Sharp Objects Paperback – 17 Sep 2007
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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.
Flynns conflicted heroine is journalist Camille Parker, who is holding down a job on a low-rent newspaper, convinced that shes 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, whats more, will have most readers hungry for more of Gillian Flynns individual brand of sexually-charged menace. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
To say this is a terrific debut novel is really too mild ... [it is] 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)
This is a stylish thriller about housewives who don't recognise their own desperations, while the reader recognises with fascinated clarity the nastiness and vacuity of life in an updated Stepford (Literary Review)
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 the killer and victims (Sunday Times)
Compulsively disturbing and ... exciting (Time Out)
[A] striking first novel ... a relentlessly dark tale, with some very disturbing characters, Camille among then, and it makes a powerful impact (Sunday Telegraph)
A stylish and compelling debut. A real winner (Harlan Coben)
If you love Martha O'Connor look out for Gillian Flynn's debut, Sharp Objects ... a gothic fairytale-gone-bad (Company)
The horror creeps up slowly, with Flynn misdirecting the reader until the shocking, dreadful and memorable double ending (Publisher's Weekly)
Six years before she became famous for Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn's first book wowed the critics.. it's a dark, unsettling read that fills you with doubt and keeps you second-guessing the whole way through" (ESSENTIALS)
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Top Customer Reviews
The other problem I have is the writing style which is supposed to be punchy and cool is rather irritating when it makes up half the narrative, e.g. "A belly. A smell. Cigarettes and old coffee."
Since I'm not a writer I shouldn't criticise, I know, but I would love these books if the author could resist the urge to over-describe everything in such a negative way. Then the excellent elements of her writing such as clever plotting, wry humour, extended vocabulary and thorough research would make the impact. Not everyone has to have breath that smells of eggs/sour vomit/stale saliva.
Aside from the family dynamics which definitely helped keep the story interesting, Camille is desperate to file a newsworthy story on the mysterious deaths of some local children. She puts herself out of her comfort zone many times to try and garner some interesting detail from her ex school chums and her mother's mates to put some meat on the bones so to speak.
Well, there are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing in true Gillian Flynn style and I am glad I read it. No more from me in fear of a spoiler but I will say if you like her other works you'll probably enjoy this one too.
For me, this was sick and twisted (and not even in an entertaining way..!) with a difficult to follow plot. I found the writing style hard work. We were supposed to be shocked by the 'twist' at the end when the murderer of the two girls was revealed - I was unimpressed and at that point, past caring.
About halfway through this book, I *did* gain some interest as it felt as though it was working up to an exciting story-line - this is my reason for my 2nd star rating. If it wasn't for the brief mid-way boost in events, I would certainly have given this an easy 1 star. A shame - as this has quite a lot of 'hype' .. Typically because it is written by the Author of Gone Girl..
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed this. Very gripping and easy to get into. Satisfying throughout. I'm gonna read all her other books definitelyPublished 12 days ago by nick
An amazing thriller! Even better than gone girl in my opinion- so gripping and shocking too. I would recommend it to all young adults and adults.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
V disappointed as I've enjoyed Flynn's other books, especially Dak Places. I simply didn't like the main character or the style of writing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Maria
Camille Preaker is a newspaper reporter based in Chicago. Her editor, Frank Curry, believes the ‘right’ story will propel his paper into the realms of the big-hitters and finally... Read morePublished 2 months ago by madaboutbooks
Loved this book, handed it to many friends since. Well worth the price and well worth a read!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Trigger warning: the protagonist of this story self-harms.
I found this an easy book to read. The storyline was simple and not overly convaluted. Read more