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Book Name: Sharp Objects: A Novel

Author: Gillian Flynn

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Overall Rating: (3.91/5) View all reviews (total 113 reviews)
Description

As loyalEntertainment Weeklysubscribers, 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 novelSharp Objects, a wickedly dark Thrillers that Stephen King calls a "relentlessly creepy family saga" and an "admirably nasty piece of work." We're calling it a cross betweenTwin PeaksandSecretary--sinister, sexy, and stylish. Perfect fall reading.--Daphne Durham10 Second Interview: A Few Words with Gillian FlynnQ: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 wroteSharp 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, withSharp Objectseven 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.

Reviews

A creepy, unsettling murder mystery/family drama

by Adam Craig
(4/5)

Gillian Flynn's debut novel follows a beat reporter for a relatively small Chicago newspaper. Desperate for a unique story, the editor sends Camille, his "star" reporter, back to her hometown in Missouri to report on the murders of two young girls. Both girls were strangled and had all their teeth removed before being dumped somewhere in the local area. The murders aren't all Camille has to deal with, however. Her relationship with her mother cannot be explained. Unhealthy would be way too...healthy of a word. Camille is a deeply-flawed, sympathetic protagonist that is easy to root for. Especially when the novel reaches its climax and Camille is forced to face here deepest anxieties and fears.The murder mystery is a main part of the novel, but the great thing is that Flynn also incorporates the family drama aspect, and the aspect of living in a small town. Camille desperately wanted to get out of the town, and she finally did, but now that she comes back after all these years in the big city, she once again has to adapt herself to small town politics, and all of us who are from small towns know exactly how tough and annoying that can be. As Camille is forced to interact with all these people from her past, she is almost drawn back into her life during high school, and its almost sad for the reader to watch her devolve throughout the book.The imagery in Sharp Objects is extremely unsettling. There are a few dream sequences that had me squirming, and Flynn's descriptions are spot-on. In fact, in dialog as well, Flynn proves herself to be an above-average writer. The interactions between Camille and her mother are shocking, disgusting, and, I'm sure, somewhat familiar to a lot of people. The only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 is the fact that, due to its short length, it doesn't really have a chance to develop completely any more than 2 or 3 characters, and I feel that if all the characters involved had been looked at more closely, the ending of the book could have had some more meaning. But that is the only criticism I have of this great debut novel.


Broken People

by A. Lemke "ALemke"
(3/5)

I would say it is really well written. The hard part is liking any of the characters. Essentially the main character is a cutter who goes back to the environment that made her want to cut. Her sister is a sociopath and narcissist. The mother is distant and wrong for how she tries to show her love which is the point for this screwed up family. The husband seems useless and for decoration. All the people even a lot of the side characters are gossip shallow fake people. It comes across that small town life is what engenders being broken.


Classic Gillian Flynn as good as Gone Girl

by Alicia M. Seevers
(5/5)

I read Gone Girl first and then decided to try Sharp Objects. This was an excellent book. Just like Gone Girl it was loaded with twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. It is a dark story and that seems to be what Gillian Flynn enjoys to write about, but a great read none the less. This one won't disappoint!


thriller

by A. M. Eadie
(5/5)

This wasn't the best written book that I have read; however, the story was attention-holding. I enjoy books where the author allows the reader into the heads of the characters. I just couldn't put this one down.


Excellent from Page 1

by Andy Orrock
(5/5)

I'm perplexed by the couple of reviewers who talk about having to stick with this novel for the first 30 pages, coming close to folding up early. I thought Gillian Flynn's debut was excellent from Page 1. I especially love how Flynn's narrator, Camille Preaker, slowly reveals little things about her semi-sordid past and her not-too-hot present. As an example, there's a quick early line from Preaker about how she prefers baths because the shower stings her skin. A short while later, we start to learn a little about said skin & you recall that earlier line. Nice writing. Flynn's got heaps of these little nuances, which show some great attention to detail. It's a real treat to read something this well thought out.The interview with the author that appears here on this page is most revealing. Flynn says "when I wrote Sharp Objects, I wasn't even sure who the killer was for a bit." That shows. But the book isn't so much about the killer as it is about 'Miss Preaker' and her coming to grips with demons of her past. Ms. Flynn aces that part.


Chilling

by Angela Risner "The Sassy Orange"
(5/5)

I first read Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and enjoyed it so much that I decided to read her other two offerings. I was not disappointed.This novel follows Camille, who is a reporter in Chicago. Camille herself has her own demons, in that she lost a sister when they were children. She has been self-mutilating for years, drawing words all over her body. In the small town where she grew up, two little girls have disappeared (months apart) and she has been sent to get the story. She moves back in with her mother, stepfather, and much younger sister. The demons become louder as she travels over the familiar territory of her childhood.There are a lot of folks who could have committed the crimes and Flynn does a good job of making every explanation plausible. I didn't love Camille as a character, but the book did keep me intrigued. Camille grew on me over the book and I did love her relationship with her editor.Very well done. Highly recommend.


After reading Gone Girl, I thought I would give Sharp Objects a try...

by A. Sanchez "Luv Bug Luvs Books"
(3/5)

I don't think it was as good as Gone Girl, but I was intriguing enough to get me to the end wanting to know WHO-Done-it. Sharp Object is a murder mystery in a small town with a creepy family... It's a quick read.


Sharp writing but painful, unoriginal plot

by A. White
(2/5)

As the readers are gratuitously reminded, Sharp Objects' 'protagonist' Camille Preaker is, as can be guessed by the title, a cutter who is deeply conflicted. Her job as a journalist in Chicago, to her chagrin, brings her a murder story from her humble hometown, Wind Gap, Missouri, which requires her to return for a brief stay to report on the murders. As is customary, her visit turns out to last longer than she expected and she, sooner or later, has to 'confront her demons'.Unfortunately, the ability to predict the main character's compulsive habit from the title turns out to be a harbinger for the predictability of the novel in general. The ending can be easily surmised early on, which leaves the reader to struggle through chapter after chapter of relentless small town shenanigans and stupidity that quickly begin to test their patience. Every last character is annoyingly obtuse and oblivious, and the fact that they all swear, drink excessively, do drugs, or partake in one or more other forms of debauchery grows tiresome.As mentioned before, the ending is quite forseeable, and, I might add, prosaic, not making the enervating process of reading the novel worth it in the end, as readers may hope. No significant revelations are made in the also aforementioned perfunctory 'confronting of demons', and the only thing "shocking" or "disturbing" about the novel, as so many critics raved passionately, is that the main character is as dense and, quite frankly, slow as she is. In short, Sharp Objects insults the readers' intelligence.The only thing that drags the overly-praised novel up to my assigned rating of two stars is Gillian Flynn's evident talent. Flynn's figurative language and characterization are perfectly matched to the small town milieu and occasionally evoke emotion from the reader. I hope her writing aplomb is better fitted to a less contrived plot in her next novel.


Not bad

by B. CAIN
(3/5)

I bought this after reading "Gone Girl" and hearing from friends that Flynn's other books were good. It's an interesting read but just know that it's far more violent (and grotesque) than "Gone Girl." But still, not a bad read at all, just more like a standard mystery/horror book than "Gone Girl," which I thought was a really smart psychological thriller. NOTE: I started Flynn's second novel, "Dark Places," right after finishing this one and I like it *much* better. One thing is for sure: Flynn is great at writing about (or from the perspective of) seriously damaged female characters.


Suspensful!

by betc2
(5/5)

I'd like to know what the people who thought the characters or the book boring usually read. This book is utterly absorbing. It is very dark, gruesome, graphic and even shocking. A well-written book, there is quite a bit packed into 250 pages. I'll look forward to her new book.


A good mystery full of flawed, damaged characters

by Bill Garrison
(4/5)

I imagine that, like me, a lot of people are going back to read Gillian Flynn's first novel, SHARP OBJECTS, after reading her national bestseller, GONE GIRL. SHARP OBJECTS is a page-turning mystery that presents a flawed heroine and a town full of tragic characters.Camille Preaker is an average reporter for Chicago's fourth largest newspaper. Her editor sends her home to Wind Gap, Missouri, to write about the murder of two young girls that have rocked the town. Camille is reluctant. She doesn't get along with her mom, and finds it painful to return home since her sister died when they were both young girls.While the mystery of who actually killed the two girls is always hovering around, the true pull of the novel is the portrait of the small town through the eyes of Camille. Camille is a damaged soul, so through her, every character has a flaw, every motive is questioned, no one is just kind for the sake of being kind. Camille doesn't do herself any favors. She abuses her body through hard drinking and other methods. She mentally abuses herself while pushing away those that care about her while at the same time longing for acceptance from her mom. The harshest portrait of a character is Amma, Camille's thirteen year old stepsister. Amma can be sweet, charming and evil, and she and her group of friends give a horrifying example of what junior high can be like.Flynn writes compelling novels and is deserving of her accolades. If you like dark, compelling mystery then I recommend all Flynn novels.


LOVED GONE GIRL BUT....

by BONFOGLIO "BONNIE"
(2/5)

THIS BOOK WAS SO DISAPPOINTING AFTER READING GONE GIRL. THE CHARACTERS IN THIS BOOK DID NOT DRAW ME IN AND I FELT THIS WAS A SEXUAL, GOTHIC MYSTERY. EVIDENTLY, NOT A BOOK FOR ME. I DO HOPE THE AUTHOR CAN WRITE AS SHE DID IN GONE GIRL AND I THINK SHE MIGHT GAIN A GRANDER AUDIENCE


Good Debut Novel but Characters and Narrative Need to be Fleshed Out

by Bonnie Brody "Book Lover and Knitter"
(3/5)

This debut novel is articulately written. Bordering on the bizarre and grotesquely unbelievable, this novel examines one of the most dysfunctional 'Mommy Dearest' families ever to hit the written page. The novel's genre is hard to describe. It is part thriller, part psychological mystery, partly a drama about family dysfunction, part murder mystery and partly a drama/memoir of the impacts of abuse.The protagonist has a history of self-mutilation, cutting herself so badly that there are no areas on her body except for her face and hands that she can't leave uncovered if she wants to hide her secret. She has to wear turtlenecks, long sleeve shirts, pants, etc. From a clinical perspective, a cutter is someone who suffers excruciating emotional pain that is persistent, hard to identify, and takes up all of a person's consciousness. Usually, cutters have a history of abuse/trauma in their own backgrounds. Cutting, as a metaphorical blood-letting, causes pain in a specific place and allows the pain to be isolated to one part of the body. As the blood flows, the pain goes. In theory, once the blood is let, the pain identified and the intensity of the pain decreased, one is better able to function. However, cutting is not a good coping mechanism because the true source of the pain is not addressed, self-mutilation creates it's own shame-based symptoms, and cutting becomes a form of self-medication rather than treatment for root causes. Cutting is a short-term coping mechanism for a deep-rooted and serious underlying pathology.The protagonist of this page-turning novel is a journalist who returns home after many years with no contact with her mother and step-father. From the tim she enters the house, the reader has goose bumps because of the creepiness and fear-factor that the house and its inhabitants radiate. She notices that her younger sister is sexually promiscuous and using a lot of drugs. This reminds her of her own sexual promiscuity and drug use when she was an adolescent. She decides to investigate and find out what is lying in the dank underbelly of her familial home.There is an abundant sense of creepiness about many of the characters. However, no character is fully fleshed out. The narrative is interesting and the writing is good, but there are too many odds and ends in the narrative that dead-end or are not followed through with. Because I liked the book and it had so much potential, I wanted to know more of the 'who, what and why'.I recommend buying this book or taking it our of the library because despite criticisms, it is a good book. Once the author gets her phenomenal gift for writing congruent with a well-told tale and flushed out characters, there could be some great surprises in store!


3.5 stars: Do you like your characters at max quirkiness?

by bookloverintexas
(3/5)

WOW! into the first 2 pages I knew I was in for a terrific read..the writing exciting, compelling.Flynn is an artist with a very keen eye; her story full of rich descriptions and observations. She doesn't miss a trick, creating a fascinating sense of time and place, interesting characters, and a protagonist, Camille, neurotic yet intelligent and witty, that I adored right from the get-go. There's nothing predictable or mundane in these pages, and the author's sharp dry sense of humor throughout is the icing on the cake.Oh-oh, as we move through the story we're going beyond dysfunctional and getting a tad unbelievable. Still love the author's writing and ability to tell a good story though.I always thought my characters couldn't be quirky enough, but this author has proven me wrong. Too far fetched to believe Camille would be sent on an assignment that would involve her so personally (seems more a convenience for the story line) and the characters all become unbelievably over the edge at some point to like or be able to care about anymore. In retrospect it seems interesting that only the male characters retained enough humanity or balance to ring true for me in the end. However I am excited to see that Flynn has written another book, and will absolutely give that one a read as well.


