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Sharp Objects

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Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the unsolved murder of a preteen girl and the disappearance of another. For years, 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 in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

Librarian's Note: this is an alternate cover edition - ISBN 10: 0307341550 (ISBN 13: 9780307341556)

254 pages, Paperback

First published September 26, 2006

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About the author

Gillian Flynn

29 books83.1k followers
Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She has so far written three novels, Sharp Objects, for which she won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller; Dark Places; and her best-selling third novel Gone Girl.

Her book has received wide praise, including from authors such as Stephen King. The dark plot revolves around a serial killer in a Missouri town, and the reporter who has returned from Chicago to cover the event. Themes include dysfunctional families,violence and self-harm.

In 2007 the novel was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar for Best First Novel by an American Writer, Crime Writers' Association Duncan Lawrie, CWA New Blood and Ian Fleming Steel Daggers, winning in the last two categories.

Flynn, who lives in Chicago, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated at the University of Kansas, and qualified for a Master's degree from Northwestern University.

Review Quotes:
"Gillian Flynn is the real deal, a sharp, acerbic, and compelling storyteller with a knack for the macabre."
–Stephen King

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5 stars
323,143 (34%)
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3 stars
186,335 (19%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 58,504 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
April 21, 2016
“The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.”

There is something deeply unhealthy about this book. It's in the characters, in the story, in the relationships, in the sex, and just in the general mood of the novel. Reading this made me feel a little unwell, both physically and mentally, but I am glad I did. If you know me, you'll know I love complex characters with issues that feel raw and real, rather than melodramatic. The people in this novel are majorly fucked up, no one is without a dark past and everyone, it seems, has a horror story.

The protagonist - Camille Preaker - was just thirteen when her sister died and fuelled by grief (amongst other things) Camille spent her teen years carving words into her flesh, covering almost every inch of her body with the marks of her pain. Ten years later, Camille Preaker is now a journalist who returns to the small town of her youth to report on the murders of two young girls - girls who had had all of their teeth removed.

Camille is soon caught up in the town once again, she tries to get along with the mother who never loved her and establish a relationship with the troublesome half sister she hardly knows. It seems that once again small towns hold the biggest secrets and Camille finds herself getting dragged deeper and deeper into the investigation, her fragile state of mind constantly threatening to tip her over the edge.

This is one mean and nasty book. I knew I was getting a dark, psychological thriller, but I expected something on par with In The Woods by Tana French. Um, not exactly. Flynn never shies away from the horrific details. You're not going to find anything pleasant in this story; sex, for example, is always something complex - it's an escape or a bargain or a catharsis. Everything else is similar.

Flynn does a fantastic job of challenging the notion that women are weak, innocent, damsels in distress. In a world where women are victims - both in their media representation and in statistics - this is a very interesting look at other kinds of women. It's programmed into us to believe that women are safer, kinder, built with an instinct that makes it difficult for them to be cruel and cause pain without reason. Maybe we were always wrong.

Last updated: April 2016

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Profile Image for Simon Cleveland, PhD, EdD.
Author 7 books95 followers
May 23, 2014
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 loses 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.

Profile Image for RandomAnthony.
394 reviews111 followers
August 7, 2012
Last week I read the fuck out of Gillian Flynn's catalog. Three novels in eight days while my wife and kids were out of town and a sweltering late July marooned me in one of the house's two air conditioned rooms. So although this review is primarily for Sharp Objects, my favorite of Flynn's trio, let me go on record with Gone Girl (four stars, go read another of the zillion of reviews) and Dark Places (three stars, maybe too many narratives perspectives and too willing to wallow in the muck) as well, but I'm not writing reviews for those two. Sharp Objects, to me, stands out as Flynn's best so far. The narrator and the storyline don't dance with each other in a seamless, synchronized manner; family history and unwritten community norms mosh-pit it up until the collective response to the murders reminded me of that Soundgarden video where all the faces go funhouse-mirror-y. This narrator isn't a shining heroine. She's very human, supremely fucked up, trying to make sense and move forward. Maybe that's what makes Sharp Objects so interesting.

Highly recommended, Sharp Objects is the kind of book one could characterize as a summer read. This is the rare novel that both devoted and casual (yes, that sound you hear is me turning up my nose) readers will appreciate, as long as they can handle the psychological darkness. Good for any season, not just a summer read, even. My nose just turned up a little higher. I better stop now before I'm looking at the ceiling.

(By the way, if I haven't said so yet, Gillian Flynn is knee-weakening cute.)
Profile Image for Kat.
263 reviews79.5k followers
July 24, 2020
sweet jesus.
Profile Image for Alex .
236 reviews27 followers
August 27, 2016
Little buddy read with Her Majesty La Lionne and Jerry on January 31st!! :D

This is my third Gillian Flynn book, after Gone Girl and Dark Places. The first one blew my mind, the second one freaked me out a little and this one really scared me.

Sure, after reading 5% of it I was like
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--a creepy story with the potential of giving me special nightmares,

but by 90% I was like
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WTF did I just read??

All the characters were disturbing, especially even the children.

Allow me to start with Camille. She's a reporter, a writer. She's practically obsessed with words, even if they are scribbled on her skin
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and not necessarily with a pen or marker, if you get my drift. You see, Camille used to be a . She's a little better now, but you never know what can make her snap and get back to her old habit.

I can't say I liked her. I hated the way she . Yes, Camille, I get that you're fucked-up, but you're 30, get a grip or see a therapist!

Amma, Camille's 13 year-old half-sister, is a piece of work.
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It sure would, sweetie, it sure would...

I hated her with a vengeance for countless reasons, but most importantly because she was a little bitch, in all the senses of the word.

Adora, the matriarch of the family, Camille and Amma's mother, was also a vision to behold: a bad mother suffering from , who felt the need to bring another child into the world, after Marian, only to smother her in torture and drive her to madness and eventually

Who's left? The only character I remotely liked was Richard, the cop. He was hot. He would have been so good for Camille. But noooo, she just had to .
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As much as the characters annoyed and disturbed me, I enjoyed the story very much. It was shocking, unexpected, creepy, not funny at all and extremely well-written. I will definitely be reading more of Gillian Flynn's novels!

5 stars!!
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
317 reviews116k followers
April 18, 2018
2.5 Stars. Unfortunately, I did not love this book and it is probably my least favorite of Gillian Flynn's work. As this was her debut, I'm happy to say I feel her later works show great improvement and a lot of strength.

CW: self-harm, sexualization of children, murder, child abuse (I don't normally put content warnings under spoilers but this warning is so integral to the ending AND it's so specific that I don't want people attacking me for spoiling the book)

I think Gillian Flynn is a brilliant writer, but it was quite obvious that Sharp Objects was her debut. Her prose remains easy to engage with, but it is much more simplistic compared to her later works. That being said, the writing was one of the elements I actually appreciated in this story.

I didn't particularly love the plot of the story. The idea of children being murdered and a journalist having to return to their small hometown was super intriguing to me, but the execution fell flat in my opinion. The "darkness" I constantly see associated with this book is definitely present - this book is not for the faint of heart, but truthfully, the story was boring in my opinion. I understand some people love small-town stories that focus on gossip and rumors, but it's not my cup of tea. I was missing the exhilarating plot twists from Gone Girl and Dark Places. It was very slow and for the most part, anticlimactic to me. I felt there were so many opportunities for more enticing, eventful scenes to be included but it was taken over by bland character interactions.

The big reveals/plot twists are difficult to discuss because my experience is an amalgamation of "This is surprising" and "This is expected." I feel the best way to describe it is I felt the resolution of the story was clever and well constructed, but it was partially anticipated. I feel the minute details surrounding the resolution were stronger than the big reveal itself if that makes sense.

