Sharp Objects: A Novel by Gillian FlynnSharp Objects: A Novel by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects: A Novel

byGillian Flynn

Paperback | July 31, 2007

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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 her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

Praise for Sharp Objects

“Nasty, addictive reading.”Chicago Tribune
“Skillful and disturbing.”Washington Post
“Darkly original . . . [a] riveting tale.”People
GILLIAN FLYNN is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Gone Girl, for which she wrote the Golden Globe-nominated screenplay, and the New York Times bestsellers Dark Places and Sharp Objects. A former critic for Entertainment Weekly, she lives in Chicago with her husband and children.
Title:Sharp Objects: A NovelFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:272 pages, 7.98 × 5.15 × 0.61 inShipping dimensions:7.98 × 5.15 × 0.61 inPublished:July 31, 2007Publisher:Crown/ArchetypeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307341550

ISBN - 13:9780307341556


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Disturbingly Beautiul Gillian Flynn is an expert on exploring the real pains of women and the darker side of the lives we live. This book, while maybe not the heart-pounding type of thriller, is phenomenal in how it tells the story of a woman returning to her roots to relive the pains of her childhood and adolescence. If the more disturbing side of psychological thrillers isn't for you, I wouldn't recommend this book -- especially if you're triggered by self-harm. Otherwise, I think this is a great book that any woman who has experienced pain -- on any level -- can relate to.
Date published: 2018-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I wish I could give it more stars! This book is absolutely riveting! Keeps you guessing from start to finish. Unlike any other thriller I've read!
Date published: 2018-08-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Definitely a thriller Gillian Flynn is not my favourite but I did enjoy this book. It is creepy and thrilling. It can be scary and distributing sometimes but I would still recommend it if you like thrillers and murder mystery.
Date published: 2018-07-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Rereading Made Me More Critical There is something to be said about the simmering anger of the women of Wind Gap that gently bubbles throughout the novel. With the premiere of the miniseries I thought I should give Sharp Objects a re-read before I dove into the show. Although it is not my favourite of Flynn's works, I'd say it's a solid piece of writing considering it was her debut novel. There are some intriguing plot points in this novel, but the last quarter of the novel felt rushed and didn't flesh out those ideas as well as I'd hoped. The overall atmosphere was prominently dark and heavy so for fans of thrillers with a whodunit element to it would have a good time reading this.
Date published: 2018-07-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Why is this being made into a TV series? I don’t see what all the hype is about. It was easy to guess what the ending would be, and the littleee twist at the end wasn’t mind-blowing. None of the characters were likeable, especially the main character who made some strange choices (drinking and doing drugs with her 13 year old sister). This is my least favorite book by Gillian Flynn. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-06-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good It was a good novel, but personally, it was my least favorite compared to Gone girl and Dark Places. I would sill recommend it however :)
Date published: 2018-06-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing read! I greatly enjoyed reading this book. I'd highly recommend it. Liked it more than Gone Girl.
Date published: 2018-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked this more than Gone Girl Think this was a wayyy better story than Gone Girl. Gillian Flynn once again proves why she is one of my favourite authors.
Date published: 2018-05-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was OK This was just OK for me, it didn't really hold my attention for very long and I've read much more disturbing book than this one. Gillian Flynn has yet to release anything above a 3* for me.
Date published: 2018-04-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great - but not Flynn's best Pretty cool, but I consider it Flynn's least intriguing and smart novel (out of 3).
Date published: 2018-03-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from No one's perfect What I love best about Gillian Flynn's writing is how everyone is flawed and has their own motivations. There are no clear cut 'good' guys and 'bad' guys and people don't suddenly reveal themselves to have been villains as an ending to the mystery. The protagonist of this story has good intention, but she feels unworthy of love and thus acts to keep anyone from getting to close. In Sharp Objects Camille Preaker is a reporter who must return to her hometown to investigate one missing girl and the murder of another. She is 6 months out of a psych hospital for her cutting behaviour, carving words into her body. Now she must face her family. Her mother is a woman who refuses to speak of anything unpleasant, including the death of her other daughter years earlier, and is obsessed with illness, a stepfather who barely registers as a presence in her life or anyone else's, and a 13 year old half sister she barely knows who swings from childlike tantrums at home to wannabe adult swagger in town. Whether she can figure out who is hurting these girls is almost secondary to whether she can defeat the demons of her childhood and find a way to being a functional adult.
Date published: 2018-03-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Basic Pretty basic thriller; you will guess the murderer within the first 60 pages. I did not appreciate all the sexualization of the 13 year old girl - I thought it was gratuitous and unnecessary for the story. I think Flynn tried too hard to write like a man (ie. way too much talk about breasts in improbable situations).
Date published: 2018-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book was incredible. the ending blows you away and you never see it coming. The characters are deep and intricate and you want to know everything about them
Date published: 2018-03-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good writing, but no likeable characters. She is an intriguing writer who really brings you into the book. However, this book had no likeable characters and thus was a challenging read.
Date published: 2018-03-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Disturbing, Creepy, Uncomfortable, Twisted I read this after Gone Girl and enjoyed both a great deal!! (I even liked The Grownup) Out of the three, this one is definitely her darkest book. It's short and hard to put down even though I was uncomfortable reading it! If you are enjoy her work, then YES read it. If you are sensitive then stay away because this book has many triggers.
Date published: 2018-02-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Twisted and Disturbing This book won't be for everyone. I wonder what goes on in her head. Good read though
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow It is very disturbing, but it is very well written and intense. I could NOT put this down! One of the best, darkest thrillers I have read.
Date published: 2018-01-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh I heard great things about this book .. unfortunately, I had trouble getting into it. I started to enjoy it towards the end. I found it dark and twisty and somewhat surprising. I would check out another book by this author.
Date published: 2018-01-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark This book is dark, while it was an engaging read I didn't find the thriller aspects to be as good as in Gone Girl. I don't think that the 'psychology' used really made sense, but I suppose suspension of disbelief is necessary in a lot of fiction. I would also be cautious with reading this if you are ever in a vulnerable mindset, reading about the difficulties of the protagonist was tough.
Date published: 2018-01-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty Good I found this novel to be less twisty than Gone Girl, but the story was still engaging, albeit a little predictable. Can't wait for the mini series in 2018
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book! One of my favourite books. I like all of Gillian Flynn's novels but this one is my favourite. Very well written with lots of dark and disturbing twists along the way. I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2017-12-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hard to put down Full of surprises. A good story if not a pleasant one.
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Second Gillian Flynn book I have read and I will keep seeking out her books! Very creative and twisted in a good way.
Date published: 2017-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Even Better Than Gone Girl If you loved Gone Girl, you love Sharp objects even more. Yes, it is slightly dark, but also incredibly suspenseful and entertaining!
Date published: 2017-10-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Disturbing! Read this before gone girl and found it dark but interesting. Got me hooked by the way she describes the simplest situations. Definitely a great writer!
Date published: 2017-10-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Super suspenseful - good read This book was oddly disturbing, but yet I couldn't stop reading. I found at some points the plot was a little slow, but overall it was a good read and I would definitely recommend it!
