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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects (edition 2007)

by Gillian Flynn

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3,3182261,638 (3.74)1 / 293
Title:Sharp Objects
Authors:Gillian Flynn
Info:W&N (2007), Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2013, ebook

Work details

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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Showing 1-5 of 220 (next | show all)
This is a remarkable first book from a promising author. The book is everything that people are saying about it and more. The main character in the book can be relatable to many different people. Maybe not for everything she does or all of who she is, but by how she was raised or how she associates with the place she comes from. The story of her trying to write an article about child killings is exhilarating. The story gets increasingly more interesting and the end catches you off guard. If you are even debating whether or not to pick up this book, don't. Just grab it and start reading. You will not be disappointed. ( )
  JosP | Jan 26, 2015 |
It's impossible to compete with the dead. I wished I could stop trying.

Here's the thing about Sharp Objects. It makes you feel dirty. Like you've been rolling around in sweat and mud for a week, and no matter how much you shower and scrub, you just cannot get rid of that dirt underneath your skin. It's every bad thought that ever crossed your mind, and every dirty secret you imagine someone could be holding on to. It's toxic.

There is no way you can read this and come out of it smiling or even, God forbid, laughing. It's so morbid and painful, that I found myself shocked to part the curtains and see that the sun was shining. I think I even thought to myself, "The sun has no business shining right now."

That's Gillian Flynn's writing in total, though. Morbid and painful. It takes the little bad things in life and blows them up to shocking proportions, and then you're reading and thinking, "Is this happening? Is someone out there feeling this way? Acting this way? Living like this?" It's addicting and all consuming, like chocolate.

Sharp Objects is a trigger warning for self-harm, alcoholism, and self-destructive behaviour. Drugs? You got it. Rape? Right here, buddy. Alienation from family? Look no further. Whatever you're looking for, Sharp Objects has it... and plenty more.

Camille Preaker was only thirteen when her sister died and, living in a family where her mother obsessed over the death, Camille's grief was dealt with by carving words into her skin.

I am a cutter, you see. Also a snipper, a slicer, a carver, a jabber. I am a very special case. I have a purpose. My skin, you see, screams. It's covered with words - cook, cupcake, kitty, curls - as if a knife-wielding first-grader learned to write on my flesh. I sometimes, but only sometimes, laugh. Getting out of the bath and seeing, out of the corner of my eye, down the side of a leg: babydoll. Pull on a sweater and, in a flash of my wrist: harmful.

It's gory, and shocking, but not angsty whatsoever. The book could've taken a bad turn for me here, but Flynn handled it perfectly.

Ten years later, Camille is sent back to her hometown to cover a story for her paper: little girls going missing, turning up dead without their teeth. What some would call "a reporter's wet dream", an instant breakthrough for one's career.

But going back to her home town also means facing her nightmares: her mother, her school friends, her past. And it brings the toughest challenges of all, facing what happened when her sister died.

There's a very interesting quote in this book, that I adore with my entire being:

I was never really on my side in any argument. I liked the Old Testament spitefulness of the phrase got what she deserved. Sometimes women do.

Now, wait, before sending the cavalry to get me. In a world where women are victimised every single day, this book takes a completely different outlook. Sometimes, women aren't the victims, but they're the instigators. We're so used to blaming men for everything bad that happens, but sometimes women can be just as bad, if not worse, than men. Women are mean, and that's a fact. We're mean. We hold grudges. We mull over things for ages and ages and ages, and we can be volatile and violent when pressed. A man's fist can hold no light to a woman's nails. Two men fight, and it's over. When two women fight, it's World War Three, and we all know it. We can be incredibly cruel when we want to be, and sometimes we ask for it.

In this book, Flynn works with the idea of "evil women" really well. Some parts, I found myself nodding along and thinking, "That's totally right, though." In an interview, she stated:

I particularly mourn the lack of female villains — good, potent female villains. Not ill-tempered women who scheme about landing good men and better shoes (as if we had nothing more interesting to war over), not chilly WASP mothers (emotionally distant isn’t necessarily evil), not soapy vixens (merely bitchy doesn’t qualify either). I’m talking violent, wicked women. Scary women. Don’t tell me you don’t know some. The point is, women have spent so many years girl-powering ourselves — to the point of almost parodic encouragement — we’ve left no room to acknowledge our dark side. Dark sides are important. They should be nurtured like nasty black orchids.

Even women can be evil. And I suppose that's the most shocking thing about Sharp Objects, it shows just how evil we can be, especially if pushed.


Holy mother of god, it's Flynn. I have a book hangover and I swear, this author is to me what crack cocaine is to an addict.

*falls over*
*dies inside*
*reaches for the wine*

Review to come. At some point. Maybe. ( )
  Aly_Locatelli | Jan 26, 2015 |
Not my normal read. I read Gone Girl first and had to have another taste and see if the author could "wow" me twice. This book did just that! The twisted ending fit and I had to read who did it twice. Raw, disturbed and calculated is the bottom line. An awesome book. The characters are as screwed up as the title suggests. Crime and betrayal are just a couple words to describe this story! ( )
  Ahopkinsbibliomaniac | Jan 10, 2015 |
Troubled reporter returns to her hometown to cover the murder of two young girls and uncovers the secrets of dysfunctional family. ( )
  lovelybeans | Jan 9, 2015 |
Good book but at moments with was too long before something good happened ( )
  dom76 | Jan 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 220 (next | show all)
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For my parents, Matt and Judith Flynn
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My sweater was new, stinging red and ugly.
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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)

(summary from another edition)

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