Gillian Flynn | Author Exploration

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.

The Books

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 

My Thoughts

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
Gone Girl | Movie Edition
Sharp Objects
The Grownup

Similar Reads 

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

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Gone Girl | Movie Edition

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was one of my favorite books I read in 2014. I was shocked by the dark vibe and shocking twists that came from the complex, manipulative and slightly psychotic characters. I had heard such amazing things about this movie from friends, but of course they were all people that had not read the book.

I will state first that I really enjoyed the movie and thought it was very true to the book (might have been since Flynn herself worked on the screenplay). Although I enjoyed what they did with the movie and the aspects they incorporated from the book, I still love the book so much more. While watching the movie I was not shocked and surprised by the twists because I had already read the book so I feel like I missed some of that enjoyment. There were also parts that I felt like where missing from the movie. At the end of the movie I didn’t quite get the same feeling and felt like it didn’t convey to the full extent what Flynn did at the end of the book about the future of Nick and Amy. I also did not think that Ben Affleck was the right person for the role of Nick, but that might just be me.

Even though I highly recommend reading this book first because even though the movie was slightly ruined for me by having read the book it would have make the book hard to read if I already knew what happened it the movie. The movie was well written and filmed. I was happy to see what they did and absolutely loved Amy’s character. Rosamund Pike was fantastic. The feel of the movie is also well done and mimics the feels from the book extremely well. It is definitely dark and twisted and is worth the watch in my opinion!

Gone Girl Book Review 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn | Book Review

Gone_Girl_(Flynn_novel)GONE GIRL BY GILLIAN FLYNN

Genre: Adult, Mystery/Thriller

“We weren’t ourselves when we fell in love, and when we became ourselves – surprise! – we were poison. We complete each other in the nastiest, ugliest possible way.”
-Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Synopsis:
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?[Goodreads]

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I am going to start this review by saying it is going to be rather short because I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about this book and I am afraid I might share spoilers. With this being a mystery/psychological thriller you really want to go into knowing very little and any spoilers can ruin the story because there is so much suspense and twists.

“Gone Girl is one of the best ­and most frightening ­portraits of psychopathy I’ve ever read. Nick and Amy manipulate each other ­with savage, merciless and often darkly witty dexterity. This is a wonderful and terrifying book about how the happy surface normality and the underlying darkness can become too closely interwoven to separate.”
—Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of Faithful Place and Into the Woods

Tana French has summed up this book better than I ever could. On the surface this book is a love story. About a couple dealing with the problems that come with marriage and how being past your prime and dealing with unhappiness in life can transfers over to the relationship. Flynn has crafted a beautifully dark and intense story that looks past the surface layer and lets you into the inter workings of Nick and Amy. There were times throughout the story that I sure did question Flynn’s sanity. The way the story was put together and unfolded was fantastic. As with all mysteries I tried to figure out what had happened and just when I thought I had an idea of what was going on, Flynn threw a twist at the story and changed everything. The way she plays with the characters flaws, enhance the suspense because you get to a point where you aren’t sure what to believe. The characters were brilliantly crafted and really are messed up.

Overall this was a wonderfully devious story that makes you question the sanity of not only the characters, but the author as well. Gillian Flynn is absolutely brilliant. Her writing and story telling is fantastic and created a superb mystery/thriller. I highly recommend this book  and would definitely say that you should read it before you see the movie because I don’t think it would create the same atmosphere and brilliance if you know what is to happen.

RATING-3

Friday Reads {9/19}

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I plan on catching up on a lot of reading this weekend and to get ready for the Falling For 7260188Autumn Read-A-Thon! I am still listen/re-reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, but I have less than 100 pages left! I read this book when it first came out and honestly I don’t remember much of anything that happened in this book. With the first part of the movie coming out soon I figured I should refresh myself. I am also almost done with Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and I am loving it! This also has a movie coming out soon and it seems like everyone else in the book community is also reading this book. There is a hashtag for it on twitter #xoxogonegirl! So if you have it on your shelf and haven’t read it you should pick it up!  After I finish these two I need to start 1984 by George Orwell which is the second Book of the Month for the FCLA Book Club! In the spirit of school Autumn and I have seem to revert to out old habits so our reading and posts are way behind.  I also need to get around to starting Horns by Joe Hill because it is a library book and needs to be returned really soon.

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What are your plans for the weekend?Anything fun or exciting happening ? What are you reading/planning on reading? I would love to hear from you!    

Friday Reads {9/12}

Untitled design-115129I don’t think I am going to get much reading done this weekend because I am going to visit some friends, but figured I would do a “What I am currently reading” post and if I have anytime these are the books I will be reading this weekend! I am almost done and need to finish Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. This is the first book of two that Autumn @ Kitty Cat Reads and I are reading for our book club! (FCLA Book Club!) You can check out what we thought of the first half of the book here! I am also listen/re-reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins! I read this book when it first came out and honestly I don’t remember much of anything that happened in this book. With the first part of the movie coming out soon I figured I should refresh myself. I just recently finished a couple books that I had been reading last week so I figured I would start one of the books I got from the library so I started Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn! This also has a movie coming out soon and it seems like everyone else in the book community is also reading this book. There is a hashtag for it on twitter #xoxogonegirl! So if you have it on your shelf and haven’t read it you should pick it up!

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What are your plans for the weekend?Anything fun or exciting happening ? What are you reading/planning on reading? I would love to hear from you!    

Third Sentence Thursday {9/11}

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Hosted by: Thatswhatsheread

(Take any book you are reading and flick to a random page. Share the third full sentence from that page with the blogosphere as a “taster” of the book! You can also share your thoughts about the sentence (does it affect the novel? did you like the language used? was it so short that it adds suspense?) It’s a fun, fast way to offer your readers a ‘snapshot’ of a particular book.)

” I’ve always thought twelve was a solid, reasonable number to end at.”

– Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl 

I am not very far in the book and this is only from the second chapter. This is a sentence from Amy’s diary entry when she is talking about when she first met Nick. I really enjoy that Amy’s perspective is in the form of diary entries from the past!