Date published: 2017-10-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An O.K. read I preferred her other books. This one was a little slow and predictable from the beginning. Still a good read if you enjoy books with a character who has a psychological disturbance.
Date published: 2017-09-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Messed Up ! Keeps you guessing - I was mostly surprised and thoroughly disgusted. It was awesome.
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Twisted! Very dark and twisted book! Very impressed!
Date published: 2017-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thrilling It was so dark and twisted and it was amazing! I was hooked after the first few pages. Absolutely amazing.
Date published: 2017-08-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very dark and twisted are the best ways to describe this book Like Gone Girl, there are multiple twists to this story! And they are no doubt DARK ones. Will certainly keep you flipping through the pages quickly!
Date published: 2017-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clever & Creative After reading Gone Girl, my husband bought this book for me and I wasn't disappointed! Sharp Objects shows Gillian Flynn is a consistently strong writer, starting out with this great thriller. Definitely recommend for a quick read.
Date published: 2017-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Creative thriller This book will hook you in right from the start and get you binge reading it in two days to find out what happened
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Dark and Twisted Do you want dark and twisted characters? This is the novel for you! Flynn certainly knows how to write 'damaged'. I'd say I liked it better than Gone Girl; the story had a bit of hope and a few characters had redeeming qualities. The story line was a bit more in depth, as well. Overall, a good thriller.
Date published: 2017-08-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This book is an interesting, disturbing ride My rating is more like 3.5. I haven't read Gone Girl, but I did read Dark Places a few years ago. I thought that book was pretty dark, but this book is something else. From what I've heard about Gone Girl (which I will read one day), this is definitely Gillian Flynn's darkest work. All of the characters are damaged/broken, and most of them are very disturbing. I don't want to say much about the reveal of the killer because if I do it could ruin the shock; let's just say that where the story was going I had it at a 3 star (because it's good but I felt depressed reading it), but the reveal definitely bumped it up a half star and I was able to round up the rating instead of rounding down. I've seen some other reviews that suggest this book is not for everyone, and I definitely agree. It's a hard book to deal with, and it's sad and it's uncomfortable most of the time, gross and creepy the rest of the time.
Date published: 2017-07-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark and Twisty I found this one more disturbing than Gone Girl or Dark Places, but it was also a compelling read.
Date published: 2017-07-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark and Twisted Another masterpiece by Gillian Flynn, who has a gift for developing flawed and unlikeable characters and through strong storytelling engrosses you in their dark and twisted world. Another psychological thriller that will definitely not disappoint. I can't wait for her to publish more books!
Date published: 2017-07-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointed Was excited to read this after loving Gone Girl. Did not like. Dark and disturbing.
Date published: 2017-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thrilling You will have a hard time putting down this book
Date published: 2017-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sharp Objects Disturbing and dark. Two of the things that make up a great novel.
Date published: 2017-06-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! I listened to this novel as an audio book and would recommend that format. Very interested to see how this will translate onto the small screen
Date published: 2017-06-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just average read This is a highly enjoyable novel.
Date published: 2017-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I wasn't expecting much from this author, not sure why, but pleasantly surprised. This book is well written, a psychological thriller that will have you turning the pages to find out who the killer is. The book is very dark.
Date published: 2017-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than Gone Girl I think this is Ms. Flynn's greatest novel. If you think Gone Girl is twisted, wait until you read this one. Some people are being put off because the characters are unlikable and overall pretty nasty, and that's true so if this is the kind of thing that will put you off this one might not be for you. However, I don't read books to know about the nice things nice people do in their lives, I read books about dark and twisted stuff, and this book really did the trick. One of the best mystery novels I ever read.
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Disturbingly Brilliant! I cannot get enough of this author and if you love disturbing stories then this is definitely the book for you! I would not recommend for the faint hearted but the dark world she creates in this story is just addicting and I could not put it down.
Date published: 2017-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark and Beautiful This book is by far my favourite from Gillian Flynn. It is dark, emotional, and just an all around beautiful book.
Date published: 2017-05-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great thriller If you're a fan of Gillian Flynn then you will love this book. It's disturbing and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Date published: 2017-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Easily Gillian Flynn's best novel. A thrill ride til the very end.
Date published: 2017-04-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great This book was a great mystery with believable but unusual characters.
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dazzling Debut I purchased Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn after reading and thoroughly enjoying Gone Girl. In my opinion, Sharp Objects is even better. Flynn's writing style is truly unique, her characters are multi-faceted and believable, and she has a knack for injecting humour in a manner that it is entertaining but stops just short of hindering the suspense. The only criticism I have is that some scenes are a little gruesome, which would make me hold off on recommending this novel to the faint of heart. But to all others, enjoy!
Date published: 2017-04-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very inappropriate and disturbing. I really liked the twist that's why the weak 4 star, however Camille was so inappropriate, and nasty I couldn't stand her. Usually if someone is like that I really don't care, not my business, it doesn't take away from the person in my eye to the point that I don't want to hang out with her. But she was able to make me feel so disgusted that I wanted to slap her. I really liked the plot and the twist, but if the author would put more emphasis on making this story more creepy, mysterious and inexplicable than nasty and disgusting this story would be definitely a 5 star.
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not for the faint hearted As some reviewers already pointed out, this book is not for the faint hearted due to the level of violence described. Otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed this read and am now a huge fan of Gillian Flynn.
Date published: 2017-04-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love! Great read! Another amazing book by Gillian, I would recommend all of her books.
Date published: 2017-04-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from dark And disturbing G Flynn never fails! liked this one
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So creepy that I couldn't stop reading I have read it twice because I have yet to find a thriller this good.
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! Very creative! The twist ending is something you don't expect! Another amazing book by Gillian!
Date published: 2017-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT This book was amazing. I found it more compelling and interesting that Gone Girl. It was a perfect thriller with an exciting ending. Cannot wait for this book to come out as a movie !
Date published: 2017-03-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but could be better It was an interesting read but it could have been better
Date published: 2017-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Disturbing, but gread read Wow, I didnt see that coming! My favorite of Gillian Flynn's book.
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome book loved every page in this book. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Disturbing, but a great read I like thrillers with a mystery and this is nothing short of a really great one. There were a few parts that were quite haunting, but I found that was one of the great things about it - if it can make you feel strong emotions, the author did their job right.
Date published: 2017-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Creepy, Great Read This book was incredibly creepy! You want to read as fast as you can because the plot keeps changing. I love murder mystery novels and they're even better when you couldn't come up with the ending before getting there.. and this book falls into that category. Great read!
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from disturbing but good read This book is a really easy read, it is definitely somewhat disturbing with the ideology. I did find myself wondering and wishing that she had written a bit more on the characters, and felt the ending was quite rushed. I am looking forward to watching the TV show as I think the subject matter/ plot deserved to be drawn out more/
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderfully Disturbing The best thing about this book is the imperfect protagonist, Flynn is quite good at writing those. (minor spoiler) That very last detail about the objects in the dollhouse gave me goosebumps!
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite book! I bought this book after having read Gone Girl - and loved it! The story sucks you in so much I couldn't put the book down while I was on vacation! The story is so messed up but so well written that it's just an incredible book. 10/10
Date published: 2017-03-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great thriller! Flynn is a great writer, another good book by her. Story is interesting characters are good.
