Author: Gillian Flynn. Originally published in hardback in 2006. 393 pages in paperback.
Murder mystery/Psychological drama/Suspense. Fiction.
The reading world was smashed wide open after Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl reigned atop Bestseller’s lists across the country following its release in mid 2012. I remember hearing the first glowing reviews from friends and knowing it was a must for my beach season repertoire. I absolutely loved it and lately have been hearing great things about her other novels. My recent stint in an airport bookstore left me desperately seeking something of interest and I came across Flynn’s debut novel, Sharp Objects. I gave the back cover a quick read and knew this suspenseful mystery would more than captivate me. This lady has a penchant for writing about twisted broads. Flynn is talented, unique and absolutely fearless. Her first novel pushes boundaries and disproves numerous stereotypes often used to describe women writers. Her style can be described as wicked, crazy and brilliant. She is capable of weaving a vicious web, sending readers on a journey of moral exploration and self doubt. Just as soon as you believe you have a handle on what’s going on, she throws in another twist that changes the readers perspective. This time we find ourselves immersed in the small town of Wind Gap, Missouri, following journalist Camille Preaker back to her roots and an uncomfortable home life she’d rather leave in the past.
“Twisted broads” indeed. Gone Girl’s Amy Dunne was one mercenary, crazy woman, and Camille holds down the crazy quite well in Sharp Objects; but her mother Adora is at the very top of the literary food chain of fucked up nasty bitches. Camille works for a small paper in Chicago, and when one little girl is murdered and then another goes missing in her hometown in Missouri, her editor thinks it’s a good idea if she goes back to cover the story. Camille isn’t too happy about the assignment though, she hasn’t seen or spoken to her mother or her younger half sister Amma in years. Camille was right to be hesitant to go back to Wind Gap. There’s a reason she likes to carve words into her flesh (yes you read that right), like “WICKED”, “NASTY”, “HARMFUL”, “WHORE” and a myriad of others, but you’ll have to read to find out. I don’t know what kind of women Gillian Flynn has in her background, but I sincerely hope she is writing from her imagination and not life experiences. Steven King had nothing but superlatives for Sharp Objects, calling it “a terrific debut novel” and “an admirably nasty piece of work.” I couldn’t agree more with the greatest writer of my lifetime. Gillian Flynn is badass!
Flynn has received vast amounts of praise for her growing body of work and personally I can’t wait to see what she does next. She isn’t afraid to discuss sexuality, violence or a myriad of taboo behaviors. And I believe it’s this freedom in her writing that allows her to reach a pinnacle of creativity and excellence. Her novels are the kind that you just can’t put down. I found myself stealing away during the Thanksgiving holiday just to plow through another chapter. It creeps into the dark recesses of your mind, into your dreams and daily thoughts. I was feeling mighty thankful that I was raised by a nurturing and caring woman. And that my family is comprised of loving and kind people. Sharp Objects will introduce you to a cast of players ranging from emotionally disturbed to pure evil. I’m planning on picking up another of her twisted tales, Dark Places. We’ll see what that has in store for me during my Christmas travels.
Gone Girl was made into a movie (an excellent adaptation, check out our review in the MRSRAG archives) and I just read Sharp Objects is coming to the small screen soon, presumably as a mini series. Ms. Flynn is hot and her style is unique as Maria pointed out. There’s nothing like a book that you just can’t put down, and she’s two for two in that department with me. Sharp Objects has some dark shit going on, but it will keep you thinking, guessing and reading until the wee hours of the morning. Dark circles under your eyes? A small price to pay for such an exquisitely demented journey through the mind of a master storyteller.
Maria’s Rating: 4.5 Bookmarks out of 5.
Ross’ Rating: 4.25 Bookmarks.