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Sharp Objects: A Novel by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects: A Novel (edition 2007)

by Gillian Flynn

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3,2302191,716 (3.74)1 / 291
Title:Sharp Objects: A Novel
Authors:Gillian Flynn
Info:Broadway (2007), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 254 pages
Collections:Your library, Audio
Tags:Mystery, Audio

Work details

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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A book that will make you rethink your world view on violence, women, and sharp objects. Gillian Flynn investigates and tells the reader of small town motherly politics, exploring the fine line between the perfect angels and the outsiders. What and who keeps the children as they should be, ought to be in Americana. This could be in part the real house wives of Arkansas Pines Valley. "See how the better half live." A land of normal, defined by pretty people, who live within the structure of violence.

Truman Capote's (True Blood) Stephen King's (Misery) = Gillian Flynn's (Sharp Objects) ( )
1 vote Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
A book that will make you rethink your world view on violence, women, and sharp objects. Gillian Flynn investigates and tells the reader of small town motherly politics, exploring the fine line between the perfect angels and the outsiders. What and who keeps the children as they should be, ought to be in Americana. This could be in part the real house wives of Arkansas Pines Valley. "See how the better half live." A land of normal, defined by pretty people, who live within the structure of violence.

Truman Capote's (True Blood) Stephen King's (Misery) = Gillian Flynn's (Sharp Objects) ( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
Before Gillian Flynn wrote "Gone Girl," which became a #1 New York Times bestseller, she wrote "Sharp Objects," a psychological thriller/mystery, in 2006-7. "Sharp Objects" was her debut novel, and its brilliance has been largely overshadowed by the rampant success of "Gone Girl" in the last few years.

"Sharp Objects" is told from the first-person perspective of Camille Preaker, a newspaper reporter who works in Chicago but grew up in the sort of small town you want to flee at the first available opportunity when you're finally old enough to do so. Camille is sent back to her hometown after many years away to investigate and report on the grisly murders of two young girls, one recent, one a year ago.

Her presence back home torches off a flood of nightmarish memories from her childhood, when her younger sister Marian died of a long-term, unexplained illness. Now, Camille's trapped back in her childhood home with her neurotic, controlling mother; her colorless, voiceless step-father; and her bewitching, spoiled half-sister Amma.

She finds herself unable to handle the tension and stress of being back home, and realizes that she's not nearly as emotionally stable or as healed from past psychological trauma as she thought. Meanwhile, the police chief in town has nothing to say, and the homicide investigator from Kansas City, sent down to Missouri to help with the case, is surly, aloof, and similarly closed-mouthed.

Before long, it becomes clear to Camille that there are more secrets in her hometown, and more skeletons in the closets of its civilians, than anybody is willing to acknowledge. Further investigation reveals that there was something odd about her sister Marian's death, so many years ago, and that the three deaths, long past and more recent, may be tied together and shockingly interconnected to the most influential family in Wind Gap.

Thrillers by definition require quick pacing, and Flynn is more a master than most others I've read in the genre at maintaining the tension through the entire story line. Even descriptions of setting and people contribute to the psychological uncertainty that hangs over the story; Flynn leaves no detail untouched.

Further, Camille is a highly sympathetic protagonist; instead of becoming a victim and a martyr, her struggle to deal with her past has left her stronger and more rational than most everyone else she interacts with in her hometown, which is positively crawling with selfish, creepy people determined to keep their secrets hidden, whatever it takes.

One of the highest compliments I can pay an author of this caliber is to say that I could never have predicted that final revelation at the story's conclusion. "Shocked" and "horrified" don't begin to describe my feelings when I read those last several chapters and realized, truly, the wholly depraved depths to which people will stoop to get what they want and accomplish their own terrible agendas.

"Sharp Objects" is not for the faint of heart, but if you're someone who likes to be kept on the edge of your seat and laying awake nights until that last plot twist, don't hesitate to take my wholehearted recommendation for Gillian Flynn's work.