Additionally, the ending felt very rushed as the truth of the mystery is revealed through Camille recollecting the events instead of being shown actively through the story. I think it would have been much stronger had we followed the revaluation in real-time along with Camille's initial reactions as opposed to having the events relayed to readers at a later time. Again, I feel this is a marker of this novel being Flynn's debut work and I can confirm that there is little "telling, not showing" in her future books.

Overall, I wasn't a fan of Sharp Objects, I think it just wasn't for me, but I'll continue to love Gillian Flynn's work.
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
422 reviews1,629 followers
July 21, 2017
1 Star

Overview:


I should have known better. I don’t have an excuse.

I read Gillian Flynn's other book, Gone Girl, last year—and wasn’t a fan. Everyone raved about it, but I found the characters shallow, the plot twists weak, and the narrative so busy being cynical it didn’t seem to know what it was trying to say.

Nevertheless, I’d heard great things about Gillian Flynn’s writing. So I went into this with an open mind--- maybe I had just started with the wrong book!

But I really should have known better. When I wanted to DNF this around 13% of the way through, I should have trusted my instincts and realized Flynn's writing just isn't for me. But I kept seeing reviews talking about “the twist” and how the ending was the best part. So I persevered. Safe to say, I didn’t like this. Actually I think I disliked it more than Gone Girl.

*language and mature themes ahead, due to the nature of this book*

Pros:

I don’t like to rate things so low. I really don’t, and I rarely do it. I was initially going to round this up to a two-star, but I realized I didn't have a real reason. I have 'criteria' for all my ratings and in order to earn two-stars from me, a book has to contain some elements I liked. This contained a handful of descriptions I liked. That’s it.

At points in the text, Flynn compares a new-found murder victim’s appearance to that of a baby doll, with mouth open and ready to suckle. This was an incredibly creepy simile that I thought painted the scene quite clearly.

Then later, Flynn describes a woman as having “hips like antlers.” In regards to the bony prominence that juts out against the rest of the woman's body. Again, I thought this was an incredibly inventive description that also perfectly illustrated the character.

Cons:

Oh boy. Here we go.

What were these characters supposed to be? Every single character was filled with an intense hatred and cynicism about everything. They were all incredibly violent, shallow people with no other defining characteristics They were all very boring, flat people who just seemed to be awful without any motivation.

It seems Flynn’s work relies upon a belief that all people are inherently evil and selfish—which is a popular theory in itself that I’ve seen in a wide variety of fiction. But the characters still need to make sense.

Everything was needlessly dark? Like I just don’t understand?

I don’t have a problem with darker books. I think a story can be just as dark and twisted as the author feels it needs to be, as long as it still tells the story well This just seemed to include random gritty details or supppppeeerrr intense descriptions. The main character’s struggle with mental health problems and self-harm (is this a spoiler? It’s pretty evident from the book’s blurb) was never discussed in any sort of nuanced way. Instead, it’s used almost as a plot device to show just how “edgy” this book is.

I don’t mind profanity or adult material in adult books. But the over-abundance of it in this book, again, just seemed like it was trying to hard to be gritty or “edgy.” Everything was needlessly sexualized even when the conversations or characters didn’t call for it at that time.

This book was too short to be so boring The pace was irrationally languid despite the intense subject matter, and it felt like it took chapters and chapters for the characters to stop just discussing things and for things to actually happen.

There’s been a fairly large amount of controversy surrounding the way Gillian Flynn, a self-proclaimed feminist, writes her female characters.

You have those who think it’s problematic all of her female characters are such awful people: Like The Huffington Post and others.

And then you have those who believe all her characters are horrible people, and that feminism means allowing for female villains and anti-heroes: Including Flynn herself.

I won’t be touching upon this controversy too much, as I don’t think there’s very much I can say that hasn’t already been discussed. I personally want female villains and anti-heroes who are just as complex as their male counter parts—which I didn’t find in this book where all the characters were so shallow.

There were a few things that did seem problematic:

- The main character calls a man a “sexist, liberal lefty practicing sexual discrimination” for believing a drunk woman having sex with an entire football team without her explicit consent was sexual assault. Even when when it was revealed the woman was a minor.

- This entire quote: “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.”

- The whole book is filled with the assumption that woman are either so fragile they are sick and broken all the time, or that they just love the attention of being sick. I understand a large part of this was related to the situations Camille was raised in and her mother, but it extended to every other character as well.

- “Women get consumed. Not surprising, considering the sheer amount of traffic a woman's body experiences. Tampons and speculums. Cocks, fingers, vibrators and more, between the legs, from behind, in the mouth.” WOMEN ARE NOT COMMODITIES THAT GET CONSUMED. The implication that a woman can be ‘run-down’ based off the amount of things she’s had in her orifices is completely disgusting.

I guessed whodunit less than halfway through. The reasoning was interesting, though the way it was all revealed match the same odd, explicit tone as the rest of the story.

In Conclusion:

Safe to say, I will not be reading Dark Places.
Profile Image for emma.
1,823 reviews48.2k followers
April 14, 2023
BEST GILLIAN FLYNN BOOK. By a mile. Sorry, Gone Girl, you are no longer welcome here. (Just kidding I'm going to reread it in one absolute second but will it be as good as this book? No, it will not. Probably. We'll see.)

This is so CREEPY and the writing is so visceral and it's so unique. There have probably been thrillers like this one since this one, but definitely not many before.

There are so many characters that are just hopelessly fascinating. Like, all of them, basically. Any time the protagonist gets into a conversation with any human person it's a goddamn treat because everyone is so interesting and confusing and you just want to know everything about everyone!!!

Flynn also has this fantastic crazy writing style that you feel and picture so hard. Very Virgin Suicides. There are turns of phrase in this book I read four times and promptly filed away as "you will remember this at random points for the rest of your life."

I don't even know what to say beyond this is a whole new level of good. You have no idea. If the HBO adaptation doesn't do it justice I will goddamn picket the home of Amy Adams with a protest sign but also HOW COULD IT DO IT JUSTICE.

I'm a mess. And I'm not even mad about it.

Bottom line: How is this Gillian Flynn's first book??? How is this any non-deal-with-devil-having person's first book????? How is this a book?????

-------------
currently-reading updates

me: yeah i can reread this before the show premieres

...even though i haven't finished a book in almost a week

...and i have to read another book in its entirety today for school

....and the show premieres in less than 9 hours.

sure no problem!!!! gillian flynn come thru
Profile Image for Will Byrnes.
1,295 reviews120k followers
July 14, 2022
Camille Preaker is a young Chicago reporter with a troubled past. When a second young girl goes missing in her home town, Wind Gap, MO, Camille’s fatherly boss sends her down to get the inside scoop. Who says you can’t go home again? Well, maybe you can, but would you really want to? There is a reason she is in Chicago, instead of Podunk, MO, and the danger for Camille lies as much with her delicate psychological state, a product of her childhood, as it might with a psycho-killer on the loose. "Qu'est-ce que c'est ?"

Wind Gap is home to an array of characters left over from GCB, (Yes, I know it was published before the show) Stepford and Village of the Damned, and mix in a bit of Mommie Dearest and Cruella de Vil. Sounds like fun, no? Sorry to disappoint, but not so much.

description
Gillian Flynn - Image from Orion Books

Less than a year ago a young girl was found dead, floating in a stream, strangled, with her teeth removed. Now a second girl, about the same age, has gone missing and folks are fearing the worst. Well, duh-uh. ‘Ere long the body is found wedged in a foot-wide space between two buildings, sans pearly whites. The game is afoot.

