Since Gone Girl became a hit, Gillian Flynn’s books have been reprinted throughout the world. Many people read her two earlier books, Dark Places (the movie adaptation of which is out later this year) and Sharp Objects because of this, me included. I bought the ebook bundle consisting of Gone Girl, Dark Places, and Sharp Objects, in that order.
Gone Girl was my first Flynn’s book. I haven’t seen the movie, I didn’t read any spoiler, just the synopsis and some reviews, and then I dived in. My first Gillian Flynn experience is good enough to merit reading the second and third book. Gone Girl was not without its flaws, but making a reader compulsively reading a book-with not one but two unlikeable main characters-is not an easy task. Flynn somehow manage to do that. Gone Girl is not a whodunit book. I am not sure it is a mystery either. As a matter of fact, throughout the second half of the book, you pretty much know everything that’s going on, yet it doesn’t make the book any less captivating. It tells a story, two sides of the same story, and although it’s not a horror book by any means, it has some of its chilling moments. In case you’re wondering whether the book worth the hype surrounding it, yes it does.
Dark Places, soon to be a motion picture starring Charlize Theron, is a story of a survivor of family massacre. Libby Day survived the massacre of her family while her brother, Ben, was convicted of the murders. He was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in jail. Fast forward 25 years later, Libby encountered a situation that forced her to consider Ben’s innocence. This book switched back and forth between the current timeline, and the day of the murders. It also switched POVs between Libby, her mom Patty, and Ben. There are some books that managed to confuse readers by all these switching, but Dark Places is not one of them. The switch between POVS is clear and I didn’t find it awkward at all. Having said that, the story felt dragging at times, while the final conclusion felt a bit rush and not too satisfying. But then, so is life.
Sharp Objects was Gillian’s first published novel, and it is still her finest work to date. The book was written from the POV of Camille Preaker, a small-town girl turns big-city reporter. She was given a task by her editor that forced her to go back to her hometown and faced her troubled past. The premise is about murders, strangulation of two little girls in Camille’s little town, and she went there to report about this serial killing while juggling work, her momma Adora, and her half-sister, Amma. The characterization is very good. Every character is flawed, although it may be hard to believe in real life that every one is that dark. It seems that every other person in the small town has a mean streak, a violence-not just a temper-but a real need to inflict pain. I found out who the murderer was quite early in the book, but it doesn’t mean the plot is bad. There is a big twist in the book that made you go “holy s*** i knew it. I knew it was *****”. The conclusion of this book also felt a little rush, but the strong storytelling and characters made the book worth it. If you wonder whether this book will also make it to the big screen, the current answer is no, it will instead go to the small screen. Now, I know big screen adaptation seems like the ultimate deal, but I am totally on board on TV adaptation. With so many interesting characters, TV adaptation may do this book more justice than movie one.
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