An unstable reporter returns to the small-town scene of ...

by Book Reviewer 2009
(4/5)

[***** = breathtaking, **** = excellent, *** = good, ** = flawed, * = bad]... her horrific childhood to investigate a murder. Deeply creepy & powerful. Longer review at ImpatientReader-dot-com.


Creepy Fun

by Brett Benner
(4/5)

This book definitely stands apart for endowing it's protagonist with such a topical and disturbing predilection. Small town girl who has moved to the big city returns to cover the story of a potential killer in the locals midst. What gets revealed is a pretty unsightly portrait of small town America, and a Mother from hell that anyone would've longed to escape from. Flynn manages to shock a few times long the way mostly by her characters outrageous and uninhibited sexuality and violence. Modern day gothic was never so much fun to read though, and at a slight two hundred and fifty pages, it's wrapped up before you even know it.


Something wicked dwells in Wind Gap

by BrianB
(3/5)

A well written tale of nasty, backstabbing, soulless individuals who gouge at each others eyes in the midst of their boozing and whining. There is a main plot about a serial killer of little girls. The main character is a young woman who cut herself until she ran out of skin, drinks in miserable seclusion, works as a journalist (perhaps the most depressing aspect of her life),who returns to her hometown in pursuit of a story. Windy Gap is a nightmarish little burb where the meanest witch is her own mom, and the rudest child her little sister. The intrepid reporter uses all of her manipulative tricks to worm herself into the living rooms of grieving mothers, the better to glean some detail of their lives which may save her career, already dead but still twitching. When the parents of the murdered start to throw her out she tells them "We want to be fair to you and your family," but she knows that fairness has no part in this story.I did not find this novel to be a page turner, more of a slow moving mystery which serves as the back story for the personal problems of the protagonist, her sad and wicked family, and a very sad town in Southern Missouri. The author kept my interest at a low, steady level, although I sometimes found myself glancing at my stack of books yet to be read.Gillian Flynn describes this with convincing realism and a flair for pathos. I didn't like this novel, but I liked the writer. She tells it all with an honesty and openness that hides nothing. It that is your cup of tea, drink deep of this little happiness crusher of a story. No one said that novels had to be fun or uplifting. Sometimes when we wallow in the gutter we can't see the stars at all.


Fear, Loathing...and Scars of a Small Town Life

by Bruce Stern
(3/5)

Camille Preaker is a fragile being. She's like a three-legged chair trying to keep its balance, and barely managing to do so. Then, she's asked by her editor (and unspoken surrogate father) to return to her small town, the source of her fragility, fear, scars, and demons, to hunt down the story behind the deaths of two girls. What she encounters are lots of people she doesn't like, including members of her own family. She's suggestible to manipulation, craves love, but friendly attention will do, but mostly wants to please her boss.The author mocks small town life to create the dark, nasty, vindictive and secrets-bound environment which helps create the story's suspense. The antipathy Camille opines about almost all of the people led me to almost stop reading the novel, so much of downer about human beings, their motives, and behavior it depicted.The story is a sad one: of the boredoms, and petty, and not-so-petty cruelties, of small town existence. It's also sad in its depiction of cruel, harried and ignorant parenting.Ms. Flynn wrote a tale of sharp pictures and scenes, a sympathetic protagonist, and of love turned dark, ugly, warped, or in little evidence.The story's last sentence feels like it was added to leave the reader questionably uplifted.And, I will look for Ms. Flynn's next novel. She's got a gift, but one that shows more potential than what shows up in this novel.


Disturbing & mythos busting ...

by Caitlin Martin "addicted to words"
(4/5)

I finished this book a couple of days ago, but I took some time after reading it to digest & think about it. I liked this book a lot, although it wasn't a particularly pleasant or uplifting read.There are a couple of stereotypes that I loathe. One is that the world would be a better place if women were in charge because we're all consensus driven peacemakers who would bake cookies together instead of starting wars. The other is that all children are little containers of angelic innocence & light. Right. That girlfriend that stabbed you in the back in high school by setting you up for public humiliation wasn't really a woman & that kid from your kindergarten that held you down on the playground & ground dirt into your face wasn't really a kid. You imagined all of that.I loathe those stereotypes because they're just another way for us to avoid actually thinking about real people & allowing for & adjusting for differences of all kinds. They're a way of providing neat little boxes to stuff people into & to refer to when punishing those who refuse to conform. Women & children are, of course, sometimes peacemakers & sometimes innocent little angels. They are more frequently, however, many other things. In its own way this book makes that point.It's not often that you read a thriller with villains who are female & complex - that one of the villains in this book is also 13 & pretty is a bonus. Add to this myth explosion the obsessive compulsive cutter who is the narrator & this book offers many different views of what women & children - people, that is - can be like.Flynn is good at making the reader squirm & good at making you want to turn the pages. I absolutely knew what had actually happened within the first third or so of this book, but continued reading feverishly to the inevitable & gut wrenching conclusion with the perverse delight of someone watching a train wreck. You don't want to watch, but somehow you just can't look away until the images are seared into your brain.As a thriller this book definitely succeeds, but I think it should more aptly be categorized as horror - if only for the creeping sense of dread it instills in its reader.


Well written page turner- story just okay

by Carole P. Roman
(4/5)

Sharp Objects is a page turner. Gillian Flynn writes as though she is peeling an onion, just enough of the layer gets pulled away and there is another thick layer, with an intense odor. It was just too much! I like her style, but there were so many negative elements, and the plot was thick with "red herrings", the outcome was obvious from the first encounter. I will not spoil this for anyone else. I finished it to see if I had guessed correctly. I liked many of the twists and turns, but at one point, it was as frustrating as being stuck in Ikea. You know your way out- but you have to slog through the whole thing to get there.


Creepy thriller

by Cathe Fein Olson
(4/5)

Camille Preaker reluctantly returns to her Missouri hometown to cover a story on two murdered girls. She is quickly drawn back into her dysfunctional family drama and struggles not to fall back into cutting herself to cope.Flynn is a great writer--though this was not quite as tight and surprising as 'Gone Girl', the book had compelling characters and some good twists and suspense. I enjoyed it.


Disturbing

by Cheryl Stout "broiderqueen - army mama"
(5/5)

Man, oh man! I guess a lot of us feel we grew up with a messed up family but this book made me appreciate my growing up years and what could have been much worse.A very disturbing book, one I will think about in years to come - not always with pleasure.


Messed up, but massivly entertaining

by Chris Brunner
(4/5)

All I have to say is, messed Up! I have had this book on my to-read list for a very long time. It was advertised one of the book sites I frequent and the description was enough that I was curious. When I started this I didn't know what to think or what to expect for that matter. My wife decided to check this out as a possible book club pick and I figured it would be a good time to read it myself so we could talk about it. I always like talking over books with her and was just as interested in this as she was. I was not expecting what I got.This book has its ups and downs as most thrillers do. I chose to listen to this and I found myself tuning out from time to time so it was nice to have my wife help clue me in or say, go back and re-listen. There were times I was totally invested in the story and sometimes it was because I couldn't believe what I was reading. The characters are very well developed, but some of the actions are just appalling. I didn't know how to react at times, should I be disgusted or sad for this person, I was torn. Gillian Flynn does a great job with describing each character in a way you can understand. I may not have connected with every character but I at least knew where they stood and what they were all about.Having read quite a few mysteries I had a few characters pegged early on as to who the killer was. Even though I had thought this person was the killer I was miss-lead and still shocked when the reveal came. The twists and turns were worth the down spots and where I started out thinking this was going to be a solid 3 star review, by the end I had to give this 4 stars. I would say this isn't for every one but I thought it was a very good read.


Entertaining Who Done It

by Clint W. Cypert
(4/5)

I enjoyed this mystery by Gillian Flynn. In this novel, journalist Camille Preaker returns to her hometown to cover the story of a missing child. The child comes up missing just months after another child is found murdered in a creek bed. Camille must deal with her own family issues and personal demons as she attempts to investigate the story that she was assigned. The novel is a very quick read, but is very dark and not for the faint of heart.


Dysfunctional Generations

by Cphe
(4/5)

The story of Camille Preaker a journalist, who is urged by her Editor to return to her home town of Wind Gap to cover a series of child murders. Camille is reluctant to return to a home and town that she had fled from many years ago. Camille is to outward appearances a beautiful and successful woman. But Camille has her own secrets that she wishes to stay hidden from the world. Camille has no wish to return to her past and during the course of this story it quickly becomes apparent why.This book is a fast paced and well written psychological thriller. It deals with the subject of child abuse and the effects on family dynamics. The book also highlighted the closed, claustrophobic small town mentality where information is hard to come by and any outsider stands out like a sore thumb.I found the ending to be somewhat implausible regarding some of the characters and am unable to say anything further without giving the ending away. Still, it was a very good book.


Horrible protagonist

by Cyn
(3/5)

The author did a good job of getting you into the feel of a small town, but the limp spine of the protagonist in the book started to become a real turn-off about halfway through ... especially when (SPOILER ALERTS) she jumped in bed with a teenager, and then allowed her mother to continue poisoning her. No, her character wasn't compelling at all. Sure, many great characters in books have flaws, but they're largely outnumbered by the interesting or decent qualities within them. This woman was so broken and twisted up as a human being that there wasn't much about her that drew me towards her as a character. For that reason, I have to notch this rating down a star from 4 to 3.


Gone Girl fans, you won't be disappointed with Sharp Objects!

by Daphne Jones
(4/5)

As first novels go, this is one impressive debut.Like a lot of people who were introduced to Gillian Flynn throughGone Girl l, I'm reading her books a bit out of order. This is Flynn's first novel, but it's the second of hers that I've read. Good news: It doesn't read like a first novel.Sharp Objects is creepy in the best sense of the word, a mix of Stephen King and V.C. Andrews with some crime thriller elements tossed in. In theory it's a "whodunit" style story, but the who is never particularly difficult to guess and the why is similarly telegraphed. So if this were just a mystery, it wouldn't deliver much.It's more than that, though: It's really a study of a very, very messed up family; and there's a bit of exploration into the seedy underbelly of small town America as well.A great thriller, well told. I'm really looking forward toDark Placesnext!


AMAZING EFFORT FOR A FIRST NOVEL.

by D. Blankenship
(5/5)

You must be very careful when writing a review on a book such as this because the addition of a spoiler can and will absolutely ruin the story for others and one of the primary appeals of this odd read is the multiple surprises the reader will encounter. I am not normally attracted to this sort of work and as a matter of fact avoid it. But in this case my daughter (a sensitive and gentle individual) and my wife (a sensitive and gentle individual but a more jaded reader than my daughter) both read the thing and were absolutely horrified even though they could not put the book down. This fascinated me so I read it.It is difficult to place this first novel by Gillian Flynn into a given category. But I can tell you that on a purely emotional level this writer has her stuff together! Witness the broad range of emotions voiced through the many reviews here! Any author that can bring out so many very, very strong emotions is doing her or his job and doing it well! I must admit to you that a great deal of this work horrified me...but like my wife and daughter, I simply could not put it down.The premise of the story is two murdered girls in a small Missouri Town. The primary protagonist is a reporter working in Chicago but since the murders take place in her little home town, she is sent there by her editor to investigate. Now note only is our heroine a reporter but she is one sick little puppy herself...she is a "cutter" who likes to carve words, some of them rather large, into her body. I tell you this as an indication that when you read this work you will find a family (her family) of some of the most dysfunctional people you are likely to ever encounter in a literary work...good grief! I was unable to fine one single character in this entire book that I liked. This is the way it should be and this I feel was the author's intent...as I said...she did her job well! What a nasty and unlikeable bunch of characters all gathered into one book! Folks, this took some skill!Now there is psychological and physical cruelty found in this work but that was sort of to be expected in this type of novel. What caught me completely off guard was the "hog farm" aspect. The protagonist's family is rich...really rich and their fortune has been made though the industrial pig farms. The author's lengthy and graphic description of how these animals are processed, and treated before they even reach the slaughter house horrified my to no end and to be frank, even though I have visited such places in my real life, after reading the author's work I had bad dreams. Arrrrgh!Flynn's writing is extremely graphic so those who have a weak stomach or a sensitive mind might want to avoid this one. I will tell you truthfully though, even though the subject matter horrified and repelled me, the writing was so good that it was worth the pain it caused. This author is good!There is a double ending to this one that will catch you completely off guard...goodness, what a devious mind this young author has.Don BlankenshipThe Ozarks


Impressive

by DH
(4/5)

Solid book. Great twist. Maintains attention throughout. Disturbing at times. Wasn't expecting much going in but Flynn's debut novel was pretty impressive.