Camille has to cope with an uncooperative local Sheriff and then try to get some, any information from the very cute Kansas City detective who had been brought in to help out. Camille is presented as a dish, and there is definite sexual tension between the reporter and the town’s visiting investigator.

description
Amy Adams as Camille Preaker – image from NY Times

Camille makes the rounds, visiting the families of the victims, reconnecting, for good or ill, with her former schoolmates, most of whom seem never to have heard of the women’s movement. But the largest connection for Camille in Wind Gap is her childhood home, inhabited by her mother, stepfather, and half-sister. Cue thunder and lightning, creepy music, and under the chin lighting. Mom, ironically named Adora, has the warm presence of a guillotine and Camille’s stepfather, Alan, appearing in various costumes, seems to need only a pinky ring and fluffy white lap cat to complete the cartoon.

We all know what happens when we return to the houses in which we were raised. We regress. Come on, admit it. We behave like the children we once were. At the very least we feel the tug of those urges. In Camille’s case, her home life was, shall we say, lacking. Her little sister, Marian, had died when Camille was kid. Attempting to cope with that and some other issues, she took to a bit of long-lasting self-destructive behavior. In case the razor on the cover of this book is not obvious enough, Camille is a cutter, or was, anyway. Not just lines, but words. And the words on her skin pop into her mind as she digs into her research and takes on the psychological challenges of her home town. We learn early on that she had spent some time in rehab attempting to overcome her addiction. The Camille we meet here may be scarred, but is trying to carve a less destructive path forward for herself. It is a challenge, and represents a parallel set of mysteries. How did the adolescent Camille reach a place where she felt it necessary to indulge in such harmful behavior? What’s the deal with her family? Camille has to figure out not only the secret of the two murders, but her own history.

description
Eliza Scanlen as Amma Crellin

Her background makes it easier for her to relate to her thirteen-year-old stepsister, Amma, who knew both the dead girls. They share some traits. Like Camille as a kid, Amma (a word that usually means “mother”) is a mean-girl group leader, headstrong, bright, and not someone you would ever cross. Amma is physically precocious, and behaviorally far beyond that. She can usually be seen with her girl-pack, laughing at funerals, or, metaphorically, kicking cripples.

Adding to the creepshow atmosphere, and keeping the cutting notion sharp, there is a slaughterhouse in town. One particular scene resonated a lot. In the slaughterhouse, sows are positioned on their sides, with absolutely no room to maneuver, and piglets are brought to the captive females to nurse. It is not an inducement to eating bacon. It so happened that I had seen a film, Samsara, the day before reading the book, in which this very scene was shown. In the book, an added element is that a young girl sits and watches this with unnatural pleasure.

We learn more about the victims in time, and it is a somewhat fun ride. But every now and then Camille does or says something that makes you shake your jowls like Louis Black approaching a punch line and burble out a WTF? And those moments take one out of the story.

description
Patricia Clarkson as Adora Crellin

There is clear evidence of talent on display. I liked the prefiguring of the opening in which Preaker is looking at her latest story, about a crack-addled mother who abandoned her kids. Mothering figures prominently in the story. Using a slaughterhouse to echo the cutting Camille practices on herself, and maybe some other horrors as well, may have been a bit heavy-handed, but fine, ok. Having Camille carve words into her skin definitely seems over the top to me, a bit of literary license, but fine, ok. I enjoyed the fun noir twang with which Flynn begins her story, but it seemed to fade quite a lot over the course of 254 pages. Fine, ok. And for fun, Camille, who has been known to hoist a few, manages to visit what seems every bar in town. I took it to be a running joke, but I am not 100% certain. Fine, ok. I felt a lot of fine, ok here.

There is some sex, a fair bit of sexiness, some serious creepiness, a bit of satisfaction to be had in the procedural elements of finding this out, then that. But while there may have been satiric intent at work, the characters were either too inconsistent, too thinly drawn or even cartoonish to invest much emotionally. Sharp Objects may have been the bleeding edge of Flynn’s career as a novelist, and it is not a bad first cut, but it left me hoping that she would apply her obvious talent with finer lines next time, maybe use some subtler shades and etch more believable characters, give us material we could dig into a little deeper.


The images (except for the author’s) are from the HBO mini-series made from the book.

=============================EXTRA STUFF

Links to the author’s personal, Twitter and FB pages

March 23, 2013 - GR pal Peg clued us in to a wonderful piece Flynn wrote for Powell's, that goes a way to illuminating her literary choices. If you read this or other books by Flynn, this short piece is MUST READ material.
BTW, Powell's moved the location of this file. Thanks to sharp-eyed Marty Fried, it is linked again.

NY Times - Gillian Flynn Peers Into the Dark Side of Femininity - by Lauren Oyler - Nov. 8, 2018
Profile Image for Maria.
65 reviews8,487 followers
March 25, 2020
3.4/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

“The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.”


Wow well this was... disturbing. And sick and twisted and depraved and degenerate. Possibly incest. I liked it! But didn't love it. Prior to reading this book, I had watched the mini series from HBO. And then naturally, I bought the book and didn't read it until now. Yes, the series came out 2 years ago and I'm reading the book in 2020, shut up. But let's talk about it.

Camille was a very interesting protagonist to read about. She has a very dark past, a disturbed family, history of violence, abuse and self harm and now after years of not being back to her hometown and having being "saved" so to speak, she ends up back in the rabbit hole. Which brings back many bad memories, awkward meetings with old classmates, gossip, and most importantly... a reunion with her toxic mother. I didn't like Camille as a person. She was very unlikable and snobbish to me. But I liked reading about her and delving more into her psyche. Finally a good "unlikable characters" book.

The storyline was pretty basic, two little girls are killed in a small town... reporter has to go there and write an article about it... but in this case the reporter is from the town. This fucking town man! Is this how people are like in small towns in America? Like honestly, 13 years olds acting like 18 years olds? What the fuck was that about? They could just up the ages a tiny bit... 15 would have been more realistic. Looking like that and acting like that at 13 does not happen often. Maybe they could have done this with Amma only, which yes was the most popular and mean girl in school blah blah blah, but the other girls don't really fall much behind. They are in middle school for God's sake! No. Couldn't buy it. Tell me please, if 13 year olds in America act like this, I truly want to know.

The mystery was thrilling but at times it fell flat. There are moments were the plot was backtracking I could say? I can't really explain it but I guess I could say some things felt very repetitive sometimes. Conversations and characters mostly. Also thoughts in Camille's mind and the way she expressed them. Maybe this book could be smaller and it would be more impactful and fast paced.

One of my biggest problems with this book was the ending and the "twist". The revelation was written in such a weird way that I literally had to go back to my audiobook and book (yes I listen to audiobooks at 2.3 while reading the book too to read faster, trust me it works, especially if you're bilingual) to understand what the fuck just happened. Luckily, I didn't remember the twist from the mini series and when I remembered it I got that "OH SHIT HOW DID I FORGET THIS" but the presentation could have been better. It was a good plot twist buried by the writing and presentation.

To sum up, this was a good but not great mystery thriller for me. If you enjoy mystery thrillers that depend mostly on abusive relationships and character studies, you will like this a lot more. If you want good world building and a nice plot twist, you won't like it extremely much. And before I go... FUCK THE MOTHER. K bye!
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
May 9, 2021
description
Shout out to this absolutely fabulous book in my latest booktube video is up - all about the best books I read each month and 2019's bookish stats (and yes, I really did read 365 books in 365 days!).

Now that you know this one made the cut - check out the video to see what other ones made my top 12 list!

The written review:
description

Sometimes I think illness sits inside every woman, waiting for the right moment to bloom.
Camille Preaker is back in her hometown but for all the wrong reasons.

She just got out of a psych hospital and her next reporting assignment? To cover the murders of two preteens who lived in her town.
Problems always start long before you really, really see them.
She has to live with her mother - who is a piece of work herself.