Date published: 2017-03-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Easy Read I enjoyed the book. It was well written and easy to read. It had an interesting story that kept me guessing all the way until the end.
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!!! Great thriller This book gripped me from start to finish! The characters were extremely interesting and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I read this in three days and I want to read it again just because I was so surprised by the twist at the end of the book.
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent! Love Gillian Flynn and her psychologically twisted writing! Mus read!
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not put this down Gillian Flynn has a way of writing that makes you incapable of detaching yourself from the storyline. The mystery is so riveting that you must read and read and read to see what the story holds. Incredibly, you still haven't a clue what the ending will actually be. A big winner!
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Ahhh! I love Gillian Flynn and her twisted mind! Her books do not disappoint
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Twisted Another great book by Gillian Flynn! This one I found especially twisted.
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazingly disturbing - A real psychological thriller When I bought this book I chose it because it had been called "disturbing" by many readers. It was on a number of "top 10 disturbing novels" lists, so I knew the kind of book I was opening. I enjoyed how the story progressed and I love Flynn's style of writing.
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it I like how her books always keeps you on edge! She has a twisted way of writing but this makes her books enjoyable
Date published: 2017-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Psychological Thriller I'm a huge fan of all of Gillian Flynn's books. They are great page turners.
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Creepy!!!!! Loved it! Super creepy and the ending was the kicker.I thought it was fabulous,I love all of her books.It wasn't as "smart" a read as Gone Girl but it did the trick,I was in the mood for something quick and creepy and it delivered.
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Solid Effort Sharp Objects kept me turning the page but is my least favourite Gillian Flynn novel. Ending was a bit predictable. I would recommend this book to Flynn lovers, you wont be disappointed.
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Couldn't put it down!.. I purchased all three of Gillian Flynn books.. highly recommend everyone to purchase .. you will not be disappointed :)
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Disturbing and Brilliant In my personal opinion I think this is the best of all Gillian Flynn books. Amazing and chilling story that keeps you guessing the whole time.
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good This of course doesn't compare to gone girl, but I believe this was Flynn first novel. I did really like it but a lot of the story was too unbelievable. Not even the murders, but the stories about the town. The sexual harassment and behaviour of young girls, it seemsd more for shock value than to really add to the story or crime. The ending was also a bit too precidabltable and fast. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Excellent, I enjoyed this a lot, and the ending was not too predictable. Engaging throughout, the audio book is also well worth a listen.
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Creepy This book really got under my skin. I find that with all her books her style of writing and the way she portrays things as extremely honest. The things that aren't really considered social convention to talk or write about she does anyway. With that said there was some serious fuckery here. Her sister being one of them - there is something wrong with her and I don't think it could just be blamed on her mother. The ending is what did it for me when you thought the mystery was solved and they could try and move on but something else happened. I didn't like the lead though. Telling off the cop for saying having sex with someone who is intoxicated is rape. It is. If they can't be in control of their decision making then you shouldn't have sex with them. And her brushing it off as women being able to protect themselves - that isn't the point. And when he broke things off after she had sex with a practically underage murder suspect but blaming it on her scars. Yeah - I didn't sympathy with her much. But besides that good book.
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite Flynn Novel Disturbing, but compelling writing. It was shocking and scary, but the creativity was incredible.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst Flynn book Not a fan of this book at all. Story was very disturbing and dark. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic read Truly amazing from start to finish. The book was impossible to put down with twists at every page. I never expected the ending. Very much worth reading
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping, Dark, and Amazing After reading Gone Girl I was hooked and determined to read the works of Gillian Flynn, and like Gone Girl this did not disappoint. Throughout the book I thought I had an idea of how it would end, and boy was I wrong. This is a dark psychological triller, but is an absolute page turner. You need this book, it is hands down worth reading.
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark and twisty Typical dark and shocking Flynn #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The worst of Flynn's 3 iconic novels...but still worth reading Out of all the Gillian Flynn novels, to me, this one is the least climactic and I didn’t find the story as good as the others. This is ironic considering that I actually gave Gone Girl a lower rating… I definitely got into the book and I enjoyed reading it. Readers need to understand that the book is a product of Flynn’s dark and clearly twisted mind and the story comes off as such. I think it’s the perfect amount of creepy and that anyone could easily get into this mystery thriller. I honestly loved the protagonist of this book, which is great. Normally with Flynn’s novels, I either dislike the main characters or just feel sort of detached from them. With this one, however, Camille was a delight to me, as damaged as she is. Honestly, Flynn gave Camille depth and soul and a reason to be as broken as she is. Mostly with Flynn’s other novels, I didn’t feel that. For instance, with Gone Girl I hated both main characters and with Dark Places I just felt detached from the main character, even though I liked her. I feel connected to Camille in some way. I pity her and feel for her. It might be because the way Camille acts towards and in her hometown is the sort of relationship I have with my hometown.No matter, I connect with Camille and enjoy her as a character. Hell, even the characters who should be unlikable, I like. When you read the book, you want to hate Amma. She seems like a stuck up, prissy brat when really, she is a deep and interesting character that’s almost as damaged as her and Camille’s mother is. In a way, she’s kind of like Regina George in Mean Girls. You want to hate her, but you can’t/won’t. It’s a pretty interesting dynamic to be honest. Because Amma is super confusing.She seems to put on a show for Adora. She dresses in beautiful sunday dresses and wears fancy hats and plays with her custom-made doll house. But she still throws temper tantrums as if she were 2 years old when really, she’s 13. But then she has a public life. She is known as the popular girl with a few sidekicks and seems to control people around her. She goes out at night in provocative clothing and does a lot of drugs, has sex, and drinks alcohol. And then she wakes up again and continues to put on a show for Adora. In all honesty I think I like Amma as much as I like Camille. The story itself is a good concept and as I’ve said, I enjoyed the story. However, to me, the story kind of drags on. The climax doesn’t come until way too late, and when it does it’s not as climactic as you would hope. Considering how long it takes to GET to the climax, one would hope it would give readers what they deserve and what they’ve been waiting for. But unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. Your jaw doesn’t drop like it would for Flynn’s other novels. It’s sort of like “OH really? alright.” and then the climax lasts like… a few pages and it’s just over. If you have read or do read the book, you’ll know what I mean. Flynn’s other novels have AMAZING climaxes AND the interesting parts last a lot longer than this book. This leads me to my biggest complaint about the book: The ending is so predictable. I don’t know how to go farther into it than that without it being too revealing. But yes, pretty predictable. Still a super enjoyable read though.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Well written but disturbing Disturbing story but very well written. Gillian Flynn is a fantastic author! She keeps you hooked til the end!
Date published: 2016-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down. This was one of those books that you couldn't put down; I finished it within a day. The characters are all very complex and there are many layers to this town's story. Not to mention the mind-blowing ending. Great read.
Date published: 2016-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gillian Flynn does it again! one of the best reads of 2015 for sure for me- If you like Phycological thrillers you'll love this one!
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent I find Gillian's writing to be so captivating; her books are hard to put down. Certainly eerie and a bit disturbing - it was a great read! Definitely recommend it.