Good read!

by Diane Dever Pucker
(3/5)

Really liked this book. Another great read. Looking forwardto reading her other book. Thanks for the loan my friend.


Good but Gone Girl was so much better

by Dierdra Byrd
(4/5)

I read Gone Girl first and was blown away by it so I was really excited to read Sharp Objects. It was enjoyable but not nearly as much as Gone Girl was for me.Camille is a reporter sent back to her small town that she hates to cover a story about two young girls being murdered.I liked Camille and felt for her but at times she was a little to far fetched to be really believable. The places on her back mostly, maybe just me but I can't see how it would be possible to carve some of the words into her back without help? Just the way your arms would have to reach around but maybe I am wrong.Amma was a bit to over the top at times, I am sure this was sort of the point but it just became annoying and seemed a bit overdone.The ending was not as much of a shock as the author intended at least for me but I did like it. As with the ending to Gone Girl I think it fit the story and the book.I loved Gillian Flynn's writing style so will pick up more of her books. Overall I think if you loved Gone Girl you may like this one but I doubt it will be as much as you loved Gone Girl.


WOW

by Dolores Christensen
(5/5)

Obviously the writer knows psychology, ( I've read it was her Major) because ALL of her characters have mental problems and behave as folks with those problems would behave (I had a Psych Minor).It was interesting to have a "heroine" who wasn't the strong perfect person we find in most of todays books.A very depressing story but so well written I couldn't stop reading.


A very readable 4.5 stars

by Donna
(4/5)

This book took off slowly for me but as I read more I was sorry to see the story end. It has a really good ending. Some parts may seem implausible if not impossible but I really enjoyed it. If the main character showed up in a later book by this author it wouldn't surprise me. I can't give the book 5 stars because it just doesn't have the quality of authorship or a tremendously great storyline but for a general fiction book it has a pretty neat tale and keeps your attention. I recommend reading this book.


The evil that thrives in women

by Elizabeth
(4/5)

I read this first novel of author Gillian Flynn after reading her best sellerGone Girl: A Novel. I think that her ability with plot improved from this book to her third, but the thing I really enjoy about her writing, which is her insights into the interior lives of girls and women, is clear in this novel.The story is a mystery which follows the main character Camille from her current home in Chicago, where she works as a journalist, to her childhood home in a small town in Missouri. She is going to report on two murders of little girls. She runs into many of her old high school acquaintances and becomes entangled in her mother's strange household, which includes Camille's much younger sister, Amma.I won't spoil the mystery by revealing the killer, but, as I noted above, even if I did this book would be worth reading for Flynn's insights into girl behavior. The character of Amma is portrayed as the pretty beyond her years thirteen year old girl that tortured many of us in middle school...she has a gaggle of just slightly less pretty friends who follow her around and do her bidding. Through Amma, Flynn explores some of the dynamics of female friendships and female power.Flynn's consideration of female culture isn't limited to Amma, and expands in her depiction of Camille, who is a damaged person who drinks and sleeps with inappropriate men to soothe herself. When reflecting on the health of the women she knows, Camille asks herself "Sometimes I think illness sits inside every woman, waiting for the right moment to bloom. I have known so many sick women all my life. Women with chronic pain, with ever-gestating diseases. Women with conditions. Men, sure, they have bone snaps, they have backaches, they have a surgery or two, yank out a tonsil, insert a shiny plastic hip. Women get consumed." This as a really interesting interlude for me, considering the state of women as physical beings.I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in mysteries or in gender studies. The only reason I gave it four rather than five stars was that, unlike while reading Gone Girl, in this this book I was able to guess the "bad guy" almost from the beginning. However, the lack of suspense didn't keep from enjoying the book.


More dark, compelling suspense from Gillian Flynn

by Erin K. Simons "Aspiring writer, voracious re...
(5/5)

Based on the book jacket excerpt, I assumed Sharp Objects -- Gillian Flynn's first novel -- would be my least favorite of her three published works. I've never really gotten the "cutter" mystique.Of course, this turned out to be just another example of Flynn taking my expectations and completely flipping them on their ear. It's a tough call, but I might have to say Sharp Objects is my favorite of her books. So far.Sharp Objects is as dark and gritty as it gets. There are so many taboo issues at play in the story -- from preteen sex, to pervasive alcohol and drug abuse, to self-harm -- it could feel distracting, or even worse, exploitative. But Flynn is masterful at creating characters who aren't necessarily likeable, but that you can't help caring about anyway. Camille Preaker, cub reporter and recovering cutter, provides a very interesting perspective on a small town murder mystery: She's a small-town girl who moved to the big city, only to be drawn home again to cover a series of disturbing child murders. The crime story is gripping and will keep you turning pages -- and as in her other books, Flynn does not disappoint with the unexpected twists and sudden plot flips -- but the characters in this story felt especially strong to me. Messed up, yes. But strong. I'm still thinking about them.Another thing I love about Flynn: She is a writer who loves words. Her books aren't full of unnecessary purple prose, but she's also not afraid to write a simple passage with some unexpected beauty or surprising handling. The book is full of small moments like this, and even some clever nods to "word nerds." Example: One of the most disturbing and cruel characters in the book is named "Amity." Priceless.This is a fantastic read, and another title of Flynn's that I'm recommending to everyone I know.


Misery and mystery

by Frank J. Konopka
(5/5)

When you read about the dysfunctional family that's at the heart of this book, just can't help but be grateful for your own life and family. A stepfather who is more of a phantom, a mother who appears to be certifiable, a dead child from many years ago, a teen-age girl who has bouts of sheer awfulness, and our narrator, a thirty-something who has cut words into most of her body. If that weren't bad enough, there are two murders in a small town, and no one in town wants to think that one of the residents is guilty. The story moves along at a good pace, and the mystery as to the identity of the murderer is left until almost the very end of the book, where it will come as a shock and surprise to most readers, even the most astute ones. This is an excellent first novel, and I look forward to this new author's next work.


A STUNNING DEBUT WITH TOPNOTCH NARRATION

by Gail Cooke
(5/5)

Exciting, promising, can't-put-it-down debut novels are hard to find - with Gillian Flynn's "Sharp Objects," it seems we've found one more to add to that all too brief list. It's a stunning story, tightly crafted, and appropriately chilling.Now a reporter for a class C Chicago newspaper, Camille Preaker is a survivor. Her recent past includes a stay in a psychiatric hospital where she was treated for various disorders, including self-mutilation. At the age of 13 she carved "queasy" around her stomach and at 29 "vanish" on her neck. Troubled? In spades.However, it looks like she may get a break as she's assigned to cover what is probably a serial killer story. On the downside is the fact that the scene of the crime is her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, a place she left some eight years ago. She doesn't want to return but the thought of a career making yarn is too tempting and off she goes, back to an old house that holds unhappy memories and a mother who gives new meaning to neurotic.Two young girls have been murdered, and the local police seem to think a transient is responsible. A handsome profiler from Kansas City doesn't think the answer is as easy as that. Throughout the investigation Camille is forced to relive childhood trauma and confront ghosts that have haunted her through the years.Those who enjoy psychological thrillers will have found a winner in "Sharp Objects," especially as read by actress Ann Marie Lee. Well remembered for her stage and television performances, she inhabits Camille's persona with nuance and modulation. As the climax approaches we find ourselves listening even more intently as Lee's voice builds, leading the way.- Gail Cooke


Good Read

by GG
(4/5)

Finished the book quickly. Easy read and holds your attention. Good suspense and keeps you guessing. I recommend the book.


Not quite as good as Gone Girl

by Historian "18th century student"
(4/5)

Not quite as good as Gone Girl, but more direct and focused I think. Narrative moves well, some twists and turns, and plot is fun.


A high 4-stars

by Holly "Book addict"
(4/5)

With so many reviews alread postedy, there is not much I can add. I do, however, want to add my two-cents in the recommendation of this book to fans ofGone Girl: A Novel. That was the book that introduced me to this author and I loved it (even found the ending to be perfectly fitting which many readers did not care for). I then went it search of her other novels and downloaded this from my public library last week.My initial impression was that I didn't care for it as much as "Gone Girl" and early on it was more slow-moving, but I liked it well enough to keep going. Somewhere around the half way point the pace picked up and the suspense started building. By the end I was totally caught up in the story and didn't want to put it down. I will warn readers that this is a dark book but not as violent as you sometimes find. Most of the actual violence happens off-screen and the reader is exposed to the aftermath. If you enjoy light and fluffy mysteries such as those in the cozy genre, this one may not be for you.While I didn't think the book was as good as "Gone Girl", it was still a strong, suspenseful novel. I will be readingDark Places: A Novelsoon.


Am I Reading the same book?

by Jacque Cartwright "butterfly"
(3/5)

This book got so many good reviews...I wonder if I even read the same book. It is so boring, slow it took way too many days for me to finish it. And the only reason I wanted to finish was to see if I could figure it out. Turns out I didnt have to read past a few chapters anyway. This book was okay not one I would recommend.


Creepy contemporary Gothic

by James R. Gilligan "Overeducated culture vulture"
(4/5)

This book is creepy good. Gillian Flynn, a former film and television critic for Entertainment Weekly magazine, ventures into almost taboo territory by populating this novel with evil women, a few irredeemably so. Her characters are believably flawed, and the story she tells is so unsettlingly horrific because it is realistic and disturbing. She relies on the terrible potential for pain and horror that we possess--rather than the supernatural--to create a palpable atmosphere of fear in this very readable novel about family secrets and sinister relationships. This is a true contemporary Gothic novel; it exploits our very real fears that the people we're related to might very well cause us lasting harm. I'm eager to read her new novel, Dark Places, and I hope that when this one is turned into a movie (as it almost inevitably will), a skilled director is chosen to helm what I hope will be a very talented cast.


Great Debut!!!!!

by Janie
(5/5)

This book is not flowery and soft. There are parts I thought I could not read, did not want to read. But this book has a great plot and before you know it, you are hooked to the end.Cannot wait until Ms. Flynn's next book!


A stressful past returns

by J. Grattan
(4/5)

When thirty-something Camille Preaker, a fledgling reporter for a second-tier Chicago newspaper, has to spend a night at a motel just outside her hometown of Wind Gap, in the boot heel of Missouri, to gather herself before seeing her family after being away for eight years, the reader is being warned that all is not well in her past. She is there because her crusty, old-guy editor thinks that the disappearance of a little girl, the second time that has happened in a year, might be a story that the big newspapers will bypass.To say that Camille has issues with her regal, dominating mother, who also is the absentee owner of the largest employer in the area, is an understatement. Her mother doted on a younger sister who died from an illness nearly twenty years earlier, and now her much younger, junior-high sister Amma is the recipient of her mother's smothering love. But Amma has a totally different side away from her mother; she uses her precocious physical development and sharp mind to control her classmates, often inflicting cruelties on them as the price to pay for belonging.The simple reporting job quickly turns disturbing. Both girls have been murdered and the local police are clueless. An investigator from Kansas City clearly is attracted to Camille but is leery of her at the same time. But most distressing to Camille is her re-immersion into the social scene that she left many years ago. She has to learn the new social dynamics, while recognizing that she will be looked upon as she was before, in some cases her reputation has to be lived down. Between dealing with her dysfunctional family, the cattiness and hostilities of the town folk, and her own personal demons, Camille's mental stability becomes increasingly shaky.The troubled Camille is an interesting, sympathetically portrayed character. Her neediness and her family's and the lengths they go to find love and relief of pain are off the charts. The mystery of the deaths of the girls - actully the entire plot - becomes almost secondary to the psychological deficiencies exhibited. In some ways the story is a little ragged, but consistent with the fragile, erratic mental states of some of the characters.


Immature

by Jiang Xueqin
(3/5)

Gillian Flynn is a very interesting writer, and her novel "Gone Girl" is absorbing and entrancing entertainment. Her first novel "Sharp Objects" demonstrates many of the elements that she would develop to create "Gone Girl" -- the intense psychology intensity, the obsessive attention to detail, the passion to craft a good story."Sharp Objects" is a wooden debut, many of the characters and psychology ring false to the point of opportunistic. So much of the story is macabre and melodramatic that it's easy to lose focus and interest as a reader early on. And the resolution feels half-hearted and all too fantastical.


Gillian Flynn's work

by Jill A. Simbari
(4/5)

Gillian Flynn has fast become one of my favorite authors. After reading GONE GIRL, I have not beenable to get enough of her. I believe SHARP OBJECTS was her first book. I'm not reading DARK PLACES which is even better than this one.I continue to be amazed at her creativity. Who thinks of these things?


