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Sharp Objects [Library Binding]

Gillian Flynn
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (489 customer reviews)
RRP: 13.57
Price: 13.41 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 3.99  
Hardcover 9.20  
Library Binding, 22 May 2008 13.41  
Paperback 6.95  
Audio, CD, Audiobook 14.00  
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Book Description

22 May 2008
When two girls, aged nine and ten are abducted and killed in Wind Gap, Missouri, Camille Preaker is sent back to her home town to investigate and report on the crimes. Camille, self-described 'white trash from old money', is the daughter of one of the richest families in town. Long-haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her mother for years, Camille suddenly finds herself installed once again in her family's Victorian 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 and surrounds herself with a group of vampish teenage girls. As Camille struggles to remain detached from the evidence, her relationship with her neurotic, hypochondriac mother threatens to topple her hard-won mental stability. Working alongside the police chief and a special agent from out of town, Camille tries to uncover the mystery of who killed these little girls and why. But there are deeper psychological puzzles: Why does Camille identify so strongly with the dead girls? And how is this connected to the death of another sister years earlier?
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product details

  • Library Binding: 254 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435283104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435283107
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.7 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (489 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,022,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gillian Flynn's first novel SHARP OBJECTS was the winner of two CWA DAGGERS, and was shortlisted for the GOLD DAGGER, and also for an EDGAR. She lives in Chicago with her husband.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Gillian Flynn is TV critic for US magazine Entertainment Weekly, but after the highly impressive thriller debut that is Sharp Objects, she may have to re-think the day job – particularly as such masters of the thriller as Harlan Coben and Stephen King are falling over each other to praise her novel.

Flynn’s conflicted heroine is journalist Camille Parker, who is holding down a job on a low-rent newspaper, convinced that she’s inspiring only feeling of disappointment in her editor, who has nursed unfulfilled hopes for her journalistic career. Camille, from a small town called Wind Gap in Missouri, sees herself as white trash, but actually hails from a moneyed family. To maintain her sanity, she has escaped from the town and her highly-strung, hypochondriac mother. But bad news beckons: she is summoned by her editor, who suggests she return to her home town to cover the abduction and murder of two young girls. Despite all her reservations (not least for her own mental equilibrium), she feels she must go, returning to the impressive Victorian mansion that was her home. She is quickly back in dangerous territory with her demanding mother – and reminding herself how she fell into a dark cycle of self-harm. Another problem is her Lolita-ish half-sister, a precocious teenager with a following of alienated girlfriends and some dark secrets of her own. Back in this destabilising territory, Camille is reminded of the childhood tragedy that left a mark on her. Looking into the deaths of the murdered girls, she starts to make big mistakes: going to bed with the investigator assigned to the case, and, worse, getting involved with the prime suspect, a disturbed teenager.

This heady brew of Southern gothic is dispatched with an assurance that totally belies the fact that this is a debut novel – and, what’s more, will have most readers hungry for more of Gillian Flynn’s individual brand of sexually-charged menace. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


'Flynn delivers a great whodunit, replete with hinting details, telling dialogue, dissembling clues. Better yet, she offers appalling, heartbreaking insight into the darkness of her women's lives: the Stepford polish of desperate housewives, the backstabbing viciousness of drug-gobbling, sex-for-favors Mean Girls, the simmering rage bound to boil over. Piercingly effective and genuinely terrifying.' (Starred Kirkus Review)

This impressive debut novel is fuelled by stylish writing and compelling portraits of desperate housewives, southern style... In a particularly seductive narrative style, Flynn adopts the cynical, knowing patter of a weary reporter, but it is her portraits of the town¿s backstabbing, social-climbing, bored, and bitchy females that provoke her sharpest and most entertaining writing. A stylish turn on dark crimes and even darker psyches. (Booklist)

To say this is a terrific debut novel is really too mild...a relentlessly creepy family saga. I found myself dreading the last thirty pages or so, but was helpless to stop turning them. Then, after the lights were out, the story just stayed there in my head, coiled and hissing, like a snake in a cave (Stephen King)

A stylish, and compelling debut. A real winner (Harlan Coben)

The horror creeps up slowly, with Flynn misdirecting the reader until the shockling, dreadful and memorable double ending. (PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY)

'Dark, intensely sinister and completely unputdownable, Sharp Objects is a compelling insight into the minds of not one, but of several troubled characters that remains compelling from first page to last and leaves the reader both moved and exhausted...Sharp Objects is going to be a novel that is hard to beat and its author, Gillian Flynn, is soon going to be a name to rank alongside Cornwell, Reichs and Hayder in the way her debut is set to take the crime world by storm.' 10/10 (Chris High)