She's neurotic and hypochondriac, always fussing, poking and prodding. Camille's younger sister seems not to mind it but every time Camille is back in town, she can feel her hackles rise.
I just think some women aren't made to be mothers. And some women aren't made to be daughters.
The longer she spends in this town, the thinner her own grip on reality becomes.
It's impossible to compete with the dead. I wished I could stop trying.
As the victims keep coming, Camille begins to realize that sometimes, some secrets are best kept locked away. Forever.
Every time people said I was pretty, I thought of everything ugly swarming beneath my clothes.
Whewww.

This one was STUNNING.

This is the second Flynn book I've ever read and upon a reread, it's still my favorite.

Flynn is able to immerse you into her world like no other.

The setting was just the right level of hair-raisingly eerie and all of the characters were unsettling in their own, unique way.

This is one of those books that you pick up, and you just cannot put it down until you KNOW what the ending is.

Sharp Objects really got to me and I cannot wait to read what Flynn writes next!

Audiobook Comments
Read by Ann Marie Lee - and she was an absolutely stunning narrator. Her pace and tone just set the scene perfectly. Loved listening to this one!

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
531 reviews58.5k followers
December 10, 2018
Disturbing story. Disturbing characters. This book will make you feel uncomfortable, that's what Gillian Flynn does best!

I'm not sure I loved it but it's definitely the best written thriller I've read so far this year... still only getting 3.5 stars though!

I did suspect the right people but the twists were still... well disturbing!
Profile Image for j e w e l s.
309 reviews2,369 followers
September 16, 2017
“I just think some women aren't made to be mothers. And some women aren't made to be daughters.”
― Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects

This is one of the darkest, most disturbing books I've ever read. And I love it. Well, today I love it. I picked it up years ago, started reading and was like "no way Jose". I had read Dark Places and Gone Girl and, of course, thought I could handle Sharp Objects, the Gillian Flynn debut. I wasn't ready at the time for this little monster of a book.

The extremely creepy plot revolves around a serial killer in a Missouri town, and the reporter who has returned from Chicago to cover the event. Just a few of the themes include dysfunctional families, violence and self-harm. But there is so much more.

As I've mentioned before, I've read a lot of blasé, boring domestic noir lately. Give me a book with some meat on its bones! Blake Crouch's Dark Matter got my motor running again and I just couldn't go back to some of those wimpily -made up word written mysteries.

If you're caught in a summer stagnation, wake yourself up with this book. It's probably lying on a shelf in your house somewhere. Just prepare yourself. Flynn is an expert "description writer" and some of the things she describes are not pretty. At all. As in sick, sick, sick. 

Yes, the characters are seriously f****d up! I don't need my heroine to be shiny and pristine. Every person in this story has got issues.  Who knows what kind of childhood some people endure? Aren't you curious as to WHY they are weird? I always am!

I know some readers are all, "but, I don't really like the characters, I can't root for anyone..." Ok, then this book isn't for you. But, I'm telling you, Gillian Flynn is a master at blueprinting the human psyche into a living breathing character that you won't soon, if ever, forget. You'll probably even have a nightmare or two, after all, Stephen King is a huge Flynn fan.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,400 reviews11.7k followers
October 9, 2018
Update 10/2018
Doesn't seem that edgy 8 years later. We are not lacking in female anti-heroes now. The novel and the show complement each other rather well. Liked the neater ending of the book more though, but the show is a visual feast. Interesting how the show creators chickened out and made Amma older, to not offend our sensibilities? Amy Adams is fantastic as Camille.

Original review
If you ask me which words come into my mind first whenever I think of this book, my answer will be: nasty, dark, twisted, disturbing.

In this rather traumatizing psychological thriller Camille Preaker, a troubled newspaper reporter, is sent to her home town to get the inside scoop on the murders of two preteen girls - both were strangled and had their teeth removed. As we follow Camille on her quest to obtain as much information as possible about the crimes, we learn much more than we bargained for. The small town of Wind Gap, in the fashion of Twin Peaks, is filled to the brim with dark secrets, and not the least of them is the twisted dynamics in Camille's own family...

For me the most remarkable aspect of this book is that Gillian Flynn succeeds in creating a novel main characters of which are nasty women. I am so used to books where women are victims and all evil is committed by bad, bad men. Not so in Sharp Objects. Women of Wind Gap are both victims and perpetrators, they are promiscuous and abusive, self-destructive and violent. Men are only fixtures in their lives and pawns in their sick games. If anything, this is a refreshing twist on the old tired genre of murder mystery.

I liked the psychological aspect of this novel as well. Flynn skillfully portrays how differently people react to the abuse in their lives - some direct the pain onto themselves, some inflict it on others - and both ways are equally damaging to one's psyche.

I definitely wouldn't recommend Sharp Objects to squeamish. There is a lot of disturbing stuff in this book - promiscuous young girls, self-mutilation, sexual abuse, drugs. This is not a comfort read by any means. However I found it fascinating (in a I-can't-stop-watching-this-train-wreck way) and hard to put down. I will certainly read Flynn's other novel - Dark Places. Well, as soon as I psychologically recover from Sharp Objects.
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,135 reviews2,166 followers
January 13, 2023

This book is dark, really dark. The characters in it are all filled with hatred, violence, and pessimism. The content warnings in it are literally almost all the warnings in the current literary world. You will become incredibly sad while reading this book.

Despite all the above negatives, you are going to love this book. The narration is done at a perfect pace. The main characters' character arcs are done brilliantly. The author also discusses some rare medical conditions with meticulous precision, and the ending will satisfy most readers.

If you are someone over 18 and are in the right mood to read a dark psychological thriller, this book will be a great choice.
Profile Image for The Burning Rose (Jess).
161 reviews350 followers
November 3, 2019
3/5 stars.
The book tells of a young reporter named Camille. She escaped from the town where she grew up years ago to break away from the cruel life she lived, and to start a new life.
Years later, Camille had to return to the town for the article she needed to publish. Camille, who did everything to disavow this town, found herself returning there unwillingly.

I know that in the description of the book, it says it's a murder story. But I wouldn't describe this book that way.
True, there were brutal homicides in the town. True, the main character, Camille, is trying to figure out the murder. True, there are detectives, there are investigations. But after all, I wouldn't say the book is about the homicides.

The book is about the main character. Her past and present. The book is about this strange and cruel town. The book is surrounding around Camille herself, her family and the town itself.

I personally didn't like the book so much. It was... too dumb. Not the book itself tho, but the town. I hate this town. I'm not sure how to explain it, but while reading the book I just... felt bad. Just like that. I had a bad and restless feeling. This town, the people who live in it, the way they live. They are godless. They are cruel. They are hypocrites and liars. It's just so fucking dumb. If I lived there, I probably would’ve committed suicide. And I'm not kidding.

And Camille, so broken on the inside, so twisted, so scarred, literally. She was scarred from the moment she was born in this town. But that's exactly the problem - everyone's scarred because of this town.

I'm not sure how many stars I really want to give this book. After all, it was pretty interesting. But like I said, this book made me feel so bad. And even after I finished the book - the bad feeling remained there and gave me no rest. The ending was over well, but I personally didn’t feel rested, the book continued to disturb me even after I finished reading it.

