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Sharp Objects | [Gillian Flynn]

Sharp Objects

Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker's troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 psychiatric 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 13-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 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, she will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

With its taut, well-crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.

©2006 Gillian Flynn; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Mystery Writers of America 2007 Edgar Nominee, Best First Novel by an American Author

"A witty, stylish, and compelling debut. A real winner." (Harlan Coben)
"Flynn delivers a great whodunit....Piercingly effective and genuinely terrifying." (Kirkus Reviews)
"To say this is a terrific debut novel is really too mild. I haven't read such a relentlessly creepy family saga since John Farris' All Heads Turn as the Hunt Goes By, and that was 30 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 30 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." (Stephen King)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (3697 )
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  •  
    Ian Oxford Mills, ON, Canada 04-05-08
    Ian Oxford Mills, ON, Canada 04-05-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
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    Overall
    "A bit too morbid"

    The mystery part is good, but the plot centers on a very unhappy and disturbed reporter whose problems are the main subject of the book. Read A Field of Darkness instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeannette Campbell 03-14-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    15
    4
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    "Creepy and fun"

    Interesting book. Well read,it was clear and easy to understand the narrator. It made me want to drive longer to hear what would happen next. A good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael TAMPA, FL, USA 01-29-08
    Michael TAMPA, FL, USA 01-29-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable"

    The story was very well written. The writer provided excellent descriptions of the characters and locations, but not over the top. I was somewhat disappointed that the mystery was a back-story. The real story was the main character with a lot of psychological baggage returning to her long ago hometown as a reporter and interacting with her dysfunctional family and acquaintances. The mystery aspect finally took on an edge in the last hour and a half. The female narrator was good, but had difficulty with male voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie New Jersey 12-02-07
    Marie New Jersey 12-02-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dark but compelling"

    This book is definitely in the "un-put-down-able" category for me. Although the subject matter was very dark, it was well written and the narration was brilliant. It was not so much read as acted out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tineke 10-27-07
    Tineke 10-27-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So much more than a mystery novel!"

    This novel does not go for cheap thrills or unnecessary graphic violence but with an amazing astuteness explores a deviant interpretation of love and its devastating effects on everyone who comes in contact with it. No one is left unharmed. Not a comforting read, but what an exceptional tour de force! Read beautifully too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan H Melchior 10-06-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    Overall
    "More than a mystery"

    Just the title "Sharp Objects" is brilliant. Gillian Flynn's protagonist Camille Preaker is human and knowable despite the fact that she is your basic beautiful, tragic figure. Camille's "cutting" serves as a unique and literal pathway to her pathology. She's a great character and the combination of her smart, funny, attractiveness and her excruciating self-loathing and shame make the suspense of the central mystery all the more unbearable. Great read and read well!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holli Las Vegas, NV, USA 07-13-07
    Holli Las Vegas, NV, USA 07-13-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    Overall
    "subtle and disturbing"

    I ordered this book because of the glowing review by King. I trust him completely and this book did not disapoint. It was slow to build, terrifying and facinating at the same time like a car accident, and an end which in true fashion came with a whimper not a bang.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Indianapolis, IN, USA 07-09-07
    Linda Indianapolis, IN, USA 07-09-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
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    "Empty"

    This book was a long string of gratuitous violence, sex, and psychological abuse. You do not care about the characters because the author does not create full depictions. I would not recommend this book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggie Kansas City, MO, USA 07-02-07
    Maggie Kansas City, MO, USA 07-02-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Sharp Objects"

    Excellent story. I didn't solve the mystery and that's unusual. The main character is a "cutter," which is an interesting story in and of itself. I thought the characters were real and the depiction of life in a small Missouri town was dead on. This book kept me interested right up to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Plano, TX, USA 06-05-07
    Kim Plano, TX, USA 06-05-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
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    274
    17
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    Overall
    "Good Read!"

    A previous reviewer referred this as a thinking woman's Silence of the Lambs, and this is an apt description. The narration was on-spot, the story tight and addictive. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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