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Na Própria Carne

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A vida da solitária Camille Preaker em Chicago resume-se a escrever matérias para a editoria de polícia do jornal Daily Post, beber vodca além da conta e torturar-se pelo passado que deixou para trás na pequena Wind Gap, sua cidade natal. É para lá que o seu editor a envia em busca de um furo de reportagem. Naquela comunidade ao sul do Missouri, um serial killer faz de cri A vida da solitária Camille Preaker em Chicago resume-se a escrever matérias para a editoria de polícia do jornal Daily Post, beber vodca além da conta e torturar-se pelo passado que deixou para trás na pequena Wind Gap, sua cidade natal. É para lá que o seu editor a envia em busca de um furo de reportagem. Naquela comunidade ao sul do Missouri, um serial killer faz de crianças suas vítimas. Recebido com entusiasmo pelo público e pela crítica dos Estados Unidos, "Na própria carne", romance de estreia de Gillian Flynn, descreve o tumultuado reencontro da protagonista Camille Preaker com os fantasmas de sua própria história. Ao retornar a casa de sua mãe para investigar a acção do suposto serial killer, a jovem jornalista acaba descobrindo segredos assustadores sobre a sua cidade, a sua família e sobre a sua vida. As pistas da polícia ainda são poucas, mas indicam que o crime provavelmente foi cometido por alguém da própria comunidade. As dificuldades de comunicação com as autoridades locais levam Camille Parker a empreender uma investigação paralela, que, aos poucos, avança sobre os mistérios de Wind Gap. A confirmação da morte da segunda menina reforça a tese de que um maníaco está a assassinar adolescentes com requintes de crueldade: ambas as jovens foram estranguladas e tiveram todos os seus dentes retirados pelo criminoso. As primeiras suspeitas recaem sobre o jovem irmão de uma das vítimas, mas a jornalista sabe, por experiência própria, que na sua cidade natal nada é o que parece ser.


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A vida da solitária Camille Preaker em Chicago resume-se a escrever matérias para a editoria de polícia do jornal Daily Post, beber vodca além da conta e torturar-se pelo passado que deixou para trás na pequena Wind Gap, sua cidade natal. É para lá que o seu editor a envia em busca de um furo de reportagem. Naquela comunidade ao sul do Missouri, um serial killer faz de cri A vida da solitária Camille Preaker em Chicago resume-se a escrever matérias para a editoria de polícia do jornal Daily Post, beber vodca além da conta e torturar-se pelo passado que deixou para trás na pequena Wind Gap, sua cidade natal. É para lá que o seu editor a envia em busca de um furo de reportagem. Naquela comunidade ao sul do Missouri, um serial killer faz de crianças suas vítimas. Recebido com entusiasmo pelo público e pela crítica dos Estados Unidos, "Na própria carne", romance de estreia de Gillian Flynn, descreve o tumultuado reencontro da protagonista Camille Preaker com os fantasmas de sua própria história. Ao retornar a casa de sua mãe para investigar a acção do suposto serial killer, a jovem jornalista acaba descobrindo segredos assustadores sobre a sua cidade, a sua família e sobre a sua vida. As pistas da polícia ainda são poucas, mas indicam que o crime provavelmente foi cometido por alguém da própria comunidade. As dificuldades de comunicação com as autoridades locais levam Camille Parker a empreender uma investigação paralela, que, aos poucos, avança sobre os mistérios de Wind Gap. A confirmação da morte da segunda menina reforça a tese de que um maníaco está a assassinar adolescentes com requintes de crueldade: ambas as jovens foram estranguladas e tiveram todos os seus dentes retirados pelo criminoso. As primeiras suspeitas recaem sobre o jovem irmão de uma das vítimas, mas a jornalista sabe, por experiência própria, que na sua cidade natal nada é o que parece ser.