The only reason this book gets 3 stars and not less, is thanks to Flynn's writing. She writes incredibly, and she deserves a hundred stars just for her writing.
Profile Image for karen.
3,978 reviews170k followers
July 5, 2018
okay so i,of course, was initially drawn to this book because it has shiny cover. i am like a magpie or a raccoon or something... and then it just sat on the shelf for ages and one day i read the description of it somewhere. and it's all "whore" on her ankle and "pain" on her heart or whatever.(which is not on the back cover copy, but is right up there in the goodreads.com description) and i thought - "oooh you are so edgy and shocking!!" and i rolled my eyes and figured i would just never read it. but THEN i was so sleepy today i thought i would just read something unchallenging that it might be fun to write a bad review of. alas, its actually pretty good; and not cheesy-edgy. it can be read in a day, no problem, and it features the most unhealthy mother-daughter relationship i've ever read. and i've read bastard out of carolina.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Samadrita.
295 reviews4,558 followers
December 4, 2013
When I had first come across rave reviews of Gone Girl, I was bowled over by the fact that there's after all a woman who is brave enough to try her hand at a genre rarely ventured into by women writers. And apparently, she excels at it too. Surely, she couldn't have hoodwinked hordes of unsuspecting readers into giving her books such high ratings.
So I had decided I'd devour Gillian Flynn's entire oeuvre starting with her first published work.

Needless to say, that it is with obvious disappointment I'm giving this book only 2 stars. I had high hopes for Flynn's first published novel.

Sharp Objects comes off as a classic case of trying too hard. The set up feels too contrived, the world building, shabby and the writing, unimpressive and awkward. ('bucolicry' Ms Flynn? is that even a real word?) And to heap on to the negatives, Flynn rushes us through the scenery, the murders, the facts with such alarming speed that few things get time enough to make a powerful impact.

The eerie, secluded little town of Wind Gap never comes alive for the reader. All the characters appear to be caricatures of stereotypical suspects in a murder mystery novel.
Even the central characters seem to be rather blurry outlines of real people instead of full-fledged human beings of flesh and bone. My mind failed at conjuring up even a single image of Wind Gap, its inhabitants or Camille and that's when I knew things were going downhill. After I had made some headway with the book, my attention kept drifting away and this doesn't usually happen with a thriller novel.(Proof of my steadily dwindling interest in thrillers maybe?)

Neither did I care about the murders nor did I think much of the disturbing imagery that Flynn shoves right in the reader's face from time to time. Even if you keep the somewhat macabre murders of pubescent girls aside, there are themes of self mutilation, sexual abuse, descriptions of horrific serial killings, slaughtering of pigs and chickens to make you cringe and wince as you read every alternate passage. Still I wasn't repulsed.
Instead what I felt acutely was Flynn's desperate desire to create a truly unsettling narrative. You can tell she is trying to offer you a blend of all things gory, disturbing and wicked just to titillate your senses. It's as if the central story became secondary to Flynn somewhere while she was writing this and only the deeply perturbing elements assumed primary importance.

Even the ending fails to pack in a punch, because if you have read a slew of whodunits at any point of time in your life, you will sort of guess the culprit.
The only part which successfully creeped me out was the protagonist's tendency to inflict injuries on herself as a way to purge herself of emotions. But that one feeling doesn't help you sail through a book which is, otherwise, ceaselessly dreary and simply put, lacklustre in every way.

Hence, 2 very unsatisfied, very bored stars.

I am holding out hope for Gillian Flynn though. Maybe my opinion will change after reading Gone Girl or Dark Places.
Profile Image for NickReads.
461 reviews1,199 followers
September 23, 2020
yo everyone's crazy as hell wtf, Richard the only sane person, we stan a unproblematic king
Profile Image for Mohammed Arabey.
709 reviews5,618 followers
April 29, 2018
عالم النساء..معقد، متشابك، صعب فهمه..مضطهدا سواء كان المجتمع شرقيا أم غربيا
وهذه الرواية الكئيبة السوداوية تقتحم جانب مظلم من هذا العالم

كتبتها أمرأة..تقتحم جوانب نفسية معقدة لثلاث شخصيات رئيسية من النساء بأعمار مختلفة..شخصيات قاتمة ، مظلمة
قد تجد بعض تصرفاتهم كريهة، بغيضة..صعبة ،مريضة.. لكن من أنت لتحكم عليهم، بالاخص من مكاني بعالم الرجال
فالرواية تعرّي ايضا استغلالنا لهم احيانا، تعرّي المجتمع ونمطية نظره وتمييزه ضد المرأة

هناك روايات تتعايش مع أحداثها ، كأنك في موقع اﻷحداث وتعرف اﻷبطال جيدا..قليل من الروايات النفسية التي فعلا تؤثر علي حالتك ومزاجك النفسي وقت قراءتها..قليل من المؤلفين ينجحون في ذلك ، وجيليان فلين أحدهم
التي نالت مؤخرا شهرة ضخمة بروايتها الأخيرة الصادرة في 2012
Gone Girl
والتي ايضا قامت بكتابة السيناريو الخاص بالفيلم المقتبس عنها لتصبح احد رواد العصر الحديث في ادب التشويقي النفسي
وبالرغم من أنها روايتها اﻷولي 'صدرت 2006' لكنها متقنة بحق وستجعلك تعيش بها، ولكن للأسف ترغمك أيضا علي عيش ظروف نفسية مظلمة...سوداوية كئيبة...إذا ركزت بها قد تترك بنفسيتك أثرا كأنه محفورا
بأداة حادة

ولنبدأ ب

اﻷحداث
----

الرواية الكئيبة تلك تبدأ بجريمة قتل في بلدة صغيرة 'ويند جاب' لفتاتان في عمر الزهور
فتاتان لم يمهلهما القاتل الوصول لعالم النساء

صحفية في بداية عقدها الثالث تعمل بصحيفة متواضعة بمدينة كبري 'شيكاغو' يطلب منها رئيسها الذهاب لتغطية الموضوع
هي دونا عن اي صحفي أخر، هي ﻷنها أصلا من تلك البلدة الصغيرة
هي من هربت منها بمجرد التخرج لتبعد عن مجتمعها الضيق، ضيق المكان، ضيق اﻷفق ، لايهتم بشئ قدر النميمة واشائعات
هي من هربت من اﻷم المهووسة باﻷمومة، والتمييز بينها وبين أختها -غير الشقيقة-، والتمييز بينها وبين أختها المتوفاة
تعود لبلدتها بعد أن صارت في الثلاثينات من عمرها..غير متزوجة..تعمل بوظيفة عادية..لمجتمع عالمة أنه سيجلدها بألسنتهم
تعود لتغطية صحفية لجريمة بشعة ، كريهة ، مقبضة..غير عالمة ما قد يكون رأي اهالي الضحايا بها

بل، وليقلل رئيسها من النفقات، يطلب منها أن تمكث مع أمها وزوجها وأختها المراهقة الصغيرة
يطلب منها أن تمكث مع أمها, التي لا تجيد أن تداري برودها مع أبنتها الكبري,عدم إكتراثها بها..بل وربما كراهيتها بلا سبب واضح
يطلب منها أن تمكث مع شقيقتها الصغري,المراهقة المطيعة لأمها بشكل غريب الأطوار بالبيت والمشغولة باللعب في بيت الدمي المثالي...المراهقة الصاخبة,الشرسة المتنمرة والجامحة خارج البيت
يطلب منها أن تمكث مع زوج أمها ,الذي قد يبدي إكتراثا لكتاب ممل عن الأحصنة أكثر مما قد يبديه إذا ما كانت أبنة زوجته هي الضحية التالية لقاتل طليق

تعود كاميلي لأبشع كوابيسها، لمن سببت لها ضغطا نفسيا طيلة حياتها، أمها، والبلدة الصغيرة...وتحاول جاهدة التركيز في حل لغز كابوسي لقاتل شنيع لكتابة قصتها
وكل هذا تفعله وهي تحاول ألا تعود لما كانت تفعله وقت مراهقتها
كلما تأزمت الأمور..كلما تحطمت نفسيتها
كلما أظلمت لها الدنيا
أن تحفر علي جسدها كلمات.....بأداة حادة
تحفر وتكتب ...'شريرة، مؤذية، حبيبة أمها، وجع، ألم، خوف'وغيرها
كلمات علي جسدها...بأدوات حادة

