, sad or horrifying events -- to convey the characters' somnambulistic response to the grim circumstances of their lives in a way that would point up the horror in an understated way, rather than making it "pulp fiction," lurid and cheap. I'm reminded of the flat narration of Sissy Spacek in "Badlands" (or the bleak cinematography of "Fargo"). The banality of evil and all that. Nevertheless, the narration was just too flat and slow in places, and distracted me from the story somewhat. I did enjoy the voices and accents, although Kansans don't really have a Southern accent. And, having grown up in Kansas, I winced every time "Salina" was pronounced "Sal-EE-na" rather than "Sal-EYE-na." It's a common mistake for those who've never been to the state, but could have been prevented with a bit of research.


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

    This is my second Gillian Flynn novel, and I could have listened to it all in one sitting. I had to stop everything to listen to the last hour and a half.


    Any additional comments?

    While not quite as good as "Gone Girl," "Dark Places" is excellent, and sealed my decision to buy "Sharp Objects." I can't wait for the next Gillian Flynn novel!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    To Much Shopping HOLMES, NEW YORK USA 10-16-13
    To Much Shopping HOLMES, NEW YORK USA 10-16-13 Member Since 2013

    :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "not as good as other 2 but still worth the listen"
    If you could sum up Dark Places in three words, what would they be?

    evil, strange, interesting


    What did you like best about this story?

    The twists in the characters as they switched from Past to Current.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Patty Deay


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no laughing or crying... more like wow can people really be this screwed up?


    Any additional comments?

    Not as good as the other two books she's done.... but still very good. Would have liked a little more to the ending...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lmp1027 10-12-13
    Lmp1027 10-12-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Not as good as "Gone Girl" but enjoyable listen."
    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Kept me listening because I wanted to find out who the killer was.


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

    Nothing special in narration


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoyable listen, but not as good as "Gone Girl". Nonetheless, it was still an enjoyable book that kept me wanting more and to uncover the mystery.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betty LYNNWOOD, WA, United States 09-26-13
    Betty LYNNWOOD, WA, United States 09-26-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Gillian Flynn is a mastermind!!"
    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    i could not stop listening to this! I was enthralled within minutes of listening.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book gave me chills. The way Flynn writes her characters are so real. And i like how the ending isnt all happily ever after.


    Any additional comments?

    HUGE!! fan of this author. will continue to read/listen to anything that she writes

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 09-19-13
    Jennifer 09-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hooked from the start!"
    What made the experience of listening to Dark Places the most enjoyable?

    The narrators are fantastic.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's a good story. Disturbing, but good. You want to know what happened that night, and it's very satisfying once all is revealed.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where Libby goes to see Trey in the present was the best, it felt very intense to me.


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

    Yes! I had to stop with one hour left so I could go to bed, and I finished it as soon as possible the next day.


    Any additional comments?

    This writer is my new favorite. This book has a lot of layers to it. It's complicated, a whodunit with family issues, not too lovable characters, and disturbing imagery. Glad I took the risk and tried it after reading "Gone Girl". Next is "Sharp Objects". Highly recommend! Definitely worth a credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrienne ORLANDO, FL, United States 09-18-13
    Adrienne ORLANDO, FL, United States 09-18-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Couldn't put it down!"
    Where does Dark Places rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's definitely one of my favorite reads.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Gillian Flynn's novels always keep me on the edge of my seat. She builds the suspense perfectly.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Even though he was a smaller character, I really enjoyed Lyle.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erica United States 07-10-13
    Erica United States 07-10-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
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    20
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    "Not the author's finest hour but a good listen."
    Would you listen to Dark Places again? Why?

    I usually don't listen to mysteries more than once. I possibly may in a few years when the story has left me more.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes. It was very gruesome and a very sad, but I didn't want to stop listening. There were lot's of twists and turns. It was also the kind of story that you went over in your mind during the breaks from listening.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't have a particular scene that I enjoyed but it was a coming together of all the different scenes that I thought were orchestrated very well.


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

    Yes. It was very hard to turn off.


    Any additional comments?

    I read Gillian Flynn's other novels before this one. She had set the bar very high. This one fell a little short for me. However, if this was from another author I would want to listen to more of their work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tara Greenwood, IN, United States 06-07-13
    Tara Greenwood, IN, United States 06-07-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    27
    5
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    "sdfs"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Dark Places to be better than the print version?

    Tentatively, I can answer "yes," even though I've never read the print version. The voice of Libby was spot on - a beat-down, contemptuous, self-hating, f*** you, lazy drawl that fit the character perfeclty.


    Any additional comments?

    I've enjoyed all of Gillian Flynn's novels, especially her damaged and fragile-yet-tough-as-nails women. All of the characters in Dark Places are deeply flawed and (almost) broken, but they're also intriguing and multi-dimensional. I actually liked Libby a lot, even with the animal cruelty and kleptomania!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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