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delightfully Dark and Disturbing This book was hands down the most terrifying, eerie, bone-chilling novel I've ever read, and it was fantastic. The whole overall tone and feel of the book was creepy from beginning to end, so creepy in fact that I had to put the book down and take a break to regain my sanity. Sharp Objects reminded me why Gillian Flynn is my favourite author: her writing style/diction/sentence structure, her characters that are so easy to indulge yourself into, and her jaw-dropping crazy murder mysteries that keep you guessing. This was a phenomenal book and I loved every page.
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Disturbing ... I loved it! I recommend this book! I liked the fact that I couldn't figure out how the book will end and in most scenes the book made me cringe or want to drink a large glass of wine to settle my nerves.
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good, but in a really disturbing way I would love to live in Flynn's brain, she seems like a delightful mixture of disturbing and hilarious. Wouldn't immediately recommend to people who are sensitive to subjects of self harm, rape, and child abuse. It gave me nightmares for a few nights, but proved to be an excellent source of entertainment.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Book I loved this book. It is a great psychological thriller with lots of twists.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED LOVED LOVED THIS BOOK! This book isn't your every day murder mystery. I enjoyed it cover to cover!!!
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read! I thought this book was excellent. I enjoyed this book a lot more than Gone Girl, although that was a good book also. The story is very dark and twisty- a real page turner. If you are looking for a good, dark, psychological thriller read this ASAP!
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Different #plumreview A good story but parts were difficult to read.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read Very disturbing read, definitely not for all. left you with a very creepy feeling.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Read This is the first Gillian Flynn novel I have read. After seeing Gone Girl I purchased this book. Though it has a similar dark twist at the end, this book and it's characters where less engaging. The twist at the end becomes obvious early on and the main character is not relatable. Overall a good read but if it weren't for Gone Girl I would not be interested in reading another of her novels.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sharp Objects Not my favorite Gillian Flynn book, but it was still pretty good. It seemed a little predictable and the characters were a little too extreme for my liking, but it was a good, quick read.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Dark. If you are looking for a dark thriller, this is your book!
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Creepy & Disturbing If you love a good psychological thriller that will leave you with a creepy feeling, then this is the book for you. Gillian Flynn is a master of smart and disturbing novels and this is not an exception.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The darkest book I've ever loved! This book is brilliantly written, I flew through it even though the themes and story is extremely dark. One of my favorite books and it kept you guessing till the very end and ends with a sad but satisfying ending. If you don't enjoy twisted stories about deep-rooted family troubles, I would not recommend. But if you like mystery/thrillers with a dark twist you will definitely enjoy this one. I would pick this up over gone girl any day.
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow. That's all. Just wow. This book is dark and twisted, but oh boy, what a read. I find myself an emphatic reader that can't get into books that are too dark, but Sharp Objects is an exception. If you're looking for a thriller, you've come to the right place. Give it a try! You won't be disappointed (not by this book, or any of Flynn's books for that matter)
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark is an Understatement This book is incredibly dark and disturbing. It is a fantastic story with well developed characters that leap off of the page. If you are a fan of darker literature, it is a great read!
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not as good ad Dark Places While I didn't enjoy this book as much as Dark Places Still ad excellent read. The "words" didnt seem as necessary to the plot as the autghor priroitised them as. The final twist was so worth it
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Captivating Read This novel really made me appreciate the relationship I have with my own family. The details were very creative and interesting and the novel itself was extremely well written.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The first cut is the deepest This book is SO. GOOD. I liked it more than Gone Girl. Its pretty morbid and disturbing, but the mystery and intrigue had me hooked. I thought I had it all figured out, and then the end blew my mind. Definitely not a book for everyone, but I will force all my friends to read it.
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!! Gillian Flynn is one of my favorite authors! I've loved everything she's written. Hope she has another book out soon. She is so good at writing twisted psychological thrillers! I couldn't put down Sharp Objects. I wanted to find out Camille's secrets. Every twist & turn was beautifully crafted! I will read it again & again!! As well as all of Gillian Flynn's other books.
Date published: 2016-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Twisted awesomeness Loved this book. Couldnt put it down. Twisted and awesome. Character development was excellent. Better then gone girl.
Date published: 2015-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn Gillian Flynn is a genius. I read Dark Places on Monday and Sharp Objects today. These books are impossible to put down. I thought nothing could top Dark Places but this is just so perfect! I'm always half right about the endings of her books, and that's so impressive to me. For the ending to be so unexpected that you're found neither right nor wrong. Read this book! I'll be reading both books again.
Date published: 2015-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Suspenseful and Amazing Amazing book that I completely could not put down! Total page turner! Gillian Flynn writes stunningly suspenseful books that leave you wanting more!!!
Date published: 2015-07-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from disturbing and captivating Flynn demonstrates the violence in a small town perpetrated by men, women, boys, and girls. I found this book disturbing but also captivating since Flynn makes her characters so real you feel that you could call them on the phone.
Date published: 2015-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So amazing! Oh how can you not love this book. This book has made Gillian Flynn my favorite authors by far. It was suspensful, sexy, smart, and dark. I literally could not stop reading until i found out everything. I strongly reccomend this read.
Date published: 2015-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sharp Objects This book is another brilliant masterpiece by Jillian Flynn. I could not stop reading from the very first page. The characters in this book are the rawest yet. My advice is dont read this book before bed or you will have a sleepless night filled with terror and nightmares.
Date published: 2015-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spine tingler right to the end Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt share a genius for exposing the raw underbelly of life in America, especially in the Deep South. Sharp Objects is aptly named, as Flynn's diction and narrative arc are razor-sharp and cutting. The denouement is breath-taking, painful and not neat. Suggestion: Do not read this book at night if you seek a restful sleep! 10-10 for Flynn's novel.
Date published: 2015-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Glorios Southern Gothic Just finished this thriller, which I galloped through in less than 2 days. What an elegant and fiendish imagination Flynn has! She carves her words onto the reader's psyche. Definitely *Not* a soothing choice for bedtime reading at night.
Date published: 2015-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Deliciously dark This book kept me interested until the end. Her characters are all described so well that it feels like you are right in the story. If you don't like a dark story though this is not the book for you. The book is hard and edgy but well worth it. Not your average murder mystery - a step above.
Date published: 2015-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sharp Objects Sharp objects This was a fast paced, nail biting novel. I loved it! Gilian Flynn is amazing writer. So far I've loved her books.
Date published: 2015-01-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointed with Ending I enjoy her writing. She gets all her theories out there and ties them altogether, however having read 2 of her books, I may not bother with the 3rd. Both of the books I have read, have very disappointing endings, leaving the reader wondering why she went with the ending that she did. I will wait awhile before I read her 3rd book, in case it has the same type of ending. The ending of both these books left me a little depressed with the characters - they had come so far throughout the story to revert back to the same character they started as, in the beginning.
Date published: 2015-01-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Entertaining. Overall was a good read and not as disturbing as Gone Girl was. It kept you guessing until the end!
Date published: 2015-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! I m not a fast reader but I flew through this book! Her writing is addictive and I'm almost sorry that I've now read all of her titles!
Date published: 2015-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Murder mystery realistic outcome The outcome of this book leaves you troubled and delightfully satisfied with the way it comes full circle. The way Flynn creates these broken characters is both disturbing and artiful. Honestly, if your looking for a page turner that leaves you feeling like your family is a ray of sunshine then this book is for you.