Sharp Plot

by Jill I. Shtulman
(4/5)

First the good news: Gillian Flynn can write. She's written a page-turning, psychologically-based mystery that keeps the reader craving to find out more. In Camille, she's created a truly compelling and unique character: a cub reporter, recently out of the psychiatric hospital for "cutting"... self-destructive yet blessed (cursed?) with insight.Now for the not-so-good news: after thoroughly hooking the reader, the author suddenly makes a bolt for the finish line. No spoilers here: it's just that the ending strains credibility and tries to tidy everything up quickly in an implausible coup d'etat. And by creating a two-leveled ending, the horror of the original premise becomes diluted and lacks the intensity it should.My final assessment: two-thirds of this novel is well worth reading. The last third doesn't work. But hey, this is Gillian Flynn's first novel and from her writing ability, I'm sure even better is on the way.


Cuts Like A Knife

by JM from South Carolina
(4/5)

Well, people, it's October, and during this month I look for creepy stories with a melancholy twist. BAG OF BONES by Stephen King served me well in the past, as did his SALEM'S LOT. This book, SHARP OBJECTS, is nothing like either of those books, and yet, it did the trick for me.The main character, Camille Preaker, is a reporter for a Chicago newspaper. She is also one messed-up, interesting, lovable young woman.Camille is asked by her editor to return to her hometown of Wind Gap to cover the disappearance of a young girl, the second disappearance of this type in less than a year.Camille accepts the assignment, but not happily, and when you meet her family, you can understand why. Wind Gap holds many bad memories for Camille; it is the place where her habit of self-mutilation began, a habit she was recently institutionalized for and continues to struggle with. "Cutters" do what they do to deal with other types of pain, to distract themselves from it or dilute its power by inflicting another type of pain that overrides the other's power.As the story unfolds, you discover the events that sparked Camille's habits with sharp objects. The longer she stays in Wind Gap, the more she struggles with this old impulse.By the time the body of the second young girl is found (in a scene I can't get out of my mind ), Camille is already struggling mightily against her past and the memories brought about due to contact with her mother, her step-father, and her half-sister. Camille feels a connection to the two dead girls, these girls who didn't quite fit in, and she is soon consumed with the need to discover their killer.Pairing up with a young cop from Kansas City who was called in especially for this case, Camille sets out to get to the bottom of these girls' stories and to unveil their killer. As she digs into the past of these two girls, she is also forced to go back into her own and face the unspoken truth of her own childhood and twisted family.I won't say more about the story - I don't want to give anything away. It's a different type of book, not exactly a thriller, not exactly a mystery. I think that is it's appeal, that it's not another "child killer on the loose" kind of book. The true story is the revelations that the murders bring to light.I have a list of authors I go to for my "creepy October read." Gillian Flynn is now on that list.


A promising debut but in the end this novel disappointed me (2.5 stars)

by J. Norburn
(3/5)

I read Dark Places recently and while it had a few flaws, I thought it was a great novel and I declared myself a fan of the author. What I especially liked about the novel was how flawed the protagonist was and how dark and nasty the story was. Reading the author's debut novel, Sharp Objects, I found the same elements (a flawed central character and a dark and nasty story) but I didn't care for this novel as much.I have often said that I appreciate flawed, even unlikeable characters in novels. I guess I have come to realize that this is true - to a point. I liked flawed characters unless one of their flaws is that they are pathetically self destructive. I thought the author's choice in making her a `cutter' was an interesting one. It created an opportunity for Flynn to use a clever literary device by playing with the words the character carves into her skin but as the novel wore on, I just grew weary of watching the passive downward spiral of the main character. I appreciate the author's brave, unconventional choices, but even so, while I found the character compelling to start with, as the novel wore on, she tested my patience and I just didn't want to read about her anymore.My lack of enthusiasm for the central character obviously affected my enjoyment of the novel, but it didn't help that there were other flaws as well. I found much of the novel improbable. I wasn't convinced that the methodology of the killer was consistent and made sense when all was revealed. And the inevitable twists at the end were obvious and predictable.I'm still in Flynn's court, but I'm not sure I'm a full fledged fan yet. I look forward to reading more from this author. She shows tremendous promise and I remain optimistic that everything will come together in her next novel. I have to applaud any author who has the courage to create such flawed characters.


Flynn's weakest, but still a great, if over-the-top, piece of noir

by Josh Mauthe
(4/5)

While Flynn's second and third novels (Dark Places and Gone Girl) felt like mysteries, Sharp Objects feels more like a mixture of noir, Desperate Housewives, melodrama, and Gothic novel, and the end result is never less than entertaining, even as you're recognizing how over-the-top all of it is. In Sharp Objects, a newspaper reporter returns to her hometown to investigate what looks to be a series of murdered children. But while the dead children are never far from the story, Sharp Places is more focused on our intrepid and deeply damaged reporter, whose return to her hometown also returns her to her toxic family and her monstrous mother, and the scars of her past - scars that turn out to have a disturbing physical counterpart - start getting peeled back. Much like Flynn's later books, Sharp Objects revolves more around its characters and their inner lives than the mystery, all while doing a good job of juggling the two aspects beautifully. Here, though, Flynn indulges a sense of the theatrical and the melodramatic, diving into bitchy socialite gatherings, chillingly mature teenage cruelty, a frank exploration of female sexuality, and a mother whose casual cruelty makes her unforgettable. Sharp Objects is definitely the weakest of Flynn's three novels, but that in no way makes it bad; in fact, it's still a gleefully poisonous pill that features great characterization, a memorably twisty plot, and Flynn's knack for writing. At the same time, it's also her first novel, and while it's great that she started off strong, it's even better that she improves with each successive work. After reading all three of these, the only thing I regret is not having any more to read right now. Hopefully book number four is soon to come; whenever it does, I'll definitely be there.


Well written but lacks complexity

by Julia Flyte
(3/5)

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 ofGone Girl.


Kind of "Bette Davis-ish"

by Julie A. Smith "Julie @ Knitting and Sundries"
(4/5)

I picked this book up on one of my recent book-buying sprees; who can resist a great book sale? AND .. well, I liked the cover :)So ... how do I go about reviewing this without spoilers? Camille is a cutter (which doesn't really count as a spoiler, as we find this out very early on). She cuts words into her flesh, which is enough to weird you out, but when we meet her MOTHER, we're REALLY weirded out. As I read this book, I kept thinking "This would have made a great Bette Davis movie". It was creepy like that.I LIKED this book; it was entertaining and quick to read, AND it has some twists and turns that you don't see coming (and a couple that you kind of do). YOU see what the truth is before Camille does, and you're hoping against hope that her strange mother and her ineffectual enabler stepfather don't break Camille before she gets to the truth. Her sister Amma makes "Mean Girls" look like they don't have a clue as to the mean game, and Camille is feeling the oddmeister vibe, even though she's trying not to.All in all, I'd give it a thumbs up.Sensitive reader: There are some ticklish spots here. Read the first quote below; if you can stand that, you can probably take the rest of the book.QUOTES:"I'm on the police beat, so probably the same kind of junk you see: abuse, rape, murder." I wanted him to know I had horror stories too. Foolish, but I indulged. "Last month it was an eighty-two-year-old man. Son killed him, then left him in a bathtub of Drano to dissolve. Guy confessed, but, of course, couldn't come up with a reason for doing it.""Camille, do you ever feel like bad things are going to happen, and you can't stop them? You can't do anything, you just have to wait?""Anyway, me and Rae pulled Ann off and Natalie had this needle sticking right out of her cheek just an inch below her eye."


So Good

by Justin
(5/5)

Immediately read the rest of her books after, as I liked this one so much. I just wish there were more. MORE MORE MORE.


Took me where I didn't even know I wanted to go!

by Just Visiting "seattleite2"
(4/5)

I do not read mysteries or thrillers as a rule (Rule: They are a waste of time). Something drew me into this book, though, and I am glad I read it. For a bit at the beginning, I wasn't sure I wanted to keep going, but I suggest that the faint-of-heart trust the writing and read on. This is a real page-turner (in the best sense of that shopworn description). Another novel, soon, please!


Ok.

by Kara Daly
(3/5)

I didn't care for the characters or the plot. It was just an ok book. Weak main character and very predictable ending.


Preferred Gone Girl

by Karen Holland
(3/5)

I thought Gone Girl was better. This book had a bit too much family dysfunction for me to enjoy it as much as some other books I have read lately. There's nothing wrong with the writing or the story, just not my cup of tea.


There's dark...and then there is DARK

by Karie Hoskins "karieh"
(4/5)

To say that Gillian Flynn's "Sharp Objects" is dark is to make dark things seem bright and shiny. Since I'd just finished her newest book, "Gone Girl" (loved it) - I had some idea what to expect - but even then - parts of the book shocked me.This small town story of murder explores new depths of furtive, desperate evil. The sharp contrasts between what seems like a sleepy, non-descript village and startling cruelty and depravity had me constantly raising my eyebrows."My mother poured recklessly but perfect, capping off my glass just before it overflowed. Still, a trick to get it to my mouth without spilling. She smirked a little as she watched me. Leaned back against the newel post, tucked her feet under her, sipped. "I think I finally realized why I don't love you," she said."Camille, the main character, has experienced so much pain, both from other people and self inflicted. Every part of her is soft. Every part of her world is sharp and vicious. The reader senses almost immediately that she is not up to the task of facing the demons of her childhood."Tomorrow this spot would be filled with kids beginning their long, lazy summer. Now it was just me, feeling sticky and stupid. I couldn't decide if I'd been mistreated. By Richard, by those boys who took my virginity, by anyone. I was never really on my side in any argument.""Sharp Objects" was a good book, if a tough one to read. By the end, the reader has to fight off the pervading sense of hopelessness along with Camille. Still, this is a good first novel and knowing where Flynn was headed with her third book, seems a good entry to her world.


page turner

by kdes21
(4/5)

A great read. very, very dark, though. which is something you should expect from Flynn by now. she really knows how to tell a story.


Weirdness to the max

by Kenman "Book Hawk"
(5/5)

I have just discovered this author and wanted to read her first book first. This book has so many comparisons and yet stands on it's own as a novel about severely warped people in a small town in Missouri and the "hometown girl" who returns as a reporter from Chicago to investigate the murder of two young girls. The depravity of the family, the town and the book itself cannot be overstated. If deviancy and graphic descriptions of torture (both mental and physical) are things you just can't stomach you may not like the book. But, the honesty and sadness are the salvation of the story. It is man's unkindness to man that characterizes the story just as it does the world in real life. It has shades of Stephen King without the supernatural which it doesn't need. I can't say I never flinched at some of it and that alone gives it five stars in my opinion. Not a book that will soon leave your subconscious.


A Hard-Boiled Heroine

by Kevin Joseph
(4/5)

When men fight, according to first novelist Gillian Flynn, they tend to bludgeon one another in blunt contests of strength, like good-natured warriors facing off in an athletic contest. Women fight in a much nastier fashion, she asserts, clawing, biting and using whatever other sharp objects are available to achieve domination over their female rivals. If you're willing to buy into Flynn's scathing portrayal of the so-called gentler sex, you'll surely be sucked into this dark mystery/thriller.Camille Preaker, a reporter for an obscure Chicago newspaper, is assigned to investigate the recent murders of two young girls in her claustrophobic Missouri hometown. Besides overcoming the natural wariness the townsfolk exhibit toward a nosy journalist, Camille must face down her dysfunctional family - a controlling mother, distant step-father and a disturbed, thirteen-year-old step-sister whose catty group of friends makes the "Mean Girls" crowd look like a troup of Brownies. The closer Camille gets to cracking this grisly mystery, the harder she struggles to keep her horde of inner demons at bay and the more she begins to fear for her own safety.If judged purely by the intensity of its suspense and page-turning quotient, "Sharp Objects" would easily merit five stars. Flynn taps into the psychological horror generated by a twisted family in a way that electrifies the narrative, reminding me of Dean Koontz in that regard. I had trouble, though, accepting the unlikely logistics behind the crimes and found certain characters to be so over-the-top as to strain credibility. These quibbles aside, Gillian Flynn already has mastered a fast-paced and hard-boiled writing style that's perfectly suited for the suspense genre, and she has created a fascinating heroine who could form the centerpiece for a winning series.-Kevin Joseph, author of "The Champion Maker"


Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth

by Kevin Killian
(5/5)