30 review for Na Própria Carne

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    “The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.” There is something deeply unhealthy about this book. 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 “The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.” There is something deeply unhealthy about this book. 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 small towns hold the biggest secrets 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 In The Woods by Tana French. 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. Maybe we were always wrong. Last updated: April 2016 Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Store

  2. 5 out of 5

    RandomAnthony

    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 Sharp Objects, my favorite of Flynn's trio, let me go on record with Gone Girl (four stars, go read another of the zillion of reviews) and Dark Places (three stars, maybe too many narratives perspectives and too willing to wallow in the muck) as well, but I'm not 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 Sharp Objects, my favorite of Flynn's trio, let me go on record with Gone Girl (four stars, go read another of the zillion of reviews) and Dark Places (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. Sharp Objects, 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 Sharp Objects so interesting. Highly recommended, Sharp Objects 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.)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Little buddy read with Her Majesty La Lionne and Jerry on January 31st!! :D This is my third Gillian Flynn book, after Gone Girl and Dark Places. 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, especially even the children. Little buddy read with Her Majesty La Lionne and Jerry on January 31st!! :D This is my third Gillian Flynn book, after Gone Girl and Dark Places. 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, especially even the children. Allow me to start with Camille. 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 (view spoiler)[cutter (hide spoiler)] . 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 (view spoiler)[used Richard and John, her lack of reason, her irresponsibility when she took X with Amma, her 13 year-old half-sister (hide spoiler)] . Yes, Camille, I get that you're fucked-up, but you're 30, get a grip or see a therapist! Amma, 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. Adora, the matriarch of the family, Camille and Amma's mother, was also a vision to behold: a bad mother suffering from (view spoiler)[Münchausen syndrome (hide spoiler)] , 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 (view spoiler)[murder. (hide spoiler)] Who's left? The only character I remotely liked was Richard, the cop. He was hot. He would have been so good for Camille. But noooo, she just had to (view spoiler)[ruin it all by becoming a cradle-robber under the convenient pretext that she felt the need to comfort and be comforted (hide spoiler)] . 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 Gillian Flynn's novels! 5 stars!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Simon Cleveland, PhD