Date published: 2014-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sharp objects Great book. Could not put it down.
Date published: 2014-11-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Made me feel sick Too many loose ends and the perpetrator was very unlikely
Date published: 2014-10-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed, was a good read Gillian Flynn's characters are dark with many issues, it is a theme in all her books, I don't mind it. Her books are well written and fast paced.
Date published: 2014-10-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Another amazing book by Gillian Flynn. Deep, twisted but keeps you interested for more.
Date published: 2014-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! Another amazing book by Gillian Flynn,
Date published: 2014-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Meg Couldn't put it down
Date published: 2014-09-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Sharp objects. No where near as good as Gone girl.
Date published: 2014-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Keeps you turning the page... Creepy. So very very creepy but also thrilling and surprising and a little addicting.
Date published: 2014-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark, Disturbing Gillian Flynn can do no wrong. Out of Gillian Flynn's three novels, I read Sharp Objects last. Although it wasn't my favourite of the three, it was still just as dark and disturbing as the previous two. Flynn is the master of writing protagonist characters that you absolutely loathe, yet you can't help rooting for them. If you're a fan of the dark
Date published: 2014-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My New Favourite Author Gone Girl was awesome and Sharp Objects did not disappoint. Both books are pretty dark but great reads.
Date published: 2014-07-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Recommend if you like twisted/messed up stories! This book is a mystery/thriller and this being my first Gillian Flynn book I don't regret picking it up, it was so twisted and creepy. Sharp Objects is about a women, Camille Parkers a reporter who's just been released from a short stay at the psych hospital. She is told to cover a story about young girls being murdered in her home town. Camille hasn't been back since she left eight years ago and now will be staying at her mother, Adora's house during her stay in Wind Gape. Her mother raised Camille but never loved her. Camille doesn't know her half-sister but comes to realize that she's a spoiled thirteen year old who still throws tantrums over her dollhouse but acts like an adult when around her friends. Camille also realizes that her half-sister is mean to everyone but in front of Adora Camille's half-sister acts like a little girl who needs to be held and tended too and needs her mother. The story has it's twists and turns about who the murder might be and you discover more about Camille and her family along the way. The book is messed up and twisted, in a way you want to know who is killing these girls and why Camille's family is so messed up. Even though I really like this story and it's a small book it took me a bit of time to get through it. However, I do recommend Sharp Objects to those who like mystery/thrillers and to pick this up before the movie adaptations is on big screens.
Date published: 2014-05-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disturbing - Would not recommend to all I picked this up after reading Gone Girl and I think it was actually better than Gone Girl but it was much darker and very disturbing. I found it difficult to put down but I almost wish I hadn't read it. I feel as though after reading something so dark, I need to cleanse my mind. I would not recommend this book to many people, especially those of a sensitive nature. This book will leave an impression.
Date published: 2013-10-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nothing short of psychologically creative Sharp Objects was the second book by Ms. Flyyn that I have had the pleasure of immersing myself in. After reading Gone Girl, I think it's safe to say that my expectations were VERY high. I wasn't as impressed by this book, but that has nothing to do with the fact that the writing itself was still on point, and the storyline, nothing short of creative. The story opened in one of my much loved cities, Chicago, but quickly found itself unraveling in the small town of Wind Gap, Missouri. I'm still not sure if it was intentional, but I had a hard time grasping onto an idea of the towns inhabitants and lifestyle. On the one hand, the residents were wealthy, but then they were just as easily working as housemaids in their friends homes-the picture just wasn't painted too clearly, I was quite lost in that sense. Camille, our highly disturbed protagonist, was quite the character. I couldn't decide if I appreciated her for her struggles, or if I resented her for her stupidity. She was kind-hearted, and honest, and quick witted, but she was also self-conscious, and vulnerable, and nonchalant. I feel like all of those things didn't quite work together to pain the clearest picture of her either. I also had a hard time picturing her as a female character, especially one that was supposed to stunningly beautiful. She almost just "threw" herself through the storyline, almost as though she was in a huge pinball machine-she would hit certain climaxes, and then just as easily fall through some holes. With that said though, I felt for her, especially towards the end, and decided that she was a character I enjoyed reading about and hearing from. Secondary characters were appalling in this novel-in the greatest sense of the word. I both despised and welcomed the brassiness of Amma, a 13-yr old princess of the rotten sort. Their mother was also another amazing role-it was almost impossible not to hate her, but a (disturbed) part of me always wanted to hear her opinion, predict her movements. There were characters of the small town sort as well, who all played there part a bit clichéd sometimes-I didn't really care much for them, and kind of got them mixed up at times. The storyline itself was another thing. Another fantastic thing. I alternated from the comfort of my bed, to the slight discomfort of my couch, to the There was nail biting and burning questions and "AHA! I know who done it!" thoughts. But such is not the way of Gillian Flynn. She kept me guessing until the end, the VERY end, until literally a few pages from the end..end. As with Gone Girl, I absolutely LOVED her thought process. I admired and appreciated the time in which she took to map out a series of events that thrilled me, disturbed me, confused me and CAPTURED me..ALL AT ONCE. An absolute master of her craft, this novel was something completely out of the ordinary, yet it could be something happening in your very backyard, should it choose to. Fans of psychological thrillers would definitely appreciate this novel, and already fans of Gillian Flynn will applause another job well done.
Date published: 2013-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! Gillian Flynn's first novel "Sharp Objects" is a gripping thriller. Flynn's main character Camille is a reformed cutter trying to live a normal life as a reporter in Chicago. When she is sent to investigate a series of murders in her hometown she is thrown back into her desperately flawed family and disturbing childhood. The characters are tragic but relatable and I couldn't put it down. You may figure out "who-dun-it" but that doesn't diminish the dramatic mystery that unfolds.
Date published: 2012-12-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It’s Dysfunctional I’m not sure what to think of Gillian Flynn’s debut novel. It’s very dark, the atmosphere and the characters. It’s dysfunctional, twisted, and places a heavy focus on unhealthy relationships; a main course I’d normally gobble up, but, not in this case. I just couldn’t connect with the characters. The murder mystery kept me reading on. I knew who the killer was around the one-hundred page mark. I was correct, but I didn’t expect the twist at the end involving the murder of the young girls. I will read more from the author. Debut novels are not always a writer’s best work.
Date published: 2012-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extremely Potent Reason for Reading: I read Gone Girl earlier this month and thought it was just OK but I had read Dark Places years ago and loved it, so I wanted to read this, Flynn's first book, to see which opinion of her as a whole author I had of her. Sharp Objects presents a completely unique premise for a thriller that kept me on my toes and excited throughout the book. From the first few pages I knew I was going to like the main character and she proved to be a multi-layered personality who did many unexpected things and yet remained true to her character. The three main female characters were all highly intricate psychological studies of deeply affected personalities who the reader never knew whether they were truly good or bad. While I won't say I was on the edge of my seat, as I had decided upon one of two possible solutions, I will say Flynn keeps you guessing until the very end. And even when you think the whole case is solved, she pulls out one final twist to unnerve you and make sure you go to bed feeling slightly creepy about the whole thing. I had a hard time deciding whether I liked this or Dark Places better since it has been some years since I read it, but I re-read my review and it brought the whole book back to me and this one wins out ever so slightly. As a first book, this is extremely potent and Flynn has followed up well with two more. Even though I thought Gone Girl was less than stellar, I still enjoyed it and will be looking forward to her next book.