When we heard that Gillian Flynn, the preeminent TV critic in the English language, and the mainstay of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, was writing a novel, we were terribly excited. When was the last time such a brilliant cultural critic had written a novel? The excitement was something close to the buzz years back when Dame Rumour had Pauline Kael writing a novel! (Alas, if Kael actually wrote one, it has never appeared.) You'd have to go back further for a parallel, back to the days when Renata Adler or Susan Sontag could write cutting edge criticism with one hand and turn out blissful souffles of fiction with the other. One Flynn fan advanced the case of James Agee, widely known as the top US film critic in the 1940s, who gave us the ineffable A DEATH IN THE FAMILY. And now our own Gillian Flynn has produced a DEATH IN THE FAMILY for the 21st century, a hardboiled saga of a family in trouble big time!Led by Camille Preaker, an investigation into the deaths of two little Missouri girls churns up buried secrets from Camille's past. Not only is she right out of the psych ward, but her body is carved up into words, for Camille is secretly a "cutter." A beautiful, sexually driven woman, Camille never met a knife she didn't like, and her body tells the tale. In times of stress the different words on her body speak to her in special ways.Her stepfather, Alan, is a laissez-faire type of chap, an ineffectual, football playing plutocrat with no visible interest. His wife, Adora, is always perfect and wears her hair in the Norwegian style of Liv Ullmann. Her house is always perfect, as is the four foot high replica dollhouse she has given her youngest daughter, Amma.Amma is "barely thirteen" but already knows all about drugs, heavy drinking, sexual activity, bullying, meanness, snobbery, deceit, and most of all, how to get your own way and how to focus attention on oneself. What she can barely remember is that 13 years ago, little Marian, her sister, died a tragic death in the hospital, too weak to continue living. Ever since that day, the family has been in remission.The tiny rown in Missouri where they reign is dominated by a pig factory in which animals are cruelly slaughtered, under the fascinated gaze of little Amma, who exhibits a cruel streak sometimes. She loves to watch the sows diem giggling while "the sow's eyes rolled up into her head." but big sister Camille is apt to cut her slack, since it is dull for a young, bright girl in a Southern hamlet like Wind Gap.Camille finds herself torn between two men--cute boytoy John, who's sort of like "John" on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES--a little young, but too beautiful for Camille to resist--and a "cute cop" called Richard, a Kansas City profile trying to help the hicks solve the two-girl murder. All of the teeth have been mysteriously plucked from the girls' mouths after death.There's a mystery surrounding the man who was Camille's father. With that and the teeth thing, you won't find a wink of sleep for however long it takes you to finish SHARP OBJECTS.Thoroughly hard-edged, not to say repellent, SHARP OBJECTS is the kind of book Susan Sontag went to her grave wishing she could have written. It may not be as good as Agee's A DEATH IN THE FAMILY, but it's miles better than Renata Adler's SPEEDBOAT. People say that Gillian Flynn's real mother is nice as pie. Too bad for her, because nobody who reads SHARP OBJECTS will ever entirely believe that. It's too real!


Creepy Family Saga

by Kristen
(4/5)

Camille Preaker is a Chicago journalist who is sent to her rural Missouri hometown to cover a hot story about a supposed serial killer. Throughout her investigation, we learn that Camille is a troubled woman, a cutter, who hasn't escaped her childhood wounds. Camille's mother, Adora, is a woman who has her own high-society secrets, and her half-sister, Amma, is a sociopathic Lolita wanna-be. Throw in a dead sister, a relationship with an "outsider" detective, and you've got one fast-paced novel.I liked the "film noir" feel of the prose. Flynn is a talented storyteller, and while Camille is somewhat of a trainwreck, I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. Flynn uncovers the darkness found in so many towns like Wind Gap. Dark and creepy, this book will keep you reading late into the night.


RIVETING & EDGY SUSPENSE NOVEL

by Laurel-Rain Snow "Rain" "Rainy Days"
(5/5)

Camille Preaker has secrets. Dark thoughts and feelings cause her to hurt herself. She is a cutter.Back in Chicago after treatment, she is starting over. As a reporter. Her mentor, Curry, and his wife Eileen are parental figures in a way. But Curry is also her boss, so he is sending her off to get a story in Wind Gap, MO, her hometown. Her familiarity with the landscape might help her in this quest. It could also do her in.For back in Wind Gap lies the root of her pain and her problems. Her family.But Camille is determined to get the story. So she goes, and she faces it all with sheer bravado.What will Camille discover about her past and about the horrific child-murderer lurking somewhere within the town? Who has killed two little girls, and what do some of the strange behaviors during the murders reveal about the perpetrator?Sharp Objects: A Novelwas narrated in the first person voice of Camille, and it didn't take long for me to be riveted by her story. I also learned a lot about the family history, like the dead sister Marian and the strange younger sister Amma.Saying too much could spoil the story, so suffice it to say that you might be stunned by how this story unfolds. I thought I had it all figured out quite early, but there were twists I wasn't expecting.I liked this passage that describes Camille's mother:"Glowing pale skin, with long blonde hair and pale blue eyes. She was like a girl's best doll, the kind you don't play with."An excerpt that chills me even as it reveals so much. Another five star read from this author.


1st is not the worst

by Love at First Book "Love at First Book"
(4/5)

I know I'm kind of on a psychological thriller kick, with Gone Girl, The Trajectory of Dreams, and now Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, but I can't help myself!Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is the author's first novel. Camille is a reporter who moved to Chicago and away from her tiny hometown. However, after being recently released from a rehabilitation center for doing some damage to her body, she is being shuttled back home in order to investigate the murder of one and disappearance of another young girl.Camille is trying to get her big journalism break while still working to survive being back home with a slightly "off" mother, a 13 year old sister that she doesn't even know (and who has some "offness" about herself as well), and a stepdad who doesn't ever speak to her.Gillian Flynn leaves you guessing in another one of her psychological thrillers.I enjoyed Sharp Objects and the craziness that went along with both the characters and the story line. I figured out pieces, got confused, then figured more out, then was wrong, and so on.But I loved Gone Girl. I loved being lied to, all the twists and turns, and the psychotic ending. Sharp Objects has a psychotic ending, too, but Gone Girl was just a more impactful book overall.Come on guys, give me another psychological thriller to add to my list!Thanks for reading,Rebecca @ Love at First Book


"It is impossible to compete with the dead. I wish I could stop trying."

by Luan Gaines "luansos"
(5/5)

Horror skates blithely through this novel, surfacing periodically in frissons of malice. This author enjoys a special talent: the painful excavation of the female psyche. Women receive no special treatment, are expertly dissected, demystifying the myth of kindness and comfort associated with females. As in Dark Places, Flynn's female characters are unpredictable, unlikable, often intimidating, sometimes violent. This grim view of womankind continues in Sharp Objects, as reporter Camille Preaker is sent on assignment by her third-rate Chicago newspaper, The Daily Post, to cover the death of a young girl and the disappearance of another in her home town of Wind Gap, Missouri. Staying with family, mother, step-father and thirteen-year-old step-sister, Amma, does not make for a happy homecoming. Rather, a tension-filled, antagonistic atmosphere permeates the family home, a pristine Victorian house filled with expensive objects and bad intentions.Clearly, Camille has private demons, not the least of which is a dependency on alcohol to soften the edges of reality and a compulsive scribbling of words on her wrist, as though to seal them in memory. As Camille works her sources, forced to confront her past in Wind Gap, one death becomes two when the missing child is found, both children bearing a common horrifying mutilation. Camille interviews old friends and former acquaintances, the reluctant families of the dead girls, a Kansas City cop brought in on the case. Here is troubled territory, indeed. Meanwhile, Camille's distant mother refuses to tolerate the ugliness her daughter brings into her carefully controlled environment. Under her mother's roof, a long dead younger sibling competes with an enigmatic half-sister, a changeling who is a sweet, compliant daughter at home, a wild, cruel creature in the world. Menace bubbles just beneath the surface, a thin veneer of domesticity hiding family secrets deep and dark.Not for the faint of heart, Flynn writes with the ferocity of a feral child. Reduced to the helpless pawn of a controlling mother, Camille flails about, discovering facts about the murders that threaten to unravel her hard-won peace of mind. While the police favor a transient or the brother of one of the victims, Camille is pulled in an entirely different direction. At one point I found this dance on the dark side nearly unbearable, a nightmare of past and present, unresolved issues and night terrors, Camille's only defense to drink herself into oblivion. In Flynn's disturbing, unforgettable thriller, every place has its own brand of violence, comfort is transient and terror waits patiently on the other side of the door. Luan Gaines/2009.


Creepy, relentless, and beautifully written

by Marcus Sakey "Bestselling Novelist"
(5/5)

I've never met her, but I bet Gillian Flynn is a really nice person. The folks who can most effectively warp your mind usually are.Many writers try to freak you out by shoving your face in horror, which is a lot like trying to turn someone on by lunging for their crotch. It might work on occasion, but it's not great technique.Flynn, on the other hand, moves slow and sure and creepy, teasing your darkness, stroking your wounds, burying fingernails just a little too deep. Her prose is gorgeous, and her characterization flawless. The story of a Chicago reporter who returns to her hometown to cover the murders of two young girls, at a glance SHARP OBJECTS looks like your standard mystery, but trust me, there's nothing typical about this one.


Un-Put-Down-Able

by Marion "dragonfly80@hotmail.com"
(5/5)

This was one of those books that, once you start reading, you simply cannot put it down. I read it in one day and had nightmares about it that night. I've never had nightmares about any book I've ever read!I read several chapters before I even realized that the author was a woman and that this was a first time novel. The plot was tight and I was totally fooled about who the killer was, although I had my suspicions. If you love fast-paced, well-written thrillers, then this is the book for you. I'm eagerly anticipating her next one!!


Riveting Book with Downright Crazy People

by M. Chey "imagine-chick"
(5/5)

After reading Gone Girl, I was very curious about this author and did some research. When I found out she wrote two other books before Gone Girl, I was on a mission to read her other books she published. I just finished read Sharp Objects and I must say: I'm thankful my own mother is nothing like Camille's. The book was very, very direct with excellent writing prose (I do admire Gillian's writing). The details were on point (and descriptive enough to make me literally sick to my stomach). I don't know if I would recommend reading on a full or empty stomach considering certain events made me cringe inwardly. There were some facts in the book that were very truthful and relatable in real life and I'm glad the author made this evident.The characters in the book are weird, nasty, and stunning in their own ways. I hope I can get some sleep tonight.The one reviewers are silly. This is a very good debut and I would read it again (with a stronger stomach in the future). I purchased Dark Places and I'm about to read that book.


Content gets one star, the writing elevates it somewhat.

by MED "constantly reading"
(2/5)

Read 'Gone Girl' and found it to be fascinating, clever with a disppointing ending. But so many said that you had to read 'Sharp Objects' that I bought it and started in. Not for the faint of heart. The images are disturbing, the characters without redeeming value and evil is palpable. The novel is dark, certainly not for everyone. Between the images it leaves and disturbing, graphic pre-teen sexuality, I wished I had not read it.


Awesome thriller

by Melissa Niksic
(4/5)

I finished this book in less than 24 hours. Just like "Gone Girl," I could not put it down. This is a gripping and suspenseful thriller that will draw you in from the very beginning. It also happens to be the most twisted mother/daughter story in the history of all time, which is another reason why I love it. For me, I figured out more of the story earlier on than I'd have preferred to with a mystery novel, but there was a big twist in the last few pages that I didn't see coming. Overall, this is an engrossing and entertaining read.


compelling page-turner

by M. Gupta "emdoc"
(3/5)

As a first novel, I really have to give the author props. This is a very well-written book. The language flows well, the characters are interesting, and (like everyone else has said here) you want to keep reading to see what happens next.As you probably already have discovered, this novel is about a journalist in Chicago who goes back home to Missouri to get the scoop on some local murders.The main character in this novel is a somewhat disturbed masoschist who even as an adult cannot get her act together. Normally, this kind of literature bores me (it's been done to death), and I was annoyed at some of her actions and how she conducted her own investigation of the murders. Even I knew whodunnit by page 49.What's amazing is how despite this warmed over rendition of "aw my life sucks because my mommy didn't love me as a child," the novel is immensely readable and interesting. There's something new and fresh amongst the old trappings. And, if you're into that kind of thing, there's plenty of twisted, scary stuff.Kudos to the author. I await her next work!


