Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on 3 September 2009
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense, Psychological
Source: Purchased Book
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"Gillian Flynn is the real deal, a sharp, acerbic, and compelling storyteller with a knack for the macabre." —Stephen King
This collection, available exclusively as an ebook, brings together the first two novels of Gillian Flynn, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Gone Girl. In Sharp Objects, Flynn’s debut novel, a young journalist returns home to cover a dark assignment—and to face her own damaged family history. With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable. Flynn’s second novel, Dark Places, is an intricately orchestrated thriller that ravages a family's past to unearth the truth behind a horrifying crime. A New York Times bestseller and Weekend Today Top Summer Read, Dark Places solidified Flynn’s status as one of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time.
Okay, so I really don’t understand Gillian Flynn’s hype train. I stayed away from Gone Girl because of the hype. Sharp Objects missed the mark. The narrative, the characterisation, the connotations. I just disliked the writing style. There’s something about the writing that doesn’t click for me. I appreciate the talent of the author, but it wasn’t something I’d scream about.
Oh man, so many things failed to hit the mark in Sharp Objects. The connection between self-harming and being a promiscuous loner, both bothered me. It just seemed disrespectful to me. Her mental illness seemed to be the primary focus of the story right away, it shouldn’t of been her entire personality. Even though I enjoy a good crime novel, I felt the central theme of someone killing young teenage girls was glossed over. There was no build-up or insight, and it simply felt two-dimensional. Furthermore, the lack of meaningful exploration into the motives of the killer was troubling, as it failed to offer any meaningful resolution for the characters or the audience.
I had no interest in Wind Gap as a setting for the story. I was not captivated by it. I did not find it interesting. Rather than simply supporting the story, I like to imagine the scenery, the houses as an integral part of the plot. Flynn tried way too hard to emulate Agatha Christie, and ultimately failed. While I love it when authors experiment with different themes and voices, they must remain true to themselves at all times. Ultimately, Wind Gap felt like a poor imitation of a classic mystery novel. It didn’t have the same charm or intrigue that I was expecting.
There was a real lack of humanity in this novel. Please don’t come for me. I wasn’t shocked or repulsed by the ending. Especially after reading a lot of horror and psychological fiction, that could be a sensitivity issue. The use of gore and violence seemed gratuitous to me. This lack of humanity was evident throughout the novel, and not even the ending changed my opinion. It was almost as if the author was trying to shock the reader, instead of providing a meaningful story. This emptiness struck a chord with me, and I found it difficult to read the book.
This story’s protagonist Camille is one of those tropes that I dislike – a mentally damaged heroine with alcohol- or drug-related problems unable to enter into relationships. That’s bullshit, man. We seem to have left that trope in the early 2000s. As a matter of fact, I disliked her drinking more than her self-harming. SPOILER -The fact that she could take ecstasy with her thirteen-year-old sister and sleep with an eighteen-year-old as a thirty-year-old woman is beyond irresponsible. She’s screwed up a lot, whether because of her upbringing or simply because she hasn’t grown up. She certainly has questionable decision-making skills, and it is concerning to witness the consequences of her choices.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gillian Flynn is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Gone Girl, for which she wrote the Golden Globe–nominated screenplay; the New York Times bestsellers Dark Places and Sharp Objects; and a novella, The Grownup. A former critic for Entertainment Weekly, she lives in Chicago with her husband and children.