    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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    Camille Preaker is a young Chicago reporter with a troubled past. When a second young girl goes missing in her home town, Wind Gap, MO, Camille’s fatherly boss sends her down to get the inside scoop. Who says you can’t go home again? Well, maybe you can, but would you really want to? There is a reason she is in Chicago, instead of Podunk, MO, and the danger for Camille lies as much with her delicate psychological state, a product of her childhood, as it might with a psycho-killer on the loose. " Camille Preaker is a young Chicago reporter with a troubled past. When a second young girl goes missing in her home town, Wind Gap, MO, Camille’s fatherly boss sends her down to get the inside scoop. Who says you can’t go home again? Well, maybe you can, but would you really want to? There is a reason she is in Chicago, instead of Podunk, MO, and the danger for Camille lies as much with her delicate psychological state, a product of her childhood, as it might with a psycho-killer on the loose. "Qu'est-ce que c'est ?" Wind Gap is home to an array of characters left over from GCB, (Yes, I know it was published before the show) Stepford and Village of the Damned, and mix in a bit of Mommie Dearest and Cruella de Vil. Sounds like fun, no? Sorry to disappoint, but not so much. Gillian Flynn - Image from Orion Books Less than a year ago a young girl was found dead, floating in a stream, strangled, with her teeth removed. Now a second girl, about the same age, has gone missing and folks are fearing the worst. Well, duh-uh. ‘Ere long the body is found wedged in a foot-wide space between two buildings, sans pearly whites. The game is afoot. Camille has to cope with an uncooperative local Sheriff and then try to get some, any information from the very cute Kansas City detective who had been brought in to help out. Camille is presented as a dish, and there is definite sexual tension between the reporter and the town’s visiting investigator. (view spoiler)[Ok I really first wrote “between the reporter and the town’s visiting dick”, but my wife (who does not have the mind of a 12 year old boy) shamed me into removing it. Usually she does not see my material until it is on line but had expressed curiosity about the book, so got a preview. (hide spoiler)] Amy Adams as Camille Preaker – image from NY Times Camille makes the rounds, visiting the families of the victims, reconnecting, for good or ill with her former schoolmates, most of whom seem never to have heard of the women’s movement. But the largest connection for Camille in Wind Gap is her childhood home, inhabited by her mother, stepfather and half-sister. Cue thunder and lightning, creepy music and under the chin lighting. Mom, ironically named Adora, has the warm presence of a guillotine and Camille’s stepfather, Alan, appearing in various costumes, seems to need only a pinky ring and fluffy white lap cat to complete the cartoon. We all know what happens when we return to the houses in which we were raised. We regress. Come on, admit it. We behave like the children we once were. At the very least we feel the tug of those urges. In Camille’s case, her home life was, shall we say, lacking. Her little sister, Marian, had died when Camille was kid. Attempting to cope with that and some other issues, she took to a bit of long-lasting self-destructive behavior. In case the razor on the cover of this book is not obvious enough, Camille is a cutter, or was anyway. Not just lines, but words. And the words on her skin pop into her mind as she digs into her research and takes on the psychological challenges of her home town. We learn early on that she had spent some time in rehab attempting to overcome her addiction. The Camille we meet here may be scarred, but is trying to carve a less destructive path forward for herself. It is a challenge, and represents a parallel set of mysteries. How did the adolescent Camille reach a place where she felt it necessary to indulge in such harmful behavior? What’s the deal with her family? Camille has to figure out not only the secret of the two murders, but her own history. Eliza Scanlen as Amma Crellin Her background makes it easier for her to relate to her thirteen-year-old stepsister, Amma, who knew both the dead girls. They share some traits. Like Camille as a kid, Amma (a word that usually means “mother”) is a mean-girl group leader, headstrong, bright, and not someone you would ever cross. Amma is physically precocious, and behaviorally far beyond that. She can usually be seen with her girl-pack, laughing at funerals, or, metaphorically, kicking cripples. Adding to the creepshow atmosphere, and keeping the cutting notion sharp, there is a slaughterhouse in town. One particular scene resonated a lot. In the slaughterhouse, sows are positioned on their sides, with absolutely no room to maneuver, and piglets are brought to the captive females to nurse. It is not an inducement to eating bacon. It so happened that I had seen a film, Samsara, the day before reading the book, in which this very scene was shown. In the book, an added element is that a young girl sits and watches this with unnatural pleasure. We learn more about the victims in time, and it is a somewhat fun ride. But every now and then Camille does or says something that makes you shake your jowls like Louis Black approaching a punch line and burble out a WTF? And those moments take one out of the story. Patricia Clarkson as Adora Crellin There is clear evidence of talent on display. I liked the prefiguring of the opening in which Preaker is looking at her latest story, about a crack-addled mother who abandoned her kids. Mothering figures prominently in the story. Using a slaughterhouse to echo the cutting Camille practices on herself, and maybe some other horrors as well, may have been a bit heavy-handed, but fine, ok. Having Camille carve words into her skin definitely seems over the top to me, a bit of literary license, but fine, ok. I enjoyed the fun noir twang with which Flynn begins her story, but it seemed to fade quite a lot over the course of 254 pages. Fine, ok. And for fun, Camille, who has been known to hoist a few, manages to visit what seems every bar in town. I took it to be a running joke, but I am not 100% certain. Fine, ok. I felt a lot of fine, ok here. There is some sex, a fair bit of sexiness, some serious creepiness, a bit of satisfaction to be had in the procedural elements of finding this out then that. But while there may have been satiric intent at work, the characters were either too inconsistent, too thinly drawn or even cartoonish to invest much emotionally. Sharp Objects may have been the bleeding edge of Flynn’s career as a novelist, and it is not a bad first cut, but it left me hoping that she would apply her obvious talent with finer lines next time, maybe use some subtler shades and etch more believable characters, give us material we could dig into a little deeper. The images (except for the author’s) are from the HBO mini-series made from the book. =============================EXTRA STUFF Links to the author’s personal, Twitter and FB pages March 23, 2013 - GR pal Peg clued us in to a wonderful piece Flynn wrote for Powell's, that goes a way to illuminating her literary choices. If you read this or other books by Flynn, this short piece is MUST READ material. BTW, Powell's moved the location of this file. Thanks to sharp-eyed Marty Fried, it is linked again. NY Times - Gillian Flynn Peers Into the Dark Side of Femininity - by Lauren Oyler - Nov. 8, 2018