هل ستعود لمرضها؟ هل ستعرف حل القضية؟ هل ستفهم أمها أكثر؟ هل ستتصالح مع أختها المراهقة؟ هل ستقع في الحب؟ أم ستكون مجرد علاقات عابرة، تغلبها المصالح؟
هل ستنجح في العيش بتلك العائلة المعقدة نفسيا ولو لأيام قليلة؟
علي الأقل دون أن تعود لجرح نفسها والكتابة علي جسمها
بأدوات حادة؟


اﻷسلوب والشخصيات
-------------
جيليان فلين تكتب كمثلي اﻷعلي في اﻷدب 'جي كي رولينج' ، أو كالكتاب اﻷنجليز عاما
من حيث وصف البلدة التي تدور بها اﻷحداث وشوارعها وسكانها وطباعهم وتاريخ البلدة، ثم تاريخ الشخصيات بشكل تفصيلي ويميل للأسهاب أحيانا ..بما يخدم الأحداث أو بما يخدم أجبارك علي تعايشها والتعرف بشكل أكبر علي الشخصيات و،اﻷهم هنا، نفسيتهم

الرواية درامية ، كئيبة وسوداوية كما يظهر حتي من سطرها اﻷول
'كنزتي الجديدة، حمراء فاقعة ، وقبيحة'

لك أن تتخيل مدي القبح الذي ستراه لاحقا إذا ما كان السطر اﻷول هكذا
كما قلت ، جانب من الرواية يفضح المجتمع الذكوري ونظرته للمرأة والتمييز باﻷخص في المجتمعات المغلقة الصغيرة كتلك البلدة الصغيرة بميزوري 'نفس بلدة المؤلفة' ، هذا السطر التالي هو واحد من الأهوال التي بالرواية
"في الصف الخامس ، قام ولدان بمحاصرة فتاة في الفسحة وأرغماها وضع عصا بداخلها"
"رغما عن أرادتها؟ هل أرغموها"
"مممم..بعض الشئ علي ما أعتقد. لقد كانا متنمران. قالوا لها أن تفعل، ففعلت"
"وهل رأيتي ذلك أم سمعتي عنه؟"
"لقد قالوا لبعض منا أن نشاهد. عندما علم المعلم باﻷمر كان علينا اﻷعتذار"
"للفتاة؟"
"لا، الفتاة كان عليها أن تعتذر أيضا. للفصل. 'النساء الصغيرات يجب أن يتحكمن في أجسامهن ، ﻷن الولاد لا يفعلوا ذلك'"

هل الرواية تدافع عن المرأة،نصرتها؟ 'فيمينسم'؟ أم تهاجمها وتعريها
هي لا تفعل ذلك ولا ذاك...هي فقط تظهر المساوئ المجتمعية، أمراض نفسيه يسببها المجتمع أحيانا في المرأة
أمراض نفسية عديدة ناقشتها الرواية بما يخدم اﻷحداث فحسب -كم أمقت الروائيين العرب في الفذلكة ،والاسماء المعقدة لروايتهم في حين رواية كهذه ناقشت أمراض نفسية عديدة ولم يكن عنوانها سوي 'أدوات حادة'- وأهم هذه اﻷمراض هي عقاب الجسد الذاتي بجرحه بأدوات حادة كالموسي، وفي حالتنا هنا ليس جرح فحسب وإنما كتابة كلمات أيضا

الرواية تعمقت في نفسية البطلة ، وجعلتنا نعاني معها كل تلك الاحداث والكوابيس، والشخصيات المريضة اﻷخري التي منها حتي أمها وأختها المراهقة

أعجبني جدا وبشدة الأجزاء بين كاميلي وأختها أمّا وتطور العلاقة بينهما ولمست كثير من نفسيتي لاسباب شخصية في علاقتي مع اخي
شخصية أمـّا نفسها عجيبة وتأرجحها بين الفتاة الوديعة حبيبة أمها التي تلعب ببيت الدمي ثم المراهقة القاسية عندما تبعد عن أمها كان ممتازا

أما علاقتها مع أمها فكانت مقبضة ومثيرة للشفقة والكآبة بنفس الوقت


علاقتها مع اصدقاءها القدامي من ايام الكلية
Reunion
وعودتها لهن بعد سنوات وشعورها أنها صارت أقل منهن -صار كل اصدقاءهن متزوجات وفي مستوي مادي كمستوي والدتها العالي ,بعكسها -أيضا كان واقعي وطبيعي جدا

علاقتها مع المحقق أيضا برعت المؤلفة في رسمها من بدايتها للنهاية بشكل متقن، مثير للشفقة أيضا في بعض الأحيان

حتي شخصية أمها "أدورا" التي تكرهها بلا سبب واضح تعرفه البطلة هي شخصية عجيبة وفعلا شعرت بكآبة تجاهها كثيرا , تصورت شخصيتها تمثلها نيكول كيدمان بالأخص فيلم ستوكر 2013

الشخصيات عاما بالرغم من بعض أعمالهم الكريهة او البشعة ، وحتي الجنسية المتحررة-والتي كان وصفها بالاحداث ليس فجا وإن كان صادما في بعض الاحيان - إلا أنك ستشعر بشئ من الشفقة تجاههم بل والتعاطف أحيانا خاصا عندما تتعمق في طبيهة نفسيتهم..لن تكره شخصية ، أو علي اﻷقل هذا ما حدث لي، ولكنك ستشعر باﻷسي لهم