Date published: 2012-09-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from fantastic gripping read. The title of the novel and the wonderful reviews it has recieved engaged me to read the book. I was impressed with the author's (Gillian Flynn) ability to make me understand who the characters in the book were, with such an immpeccable attention to detail. Just when you think you know how the story will end; Flynn steers you in one direction to make you believe what is going to happen next, then throws in clever yet tastefully wicked twists. Such a thrilling reading experience. A strong first novel for Gillian Flynn. Cannot wait for the second.
Date published: 2007-09-17

Read from the Book

Chapter One My sweater was new, stinging red and ugly. It was May 12 but the temperature had dipped to the forties, and after four days shivering in my shirtsleeves, I grabbed cover at a tag sale rather than dig through my boxed-up winter clothes. Spring in Chicago. In my gunny-covered cubicle I sat staring at the computer screen. My story for the day was a limp sort of evil. Four kids, ages two through six, were found locked in a room on the South Side with a couple of tuna sandwiches and a quart of milk. They'd been left three days, flurrying like chickens over the food and feces on the carpet. Their mother had wandered off for a suck on the pipe and just forgotten. Sometimes that's what happens. No cigarette burns, no bone snaps. Just an irretrievable slipping. I'd seen the mother after the arrest: twenty-two-year-old Tammy Davis, blonde and fat, with pink rouge on her cheeks in two perfect circles the size of shot glasses. I could imagine her sitting on a shambled-down sofa, her lips on that metal, a sharp burst of smoke. Then all was fast floating, her kids way behind, as she shot back to junior high, when the boys still cared and she was the prettiest, a glossy-lipped thirteen-year-old who mouthed cinnamon sticks before she kissed. A belly. A smell. Cigarettes and old coffee. My editor, esteemed, weary Frank Curry, rocking back in his cracked Hush Puppies. His teeth soaked in brown tobacco saliva. "Where are you on the story, kiddo?" There was a silver tack on my desk, point up. He pushed it lightly under a yellow thumbnail. "Near done." I had two inches of copy. I needed six. "Good. Fuck her, file it, and come to my office." "I can come now." "Fuck her, file it, then come to my office." "Fine. Ten minutes." I wanted my thumbtack back. He started out of my cubicle. His tie swayed down near his crotch. "Preaker?" "Yes, Curry?" "Fuck her." Frank Curry thinks I'm a soft touch. Might be because I'm a woman. Might be because I'm a soft touch. Curry's office is on the third floor. I'm sure he gets panicky-pissed every time he looks out the window and sees the trunk of a tree. Good editors don't see bark; they see leaves--if they can even make out trees from up on the twentieth, thirtieth floor. But for the Daily Post, fourth-largest paper in Chicago, relegated to the suburbs, there's room to sprawl. Three floors will do, spreading relentlessly outward, like a spill, unnoticed among the carpet retailers and lamp shops. A corporate developer produced our township over three well-organized years--1961-64--then named it after his daughter, who'd suffered a serious equestrian accident a month before the job was finished. Aurora Springs, he ordered, pausing for a photo by a brand-new city sign. Then he took his family and left. The daughter, now in her fifties and fine except for an occasional tingling in her arms, lives in Arizona and returns every few years to take a photo by her namesake sign, just like Pop. I wrote the story on her last visit. Curry hated it, hates most slice-of-life pieces. He got smashed off old Chambord while he read it, left my copy smelling like raspberries. Curry gets drunk fairly quietly, but often. It's not the reason, though, that he has such a cozy view of the ground. That's just yawing bad luck. I walked in and shut the door to his office, which isn't how I'd ever imagined my editor's office would look. I craved big oak panels, a window pane in the door--marked Chief--so the cub reporters could watch us rage over First Amendment rights. Curry's office is bland and institutional, like the rest of the building. You could debate journalism or get a Pap smear. No one cared. "Tell me about Wind Gap." Curry held the tip of a ballpoint pen at his grizzled chin. I could picture the tiny prick of blue it would leave among the stubble. "It's at the very bottom of Missouri, in the boot heel. Spitting distance from Tennessee and Arkansas," I said, hustling for my facts. Curry loved to drill reporters on any topics he deemed pertinent--the number of murders in Chicago last year, the demographics for Cook County, or, for some reason, the story of my hometown, a topic I preferred to avoid. "It's been around since before the Civil War," I continued. "It's near the Mississippi, so it was a port city at one point. Now its biggest business is hog butchering. About two thousand people live there. Old money and trash." "Which are you?" "I'm trash. From old money." I smiled. He frowned. "And what the hell is going on?" I sat silent, cataloguing various disasters that might have befallen Wind Gap. It's one of those crummy towns prone to misery: A bus collision or a twister. An explosion at the silo or a toddler down a well. I was also sulking a bit. I'd hoped--as I always do when Curry calls me into his office--that he was going to compliment me on a recent piece, promote me to a better beat, hell, slide over a slip of paper with a 1 percent raise scrawled on it--but I was unprepared to chat about current events in Wind Gap. "Your mom's still there, right, Preaker?" "Mom. Stepdad." A half sister born when I was in college, her existence so unreal to me I often forgot her name. Amma. And then Marian, always long-gone Marian. "Well dammit, you ever talk to them?" Not since Christmas: a chilly, polite call after administering three bourbons. I'd worried my mother could smell it through the phone lines. "Not lately." "Jesus Christ, Preaker, read the wires sometime. I guess there was a murder last August? Little girl strangled?" I nodded like I knew. I was lying. My mother was the only person in Wind Gap with whom I had even a limited connection, and she'd said nothing. Curious. "Now another one's missing. Sounds like it might be a serial to me. Drive down there and get me the story. Go quick. Be there tomorrow morning." No way. "We got horror stories here, Curry." "Yeah, and we also got three competing papers with twice the staff and cash." He ran a hand through his hair, which fell into frazzled spikes. "I'm sick of getting slammed out of news. This is our chance to break something. Big." Curry believes with just the right story, we'd become the overnight paper of choice in Chicago, gain national credibility. Last year another paper, not us, sent a writer to his hometown somewhere in Texas after a group of teens drowned in the spring floods. He wrote an elegiac but well-reported piece on the nature of water and regret, covered everything from the boys' basketball team, which lost its three best players, to the local funeral home, which was desperately unskilled in cleaning up drowned corpses. The story won a Pulitzer. I still didn't want to go. So much so, apparently, that I'd wrapped my hands around the arms of my chair, as if Curry might try to pry me out. He sat and stared at me a few beats with his watery hazel eyes. He cleared his throat, looked at his photo of his wife, and smiled like he was a doctor about to break bad news. Curry loved to bark--it fit his old-school image of an editor--but he was also one of the most decent people I knew. "Look, kiddo, if you can't do this, you can't do it. But I think it might be good for you. Flush some stuff out. Get you back on your feet. It's a damn good story--we need it. You need it." Curry had always backed me. He thought I'd be his best reporter, said I had a surprising mind. In my two years on the job I'd consistently fallen short of expectations. Sometimes strikingly. Now I could feel him across the desk, urging me to give him a little faith. I nodded in what I hoped was a confident fashion. "I'll go pack." My hands left sweatprints on the chair. I had no pets to worry about, no plants to leave with a neighbor. Into a duffel bag, I tucked away enough clothes to last me five days, my own reassurance I'd be out of Wind Gap before week's end. As I took a final glance around my place, it revealed itself to me in a rush. The apartment looked like a college kid's: cheap, transitory, and mostly uninspired. I promised myself I'd invest in a decent sofa when I returned as a reward for the stunning story I was sure to dig up. On the table by the door sat a photo of a preteen me holding Marian at about age seven. We're both laughing. She has her eyes wide open in surprise, I have mine scrunched shut. I'm squeezing her into me, her short skinny legs dangling over my knees. I can't remember the occasion or what we were laughing about. Over the years it's become a pleasant mystery. I think I like not knowing. I