Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn

When I look at my bookcase I see a lot of books (I am such a hoarder when it comes to books), but  I also see a sort of pattern. Over time I have developed a liking to certain authors and have managed to read most, if not all, of their books. So I thought it would be nice to share some of my favorite authors and series with you on my blog! This is actually not even a first, I did a post on some of Rainbow Rowell’s books a while ago (find it here). To get started I want to write about Gillian Flynn.

Gillian Flynn is an American author (and television critic according to Goodreads). As of writing this blog post she has published three novels and one short story (I have read all of them). Her books are thrillers with female leads and they have a combination of themes such as dysfunctional families, violence, self-harm and other dark stuff. Her books have received wide praise, including Stephen King for whom she wrote the short story “The Grownup”. Flynn’s narrators are often unreliable, slowly showing their true colors as the story progresses and they are faced with unexpected situations.

In order of publishing date, Gillian Flynn has written: “Sharp Objects” (2006), “Dark Places” (2009), “Gone Girl” (2012) and “The Grownup” (2015). I have already written reviews on “Dark Places” and “Gone Girl” on my blog so head on over there if you want to read more in-depth reviews of those books.

“Sharp Objects” focuses on a journalist from Chicago who has to return to her hometown to cover the murder of two preteen girls. For years she has avoided her mother and her half-sister, but with her return, she has to once again face the troubles she had run away from.

“Dark Places” is about Libby Day who survived her family being massacred when she was seven. Her testimony put her brother in jail, but after twenty-five years she is enticed (for monetary gain) to find out what really happened.

“Gone Girl” is about Nick and Amy Dunne, a seemingly happily married couple until one day Amy goes missing and Nick is the prime suspect.

“The Grownup” is about a nameless young woman who lives her life giving men handjobs and reading auras. When a woman hires her to help her with her ‘haunted’ Victorian mansion. What starts as an easy way to get money quickly proves more difficult than expected.

I have not read her books in order. I started with “Gone Girl” because it had been turned into a movie and I was intrigued by the concept. I never watched the movie, but it is still on my ‘to-watch’ list, so who knows. After loving this book I then read “Dark Places”, which was also being turned into a movie, so I wanted to read the book before the movie came out. However, I found the ending so creepy and some of the scenes were quite graphic so I never watched the movie because I was too scared. After loving these two books I was determined to read all of them so I got “The Grownup” and then I read “Sharp Objects” last.

By reading her novels from latest to first it was interesting to see her writing style change. Sharp Objects has all the creepiness that her other books had, but I found the ending a bit rushed like she did not yet know how to properly end her book. I don’t think I would have noticed this if I had started with this book and then continue to her other work.

Enjoy seems like the wrong word for Flynn’s novels, however, I do really ‘enjoy’ them. Her characters are so dark and twisted and you feel like something is going to go horribly wrong, you just don’t know what or when. What I also love is the fact that none of her characters are perfect, especially the narrator. It was nice to explore reading about a character/narrator whom you don’t like. The worst/best part of her work is the fact that it feels very realistic. The characters are seriously messed up, but in a way that you know some people are just THAT messed up and I think that is the scariest thing of all.

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