# # #

Title: "Sharp Objects"
Author: Gillian Flynn
ISBN: 978-0-307-34155-6
Purchase here: http://amzn.to/1wWU10V

Disclaimer: The opinions I have expressed are my own. ( )
1 vote Eleanore_Trupkiewicz | Nov 13, 2014 |
I have, unintentionally, read the "Gone Girl" trilogy backwards! Sharp Objects is Ms. Flynn's first novel. It is a psychological thriller; a good story that kept me engaged. It isn't as good as her later novels; I found this one relied mostly on the events, while future novels had stronger character development. There's nothing wrong with the characters in this first novel...the author just got better with time. ( )
  LynnB | Nov 13, 2014 |
Did you enjoy Gone Girl? Sharp Objects is way darker. Only a few things are more heinous than child murder, and this little book has them at its center.

This was Flynn's first novel, and it's easy to see how she distilled down the psychopathic type to one character, "Amazing Amy." Sharp Objects is filled with disturbing characters, from the youngest to the oldest.

This is an excellent psychological thriller. In fact, I removed one star from my review simply because it is so disturbing. Gilliam Flynn looks quite normal on the outside, but there's something very wrong with a mind that writes these stories. I don't know which is worse: her sick imagination or her ability to portray on paper the disturbing and psychotic so incredibly well. To give her full 5-star credit would be too much like including myself in her camp, to like it so much. Sorry, can't do it.

Highly recommended. ( )
  WordMaven | Nov 6, 2014 |
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For my parents, Matt and Judith Flynn
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Book description
Reporter Camille Preaker tries to unravel the truth of her own troubled past as she returns to her hometown to investigate the murders of two preteen girls.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307341550, Paperback)

As loyal Entertainment Weekly subscribers, we have been fans of Gillian Flynn for her smart, funny, and spot-on reviews of books, movies, and TV, but we were not prepared for her stunning debut novel Sharp Objects, a wickedly dark thriller that Stephen King calls a "relentlessly creepy family saga" and an "admirably nasty piece of work." We're calling it a cross between Twin Peaks and Secretary--sinister, sexy, and stylish. Perfect fall reading. --Daphne Durham

10 Second Interview: A Few Words with Gillian Flynn

Q: Do you prefer writing novels or reviewing?
A: I think writing is more pure--and actually a bit easier for me. It's just me and my laptop, not me and my laptop and a TV show that 30 people have worked on. Reviewing keeps you sharp--I can hardly watch or read anything without taking notes now--but plain old writing I find actually relaxing.

Q: Do think your writing is influenced more by books that you have read, or shows/movies that you have seen?
A: My mom spent her career as a reading teacher and my dad is a retired film professor, so I was really steeped in both books and movies growing up. To this day, when I get my dad on the phone, pretty much his first sentence is "Seen anything good lately?" I love putting words together (I've never met a simile I didn't like), but when I write I often think in "scenes"--I want these two people, in a dirty bar, with this song playing in the background.

Q: I hear you are working on your second book...is it is too early to ask what it's about?
A: I'm still playing around with the whole plot--when I wrote Sharp Objects, I wasn't even sure who the killer was for a bit. But I can say [the new book] has to do with family loyalty, false memories, a wrenching murder trial, and a dash of good 'ole 1980s hair metal and devil worship.

Q: What is your writing process like? Have you changed anything about how you work since your first book?
A: My writing process is incredibly inefficient, and hasn't changed between books. I really don't outline: I know basically how I want the story to start, and vaguely how I want it to end (though like I said, with Sharp Objects even that changed!). Then I just write: Some characters I start finding more interesting, some less. I write entire swaths that I pretty much know I'll cut. I have an entire file of "deleted scenes." I guess the one thing that has physically changed is I moved into a new place since my first book--it has a great bathtub, and I'll prop my laptop up and write in the bath for hours. Which is, admittedly, weird.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:50 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Returning to her hometown after an eight-year absence and a short stay at a psychiatric hospital to investigate the murders of two girls, reporter Camille Preaker is reunited with her neurotic mother and enigmatic, thirteen-year-old half-sister as she works to uncover the truth about the killings.… (more)

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