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Publisher's Summary

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 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 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 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 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, 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.

Critic Reviews

  • 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 Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Kelley
  • CA, United States
  • 01-26-08

I agree with Stephen King

There's something almost magnetic about this book. It quickly becomes hard to listen to and impossible not to. The author has virtually every family disfunction ever featured on Lifetime in this book and I did not roll my eyes once. I can't tell you what or how without ruining the agonizing unraveling for you but I think it takes a very skilled pen indeed to make so much seem so natural. At the end I felt real grief for the central character.
The narrator's performance is flawlessly understated and adds to the mesmerizing almost 'real-time hyper-reality' of this unbelievable story.
If you've any interest at all in the dark side of small town life and of the american family, I think you will love this book.

91 of 95 people found this review helpful

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Pitch Perfect Performance

I selected this book because I enjoyed "Gone Girl" so much. "Sharp Objects" is equally as brilliant and in some ways, better. Like "Gone Girl", there is an element of suspense that keeps the reader involved until the end. These characters are equally as flawed and as brilliantly portrayed as the characters in Gone Girl. When I was in college, a group of friends in my dorm used to recite dialogue from the movie classic "The Bad Seed" and I found myself thinking of that movie as I was listening. Part "Bad Seed", a little "Lolita" with a bit of Patricia Highsmith thrown in for good measure, the book leaves the reader wondering where the author comes up with her ideas.
The narrator was perfect, one of the best matches I have come across between a book and reader. Not only did she truly differentiate the characters, but her reading pace was perfect.
I knew nothing about the premise of the book before I started listening, and I believe that added to my enjoyment.
I think Gillian Flynn is a gifted young writer, and I look forward to reading more of her novels.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Gone Girl First?

Devoured Gone Girl and went in search of more. This, her first novel tells the tale of a flawed, off center woman who cuts the words of her anguish over every part of her body. She covers her mutilation with non-revealing clothing (even in the summer) also mirroring how she hides her true self; not letting anyone too close. She returns to her hometown to report on two murders. Her dystunctional family and the town serve as the backdrop for the mystery. Well written, and definitely worth your credit and a read. A little hurried and predictable near the end, but overall am happy to have listened to it. Flynn evolves her talent with each book.

107 of 119 people found this review helpful

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  • Amanda
  • Phoenix, AZ, United States
  • 06-15-12

Cutting Words

Having discovered the author (Gillian Flynn) when reading her newest release, I promptly decided to try one of her other 2 books. I selected Dark Places, and found it to be one of the best books I've ever read. That is how I found myself here with Sharp Objects; looking forward to the anticipated quality of the work, but already bracing myself for the emotional hit this author packs.

Just as Camille violently cuts her chosen words into her skin, permanently etching them into herself, so does the author, Gillian Flynn, violently cut HER chosen words into the reader; permanently etching them into you. Each cut hurts; but like Camille, we continue on; by continuing to read the story.

This is not a happy book. Not all all. Not one little bit. It's about petty people, hurtful people, evil people...and all the one-time innocents they have damage so badly, they grow into the next generation of hate. And the cycle, in the forsaken town of Wind Gap, continues on through generations.

And still, we read on; because the author has pulled us into this hypnotic web. We continue with the cutting words.

I found this book excellent. The story seemed to have a life of it's own, moving in unexpected directions and growing into the final chapter; by which you understand that no other ending would have been possible.

If the description above hasn't put you off, and you are prepared for the language, violence, and disturbing sexual content, then this book may be for you. I found it haunting and very well done.

95 of 106 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

There's a reason

This book showed up on so many best-of-2006 lists. It's unlike anything you've read,perhaps a bit of a thinking woman's Silence of the Lambs? Creepy but astonishingly smart and beautifully written and very compelling. Can't wait for her next book.

45 of 51 people found this review helpful

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Wow.... Gillian Flynn has a knack for this

I am having issues finding fault with Gillian Flynn I find. I am a fan, a true fan of Gillian Flynn and keeping that in mind I am concerned for my own mental health because I am sure that says a lot about me.

Gillian Flynn's brand of dark, twisted writing comes from a truly dark place. Her mind clearly goes places that a normal person would call... disturbing. I find though that it taps into that place that I think everyone has (as a form of justification because I clearly have it maybe). That dark/twisted/demented place where things aren't all rainbows and butterflies.

Gillian Flynn creates an amazingly flawed female characters in the form of Camille here. Her knack for creating such characters again is both dually intriguing and disturbing in the same sense. The way everything unfolded in this book was creepy in short and the way the entire story unwound itself was jarring at the very least. You might have been able to see what is about to happen from a mile away but even so you will enjoy each and every twisted, demented, crazy stop in the process. The writing in this book as the writing in all of her books just seem to be in a different league amongst most authors. Even if you dislike how dark this book is you will find yourself enjoying this dark twisted ride if only for the superb writing.

Another narration that I can find little fault with. Ann Marie Lee was able to portray Camille just as I expected her to sound. She kept up with the excellent storyline and only served to enhance the overall listening experience.

45 of 52 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Story. Excellent Writing.

This is the 3rd book by Gillian Flynn that I have read. I started with the most recent and worked backwards but it made no difference.
Ms Flynn's writing style is excellent and Sharp Objects is no exception.

Ms. Flynn is tuned into the emotions and feelings of her subjects and makes them come alive on the pages. It is as if I "knew" the protaganist, Camille, or I know someone like her.
I personally could relate to the small Midwestern town, the violence, the closeness.

Once again, I thought I had the story and the ending figured out and with a quick twist, it was completely different.

Ann Marie Lee did a great job with the narration.

Not only would I recommend Sharp Objects, but also any other book penned by Gillian Flynn.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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I loved everything about this book. It's dark and unhappy but told beautifully. I felt like I could step into Camille's shoes and really understand her.

While many will find this book too creepy or morbid, I think it speaks to the real truths of the nasty things that happen in the world and their consequences.

As a side, if you're a cutter, this book may trigger you.

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Compelling read

Blunt. Deeply troubled. Intense. The main character of this story is, as many of us are, wounded. When she returns to her hometown, she uncovers just what the nature of that wounding is and who abused her. Intertwined is a whodunit murder mystery.

I couldn't stop listening. I spent extra hours in my art studio (that's where I listen)just to hear the story. This is the first book I want to listen to for a second time.

41 of 49 people found this review helpful

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  • Phyllis
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 10-04-09

Definitely in my top 10

There's so much more here than an absorbing mystery. Flynn really captures the dynamics of a small town. The characters, even those who only appear briefly, are layered. Plus, the main character is as intriguing as she is unusual. The narration is perfect. I'm looking forward to the next Gillian Flynn.

25 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Paul Johnson
  • 11-08-09


A real surprise - had me hooked from begining to end! I don't think it's too heavy though some of the subject matter isn't the most cheerful. Well written book I thought.

  • Overall
  • Karen
  • 03-25-08

A Good listen

I liked this book but it was rather heavy. Worth a listen but not a 5 stars product