Wow -- what a debut!

by Michael K. Smith
(5/5)

This is an extremely well-written and forceful book, especially for a first novel. There's nothing remotely tentative about this story of Chicago reporter Camille Preaker's return to her little southeast Missouri hometown to do a story on the murder of two local young girls less than a year apart. It may be the work of a serial killer and the local head cop is out of his depth, so they've called in a homicide specialist from Kansas City. But the murder investigation is only part of the story. More mesmerizing, and a good deal creepier, is Camille's re-examination of her own family, which brings new meaning to the description "dysfunctional." Camille's younger sister, Marian, died two decades ago at about the same age as the recently murdered girls, having been "cared for" by Adora, their vampiric mother. Then, a few years later, Adora had another daughter, Camille's half-sister, Amma, who, at thirteen, is extraordinarily pretty, precociously sexual, and who bosses the clique that runs the school with calculated cruelty. She's very much her mother's daughter. Stephen King, not noted for gushing endorsements of other people's work, comments on the jacket that the effect of the narration is cumulative, and that's exactly right. As you move farther and farther into this horror, you dread what you know is probably coming, but you're unable to look away, to stop reading. Flynn's style is both unadorned and exquisitely sharp. The former comes out in Camille's matter-of-fact description of her own pathology: She's a "cutter," having spent most of her life incising words into her body with knives and razors, cultivating the scars until she dare not wear anything but long sleeves and pants legs. The latter is demonstrated by the fact that this book just leaps with sly, quotable lines: "It was a natural gift for Adora, making other women feel incidental."A visiting cop "peeled the label of the empty beer bottle next to him and smoothed it out onto the table. Messy. A sure sign he'd never worked in a bar."In describing the way her mother manipulates everyone, Camille relates how the death of her little sister was so useful in that regard. No matter what anyone said, "my mother would not be distracted from her grief. To this day it remains a hobby."Or, "Reporters are like vampires. They can't come into your house without your invitation, but once they're there, you won't get them out till they've sucked you dry."Or, "`So hard to get good help these days,' she muttered earnestly, unaware no one really says that who's not on TV."Or, "Like all rural towns, Wind Gap has an obsession with machinery. Most homes own a car and a half for every occupant (the half being an antique collectible, or an old piece of crap on blocks, depending on the income bracket)."One of my favorites, in describing an acquaintance's rather bland husband: "He was good-looking if you looked at him long enough."Flynn also has the knack of setting an entire mood by describing a single detail. For example, the little town of Wind Gap snaps into focus when Camille notes that she found the police chief "banging the dent out of a stop sign at the corner of Second and Ely, a few blocks from the police station." Or, of a group of 13-year-old girls passing around a bottle of rum: "The rim of the bottle was ringed with pink lip gloss."Damn, that's good stuff.This is one of those books you'll keep thinking about for months. Flynn is definitely going on my list of new authors to watch.


Interesting story and well written, like all Flynn's books.

by Michael McLarnon
(4/5)

The story was very intriguing. Full disclosure, I'm a psychiatrist, and thought that the main character's psychopathology was over the top for the backstory that the author had created. Otherwise, the story read fairly well, the scenes were believable, the writing style well done. Not as compelling as Gone Girl, but still a step above most books of its ilk.


A Cut Above The Typical Debut...

by M. ONEILL "Mike ONeill"
(5/5)

I saw Gillian Flynn over the summer at the Printer's Row book festival in Chicago. She was on a discussion panel with some other authors and something about the way she talked about her books and writing made me want to try this book. Well, I did and I thought it was a fantastic book.A Chicagoland reporter heads back to her hometown to get the scoop on some murder/abductions involving teenage girls. Years away from this past place called home but she still has the scars of her past when she arrives into town. This dark mystery of a small town is very interesting with the contrast of characters and secrets they hide. Excellent bubbling suspense and an impressive ending.This is going to be very close to the top for my best reads of the year. I look forward to her next book, DARK PLACES.


Whodunnit Meets Coming Home Story

by Monika Matthews
(5/5)

This is my favorite Gillian Flynn novel so far. Flynn excels at intertwining unlikable yet liked characters with evocative premises and enough suspense to make it impossible to put down her books. Perhaps I just identified with this character more, or something about the premise caught me - but I think this one is the best.


Sick

by NenetteU
(3/5)

It's a relief that this is fiction; it's just too sick, too sickening. The story affirms the general belief that a child will go the way he/she was led by his/her parents. Just as it also affirms that there will always be exceptions to the rule, or in this case, the general belief.Adora has this disorder that she wants to be perceived as a nurturing mother, and as such, she deliberately hurt her daughters so she could care for them. This affected her 3 daughters in three different grotesque ways; one to the point of death. Though the disorder wasn't mentioned until late, this is where most of the story revolves (or hinted on). I'm not telling more than this.It was slow going at first, then it seemed to drag on after I thought I solved the puzzle not even halfway through. It picked up again towards the end. I read it in installment, but it would have been a better experience reading it in I one go.


Waste of time & money

by Nico1908 "NTF"
(1/5)

The story had an interesting start, but about half-way through I was so fed up with the overblown and unrealistic characters that I put it down and will donate it to the next "Friends of the Library" book sale.There were many things that annoyed me about Camille Preaker, but the worst was her cutting habit. I'm sorry, but unless you're a contortionist, there is no way you can carve words across your whole body with the exception of a circle on your back. No way!


Extremely Potent

by Nicola Manning-Mansfield
(5/5)

Reason for Reading: I read Gone Girl earlier this month and thought it was just OK but I had read Dark Places years ago and loved it, so I wanted to read this, Flynn's first book, to see which opinion of her as a whole author I had of her.Sharp Objects presents a completely unique premise for a thriller that kept me on my toes and excited throughout the book. From the first few pages I knew I was going to like the main character and she proved to be a multi-layered personality who did many unexpected things and yet remained true to her character. The three main female characters were all highly intricate psychological studies of deeply affected personalities who the reader never knew whether they were truly good or bad. While I won't say I was on the edge of my seat, as I had decided upon one of two possible solutions, I will say Flynn keeps you guessing until the very end. And even when you think the whole case is solved, she pulls out one final twist to unnerve you and make sure you go to bed feeling slightly creepy about the whole thing. I had a hard time deciding whether I liked this or Dark Places better since it has been some years since I read it, but I re-read my review and it brought the whole book back to me and this one wins out ever so slightly. As a first book, this is extremely potent and Flynn has followed up well with two more. Even though I thought Gone Girl was less than stellar, I still enjoyed it and will be looking forward to her next book.


i hate this book so much

by Nmhuyler "~nicole~"
(1/5)

honestly think that this is one of the two worst books I've ever read. I had to give it one star, because the site wouldn't let me give it 0 or negative stars.


Teeth

by Onlygameintown
(5/5)

This was the most interesting novel that dwell with the conscious to subconscious level of cruelty to unreality of pain. Pain inflicted consciously created devil seeds.Flynn led the reader to finally realize that the conscious plays the most evil game to everyone.


OK, BUT NOT QUITE SHARP ENOUGH

by Pamela A. Poddany "Book Freak!"
(2/5)

SHARP OBJECTSI was highly anticipating a great book, found this one to be good, but a little disappointing. Too many strange characters, everyone in this small half-horse Missouri town is messed up with tons of problems. This seemed totally unrealistic to me.Meet Camille Preaker, a Chicago newspaper reporter who has escaped a psycho family from Wind Gap, Missouri. She has severed ties with her family which consists of her mom, step-dad and step-sister, and a long deceased sister.Camille reluctantly returns to Missouri and her family to report on the story of the unsolved murders of two little girls. She is a good character; very likeable and believeable. However, the rest of the characters were just too fake.Camille does not want to see her family, finally has to and ends up staying at her mother's home. Her mom is wicked, her sister messed up, her step-dad off in his own little world. She sees old friends and every single one of them has problems and are all messed up, either on drugs or booze or both.Camille was a great character and I enjoyed her personality and how she handled herself. Her narration was very well written and fun. However, the rest of the characters just made this book too too too too unreal.The plot was good, the mystery of who-done-it kept me guessing, the writing was good. The characters just didn't help this story and bogged it down. I do, however, think Gillian Flynn holds much promise and will check out future books of hers.Thank you.Pam


Love Gillian Flynn

by Patricia Sullivan "student of the stars"
(5/5)

Another really good read from Ms. Flynn. She does an excellent job showing how family dysfunction is generational and how the way children are parented can impact them in such profound ways. This is another book that I thought I had all figured out about 3/4 of the way through, then changed my mind but kept on reading......her writing is so good even if you figure it out you want to continue with the book. I'm reading Dark Places currently and it is riveting too. I became a real Gillian Flynn fan this summer.


"sick place"

by Patto
(4/5)

The narrator, Camille Preaker, is drinking hard in a bar in her hometown, writing over and over again in her notebook, "sick place, sick place." She'd like to carve the words with a knife on her skin. She's been sent to this town of 2,000 by the Chicago Daily Post to cover the murder of two little girls.Camille has spent thousands of hours in therapy trying to get over her issues, all of which were born and nurtured in Wind Gap, Missouri. But her insider's knowledge of this unpleasant little town is just what's needed to make for great reporting. Or so her editor thinks.And so Camille goes back into the bosom of what must be one of the world's most dysfunctional families: A mother who only likes her children when they're sick. A manipulative, drugged-up thirteen-year-old half-sister. Another half-sister whose death no one can get over. And an odd nonentity of a stepfather.The family is filthy rich from the profits of hog breeding and butchering. The pigs are treated even worse than most of the inhabitants of Wind Gap seem to treat each other.For all her emotional problems, Camille is a hard-working reporter determined to do a good job. She does, however, get a bit distracted by the good-looking Kansas City detective who's been sent to lead the investigation. It's interesting to watch their relationship heat up as they try to pump each other for information.This is definitely a compelling debut novel - a tantalizing mystery offering several convincing murder suspects from among a disturbed populace. I find Camille is a little too self-destructive and self-loathing to be a comfortable companion for 252 pages, but I'd recommend the book to readers with a taste for dark psychological thrillers.


Scratching at the edges of abnormality; NO SPOILERS

by Quiet Summer "SummerKY"
(5/5)

I picked this up knowing nothing about the author and nothing about the book, other than its simple dark cover and a paragraph from Stephen King on the back that perked my interest in this debut novel.I began this novel at 10:00pm and intended to read a few chapters and head to bed, but I sat until 1:00 a.m. because I couldn't stop reading it.Part of the appeal is that I knew nothing of what was going to occur in the pages, this book did not have a synopsis of any kind. I encourage you NOT to read reviews that recap the storyline, because the surprise of what this turned out to be was part of the fun for me and I will not do that in this review. I am going to try very hard to give you a review of this book without revealing anything about the story itself.The first thing I noticed was that the lead character and voice in this book was pretty raw (it's written in the first person; she is blunt and honest in a way that doesn't exactly leave her in the most appealing light at times. I enjoyed this and I really enjoyed the novel, which I would describe as part mystery, part family saga. As I said before, I don't want to give away the plot. This book is dark, it is disturbing in that it slowly chews away at the surface of abnormality and dysfunction, leading you to the core of something unimaginable. It is quite clear to the reader that we are getting closer and closer to the center of this dark place, but I found that I couldn't turn away. As some other reviewers stated, the plot does reveal itself, and I believe this was the intention of the author, you are literally watching the lead character walk herself into a situation and you are powerless to stop it; that builds suspense! These characters I found to be quite real, not cookie cutter versions of themselves presented in a way that you'd find in a Hollywood movie or some poorly presented detective series. She is not a heroine in any true sense of the word. If you enjoy true, raw characters that are flawed, even in their best moments (as all humans are) than you might enjoy this. The writing is very smooth, the action moves nicely, the story flows and never loses its balance and it clocks in at just over 250 pages.I will end with the quote by Stephen King on the back of this book, it was part of the reason I picked this book up in the first place."To say this is a terrific debut novel is really too mild. I haven't read such a relentelessly creepy family saga since John Farris's All Heads Turn as the Hunt Goes By, and that was thirty years ago, give or take. Sharp Objects isn't one of those scare-and-retreat books; its effect is cumulative. 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. An admirably nasty piece of work, elevated by sharp writing and sharper insights."I hope this helps without spoiling the plot in anyway.


Creative but too dark for me

by Rachel
(3/5)

Camille Preaker is a troubled young woman and a mediocre journalist. When her editor sends her to her home-town in Missouri for investigative reporting on a possible serial killer, she must stay with her emotionally-destructive mother and wild half-sister. As Camille struggles with ghosts from her past, including her own self-destructive behavior and memories of a dead sister, she discovers that the murders are darker and more complex than she'd originally suspected.Although this book certainly had a good deal of mystery to it, it wasn't really for me. Although I generally liked Camille's character, there were several times when I groaned inwardly at her choices. She was weak and self-destructive. Such characters are really difficult to write well, and Sharp Objects had a bit of a debut-novel feel to it - perhaps Camille's character should have been created by a more seasoned author. Another issue I had with the book is it was simply too dark for my tastes. There was so much ugliness in the book. Violence, self-loathing, sexual exploitation, and more. On the other hand, I DO understand why some people like this book. The key question to ask is - how much ugliness can you deal with? If you like reading about emotionally troubled characters, then this book would be attractive to you. There was a slight redemptive feel to the story at the end. A ray of hope for Camille. I appreciate that I was given that much.


