Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects

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 murders of two preteen girls. 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...

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Title:Sharp Objects
Author:Gillian Flynn
Rating:
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:254 pages

Sharp Objects Reviews

  • Simon_Cleveland_Ph.D. Simon_Cleveland_Ph.D.
    Aug 01, 2008

    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 da

    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.

  • karen
    Apr 30, 2009

    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

    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

  • Tatiana
    May 10, 2010

    As seen on

    If you ask me which words come into my mind first whenever I think of this book, my answer will be:

    ,

    ,

    ,

    .

    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 mu

    As seen on

    If you ask me which words come into my mind first whenever I think of this book, my answer will be:

    ,

    ,

    ,

    .

    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

    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

    . 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 are equally damaging to one's psyche.

    I definitely wouldn't recommend

    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 -

    . Well, as soon as I psychologically recover from

    .

  • Emily May
    Jun 29, 2012

    . 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

    . 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

    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

    by

    . 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.

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  • RandomAnthony
    Aug 06, 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

    , my favorite of Flynn's trio, let me go on record with

    (four stars, go read another of the zillion of reviews) and

    (three stars, maybe too many narratives perspectives and too willing to wallow in the muck) as

    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

    , my favorite of Flynn's trio, let me go on record with

    (four stars, go read another of the zillion of reviews) and

    (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.

    , 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

    so interesting.

    Highly recommended,

    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.)

  • Alex
    Dec 30, 2012

    This is my third

    book, after

    and

    . 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

    --a creepy story with the potential of giving me special nightmares,

    but by 90% I was like

    WTF did I just read??

    All the characters were disturbing,

    even the children.

    Allow me to start with

    . She's a

    This is my third

    book, after

    and

    . 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

    --a creepy story with the potential of giving me special nightmares,

    but by 90% I was like

    WTF did I just read??

    All the characters were disturbing,

    even the children.

    Allow me to start with

    . She's a reporter, a writer. She's practically obsessed with words, even if they are scribbled on her skin

    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!

    , Camille's 13 year-old half-sister, is a piece of work.

    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.

    , 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

    , the cop. He was hot. He would have been so good for Camille. But noooo, she just had to

    .

    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

    novels!

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  • Samadrita
    Feb 16, 2013

    When I had first come across rave reviews of

    , 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 disappointme

    When I had first come across rave reviews of

    , 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.

    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

    or

    .

  • Raeleen Lemay
    May 01, 2013

    *3.5/5*

    I felt like this book was way too slow paced for how short it was, and it sort of bugged me that the big reveal and explanation was left to the VERY end. It was like nothing nothing nothing BAM EVERYTHING.

    However, the ending was crazy and twisted and I loved it! I just wish that craziness had been spread out a bit, because when I finally got it, it was over too fast.

    Overall, a pretty good read.

  • Paquita Maria Sanchez
    Jul 09, 2013

    Well, this was a pleasant surprise. I remember all the ruckus over Gillian Flynn a while back, and my resulting tracing (

    carving) of a mental note on my palm that I should eventually read something by this gal because everybody was all in a tizzy over her wonderfulmousnessity back whenever, and I was confused by that fact based on the book descriptions alone. It all just sounded like mass market thrillers dressed up in fancy lit fic suits. Ya know, the stuff of mediocre books which sometimes

    Well, this was a pleasant surprise. I remember all the ruckus over Gillian Flynn a while back, and my resulting tracing (

    carving) of a mental note on my palm that I should eventually read something by this gal because everybody was all in a tizzy over her wonderfulmousnessity back whenever, and I was confused by that fact based on the book descriptions alone. It all just sounded like mass market thrillers dressed up in fancy lit fic suits. Ya know, the stuff of mediocre books which sometimes get passed to great directors, screen-writers, and actors, and then maybe turned into really good movies. Basically, I just wanted to understand what the hell was going on with this new girl at the middle school who showed up mid-semester and got all the attention just because her folks were always out of town so you could smoke pot at her house and raid the liquor cabinet or whatever. I shamefully admit, I was ready and willing to dislike her. Maybe I'm shallow, and so was put off by the pop of it all. Maybe that one time I saw

    as a stickered best-selling! 20% off Audio Book, I silently simmered further, my eyes squintier still. Whatever, it doesn't matter. I was wrong. I frequently forget that this is a very frequent occurrence.

    From the first couple of pages, maybe even the first, I acknowledged my ass-umptions. The writing is astute in its observations, visceral in its descriptions. And the narrator is all messed up, which hear, hear. I actually stopped when I realized I'd read about 100 pages without looking away, and thought to myself: I should read more thrillers, huh? Well, no. Most of them that I have come across are not this confidently, this surgically composed. There is no fluffy stuffing here, just good, straight storytelling with the added bonus of cautiously crafted prose. Also, it's really fucking creepy, and me being creeped out by anything at this point in my life is a pretty tall order. I mean, aside from spiders and needles and being buried alive and over-sexualized pre-teen Lolita-types who collect and dress like that Bratz line of toy dolls. Now

    shit is creepy. Fortunately, a couple of those things are directly addressed in this novel. My goodness, it must be terrifying having a daughter, or being an adult dude today. Or a human at all. Yeah, it is.

    The story itself meanders in a way which is icky, thoroughly hammered out, and fairly unpredictable. I may be inflating the rating because my expectations were so low, but that doesn't change the fact that I will be reading another novel by this author because she isn't some hack; she just likes to slum a little, subject-wise. And that's more than okay with me, it turns out.

    Cutters, Lolitas, Munchausen by Proxy, obsessions, family hatreds, drug abuse, scandalous sex, graphic violence, serial murder, wealth, poverty, popularity, bullying, hypochondria, crippling jealousy, police procedural bullshit, alcoholism, taboo masturbation fantasies, eating disorders, small town smothering, big city anonymity, career/life/love failures, falls from grace, the hell of being romantically idealized by someone and then seen in vivid, horrible detail for what you really are: all addressed in this slim little novel. It's pretty fucking good, to be honest. Just...don't loan it to your mother. And hope that no one in this novel reminds you of your mother. Don't be bothered if you see a little of yourself here and there, though. We're all headcases sometimes, right? Please just agree with me.

  • Mohammed Arabey
    Sep 04, 2015

    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

    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

    محمد العربي

    من 4 سبتمبر 2015

    إلي 9 سبتمبر 2015