والغريب ان حتي الضحيتان، الفتاتان الصغيرتان، ستجد لهما جانب مظلم
كئيب..وشرس


هل فهمت اﻷن لم قلت علي الرواية أنها سوداوية ، وأثرت فعلا علي نفسيتي بالسلب؟

~~~~~~~~~~
أما عن جريمة القتل والقاتل، فأنت ستحاول مع كاميلي البحث عن قصة والتورط مع المحقق الوسيم لأخذ تعليق علي اﻷحداث لخبطتها الصحفية بالرغم من تحفظه، او تعليق من احد اسر الضحايا بالرغم من كراهيتهم لتدخل الصحافة
لكن الدراما تغلب عن الاثارة هنا لذا وجب التنبيه
فهي قد تصنف رواية بوليسية ، جريمة، غموض-ولكن ليس رعب بالمعني الحرفي كما هو مكتوب في التصنيف بالصفحة هنا-..ولكن المهم هو أنها دراما في المقام اﻷول ..دراما نفسية ، متقنة


النهاية
----
ربما سيشك ويخمن الكثير من الباحثين عن النهاية فحسب في حل اللغز وربما يصيب تخمينهم
ولكن اﻷحداث والدوافع وكل أجزاء الحوار ستجعل من حل اللغز أمرا متقنا
أعجبتني جدا النهاية، مقنعة ومثيرة ولم تتوقف عن المفاجأت
ويجب أن أعترف أنني لم أتوقع النهاية بعكس الكثير تقريبا
فأنت إذا ما قرأت الرواية ستكون بالضبط كاكميلي ، البطلة...مشتتا، مرهقا..تشعر بالانقباض والسوداوية لدرجة إنك ستفاجأ معها في كل تتابعات النهاية
المقبضة
السوداوية
التي تليق بباقي الرواية
التي قد لا تجرح جسدك كما كانت تفعل البطلة ولكن ستجرح شئ من نفسيتك
بأداة حادة


محمد العربي
من 4 سبتمبر 2015
إلي 9 سبتمبر 2015
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,004 reviews36k followers
September 1, 2018
Update - NEWS ABOUT the HBO mini-series of "Sharp Objects". Who else has seen it?
What are your thoughts? Which did you enjoy more? The book or the series?
Amy Adams was outstanding!!! One of the best acting roles I've seen her play.
VERY creepy show -- 'excellent' -- All the actors were great. In many ways --I liked the HBO show more than the book. I know --weird --right? --Or??? maybe I was more prepared for just how disturbing this story is! The ending in the HBO series -- was ......................'creepy' as can be!!!

OLD REVIEW:
I've had both "Sharp Objects" and "Dark Places" for years....but, hey, I'm slow.

I picked "Sharp Objects" to read first when I heard Amy Adams is going to be the leading actress in a drama series.

I wasn't expecting so much violence. This is a very dark disturbing story.....
......but my favorite parts were the psychological aspects of he mother/daughter relationship. When a child has a mother from hell - kinda shapes your life
from the 'get-go' and not in a pretty way.

I can already see Amy Adams playing the role of reporter Camille Preaker....who returns to her small hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.
She identifies with the girls a little too closely -- plus she had recently spent a short stay in a psychiatric hospital.
Camille is vulnerable- fragile- and flawed. The closer she gets to cracking the case she is working on, the more she begins to crack. Old haunting demons are rising to the surface ...memories of her sister and emotional and physical abuse.
This book could have been called "DARK SHARP PLACES AND OBJECTS"!!!

Happy day 2 days after Halloween ....ha! :)
3. to almost a 3.5
Profile Image for jessica.
2,533 reviews32.4k followers
April 2, 2019
well, this thriller was less than thrilling. so theres that. :/

i guess in all fairness, i should mention that i wasnt really in the best mental state to read this, which is probably why im rating it so low. the story is very disturbing, very dark, and wayyyy outside any realm of normality. its definitely one of those stories where you have to really commit and see it through, uncomfortable topics and all, and i just wasnt feeling it.

it also doesnt help that this felt rather slow to me. a lot of time is spent on character development, and when you dont relate to or care for any of the characters, it starts to drag. the only parts i was interested in was when things about the case started to actually unfold.

i might try picking this up again at some point because i actually really liked the writing. and now that i know what to expect, i can go into it much more mentally prepared down the line.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Maxine (Booklover Catlady).
1,305 reviews1,234 followers
June 11, 2021
Squee! This is coming out on TV on Sky Atlantic. I cannot wait! (2018). I don't know about you, but in my opinion this is WAY better than Gone Girl, I think this one is a hidden gem.

It's a lot more subtle but that's why it works more. This is one spine-chilling disturbing and dark book and I absolutely loved it. Some of the scenes in this book literally just stunned me. Very clever writing from Gillian Flynn.

When two girls are abducted and killed in Missouri, journalist Camille Preaker is sent back to her home town to report on the crimes. Long-haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her mother for years, Camille suddenly finds herself installed once again in her family's mansion, reacquainting herself with her distant mother and the half-sister she barely knows - a precocious 13-year-old who holds a disquieting grip on the town.

As 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.


If you have not read this one yet but have been meaning to, please do it. This sat on my bookshelf for over a year, what a waste, it was one of my most memorable reads of the last few years.

Camille, who is a Journalist is sent back to very small town USA where she grew up to get the juice on a story of young women going missing and turning up dead - with their teeth pulled out. Her big Chicago boss is hoping her home connection will give her the inside scoop.

The characters in this book are bloody EXCEPTIONALLY done, both Camille's mother and her half-sister, Amma are some of the best written, most disturbing characters I have read in a book in ages. I had goose bumps with both of them, a lot of goose bumps. Did I say this book has a dark overtone?

Camille is a flawed and damaged character, what you see is not always what you are seeing, I really grew to like her and her tenacity for the truth no matter what the cost. Once she gets it, it changes everything. Amma got under my skin in a very uncomfortable way, Flynn portrays her in a way that makes an impact on your psyche.

The town doesn't just welcome Camille in and for a while nobody is talking but she is determined to keep digging and what she uncovers is just wrong, so wrong, so darn wrong. Is she even on the right path? Can she see clearly what is right before her eyes.

With scenes (pig farm) that just churn you inside and sentences spoken that literally make the temperature drop in your body, this one has subtle yet so blatant shock factors all the way through it. It creates atmospheres that you feel part of from awkwardness to sheer terror. I could not put this book down because each bit rolls into the next and I had to know what was really going on.

Just who is taking these girls and killing them so brutally? The whole town believes it's one of their own and everybody has their theory, fingers are pointing everywhere. In the uncovering of the truth Camille is forced to face demons from her past.

For me this is a 5 star read because I won't forget it, I devoured it and could not put it down, it's well written and it's cleverly done.

LOOK! I asked for this way back and this year, 2018 it’s going to be on Sky Atlantic!

I wish they had made this one into a movie instead of Gone Girl, would have been so much darker on the screen.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
April 3, 2022
Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects is the 2006 debut novel by American author Gillian Flynn. The novel follows Camille Preaker, a small newspaper journalist, who must return to her hometown to report on a series of brutal murders. She is not particularly satisfied with the job, which includes writing stories about human neglect and crimes such as murder. Camille gets along somewhat well with her boss Curry, who supported her during a recent hospitalization due to self-harm. Camille has carved many words onto her body—having previously hallucinated them on her skin.

Curry gives her a reporting assignment to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, where one girl has been murdered and a second is missing. Once in Wind Gap, Camille manages to gain some information about the crimes from the townspeople, including the family of Ann Nash, the murdered girl. The local police are not particularly forthcoming about the murder, but the town sheriff divulges to Camille off the record that he believes that the murderer is a Wind Gap native, not a stranger. Soon the body of the missing girl, Natalie Keene, is discovered in an alley in town. Both she and Ann were strangled, and had all of their teeth removed. Camille publishes a story, only for Curry to ask her to remain in Wind Gap for further coverage of the murders. ....

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و چهارم ماه آگوست سال2017میلادی

عنوان: چیزهای تیز؛ نویسنده: گیلین فلین؛ مترجم: مهدی فیاضی کیا؛ تهران، چترنگ؛ سال1395، در347ص؛ شابک9786009594221؛ چاپ دوم سال1397؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده امریکا - سده21م

