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Sharp Objects Paperback – 17 Sep 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 1,073 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (17 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753822210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753822210
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,073 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sally J on 15 Mar. 2017
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a great storyline and a well-written, original novel. It kept me hooked with good, unpredictable twists and the ending was satisfying. The only downside to Ms Flynn's books is the bleak, grim feel to them. This is the third I have read in the last two months and they are all noticeably grim. I'm a horror/thriller fan so the gruesome and graphic do not put me off; the continual bleakness is what turns me off. Utterly depressing, I can feel my mood shifting down a gear while I am reading one of the Flynn novels and need to turn to a more light-hearted murder/psycho novel after reading one! Let me give you some examples of the countless dark adjectives in this book: "greasy" appears six times, "vomit" five times, "sweat" nine times, "sticky" thirteen times, "urine" (or synonyms) eight times. Things aren't just yellow, they are urine yellow in the world Ms Flynn creates; even a light shower sounds like urine falling. Every character is deeply psychologically flawed and depressed and there are more self-harmers in one chapter than in an emo concert crowd.

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.
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By Katyjam TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Sept. 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not my favourite read from the Flynn trajectory, but still enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. I liked the edginess of the main character Camille and her role as journalist complemented the love interest (nice but dim?) Detective who sounded quite fanciable ... Camille's 13 year old sister Amma was an intriguing naughty kid and her mother, well she was just a strange one.

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.
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By Zoe on 22 Mar. 2017
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't like this.

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..
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm hooked. This is the fourth story written by Gillian Flynn that I've read and I'm absolutely wowed by her writing style. She always created characters that I find uncomfortable to read until something switches and I'm rooting for them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed this, a real page Turner. Quite different to Gone Girl, good build up. Excellent observations of female dynamics.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written and engaging as per other Gillian Flynn novels.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Clever book. Uncomfortable at times, but keeps you reading, and guessing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good short story that leaves you hooked! Even though it's a bit predictable you still want to read on to see if your right
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