A very good first novel

by Randy Cook
(4/5)

'Sharp Objects' is Gillian Flynn's first novel and a very good one at that. The story starts with the introduction to Camille, a reporter for a smaller Chicago newspaper. Camille is assigned a story back in her home town on Wind Gap, MO. Right from the start Camille is not happy about going back home and we start getting a little insight as to why.Enter Wind Gap. We find Wind Gap, Mo a small town with a cast of characters and secrets. Camille is looking into the murder of two local girls. One nine months ago and a second girl has disappeared. While in town, the body of the second girl is found and the hunt is on.It is hard, at times, to relate to flawed characters. At first I felt for Camille. She has returned to her home town from the big city. Running into old classmates and finding the same sad routines still happening as when she left. People seem to fall into the same ruts as their parents. In addition to former classmates, Camille must deal with her Mother and step father. Both of whom are very strange. As we meet these people and learn more of them we start to understand why Camille has the flaws and a rough past.While I enjoyed the book, I had a little trouble with Camille's character. While she is flawed and has a very troubled past. The only issue I had was her slip with the character of John. I thought it pushed her flaws a little too far. Otherwise, this book is a very good read and with summer approaching get a copy for the beach.


TOO MUCH

by Red Rock Bookworm
(3/5)

This book is TOO MUCH. Too much sex, too much alcohol, too much drug use, too much self-mutilation, too many people intent on the destruction of themselves and others. The narrator and her family could be poster children for the 21st century version of any Grimms fairy tale (only without the happy ending).The narrator, Camille Preaker, a reporter (with more than a few problems of her own) returns to her home town to investigate the murder of two young girls. The town of Wind Gap harbors more than it's share of bizarre characters and would be an excellent place to set up practice if you happen to be a psychiatrist in search of a new client base.We have a self-centered, irrational mother; an out of control half-sister, high school friends all displaying symptoms of neurotic behaviour, murder victims who are less than sympathetic, and a group of insidious teen-aged girls who could have stepped out of a work by John Saul or perhaps Edgar Alan Poe.Gillian Flynn writes of her unhinged creations; malovolent females, victims and victimizers, poisoness environments, with such clarity and knowledge, it makes one wonder about the childhood of this writer.All in all, not a very pretty tale.....but one that does stay with you like a bad dream. Two and a half stars.


This is one disturbing book. I don't think I would want to have Flynn's imagination.

by Regina Niesen "Gina"
(3/5)

Goodreads Description- WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heartWords are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker's troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille's first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her legSince she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankleAs Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims--a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.If I had to pick one word to describe this book it would be disturbing. There were times when I was reading that I just had to stop and give myself a break because the content was very difficult to handle (at least for me) emotionally. Every single character in the book was just plain sick. I don't want to have any spoilers but the ending was very flat compared to the author's tone the entire book. You can definitely tell that this book was her debut because this book is nothing compared to Gone Girl. 3 stars.


Gripping Psychological Thriller

by Regina "Regina"
(5/5)

I love a good psychological thriller with disturbingly flawed characters and this book did not disappoint. The main character is a woman struggling to make a life for herself, fleeing her childhood and really, fleeing her mother when she is sent back to her home town as an investigative reporter. She is tasked to report on the gruesome murders of two pre-teen girls, but in the process she gets put right back in the middle of her messed up family dynamics, her small town's social structure, and a potential romance.Ms. Flynn nails perfectly small Midwest town life. A quote in her description of small town life,"Like all rural towns, Wind Gap has an obsession with machinery. Most homes own a car and a half for every occupant, plus boats, Jet Skis, scooters, tractors, and among the elite of Wind Gap, golf cars, which younger kids without licenses use to whip around town."Ms. Flynn makes some disturbing observations about parenting and family life - and ties them in to premature death:As to the death of a young girl, "it's the only way to truly keep your child. Kids grow up, they forge more potent allegiances. They find a spouse or a lover. They will not be buried with you. The Keenes, however will remain the purest form of family. Underground."The situations described in this book are exceptional, but she breaks the image of small rural life as being ideal. Terrifying violence and dysfunction lurks beneath the surface and I have to say, she nailed it in terms of describing my small rural home town. As Flynn writes, the idealic quality of small towns is false. A question is - should people go home once they have fled extreme unhappiness? Can they go home and survive it emotionally? Going home almost undoes Camille and as the story is told the readers see from a disturbing first person angle, Camille's personal psychological problems and the extent of her damage. It was terrifying to read about, but I could not put the book down.A truly horrifying image of the protagonist's mother: (view spoiler)[ "I remember my mother, alone in the living room, staring at the child almost lasciviously. She pressed her lips hard against the baby's apple slice of a cheek. Then she opened her mouth just slightly, took a tiny bit of flesh between her teeth, and gave it a little bite." (hide spoiler)]A question I had was, what was Ms. Flynn's message in this? Small rural towns are messed up? Family dynamics can really screw people up? Old school social hierarchies breed disturbing people? I did find it interesting that the men in this story, save one, are thoroughly disappointing and that the evil, cruel and shallow women are images of beauty and physically were ultra feminine in terms of how our society defines such things. The violence that happens to women and girls happens on the brink of girls becoming women, and the things done to them (view spoiler)[ shaving the girls legs, fixing their hair, painting their nails (hide spoiler)] are superficial ways femininity have has been defined in our modern culture. And finally, the evil doers (view spoiler)[ are the ultra beautiful, the ultra coiffed, and the ultra physical female ideals (hide spoiler)]. What comment is Flynn making on images of women, female sexuality and femininity in modern US culture? I am asking because I have not yet decided what the answer is.I recommend this book for people who enjoy dark psychological thrillers, where the mystery and murder are just set ups for authors to portray dark disturbing characters and fully fleshed but damaging relationships. I would say fans of Tana French, Donna Tartt, and Laura Kasischke would enjoy this book, but beware, it is not for the faint hearted - the decryptions of physical violence can be upsetting.


The Opposite of Dull

by Rich Stoehr "Idle Rich"
(5/5)

If I had to sum up 'Sharp Objects' in a single word, that word would be "unexpected." Other words apply - harsh, witty, dark, violent, sad, edgy, brutal. But "unexpected" somehow wraps all of these up and ties them together.It's rare to find a mystery that surprises in both its characters and its plotline, but 'Sharp Objects' does both. Gillian Flynn finds new dimension in familiar territory, as she explores the murder of two young girls in a small Missouri town. The dynamics of the town become just as important as the facts in the case, the two are twisted around each other like blackberry vines, dense and impenetrable. The story unfolds through the eyes and words of scarred and reluctant reporter Camille Preaker, who returns to the town of Wind Gap at the urging of her boss, after many years away. She walks into a personal nightmare with open eyes.The unexpected also comes in Gillian Flynn's prose, words like electricity from a downed power line - snapping, sparking, sometimes dangerous. Subtle sideways descriptions that hit just the right note, like describing a man who never seems to sweat as being "the opposite of moist." Again and again, from the first pages to the last, Flynn haunts us with words that don't mean what they seem like they should, but they're the right words to use.'Sharp Objects,' as a novel, is the opposite of comfortable. As a mystery, it's the opposite of cozy. As a story, it's the opposite of dull. But perhaps the most unexpected thing in the whole book is that underneath the violence and the sadness and the loneliness of this story beats real heart - complex and damaged perhaps, but beating true nonetheless, and with the strength only the best stories can convey.


Very Talented new Author

by robwi "Rob"
(5/5)

This is a book that you will be recommending to your friends. The wealthy are a lot wierder than you or I! Interesting characters, well-developed plot, with more than enough twists. Her new book, "Dark Places" is just as good. I am eagerly waiting for her next.


Maybe I'm Just A Book Snob But....

by S. B.
(2/5)

Right off the bat, let me say that I am confused by everyone's description of the end of this book. I've read multiple posts claiming that this book has a shocker of an ending. NOT SO! I had the murderer pegged as soon as the character was introduced.Secondly, the little sister, Amma, was ridiculous. I thought the character was way over the top and written with such exaggeration that it was hard to take the story seriously. I didn't mind the main character and actually found her interesting but was really let down when she had her go on a drug binge with her little sister. Just ridiculous.The ending was your run of the mill wrap up. It lacked depth and lost itself long before it should have.I would have rated this a one star but there were a couple of interesting aspects to the story.


Dark, interesting first novel

by sb-lynn
(4/5)

Summary, no spoilers.This is the story of Camille Preaker, who works as a reporter for a newspaper in Chicago. She has been assigned to cover the story of a possible child serial killer in a small town in Missouri. She was given this story mainly because this small town happens to be her hometown.We know that Camille is a physically beautiful, but very troubled young woman. We know that she does not want to go home, and throughout the course of this disturbing novel we find out why.I found this to be a very interesting story, and a page-turner which is high compliment. This book does an excellent job of showing the repercussions of child abuse, and what life is like in a small town.The only reason this book did not get 5 stars is the mystery aspect. I cannot say more without a spoiler, but I found that part of the resolution improbable for a variety of reasons.Still, this is a suspenseful, *different* book, and I think that the character of Camille Preaker will stay with me for a long time. I would definitely give Gillian Flynn another try.


Dark and haunting

by S. Deeth "Sheila Deeth"
(5/5)

Sharp objects cut, hurt and wound. Gillian Flynn’s novel, Sharp Objects, is no exception. It’s filled with dark, disturbing images, cruel memories, and layers of pain. It invites the reader into the mind of a young woman trying to rebuild her life, and in so doing, it slowly reveals how her life was broken. All this is done with stark, convincing prose, as newspaper reporter Camille Preaker returns to her home town, assigned to produce a few simple pieces about the family of a missing girl.Of course, going home is never simple, especially when that home drove you to need psychiatric help. And revisiting the scene of her misery doesn’t offer the sort of healing Camille will need. Caught between the call of adult sanity and teen surrender, struggling against the lure of drugs, sex and alcohol, longing for the acceptance and love she’s missed, and desperate to help her sister escape the cycle of destruction, Camille walks a path filled of clever deduction, hopeless quests, and wounded memories. Meanwhile the author offers classically powerful descriptions of people and place, shadowed by what’s guessed, implied, kept hidden and eventually revealed.Sharp Objects is a sharply observed tale of modern-day evil, told with a reporter’s strengths, a wounded woman’s weaknesses, and a heart for hope. It’s not an easy read. It’s graphic and its words cut and wound. But it’s beautifully told, and ultimately offers the promise that healing might be real.Disclosure: I wanted to read something by Gillian Flynn and this was the book I chose to get for my birthday


A goog read

by SelmaSue "Susan"
(4/5)

"Sharp Objects" was a good read and a good first effort by the author. You feel for the protagonist, Camille, coming back to her home town after many years away. Some of the characters are poorly developed but overall, it's a good story and one that most of us can relate to on some level.


Dark, Gritty, Disturbing, and Brilliant!

by Shannon L. Yarbrough "Shannon L. Yarbrough"
(4/5)

After reading Flynn's second book, Dark Places, earlier this year I couldn't get enough of her and wanted to read her first book. Like I said in my review of Dark Places, if Flynn writes more (and I hope she does) then she has a loyal fan in me. While Sharp Objects doesn't quite have the intensity that Dark Places showed us, it's still just as good.In it, we meet Camille Preaker, a Chicago reporter who returns to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri to look into the story of two young teen girls who went missing and were later found dead and missing all of their teeth. The local police have no leads and have called in help from Kansas City to assist in the investigation. Locals have their own suspicions and small town gossips abounds.But Flynn doesn't serve us just another cookie cutter mystery. Much of the book is about Camille attempting to reconnect with her well-to-do Mom who owns the local pig abattoir, Mom's stiff squeaky husband, and her bizarre attention-hungry young sister named Amma. As Camille jumps head first into the case and attempts to get a good quote on record from the parents of the deceased or the Kansas City investigator, she rediscovers what she reminisces of her years growing up in the smalltown of Wind Gap and we learn more about her and the pain she has lived. Camille is a cutter, carving various words literally all over her body. And to make things worse, her Mom is a hypochondriac.I had the killer pegged as soon as I met them, but constantly second guessed myself as Flynn leads you away from the mystery at hand and deeper into the psyche of Camille, her sister, and her mother. Camille pays visits to the girls she grew up with and went to high school with, desperate to break something in the case, but in the process it all comes back to her sad mother and her bully sister, who apparently rules the school with her pretentious attitude. Camille also develops a physical relationship with the investigator who refuses to budge on giving Camille something she can use in her story.Just like Flynn's second book, the characters here are all ticking time bombs of emotion and turmoil. You love them. You hate them. You love to hate them. In fact, you become so emotionally attached to them yourself that you just can't put the book down. Throw in a gritty murder mystery to solve and you have the perfect recipe for a book that I just can't stop thinking about.


