One master-passion in the br east, like Aaron's serpent, swallows all the rest. A. Pope
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.
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
The Crellin/Preaker family will make you rethink your plans to avoid YOUR family during the holidays. Well-drawn characters maintain their lies in a falsely sweet southern town, but a murder investigation brings out bits of information that span two generations.
Author Flynn allows the truth to creep up to the reader, and the final chapters will knock your teeth out! I highly recommend this book.
On a scale of 1 to 10 it's a 9.75.
The book that comes to mind with this question is "We Need to Talk About Kevin" because both authors share a candid insight into taboo subject matters between mothers and children and other blood relatives - at times delicate, at times pretty brutal. They seem to understand that people aren't either good or bad but both and are able to articulate it well.
My favorite scene was where Camille's mother explains why she wasn't able to love her.
Ahhmm.... "Familial legacies knows know bounds" I dunno...
Gillian Flynn is my new favorite author. After listening to this one I went straight for Dark Places which was extremely satisfying and then on to Gone Girl which I am still listening to. Flynn's Southern Gothic style invokes such atmosphere and beauty. Initially when I read the story lines of each of these novels I was turned off as I am not a fan of detective stories which is what the description called to mind. But the first two minutes of each one had me hooked and none read like "who-done-it" crime stories in the least. Even if you do figure out who "did it", you come away with so much more than that. You also come away with a full understanding of your lead character as she [or he] is figuring out. Narration was pitch perfect.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
Just simply beautifully written. Never does she take the easy or painless path - - despite my desperate need for relief. I literally squirmed as I listened to parts, waiting impatiently for this book to be over. So no, I can't explain why I could not stop listening nor why I so highly recommend it. To be fair, this book is not for the squeamish. But if you can stomach it, you'll experience some really exceptional writing.
Sharp Objects is a good book, but one that is clearly not for me. It lacks two critical characteristics that I require to enjoy a story.
The first is likable characters. Nearly every major character is so deeply, fundamentally flawed that I could not relate to them nor care about them. If I don't have characters to root for, I cannot become fully emotionally invested in their plight.
Every bit as important is the overall emotional curve of the book. The entire book simply feels miserable. There are no moments of joy, happiness, or love that aren't wholly corrupted by their circumstance. Because of this, the darkness loses its edge - there's nothing to contrast the darkness to. It is dark, lonely, and bleak, from cover to cover (so to speak).
If these aspects do not turn you off from the book, you're in for a good if somewhat predictable mystery with a few twists and turns and with a peculiar focus on smells. Be forewarned though, if you look up what mental disorders the book deals with, you will have the book's mysteries solved before you're halfway through.
As was the case with other reviewers, I listened to "Gone Girl" first. Given how dark that novel was -- and based on some of the other reviews -- I was almost hesitant to read this one... afraid it might be way too depressing. I am glad I listened! Of course, the story IS dark. The darkest. But Gillian Flynn (I almost wrote "Ms. Flynn" and shuddered, thinking of what she might make of the affectation!) has the power to make all of her very dark characters come alive. Whether or not you grew up in a town as inbred and putrid as the one she describes, you will feel that these people are people you KNOW....and how can you think that a story about people you KNOW is too depressing? You know them, after all!
So, why four stars and not five? I guess some of the "coincidences" (the fact that Camille happened to be sent to cover the story) were a bit too hard to believe. Still, perhaps I am now demanding 'perfection' out of the author simply because her obvious control of the scenes and the people are so masterful...It's like giving the A+ student a B+ simply because you know she could have done better if she had tried a little harder (even though you would have given a lesser candidate an A+ for effort...and I guess I am attempting to make up for what might be perceived as less-than-full enthusiasm by the "Excellent," with an exclamation point in the 'headline' for my review.
I think there's third Gillian Flynn out there. I will definitely download it...and flinch at what the author unleashes.
I just HOPE that her books are not too closely related to her real life!
It's hard to imagine a more depressing combination of factors: the neglected town of Wind Gap, its characters, architecture and ambience stalled in the 1950's, the completely unsupervised and unmanaged pre-teen cliques which get into all kinds of trouble that would be prosecuted in some form if it all happened in a more enlightened environment, and the main character and her desultory loveless family, which leaves the "apple" (Camille) not far from the "tree". Camille's hostile family life, an emotional desert, has left her ill-equipped to navigate the big bad world of the 2010's.
However, Camille is a plucky, resourceful "survivor" and uses her insights into her abusive upbringing to bring down the house of cards. Whatever her attitudes and emotional stance, she is certainly not a victim.
I read this after finishing "Gone Girl" which was an impressive, imaginative novel, more 2012-style."Sharp Objects" is more disturbing in many ways, yet not as sophisticated as "Gone Girl", and not as clever.There are some familiar Flynn themes - provincial life and its limitations, a shower phobia, obsessions with perfection and routine ritual.
After saying all this, I did on balance like the book, and foresaw the conclusion, but not before some diversionary and entertaining reading, especially the dialogue scenes and particularly the nuanced moment-by-moment interactions, where Flynn shines.
But next time you think you'd like to move or retire to a small town - think again.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
As others have stated, there's something scarily magnetic about this book. It is unbelievably hard to listen to and impossible not to -- it is brutal and grotesque and somehow manages to allow every family disfunction ever to float to the center of this story. I cringed often as the story was exquisitely narrated, revealing horrors that I hoped are not real. But they are/can be. "Not every woman should become a mother," is one take away for sure. Another? Sicknesses can be passed along generation to generation. The need for pain, to hurt your self or to hurt someone else is a sickness that can only be overcome by purposeful correction. Or. . . can it? That is the question that lingers as yet another little girl goes missing, a body found, and the killer is yet another ghostly woman. On one level, this is an appalling story; on another is a story of mental illness run amok. I can't decide if I am glad or listened or not. It is certain to stay with me for a long time. Unforgettable.
Lawyer. Photographer. Musician. Geek. @charliereesephoto on Instagram.
I really loved Dark Places. It was a great book (not uplifting though, to say the least), so I thought I would give her first one a try. I found this to be terribly formulaic and boring... she clearly developed as a writer between her first and second novels.
Gave up after 2 hours or so. Clearly not with the crowd on this one, but such is life.
I have read and listened to several of Gillian Flynn's books. I have enjoyed them a good bit, up unto this one. The main character is so passive, and makes such irritating choices, that I found myself annoyed during this read.
The story line was just not as tight and as compelling as Flynn's other books. I believe that too much of the book was unrealistic...just not a believable plot.
Some may say that it is realistic, and quite imaginable. But when I think about the choices the main character makes, my first reaction is "no way"..."no way would this happen like this"..."no way would I just take this like she does.."
All of the main characters are quite unlikeable, and obnoxious. If you're in a bad mood, don't listen to this book.
The reader does a good job, and has a very nice voice.