take baths. Not showers. I can't handle the spray, it gets my skin buzzing, like someone's turned on a switch. So I wadded a flimsy motel towel over the grate in the shower floor, aimed the nozzle at the wall, and sat in the three inches of water that pooled in the stall. Someone else's pubic hair floated by. I got out. No second towel, so I ran to my bed and blotted myself with the cheap spongy blanket. Then I drank warm bourbon and cursed the ice machine. Wind Gap is about eleven hours south of Chicago. Curry had graciously allowed me a budget for one night's motel stay and breakfast in the morning, if I ate at a gas station. But once I got in town, I was staying at my mother's. That he decided for me. I already knew the reaction I'd get when I showed up at her door. A quick, shocked flustering, her hand to her hair, a mismatched hug that would leave me aimed slightly to one side. Talk of the messy house, which wouldn't be. A query about length of stay packaged in niceties. "How long do we get to have you for, sweetness?" she'd say. Which meant: "When do you leave?" It's the politeness that I find most upsetting. I knew I should prepare my notes, jot down questions. Instead I drank more bourbon, then popped some aspirin, turned off the light. Lulled by the wet purr of the air conditioner and the electric plinking of some video game next door, I fell asleep. I was only thirty miles outside my hometown, but I needed one last night away. In the morning I inhaled an old jelly doughnut and headed south, the temperature shooting up, the lush forest imposing on both sides. This part of Missouri isn't quite mountainous, but the hills are massive, like giant rolling swells. Hitting a summit, I could see miles of fat, hardy trees broken only by the thin strip of highway I was on. You can't spot Wind Gap from a distance; its tallest building is only three stories. But after twenty minutes of driving, I knew it was coming: First a gas station popped up. A group of scraggly teenage boys sat out front, barechested and bored. Near an old pickup, a diapered toddler threw fistfuls of gravel in the air as his mother filled up the tank. Her hair was dyed gold, but her brown roots reached almost to her ears. She yelled something to the boys I couldn't make out as I passed. Soon after, the forest began to thin. I passed a scribble of a strip mall with tanning beds, a gun shop, a drapery store. Then came a lonely cul-de-sac of old houses, meant to be part of a development that never happened. And finally, town proper. For no good reason, I held my breath as I passed the sign welcoming me to Wind Gap, the way kids do when they drive by cemeteries. It had been eight years since I'd been back, but the scenery was visceral. Head down that road, and I'd find the home of my grade-school piano teacher, a former nun whose breath smelled of eggs. That path led to a tiny park where I smoked my first cigarette on a sweaty summer day. Take that boulevard, and I'd be on my way to Woodberry, and the hospital. I decided to head directly to the police station. It squatted at one end of Main Street, which is, true to its word, Wind Gap's main street. On Main Street you will find a beauty parlor and a hardware store, a five-and-dime called Five-and-Dime, and a library twelve shelves deep. You'll find a clothing store called Candy's Casuals, in which you may buy jumpers, turtlenecks, and sweaters that have ducks and schoolhouses on them. Most nice women in Wind Gap are teachers or mothers or work at places like Candy's Casuals. In a few years you may find a Starbucks, which will bring the town what it yearns for: prepackaged, preapproved mainstream hipness. For now, though, there's just a greasy spoon, which is run by a family whose name I can't remember. Main Street was empty. No cars, no people. A dog loped down the sidewalk, with no owner calling after it. All the lampposts were papered with yellow ribbons and grainy photocopies of a little girl. I parked and peeled off one of the notices, taped crookedly to a stop sign at a child's height. The sign was homemade, "Missing," written at the top in bold letters that may have been filled in by Magic Marker. The photo showed a dark-eyed girl with a feral grin and too much hair for her head. The kind of girl who'd be described by teachers as a "handful." I liked her. Natalie Jane Keene Age: 10 Missing since 5/12 Last seen at Jacob J. Asher Park, wearing blue-jean shorts, red striped T-shirt Tips: 588-7377 I hoped I'd walk into the police station and be informed that Natalie Jane was already found. No harm done. Seems she'd gotten lost or twisted an ankle in the woods or ran away and then thought better of it. I would get in my car and drive back to Chicago and speak to no one. Turns out the streets were deserted because half the town was out searching the forest to the north. The station's receptionist told me I could wait--Chief Bill Vickery would be returning for lunch soon. The waiting room had the false homey feel of a dentist's office; I sat in an orange endchair and flipped through a Redbook.

Bookclub Guide

NOW AN HBO® LIMITED SERIES STARRING AMY ADAMS, NOMINATED FOR EIGHT EMMY AWARDS, INCLUDING OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIESFROM THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF GONE GIRLFresh 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 her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.Praise for Sharp Objects“Nasty, addictive reading.”—Chicago Tribune “Skillful and disturbing.”—Washington Post “Darkly original . . . [a] riveting tale.”—People1. Soon after arriving in Wind Gap, Camille reflects, “Curry was wrong: Being an insider was more distracting than useful.” What exactly was Curry wrong about? What advantages did he think Camille’s “insider” status would bring with it? Was he, ultimately, wrong?2. After ten years of abstinence, what is it that motivates Camille’s promiscuity during her return to Wind Gap? What do you make of her choice of partners—both relative outsiders in the town?3. Does Camille deliberately sabotage her relationship with Richard? Could they have made a good couple?4. Driving through Wind Gap, Camille describes the character of each distinct section of town, including its architecture: often poorly executed renovations and new construction. What do you make of her critiques? How are their homes symbolic of the people of Wind Gap?5. Does Amma feel real affection for Camille? What are her motivations for getting closer to Camille?6. What similarities do you see between Camille and Amma? What similarities do you think Camille sees?7. Why is Amma so obsessed with her dollhouse? What significance does it hold for her?8. Camille is addicted to “cutting,” a form of self-harm. Why do you think she specifically cuts words into her skin?9. Camille is shocked when her suspicions about Marian’s illnesses are confirmed. Do you think she believes Adora deliberately killed Marian? Do you believe Marian’s death was intentional?10. Is there goodness in Adora? Are there any moments when she seems to you more human, or more kind?11. How would you describe Alan—a man who, as Camille says, never sweats—living among so much anxiety? Do you see this type of contrast—between cleanliness and filth, order and disorder—elsewhere in the book?12. The story about cutting off her own hair before school-picture day is attributed both to Ann and to Camille. Why do you think the author makes this connection?13. Discuss the role of substance abuse in the book. How does it define the characters, their behavior, and the town of Wind Gap? How does it contribute to the telling of the story, as the focus—and the substances themselves—intensify during the course of the book?14. Discuss the theme of violence throughout the book, including animal slaughter, sexual assault, cutting, biting, and, of course, murder. What do you make of the way residents of Wind Gap respond to violence?15. “A ring of perfect skin.” One on Camille’s back, another on her mother’s wrist. What significance does this have? How alike are Camille and her mother? In what crucial ways are they different?16. Why does Camille allow herself to be poisoned by Adora?17. In describing her crimes, Amma recalls happy, “wild” times with Ann and Natalie. Why isn’t Amma able to keep these girls as friends? Do their violent undercurrents doom these friendships to fail, or could they have been overcome?18. As a reporter, Camille often has to distinguish between original quotes and quotes that are influenced by “true crime” dramas. What is the author saying about our society and our exposure to crime stories? Are the police working the case also guilty of this pop-culture shorthand?19. At the end of the book, Camille isn’t certain of her answer to one key question: “Was I good at caring for Amma because of kindness? Or did I like caring for Amma because I have Adora’s sickness?” What is your opinion?20. How important do you think the outward appearance of the people in Sharp Objects is to their personalities? Ugliness and beauty are themes throughout the book, but are they the key themes? Or do the characters rise above the visual?