Really Bizarre and Twisted! Also Lots of Fun!

by S. Henkels
(5/5)

This first person narration has lots of interesting twists and turns, fine descriptions, and may seem to be a bit misogynist, but then the young (and nice-looking)author has a really peculiar imagination; not to mention a fine command of the language! A slow concentrated read shows that all the pieces fit right in, and though the ending was not a total surprise to this hardened mystery critic, it was even more unusual than I could have predicted. Even such standard set pieces like a dollhouse are put in this book for a reason, and so it goes throughout. After finishing it, the postcript was one for the ages; this author has a real sense of humor as well. Though in truth, most of the events in this book, though bizarre at times, are anything but humorous. This is one of those new and young authors with a really unique style, far-out imagination, who is not afraid to dwell in and reveal certain aspects of our species we'd rather ignore!


Leaves one with 'rotten feelings'

by Simon Cleveland "S. Cleveland"
(1/5)

The razor blade on the front cover of the book is what one yearns for right after embarking on this read, sharp blade with which to cut every single page, one by one, until they are so neatly shredded that even the memory of what was written on them becomes non existent. And then, one can use the same razor to end one's own life.I'm still unsure what the author was thinking when she began this book, unless she had some very deep and very disturbing mental issues to work through.This book is dangerous and not because it excites one with a thrilling and suspenseful story. It is dangerous because once one reads it, one looses any desire to look for another book that may restore one's faith in the existence of good books with an uplifting charge. Not only is this book dangerous, but it is sick. Its underlying sickness is that it's emotionally draining and unless readers are looking to load up on more mental baggage (I can't think of anyone who doesn't have enough), I'd stay away from its pain.The main character is a female reporter who returns home on an assignment (covering the serial murders of two little girls). As memories of her painful childhood emerge, readers find a lot more about her character, for example her alcoholic addiction and her obsession to carve words into her own flesh. Waves of her unresolved issues wash away further hopes of a challenging literary work as readers are practically dragged into her problems (not loved enough by her mother, not popular enough in school, not motivated enough in her work) and are subjected to the anguish of either feeling sorry for her or wanting to end her existence.As disturbing details of the two murders resurface, readers are introduced to yet two more characters as equally unpleasant as the first. There is the psychologically unstable (almost emotionally poisonous) personality of her mother and the pathologically sinister and equally disturbed one of the teenage sister. And of course there are the endlessly problematic and mentally crushing details of the small-town's Midwest America (why would one want to read this is beyond my understanding).This book robs one of smiles, of the beauty of life, and even of the reason for love. It is not only bitter, but leaves one with an unpleasant smell of what I'd like to call rotten feelings. I can't brand the book dull (as it did leave me with unwanted thoughts), but I can promise you that you'll feel dull once you've read it. I don't recommend it, but may compare the feelings I have for it to what Chuck Palahniuk's 'Choke' birthed in me.by Simon Cleveland


Creepy

by S. L. Parker "World Traveler"
(5/5)

Camille, young cub reporter from Chicago is sent to her small hometown in the bootheal of Missouri to investigate the murder of one little girl and the disappearance of another. Typical plot, but the author doesn't give us the typical characters with the typical happy ending. Far from it.This is a dark and disturbing story with no holes barred and not for the faint of heart. All of the characters are messed up in one way or another, and this may be the most dysfunctional family saga I've ever read. I'm not even sure why I liked it and read it in one day, but I did but I'm not sure I could recommend this to everyone.Nice to see a new author tackle difficult problems, thus the 5 stars.


Creeeeeeepy

by Stephanie Raghavan
(4/5)

Gillian Flynn, you sly dog, you. The master of suspense has done it again. I started Sharp Objects yesterday and sort of forgot to ever stop reading it. Sure, it wasn't as twisty-turny as Gone Girl was. And thank goodness for that - I don't think I could have handled another one of those. But don't discount Sharp Objects by any means; this was completely creepy in its own right.The characters weren't my absolute favorite, but Flynn did do a tremendous job of creating a few downright sinister characters. And even though I had my suspicions of who the killer was, I was prepared for any possible outcome. The plot line kept me wanting more...and more...and more. I kid you not when I say I could not put this book down. And of course it wouldn't be a true Gillian Flynn novel without some sort of last minute twist - and oh boy, does she deliver.I didn't love the whole cutting aspect of Camille's character, but I suppose it did add to both the creep factor as well as the understanding of what a crappy adolescence she had in Wind Gap. Camille is a fully flawed individual, and while you hope for her to be able to pull herself together and just be a bit normal, you come to recognize that she's a far way from normal - and any pulling together she can do is 100% temporary.A little clichéd and a little obvious, yes. But don't tell me I didn't warn you when you get high-power vacuum sucked right into this novel from the first sentence!


Interesting, but far fetched

by Steven James
(3/5)

This book touches on every "disease of the week" known to man. It deals with cutting, alcoholism, teen drugs and sex, animal cruelty, mean girls, etc. The author doesn't thoroughly draw any conclusions for any of these topics and while I was reading I kept waiting, almost smugly, for the next "crisis". That said, the story was really pretty good and it left me a bit unsettled. One passage about the pigs was particularly disturbing. I'll never eat a ham sandwich again without thinking about this book. Although the characters were interesting they were highly unbelievable and unlikeable. I was none too sympathetic toward any of them. I would recommend this book to open-minded adults (definitely not for anyone under 16) who like gothic-type mysteries and aren't easily offended by graphic sex and bizarre situations involving children.


Expertly Written But Implausible Plot

by Susan K. Schoonover "Sue Yingling"
(4/5)

Gillian Flynn is a talented writer who quickly hooks the reader with the great storytelling of her narrator/protagonist, the scarred Chicago journalist, Camille in her first novel SHARP OBJECTS. This is not a novel for the squeamish (the single razor blade on the cover should give readers a clue about that) since it involves a serial killer of children, a very damaged, self injuring heroine, Munchausen by proxy and some real mean thirteen year old girls. All this evil takes place in one small Southern Missouri town which is well detailed but often so over the top weird it strains credibility. The resolution to the mystery does contain a couple of surprising twists but though shocking these surprises are not totally believable. Still, Flynn has a very readable style and her follow up second thriller DARK PLACES is next on my "to be read" pile.


Get past the first 30 pages...

by Tara OT
(4/5)

Ok so I was ready to just donate this book during the first 25-30 pages; and I set it aside for 2-3 weeks; then i picked it up one Saturday afternoon, and was obsessed with it until I finished it on Sunday. Very dark. I really enjoyed the way the plot evolved - the characters were developed slowly, and answered the questions I had during my reading. Good, intense, but very dark. Just get through the soft, slow beginning.


Nice little thriller

by tawnyuzzi
(4/5)

Good twist at the end, kept me guessing. I've never heard of this author before, I'll be sure to check out more of her stuff.


Incredibly dark, and hard to put down...

by Thomas Duff "Duffbert"
(4/5)

Recommended by my niece, I finally got around to reading Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. This is an extremely dark crime novel that spends far more time in the psychological realm than the criminal world, but it works OK if you're in the right mindset.Camille Preaker is a reporter for a second-tier newspaper in Chicago. Her editor decides to send her back to her home town of Wind Gap to write a story on the murder of two young girls. The murders have all the signs of a serial killer, as the bodies are both missing all their teeth. It's his hope that this story will scoop the larger papers and earn the paper some respect. But there's far more at stake for Preaker than just the story...Camille grew up in a severely dysfunctional home that left her with emotional and physical scars. One of her sisters died of a mysterious illness when she was growing up. She also has a 13 year old sister that is heavily into drugs, sex, and manipulation. When Preaker arrives in Wind Gap to write the story, plenty of old wounds are opened up, and her whole warped relationship with her mother starts to play out all over. The town has their ideas as to who killed the girls, but Preaker is coming to some uncomfortable realizations as to who might be responsible for it all. And if those realizations are accurate, she has to face some difficult questions about her own personality.While there is a crime that's being investigated here, the main plot-line revolves around Preaker and her emotional issues. You learn pretty quickly that she is a cutter, hence the name of the book. It's bizarrely compelling to see how those compulsions play out in her life during periods of stress, which is pretty much all the time. And since it's written in first-person form from Preaker's perspective, you quickly become immersed in her own private hell.For a debut novel, Flynn has done a very good job. If you're looking for a pure crime novel, the heavy psychological slant will probably make you a bit uncomfortable. But if you're open to a dark blend of crime and warped minds, this will be a book you'll have a hard time putting down.


A Highly Overrated Novel

by Thriller Lover
(1/5)

I mean, really. SHARP OBJECTS has gotten tons of media coverage and nary a negative review in sight. I usually read hundreds of novels a year, and I really don't get the big deal about this novel at all.This book contains some sharply written prose, but the mystery plotline is quite weak. SHARP OBJECTS is essentially a literary novel that the publisher has labeled a "mystery" to push more copies on unsuspecting consumers. This slow-paced novel is not much of a whodunit and contains almost no suspense. This novel does have a big plot twist near the end, but I found it to be implausable and pointless, tacked on for shock value and nothing more.My major problem with this novel is the characters. All of the major players in SHARP OBJECTS are cartoonishly nasty and dysfunctional. Most of the characters are the residents of a small town in Missouri, and Gillian Flynn seems to have nothing but contempt for most of them. The heroine of this book is an introspective bore, and possesses little personality beyond her self-destructive behavior. I didn't like or identify with anyone in SHARP OBJECTS, which for me is a fatal problem with any novel. I found this book tough to finish.As Stephen King notes in his blurb, this is a nasty little novel. The main question is whether you want to waste your time and money on something like this. In the end, I regretted doing so.


I liked it

by T. S. Johnson
(3/5)

I read Gone Girl and loved it so decided to read this book. It didn't excite me as much as Gone Girl but the story was very good. She did an excellent job depicting characters that had dark, twisted sides to them. I definitely felt for the main character and loved how it shows that some things just cannot be forgiven.


Ok...but

by Virgil Howarth
(3/5)

The story is great but bogs down in the middle with too much introspective. I wanted more fast paced dialog and less self judgement.


A shockingly dark debut novel that burrows into your brain and lives there for a while

by William D. Hastings
(5/5)

In her debut novel, Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn isn’t afraid to showcase a stable of characters who are more than merely flawed, but are severely troubled and often downright despicable. Yet her undeniably skilled prose leaps from the page with gleeful ambition and defies the reader to not be pulled in by the mystery of what insidious thing might just be going on in the small Missouri town. Flynn begins her narrative with an involuntary homecoming for her protagonist and brings sly insight to both the kind of person who feels the need to escape their hometown, as well as the type of hometown that needs escaping. From there, the novel becomes part family drama, part thriller, part murder mystery, and all completely engaging. Each piece of the puzzle to this mystery is masterfully slipped into place with a sinister ease of pace, culminating in a climax that speaks to the pervasive nature of evil, and one which sticks with you long after you’ve put the book down.


An excellent first novel.

by William Oterson
(3/5)

My main criteria for rating is interest, and this first novel of Gillian Flynn kept my interest throughout. A little slow with the buildup, but an original dark mystery the ending of which is not at all obvious as others may have you believe. Very good character development. Not quite 4 stars as I feel the last chapter was a trifle hurried, but a strong 3 1/2.


Naughty, Small Town Girls

by W. Perry Hall "S. Quire"
(4/5)

This first novel by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl author) was foreboding, fairly suspenseful, quite nasty and, in general, unkind to the female gender. "Sharp Objects" displays Ms. Flynn's mastery of writing *kink* and *dirty girl* into a story. I also think it shows how she has sharpened her storytelling skills and her creative development of high suspense and drama from this to "Dark Places" to "Gone Girl."I'd recommend this novel over most of the now-ubiquitous unoriginal and/or flat attempts at this genre.


Really Fascinating, Darkly Beautiful

by Yolanda S. Bean
(5/5)

What a perfect book for Halloween! I curled up with this book on All Hallow's Eve and read it in one sitting. It was surprisingly suspenseful and absolutely thrilling - and the very last twist at the end was something I did not see coming at all. It was a very real shock, and made for a completely enjoyable read. The tone and level of tension really turned my Halloween into a wonderfully eerie one. I just loved this book. The narration worked so well and I just really liked the narrator and all of her odd quirks. Despite the dark nature of the book, I just loved the idea of these words carved into this woman's body. That and other psychological issues were handled very well, and in a very credible fashion. An excellent debut novel and I definitely plan on keeping an eye out for all of this Chicago author's future books. Bravo!


A fast paced mystery

by Zia
(5/5)

Wow what an amazing book. It was full of twists and turns and what struck me as interesting is the main character is as messed up as the bad guy is. The story deals with cutting, Munchausen's, alcohol abuse, jealousies, family dysfunctions, among other afflictions through out. But in the mist of all of the crud going on there is a great mystery to solve and Gillian told the story wonderfully.The book pulled me in quickly and didn't let me off until the last page. All in all I would have to give this two thumbs up and I look forward to reading her newest novel soon.


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