Minutes from the March 9, 2015 Meeting

Another great discussion on March 3rd at the Bacon Free Library about Suspense/Thrillers.

Our Benchmark was “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn. Our observations about Suspense/Thrillers in general:

  • Pacing is very different from other genres
  • Nothing is what it seems
  • Main character is not usually in danger
  • “Page Turners”
  • Question is often “Why was it done” vs. “Who dun it”
  • Difference between psychological suspense vs. true thriller seems to be in the pacing
  • Suspense = character driven, Thriller = plot driven

Our observations about “Dark Places”:

  • Psychologically damaged characters
  • Not particularly likeable or sympathetic characters
  • This book hooked readers immediately
  • There were different perspectives, 1st person in the present and 3rd person flashbacks, which was confusing for some
  • Story was “unrelentingly bleak”
  • Discussion on why patrons would read these types of stories regularly or exclusively:
    • To experience something horrific without it happening to you
    • To try to understand the psychology of the characters
    • Hope that characters will learn and grow
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