'Sharp Objects is one of the freshest debut thrillers to come around in a long while. It's a gripping, substantive story, stripped of cliche, and crafted with great style. The characters are refreshingly real, burdened with psychological issues that enrich the story. And the ending, which I was positive I could predict, is unpredictable.' (Augusten Burroughs)

This is a stylish thriller about housewives who don't recognise their own desperations, while the reader recognizes with fascinated clarity the nastiness and vacuity of life in an updated Stepford. (Jessica Mann LITERARY REVIEW)

If you love Martha O'Connor look out for Gillian Flynn's debut, Sharp Objects...a gothic fairytale-gone-bad. (COMPANY (January 2007))

Relentless, often creepy, but never less than real, this stylish and gripping tale will give you the shivers. (Maxim Jakubowski GUARDIAN (16.12.06))

Flynn achieves a wonderful balance of wit and creepy suspense which makes Sharp Objects a sure winner (Margaret Murphy SHOTS)

compulsively disturbing. (Kate Riordan TIME OUT (3-10 January))

it is a stunningly accomplished evocation of the oppressiveness of small-town life and is just as assured in depicting the gradually revealed psychological disorder that links Camille to both killer and victims. (John Dugdale SUNDAY TIMES (7.1.07))

[a] striking first novel...a relentlessly dark tale, with some very disturbed characters, Camille among them, and it makes a powerful impact. (Susanna Jager SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (7.1.07))

The dust jacket has such an eye-poppingly complimentary Stephen King quote that it's hard not to pick it up. But it's even harder to put down. This story of a singularly spine-chilling case is utterly gripping. This is a novel that doesn't just preoccupy you while you're reading it, but stays with you for days... it's a superb, if almost unbearable, piece of storytelling. (Alex Heminsley THELONDONPAPER (9.2.07))

Dark debut is quite stunning. (Paul Connolly LONDON LITE (9.1.07))

Flynn's debut novel grips like an iron fist from the start, partly because of the way she details the twitchy, colourless surfaces of a rural town where everyone knows each other's business but mainly because of the psychological acuity with which she draws her female characters...this is a great book and a compulsive thriller. (Claire Allfree METRO (18.1.07))

[a] sinister and stylish psychological drama...Flynn brilliantly depicts the lurking malice and secrets of a small community as well as reminding us how scary teenage girls can be. (Carla McKay DAILY MAIL (19.1.07))

"'Sharp Objects' is creepy, claustrophobic and dark as all hell. With a gloriously twisted plot, a brooding atmosphere and a beautifully realised central character, this is easily the best debut novel I've read in a very long time." Mark Billingham (Mark Billingham)

This is a fine debut novel. Bitter and unbelievably, grindingly sad. A major talent has arrived. (Mark Timlin INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY (28.1.07))

'Sharp, clean exciting writing that grabs you from the first page. A real pleasure' (Kate Atkinson)

tremendously impressive writing. (Mat Coward MORNING STAR (6.3.07))

an impressive debut (Crimetime) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely recommended 7 Feb 2007
Thoroughly enjoyable read. The cover of the book definitely doesn't do this justice. If it wasn't for a friend's recommendation, I would never have picked this up as it looks like a typical crime novel. But please let me assure you - it is so much more than that! This definitely comes under the psychological thriller/literary fiction umbrella.

This is a book that has stayed with me long after reading it. Flynn wonderfully captures the suffocating atmosphere of small town Missouri so intensely you can feel the claustrophobia bearing down on you. Whilst Camille is not a wholly likeable person, her character binds the whole story. The book is very chilling and disturbing and not for the faint-hearted but is brilliant and definitely worth a read. Whenever you think you know where the story is taking you, it turns a sharp corner and leaves you completely breathless.

