I have been wanting to do some Author Explorations for awhile and have been craving some Gillian Flynn so I thought she was a good place to start! One of my favorite things is to fall in love with an authors writing and then read everything they have ever written. This is something that has been a slow progress because I love so many authors and many have lots of books. It is something I definitely want to work on in the future.
Who Is Gillian Flynn?
I am not going to pretend I know Flynn in any sort of way so this is the bio I pulled off of Goodreads!
Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She has so far written three novels, Sharp Objects, for which she won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller; Dark Places; and her best-selling third novel Gone Girl.
Her book has received wide praise, including from authors such as Stephen King. The dark plot revolves around a serial killer in a Missouri town, and the reporter who has returned from Chicago to cover the event. Themes include dysfunctional families,violence and self-harm.
In 2007 the novel was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar for Best First Novel by an American Writer, Crime Writers’ Association Duncan Lawrie, CWA New Blood and Ian Fleming Steel Daggers, winning in the last two categories.
Flynn, who lives in Chicago, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated at the University of Kansas, and qualified for a Master’s degree from Northwestern University.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows, a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan
Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas. She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.
How They Should Be Read
The answer is there is no real order in which they must be read because they are all stand alone books, but I do have some suggestions. These books could be read in publication order. A lot of people always choose to read authors books in the order in which they were published. In my opinion this would be a good choice because Flynn’s first book was my favorite! I feel like the order I actually read them in was by popularity. I picked up Gone Girl right before the movie came out and got totally sucked into Flynn’s writing. I think if you are not a huge fan of mysteries and thrillers or unsure about Flynn you should pick up her short story The Grownup first just to get a feel for her writing. I do not think it is one of her best works in my opinion but gives you a feel of her writing.
Publication Order Order I Read Them If Unsure About Flynn
Sharp Objects Gone Girl The Grownup
Dark Places Sharp Objects Gone Girl
Gone Girl The Grownup Sharp Objects
The Grownup Dark Places Dark Places
I do not read a lot of mystery or thriller books, but once I read Gone Girl I had to get my hands on the rest of her work. Flynn has a way of writing that keeps you completely in the dark and guessing the whole time, thinking you know what is going to happen until she completely throws a plot twist. Throughout each of the books I was on the edge of my seat. These books are definitely on the darker side too. They are dark and twisted, to the point where they make you question Flynn’s background. She is a mastermind with her writing and really puts a lot of effort into crafting her stories so that you only get small pieces of information at a time.
My favorite book was Sharp Objects and my least favorite was Dark Places but they are all really great books. They are such quick reads that completely suck you into them. There are even movies out for Gone Girl and Dark Places and I have heard mention of a movie for Sharp Objects!
For more information check out my reviews!
Gone Girl | Movie Edition
If you are like me and fly through Flynn’s books and then need more like them, I have found a few that fill small parts of what I am missing in my life from the absence of more Gillian Flynn books.
The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
You by Caroline Kepnes
Velocity by Dean Koontz