Editorial Reviews

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER“A first novel that reads like the accomplished work of a long-time pro, the book draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction...Flynn's book goes deeper than your average thriller. It has all the narrative drive of a serious pop novel and much of the psychological complexity of a mainstream character study. All in all, a terrific debut.”—Alan Cheuse, The Chicago Tribune“A compulsively readable psychological thriller that marks [a] dazzling debut...[Flynn] has written a clever crime story with astonishing twists and turns, and enough suspense for the most demanding fans of the genre. But it is the sensitive yet disturbing depiction of her heroine that makes this an especially engrossing story...Flynn's empathic understanding of her major characters leads to storytelling that is sure and true, and it marks her a write to watch.”—Chicago Sun-Times“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's All Heads Turn as the Hunt Goes By, and that was thirty 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 thirty 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 “Not often enough, I come across a first novel so superb that it seems to have been written by an experienced author, perhaps with 20 earlier books to his or her credit. I'm extremely excited to discover my first debut blowout this year, a sad, horrifying book called Sharp Objects...[Flynn] is the real deal. Her story, writing and the characters will worm their way uncomfortably beneath your skin...But this is more literary novel than simple mystery, written with anguish and lyricism. It will be short-listed for one or more important awards at the end of the year...Sharp Objects is a 2006 favorite so far. I doubt I'll ever forget it.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer“A deeply creepy exploration of small-town Midwestern values and boasts one of the most deliciously dysfunctional families to come along in a while...[Flynn] handles the narrative with confidence and a surprisingly high level of skill...Wind Gap ends up the sort of place you'd never want to visit. But with Sharp Objects, you're in no hurry to leave.”—San Francisco Chronicle “Brilliant...Powerful, mesmerizing...A stunning, powerful debut from someone who truly has something to say.”—San Jose Mercury News “One of the best and most disturbing books I have read in a long time...Flynn never stoops to the gratuitous, and the torment produces haunting characters that hung around my imagination long after I had finished the book. Her skillful blending of old tragedies with new culminated in an 'oh-my-gosh' moment that I never saw coming. This book simply blew me away.”—Kansas City Star “Don't look here for the unrelenting self-deprecation and the moping over men common chick lit...I promise you'll be thoroughly unnerved at the end.”—Newsweek “First-time novelist Flynn is a natural-born thriller.”—People Style Watch “A witty, stylish, and compelling debut. A real winner.”—Harlan Coben “Flynn delivers a great whodunit, replete with hinting details, telling dialogue, dissembling clues. Better yet, she offers appalling, heartbreaking insight into the darkness of her women's lives: the Stepford polish of desperate housewives, the backstabbing viciousness of drug-gobbling, sex-for-favors Mean Girls, the simmering rage bound to boil over. Piercingly effective and genuinely terrifying.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Fans of psychological thrillers will welcome narrator/Chicago Daily Post reporter Camille Preaker with open arms...As first-time novelist Flynn expertly divulges in this tale reminiscent of the works of Shirley Jackson, there is much more to discover about Wind Gap and, most of all, about Camille.”—Library Journal “This impressive debut novel is fueled by stylish writing and compelling portraits...In a particularly seductive narrative style, Flynn adopts the cynical, knowing patter of a weary reporter, but it is her portraits of the town's backstabbing, social-climbing, bored, and bitchy females that provoke her sharpest and most entertaining writing. A stylish turn on dark crimes and even darker psyches.”—Booklist “[A] chilling debut thriller...[Flynn] writes fluidly of smalltown America.”—Publishers Weekly“[Flynn]] offers up a literary thriller that's a doozy...and she does it with wit and grit, a sort of Hitchcock visits Stephen King, with plenty of the former's offstage and often only implied violence, and the latter's sense of pacing and facility with dialogue...This is not a comfortable novel of touchy-feely family fun. Rather, it is a tough tale told with remarkable clarity and dexterity, particularly for a first-time author.”—Denver Post“A tense, irresistable thriller...Flynn's first-person narration is pitch-perfect, but even more impressive is the way she orchestrates the slim novel's onrushing tension toward a heart-stopping climax.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer“Darkly original...Flynn expertly ratchets up the suspense...A disturbing yet riveting tale.”—People“Skillful and disturbing...Flynn writes so well. Sometimes she dips her pen in acid, sometimes she is lyrical, but always she chooses her words deftly...She has an unsparing eye for human imperfection and for the evil that moves among us.”—Washington Post“Using understated, almost stark prose, Flynn paints a jagged, unflinching portrait of the vise-like psychological bonds between women, and how their demons lead to the perpetuation of cruelties upon themselves and others. The end result is an unsettling portrait of how long emotional wounds can last- and how deeply they hurt.”—Baltimore Sun“More in the tradition of Joyce Carol Oates than Agatha Christie, this one will leave readers profoundly disturbed. But from the first know you're in the hands of a talented and accomplished writer.”—The Boston Globe“[A] breathtaking debut...Written with multiple twists and turns, Sharp Objects is a work of psychological prowess and page-turning thrills.”—Richmond Times“As suspenseful as the V.C. Andrews books you shared in high school, but much smarter.”—Glamour“Sharp Objects is one of the freshest debut thrillers to come around in a long while. It's a gripping, substantive story, stripped of cliche, and crafted with great style. The characters are refreshingly real, burdened with psychological issues that enrich the story. And the ending, which I was positive I could predict, is unpredictable. Sharp Objects is, indeed, quite sharp.”—Augusten Burroughs“Sharp, clean, exciting writing that grabs you from the first page. A real pleasure.”—Kate Atkinson, author of Case Histories and One Good Turn