Sharp Objects

A Novel

Paperback, 272 pages

English language

Published July 30, 2007 by Three Rivers Press.

ISBN:
978-0-307-34155-6
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3 stars (52 reviews)

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart.

Words 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 leg

Since 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 ankle

As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims …

34 editions

Not for the fainthearted

3 stars

Recently going to see Gone Girl at the cinema reminded me that I still had Sharp Objects languishing unread on our Kindle. It's the third Gillian Flynn novel I have read but apparently the first she wrote. The storyline here is definitely not for the fainthearted and at points I felt quite queasy reading it. The central theme of two girls in a small town in Missouri being murdered is obviously horrific, but having read several crime thrillers over the years, I have pretty much become immune to the emotional pull of murdered young fictional women and girls. It feels bizarre writing that but so many novels start with such a death that it is almost a prerequisite. Where Sharp Objects differs is that our viewpoint into the story comes via Camille, a journalist sent back to cover the story unfolding in her hometown. Camille not only has self harmed …

reviewed Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Not my cup of tea

1 star

Oh, this was not my favorite, I’m afraid. Sharp Objects is skillfully written but the story is much darker than I’d normally go for (I read it for a book club), and the heroine just struggled throughout - I never felt happy for her and I had trouble relating to her, so, in the end, it felt like witnessing the life of someone I cared for but couldn’t connect with just unravel, in truly awful ways, while I could do nothing but watch. I didn’t enjoy it. Like the many descriptions of vomiting in the story, reading it felt like tasting bile for hours.

I didn’t like any of the characters (except her editor back in Chicago). The small town’s inhabitants are pretty uniformly characterized as uneducated, troubled, and driven to alcoholism, addiction, and escapism. I found this whole side of the book to be fairly insulting to small towns. …

Review of 'Sharp Objects' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

This was readable. The writing was good, the characters interesting, the story compelling.

BUT...

The whole thing kind of disintegrated in sensationalism and was so over the top it became almost laughable. It would have been much better as a character study. It would have been more enjoyable had it been realistic and hadn't just gone for the cheap thrill. The big reveal and twist at the end, OMG!!! I'm not really into that kind of thing. I'm not sure if that is this author's particular shtick; I haven't read Gone Girl and don't plan on it. But it's a waste of talent if it is.

Review of 'Sharp Objects' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

Where.To.Begin.

Gillian Flynn should stick to writing for Entertainment Weekly. This book sucked. I know the protagonist doesn't have to follow Webster's definition of a clean-cut "good person", but this chick (Camille Preaker) was just awful. And everything that happened was so unrealistic, I just couldn't get into it. It read like some misguided, messed up sexual fantasy that's not based on the real world.

Total waste of time.

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Subjects

  • Fiction
  • Psychological
  • Thrillers
  • Debut novel
  • Family trauma
  • Murder
  • Mystery