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emma Giordano

    2.5 Stars. Unfortunately, I did not love this book and it is probably my least favorite of Gillian Flynn's work. As this was her debut, I'm happy to say I feel her later works show great improvement and a lot of strength. CW: self-harm, sexualization of children, murder, child abuse (I don't normally put content warnings under spoilers but this warning is so integral to the ending AND it's so specific that I don't want people attacking me for spoiling the book) (view spoiler)2.5 Stars. Unfortunately, I did not love this book and it is probably my least favorite of Gillian Flynn's work. As this was her debut, I'm happy to say I feel her later works show great improvement and a lot of strength. CW: self-harm, sexualization of children, murder, child abuse (I don't normally put content warnings under spoilers but this warning is so integral to the ending AND it's so specific that I don't want people attacking me for spoiling the book) (view spoiler)[Munchausen By Proxy (hide spoiler)] I think Gillian Flynn is a brilliant writer, but it was quite obvious that Sharp Objects was her debut. Her prose remains easy to engage with, but it is much more simplistic compared to her later works. That being said, the writing was one of the elements I actually appreciated in this story. I didn't particularly love the plot of the story. The idea of children being murdered and a journalist having to return to their small hometown was super intriguing to me, but the execution fell flat in my opinion. The "darkness" I constantly see associated with this book is definitely present - this book is not for the faint of heart, but truthfully, the story was boring in my opinion. I understand some people love small-town stories that focus on gossip and rumors, but it's not my cup of tea. I was missing the exhilarating plot twists from Gone Girl and Dark Places. It was very slow and for the most part, anticlimactic to me. I felt there were so many opportunities for more enticing, eventful scenes to be included but it was taken over by bland character interactions. The big reveals/plot twists are difficult to discuss because my experience is an amalgamation of "This is surprising" and "This is expected." I feel the best way to describe it is I felt the resolution of the story was clever and well constructed, but it was partially anticipated. I feel the minute details surrounding the resolution were stronger than the big reveal itself if that makes sense. Additionally, the ending felt very rushed as the truth of the mystery is revealed through Camille recollecting the events instead of being shown actively through the story. I think it would have been much stronger had we followed the revaluation in real-time along with Camille's initial reactions as opposed to having the events relayed to readers at a later time. Again, I feel this is a marker of this novel being Flynn's debut work and I can confirm that there is little "telling, not showing" in her future books. Overall, I wasn't a fan of Sharp Objects, I think it just wasn't for me, but I'll continue to love Gillian Flynn's work.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    Update 10/2018 Doesn't seem that edgy 8 years later. We are not lacking in female anti-heroes now. The novel and the show complement each other rather well. Liked the neater ending of the book more though, but the show is a visual feast. Interesting how the show creators chickened out and made Amma older, to not offend our sensibilities? Amy Adams is fantastic as Camille. Original review If you ask me which words come into my mind first whenever I think of this book, my answer will be: nasty, dark, twisted, disturbing. In th/>Original Update 10/2018 Doesn't seem that edgy 8 years later. We are not lacking in female anti-heroes now. The novel and the show complement each other rather well. Liked the neater ending of the book more though, but the show is a visual feast. Interesting how the show creators chickened out and made Amma older, to not offend our sensibilities? Amy Adams is fantastic as Camille. Original review If you ask me which words come into my mind first whenever I think of this book, my answer will be: nasty, dark, twisted, disturbing. 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 Gillian Flynn 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 Sharp Objects. 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 ways are equally damaging to one's psyche. I definitely wouldn't recommend Sharp Objects 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 - Dark Places. Well, as soon as I psychologically recover from Sharp Objects.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Paquita Maria Sanchez

    Well, this was a pleasant surprise. I remember all the ruckus over Gillian Flynn a while back, and my resulting tracing (not 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( Well, this was a pleasant surprise. I remember all the ruckus over Gillian Flynn a while back, and my resulting tracing (not 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 Gone Girl 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 that 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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    *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.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    Disturbing story. Disturbing characters. This book will make you feel uncomfortable, that's what Gillian Flynn does best! I'm not sure I loved it but it's definitely the best written thriller I've read so far this year... still only getting 3.5 stars though! I did suspect the right people but the twists were still... well disturbing!

  11. 4 out of 5

    j e w e l s

    “I just think some women aren't made to be mothers. And some women aren't made to be daughters.” ― Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects This is one of the darkest, most disturbing books I've ever read. And I love it. Well, today I love it. I picked it up years ago, started reading and was like "no way Jose". I had read Dark Places and Gone Girl and, of course, thought I could handle Sharp Objects, the Gillian Flynn debut. I wasn't ready at the time for this little monster of a book. The ex “I just think some women aren't made to be mothers. And some women aren't made to be daughters.” ― Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects This is one of the darkest, most disturbing books I've ever read. And I love it. Well, today I love it. I picked it up years ago, started reading and was like "no way Jose". I had read Dark Places and Gone Girl and, of course, thought I could handle Sharp Objects, the Gillian Flynn debut. I wasn't ready at the time for this little monster of a book. The extremely creepy plot revolves around a serial killer in a Missouri town, and the reporter who has returned from Chicago to cover the event. Just a few of the themes include dysfunctional families, violence and self-harm. But there is so much more. As I've mentioned before, I've read a lot of blasé, boring domestic noir lately. Give me a book with some meat on its bones! Blake Crouch's Dark Matter got my motor running again and I just couldn't go back to some of those wimpily -made up word written mysteries. If you're caught in a summer stagnation, wake yourself up with this book. It's probably lying on a shelf in your house somewhere. Just prepare yourself. Flynn is an expert "description writer" and some of the things she describes are not pretty. At all. As in sick, sick, sick.  Yes, the characters are seriously f****d up! I don't need my heroine to be shiny and pristine. Every person in this story has got issues.  Who knows what kind of childhood some people endure? Aren't you curious as to WHY they are weird? I always am! I know some readers are all, "but, I don't really like the characters, I can't root for anyone..." Ok, then this book isn't for you. But, I'm telling you, Gillian Flynn is a master at blueprinting the human psyche into a living breathing character that you won't soon, if ever, forget. You'll probably even have a nightmare or two, after all, Stephen King is a huge Flynn fan.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)