عنوان: چیزهای تیز (اشیای نوک تیز)؛ نویسنده: گیلین فلین؛ مترجم: سمیه کرمی؛ تهران، میلکان؛ سال1395، در250ص؛ شابک9786007845554؛

عنوان: چیزهای تیز؛ نویسنده: گیلین فلین؛ مترجم: سحر بستام؛ تهران: پادینا، سال‏‫‬‏1397؛ در338ص؛ شابک9786008588672؛

چیزهای تیز، نخستین رمان از نویسنده ی امریکایی «گیلین فلین» است، که نخستین بار در روز بیست و ششم ماه سپتامبر سال2006میلادی، انتشاراتی «شی آرهارت بوکس» منتشر و سپس همین کتاب توسط «برودوی بوکس» بازنشر شد؛

داستان رمان درباره ی «کمیل (کامیله) پریکر» روزنامه نگاری است، که برای گزارش قتل‌های وحشیانه به زادگاه خویش برمیگردد؛ شخصیتهای داستان «کمیل (کامیله) پریکر»: روزنامه نگاری جوان که سعی دارد در «شیکاگو» زندگی خوبی برای خود بسازد؛ «اما»: خواهر ناتنی و سیزده ساله ی «کمیل (کامیله)»، که او هم زندگی دوگانه ای دارد؛ «آدورا»: مادر «کمیل» و «اما»، که زنی سختگیر است و به نسبت به «کمیل» بی احساس، و با «اما» همچو عروسک رفتار می‌کند؛ او خانواده بسیار ثروتمندی دارد و صاحب بسیاری از کسب و کارهای شهر است

نقل از متن: (یکبار در یک گوشه‌ ی سرد «شیکاگو»، پشت چراغ قرمز منتظر ایستاده بودم، که مرد نابینایی عصازنان به من نزدیک شد؛ پرسید: این کدام چهارراه است؟ و وقتی جواب ندادم، برگشت و پرسید: کسی این‌جا هست؟ گفتم: من این‌جا هستم، و آن کلمه‌ ها به‌ طرز غریبی آرامش‌بخش به نظر رسیدند؛ وقتی هول می‌کنم، این کلمه‌ ها را، با صدای بلند، به خودم می‌گویم؛ من این‌جا هستم؛ معمولاً احساس حضور ندارم؛ گویی همین حالاست که همراه باد گرمی محو شوم، باد مرا با خود ببرد و برای همیشه ناپدید کند، و حتا تکه‌ ناخنی هم از من به‌ جا نگذارد؛ روزهایی هست که با این فکر از درون گرم می‌شوم، و روزهایی هم باعث می‌شود یخ کنم؛ گمانم دلیلِ این احساس بی‌وزنی ناشی از این ا‌ست، که بسیار‌ کم درباره‌ ی گذشته‌ ی خودم می‌دانم؛ یا حداقل حرف‌ روان‌کاوهای توی بیمارستان این بود؛ خیلی وقت است که از تلاش برای شناختن پدرم، دست کشیده‌ ام، وقتی تلاش می‌کنم او را تصور کنم، تصویری عام از «پدر» در ذهنم شکل می‌گیرد؛ نمی‌توانم با جزئیات درباره‌ اش فکر کنم؛ مثلاً نمی‌توانم تصور کنم که برای خرید بیرون رفته باشد، یا صبح‌ها، مشغول نوشیدن یک فنجان قهوه است، یا عصرها از سرِ کار برمی‌گردد؛ ممکن است روزی دختری را ببینم که شبیه من باشد؟ وقتی بچه بودم تلاش می‌کردم بین خودم و مادرم شباهتی پیدا کنم؛ مثلاً چیزی که ثابت کند من بچه‌ ی او هستم؛ وقتی حواسش به من نبود، چهره‌ اش را بررسی می‌کردم؛ قاب‌ عکس‌های اتاقش را کش می‌رفتم، و تلاش می‌کردم به خودم ثابت کنم، چشم‌های او را دارم؛ یا شاید شباهت در چهره نبود؛ شاید ساق پایم شبیه ساق پای او بود، یا مثلاً انحنای گردنم!)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 06/03/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ 13/01/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Roxane.
Author 121 books157k followers
November 25, 2012
I loved Sharp Objects as much as I loved Gone Girl. Camille is an amazing protagonist, utterly believable, well drawn, and I related to her far more than makes me feel comfortable admitting. This is a book about darkness and women and Flynn is one of those writers who stares darkness down and goes even darker.

Just like Gone Girl, though, the ending is ludicrous. I laughed out loud, because it was just too much. Completely bananas. I figured it out early on and don't mind that it ended where I expected but the last few chapters are just, "Let's throw everything ridiculous at the reader and see what sticks!" So there's that.

Anyway, this is still an awesome book.
Profile Image for Laura.
943 reviews128 followers
November 21, 2015
From the first page, I felt the author had just finished a Chuck Palahniuk novel and decided she wanted to be like him when she grew up. Sentence fragments can be fun if you're in the mood for things like "A belly. A smell. He was suddenly standing next to me." (Not exact quotes, but pretty close.) I wasn't in the mood, and it was irritating. Also, I couldn't enjoy the main character. I found the scene where she was 12 years old and in someone's hunting shed, full of dead, bloody animals and porn irritating. I get that I was supposed to think "oh wow what a messed up home life she has to be masturbating in a shed full of dead animals", but instead I thought " I have no interest in this, or her."
Profile Image for Suz.
1,096 reviews565 followers
February 1, 2016
Finally I climbed out under my rock to read my first GF novel. I was happy I did. Camille got under my skin, zero pun intended, and I enjoyed the whole ride. Whilst graphic, I wasn’t bothered, and whilst dark this was fine too. I was impressed with the writing of this book and understand why this author has hit it off worldwide.

Camille is a very troubled young woman, a mediocre journalist and a recovering cutter. Self harming herself in the most dreadful way, by inscribing words into her skin. All over her body. She returns begrudgingly to her home town that is probably only good at one thing, for churning out pork meat and alcoholics. The people in the town seem to be a mess, the teenagers horrible, and let’s not forget Ms. Horrible little sister. For as much as she was troubled herself, she did try to help and nurture her in some way. This girl was too far gone to hope for any type of redemption. The women who grew from teens that Camille grew up with are equally as horrendous.

Camille’s mother was a loveless soulless woman who had a strange marriage with a horribly boring man called Allan. Upon this homecoming we see Camille struggle with returning to this hell hole and trying to piece together a child serial killing situation. This just seems nearly impossible for her to do as she relives memories from losing her own little sister many moons ago.

Absorbing reading, hateful characters and lovely ones too. I really did love John, the out of town Detective Richard and most of all the lovely Camille who it seems was facing her own redemption by the end. Silly me for leaving this author on my shelf for too long!
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
643 reviews4,260 followers
September 12, 2018
"I just think some women aren't made to be mothers. And some women aren't made to be daughters."

Journalist Camille Preaker is sent back to her hometown, where one girl has been brutally murdered and another one is missing.

Dark and twisty and fucked up characters are my FAVE, and Gillian Flynn seems to be the absolute queen of creating them. Although one of the issues with having such car crashes for human beings in your stories is that you often don't have a character who you really root for or relate to. Usually I like having this sort of character in my books, but sometimes reading a book just for the sake of getting engrossed in the storyline and disentangling all the threads running throughout is all you need! Also known as… the perfect poolside read - which this was for me.

I'm a huge fan of Flynn's writing. Some of her descriptions and prose really wow-ed me. One woman she described as having "hips like antlers" in the way that the bones jutted out, and I just really liked that simile. There were a lot more instances like this where I would read a sentence or a paragraph and think "Oooh, that's GOOD!" I also loved a lot of the dark imagery that she included, it felt like quite a visual book and some of the scenes created will leave a lasting impression for sure.

Sharp Objects is full of twists and turns, a few of which I had predicted before they happened, but there were still a few that surprised me. The ending in particular! I thought I had it figured out, then it went one way and then another and I was just like WOOOAAHHH this is awesome.

Although that's not to say I had some issues. One of my major annoyances with this book was that it was extremely over sexualised at times. I am not a prude by any means, but it just felt like everything had links to sex in some way. EVERYTHING. And a lot of the time it seemed completely needless and tacked on. One event in particular… which I can't really talk about as I never include spoilers in a review, but it involved Camille's relationship with someone and it was just… completely unnecessary. In my view, anyway.

ALSO, also. I just do not buy that Amma is 13 years old! I just don't. I can completely understand that some kids are very mature and almost behave like adults at such a young age, but 13 was a bit of a stretch. Especially when you go on to watch the TV adaptation. I'm just not buying it, maybe 15 years old would be more believable? Some of Camille's opinions also rubbed me up the wrong way (that phrase would totally be made into some kind of innuendo in the book *rolls eyes*). In particular, there was one part where she discusses how women get "consumed" due to the "sheer amount of traffic" a woman's body experiences. I understand that this is merely Camille's opinion and I can't hold that against the book itself but the implication of it just grated on me.

That actually sounds like I had a lot of issues… but I still enjoyed the story a lot!! It's a page turner and it was exactly what I needed for my holiday.

4 stars.
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