I cannot capture the essence of this book keenly enough so I can strenuously recommend that you give this book a go.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
From a rich, sterile and emotionless upbringing, it's no wonder Camille is damaged. As she strives to normalise her life away from her family, she learns she has to go back to the town, and the overbearing lifestyle she thought she had left behind: Wind Gap, Missouri,is the kind of place you only visit in nightmares.
As an investigative reporter, Camille is drawn back to the family hometown to shed some light on the gruesome murder of a local girl. In an apparently ritualistic killing, Camille believes she is on the trail of a serial killer and even though she doesn't want the job, she feels morally obliged by the respect and love she has for her Editor - a father figure in her life more than her robot-like, bland step-father - and the opportunity of a 'scoop' over a rival newspaper. As she re-aquaints herself with her over-bearing mother and her manipulative, cold step-sister, Camille opens old wounds. As a physcological thriller and as a portrait of 'old money' people trying to cope with the modern world, Gillian Flynn has excelled herself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 17 Jan 2014
By Susie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A real page-turner! Once I started this book I could not put it down, and I did not guess the ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 5 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading "Gone Girl" I had high expectations of "Sharp Objects". Sadly I was very disappointed. The plot is quite thin and predictable and there is no building of tension. I could not engage with the characters - just too two dimensional.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strangely intriguing and yet repulsive 19 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book really drew me in to the strangely intriguing yet disturbingly repulsive psyche of the main character Camille. I look forward to reading more Gillian Flynn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, cynical and twisted 17 April 2014
By Roman Clodia TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When so many crime novels are derivative and imitative, Flynn is a genuine breath of fresh air. Here she takes some well-worn clichés of the genre (the woman who returns to the home she escaped; the alliance of journalist and cop; murder which unsettles small-town USA; the damaged narrator) and makes them feel alive again.

Make no mistake, this is dark, twisted, a little perverse and sometimes nastily grubby – and yet there is a kind of compelling fascination in the story which is very well crafted.

I could say more about some of the almost taboo themes explored here but that may give away too many spoilers for new readers. If you’re looking for crime fiction which is also intelligent, probing, and nicely cynical about some of the ways women are culturally constructed and represented, this is excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but lacks complexity 26 Jan 2014
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
Camille is a journalist who goes back to her small hometown in Missouri to investigate the murder of two young girls. She hasn't been back in many years because of her troubled relationship with her mother, who now has another child that Camille barely knows. Flynn really captures the claustrophobia of a small town, where everyone knows everyone else's business. Camille starts to investigate the murders but she is also finding that being back in her family home is opening dormant psychological wounds.

I have to say I am ambivalent about this one. Admittedly it's a clever and well told story. The writing is smooth and easy to read. BUT...firstly, there is not a likeable character in the book. Everyone is so dysfunctional: deeply unpleasant to everyone around them, drinking far too much, taking drugs, prone to casual violence. There were only so many times I could read about the narrator swilling back vodka to start the day or 13 year old girls popping ecstasy.

Having said that, my main complaint is that the mystery is too transparent. The culprit, the red herring, even the twist were easy to predict. This was Flynn's first book and I do think there is much to like in her imagination and writing style, but it doesn't have the complexity of Gone Girl.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fab first 28 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this after I had picked up gone girl in a book shop and thoroughly enjoyed both books. You can tell sharp objects is the first as although the writing is good, it just seems thinner somehow. Both books cents on women characters who veer between strong and weak but both are really likeable even if they are damaged. The last chapter in sharp objects was unexpected to a certain degree and made sense without being a big twist. Now off to read hyorker other one!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very enjoyable and not at all predictable.
Published 16 hours ago by Amy
2.0 out of 5 stars Tacky
Just thankful I got this free with the galaxy promotion.
A nasty tale with not one likeable character in the plot. Read more
Published 1 day ago by avid reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the gone girl but an interesting plot line ...
Not as good as the gone girl but an interesting plot line and one that you really have to read to the end. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Helen
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I read this straight after "Gone Girl" and even though it's much, much darker (which is a good), it suffers from the same real lack of tension, semi-predictable narrative (I... Read more
Published 3 days ago by George Stark
5.0 out of 5 stars Frightening
A very chilling tale but completely believable which is scary !! I was hooked from.the beginning and realised that this probably happens somewhere to some unfortunate child.
Published 4 days ago by Sue K
1.0 out of 5 stars Very ordinary - predictable and even boring. Nothing seemed to happen
Really disappointing after reading Gone Girl. Very ordinary - predictable and even boring. Nothing seemed to happen. Read more
Published 5 days ago by David Margo
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharp Objects
Author is a great storyteller. Her character observations are second to none. I've read her three books now and can't wait for the fourth.
Published 5 days ago by ian hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars Def recommend
Took a while to warm to this book but then it got me and i couldnt put it down. Def recommend
Published 6 days ago by Miss S. J. Draper
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
First book I have read from Gillian Flynn, but would definitely try her again.
Published 8 days ago by Mr. Nicholas Gale
3.0 out of 5 stars it is still a very good read, it just isn't as good as her ...
I found this quite slow at first but then really got into it. I am a big fan of Gillian Flynn's books, but i found this one the least enjoyable. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Keith Sharp
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