Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn – 4 stars
‘Sharp Objects’ is Gillian Flynn’s (author of Gone Girl) debut novel, and it’s a pretty darn good one. It’s a tense thriller, following reporter Camille who is sent back to her home town to investigate a murder, and write an article with a ‘personal touch’.
The first person narrative (through Camille’s eyes) is stunning: the prose is rich, and my little student brain had a field day getting my teeth into the abundance of imagery. It’s an indulgence that can, in the wrong hands, lead to an overly flowery and dense text, but Ms. Flynn wields her metaphors like a pro, and I love her for it.
The gradual revelations about Camille’s character were both intensely effective and tragic. I was blown away by Gillian’s ability to get right into the protagonist’s mind, and it made for a fascinating – if chilling and difficult – read. I am, I should add, really glad I didn’t read the blurb before diving into the book. Looking at it now, I feel like it tames down the issues presented into a Hollywood-esque plot point meant only to shock, whereas the book is grittier, more balanced, and so much more human.
I did have difficulty finding a character that I could really relate to, as the story is set in a small and very troubled town, but that didn’t hinder my involvement with the story. I found myself getting stuck right into the mystery, forming theories and trying to understand some of the more complex characters.
The ending was, as expected of Gillian Flynn, both shocking (if not entirely surprising) and a little bit horrific. It worked, but it almost felt like she had just come up with the worst possible scenario and rolled with it. I’m not going to spoil anyone, but I will say that I had a really hard time understanding the culprit’s reasoning.
The book is heart-wrenchingly sad and quite a lot darker than I would normally go in for, but I can’t deny the fact that this book is really really good.
Four stars from me, because Gillian Flynn is one of the writers I look up to the most. Although, I sometimes wonder if she should invest some time in counselling.
If you’ve read this too, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.