Thursday, 12 July 2018

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn


Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Published in America by Shaye Areheart Books on September 26, 2006.

How I got this book:
Borrowed from my partner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository : from £6.99 (PB)
Wordery : from £6.46 (PB)
Waterstones : from £6.99 (PB)
Amazon : from $2.79 / £1.75 (used PB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

When two girls are abducted and killed in Missouri, journalist Camille Preaker is sent back to her home town to report on the crimes. Long-haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her mother for years, Camille suddenly finds herself installed once again in her family's mansion, reacquainting herself with her distant mother and the half-sister she barely knows - a precocious 13-year-old who holds a disquieting grip on the town.

As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims - a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

This review was written in November 2014 when recently having seen Gone Girl at the cinema reminded me that I still had Sharp Objects languishing unread on our Kindle. It's the third Gillian Flynn novel I read but apparently the first she wrote.

The storyline here is definitely not for the fainthearted and at points I felt quite queasy reading it. The central theme of two girls in a small town in Missouri being murdered is obviously horrific, but having read several crime thrillers over the years, I have pretty much become immune to the emotional pull of murdered young fictional women and girls. It feels bizarre writing that but so many novels start with such a death that it is almost a prerequisite. Where Sharp Objects differs is that our viewpoint into the story comes via Camille, a journalist sent back to cover the story unfolding in her hometown. Camille not only has self harmed and in plenty of detail, but leads us into the bosom of her cold, dysfunctional family as she tries to come to terms with her personal past and the death of her younger sister. The relationships within her home and trailing out across the town are cleverly included in the story, explaining why she is as she is.

I don't think Sharp Objects is as good a story as Gone Girl and it doesn't have the former's intensity, but I appreciate that they both have unusual central female characters who are damaged and bizarre, yet memorable and definitely never stereotypical.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Gillian Flynn / Thrillers / Books from America

18 comments:

  1. hi Stephanie! Happy to be back! I missed your blog SO MUCH! Thanks a lot for visiting me when I was MIA! I'll catch up with your blog ASAP. Even though I really like Gone Girl and how Flynn writes I'm not in to crime. Still I gave this one a try and it was a DNF for me. I'm glad you enjoy it somehow :) I think I do want to watch the HBO series. Do you?

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    1. I think I'll give the HBO series a miss - I'm expecting too much graphic use of actual sharp objects for my tastes!

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  2. I can't even count the number of people who keep telling me to read Flynn's books. I keep saying, "Um, hellooooo, non-fiction reader here!" but at this point I may have to give in and read one. Probably Gone Girl though. And if I like it, maybe this one too. Great review!

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    1. They're good stories, but not as Great as the hype would have us believe!

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  3. I do want to read this, although I probably should read Gone Girl first. I love the idea of her twisted characters. Sounds deliciously dark! :)

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    1. I preferred Gone Girl, but a lot of that was to do with the blade scenes in Sharp Objects. I should have guessed by the title really!

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  4. I only watched the Gone girl movie and was not that impressed

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    1. I did quite like the film - not a classic, but entertaining! - but was glad I had already read the book.

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  5. This is on my radar because of the show coming out, but I'm sorry it didn't stand out as a thriller.
    Tori @ In Tori Lex


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    1. This wasn't really a good choice for me

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  6. I haven't read Gillian Flynn, but with the series I've definitely been interested in this one. I might still check it out even though it wasn't your favorite.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  7. Yikes, this sounds really heavy, but that's not necessary a bad thing. Sounds like it has some good characterization.

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    1. Yes, good characters, but not one for squeamish readers!

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  8. It sounds like from this book you can clearly see that her writing style and writing has improved over time. But yeah, it sounds just as disturbing and queasy as her other books!

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    1. Yes, I think if Gone Girl hadn't been such a success, this one would be practically unknown

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  9. I'm wary of books that go into detail about self-harm, because so often it's exploited and sensationalised; still, it sounds like it's an interesting read.

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    1. I think I remember it was a fine line in this one

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