    1 Star Overview: I should have known better. I don’t have an excuse. I read Gillian Flynn's other book, Gone Girl, last year—and wasn’t a fan. Everyone raved about it, but I found the characters shallow, the plot twists weak, and the narrative so busy being cynical it didn’t seem to know what it was trying to say. Nevertheless, I’d heard great things about Gillian Flynn’s writing. So I went into this with an open mind--- maybe I had just started with the wrong book! But I really should have known bett 1 Star Overview: I should have known better. I don’t have an excuse. I read Gillian Flynn's other book, Gone Girl, last year—and wasn’t a fan. Everyone raved about it, but I found the characters shallow, the plot twists weak, and the narrative so busy being cynical it didn’t seem to know what it was trying to say. Nevertheless, I’d heard great things about Gillian Flynn’s writing. So I went into this with an open mind--- maybe I had just started with the wrong book! But I really should have known better. When I wanted to DNF this around 13% of the way through, I should have trusted my instincts and realized Flynn's writing just isn't for me. But I kept seeing reviews talking about “the twist” and how the ending was the best part. So I persevered. Safe to say, I didn’t like this. Actually I think I disliked it more than Gone Girl. *language and mature themes ahead, due to the nature of this book* Pros: I don’t like to rate things so low. I really don’t, and I rarely do it. I was initially going to round this up to a two-star, but I realized I didn't have a real reason. I have 'criteria' for all my ratings and in order to earn two-stars from me, a book has to contain some elements I liked. This contained a handful of descriptions I liked. That’s it. At points in the text, Flynn compares a new-found murder victim’s appearance to that of a baby doll, with mouth open and ready to suckle. This was an incredibly creepy simile that I thought painted the scene quite clearly. Then later, Flynn describes a woman as having “hips like antlers.” In regards to the bony prominence that juts out against the rest of the woman's body. Again, I thought this was an incredibly inventive description that also perfectly illustrated the character. Cons: Oh boy. Here we go. What were these characters supposed to be? Every single character was filled with an intense hatred and cynicism about everything. They were all incredibly violent, shallow people with no other defining characteristics They were all very boring, flat people who just seemed to be awful without any motivation. It seems Flynn’s work relies upon a belief that all people are inherently evil and selfish—which is a popular theory in itself that I’ve seen in a wide variety of fiction. But the characters still need to make sense. Everything was needlessly dark? Like I just don’t understand? I don’t have a problem with darker books. I think a story can be just as dark and twisted as the author feels it needs to be, as long as it still tells the story well This just seemed to include random gritty details or supppppeeerrr intense descriptions. The main character’s struggle with mental health problems and self-harm (is this a spoiler? It’s pretty evident from the book’s blurb) was never discussed in any sort of nuanced way. Instead, it’s used almost as a plot device to show just how “edgy” this book is. I don’t mind profanity or adult material in adult books. But the over-abundance of it in this book, again, just seemed like it was trying to hard to be gritty or “edgy.” Everything was needlessly sexualized even when the conversations or characters didn’t call for it at that time. This book was too short to be so boring The pace was irrationally languid despite the intense subject matter, and it felt like it took chapters and chapters for the characters to stop just discussing things and for things to actually happen. There’s been a fairly large amount of controversy surrounding the way Gillian Flynn, a self-proclaimed feminist, writes her female characters. You have those who think it’s problematic all of her female characters are such awful people: Like The Huffington Post and others. And then you have those who believe all her characters are horrible people, and that feminism means allowing for female villains and anti-heroes: Including Flynn herself. I won’t be touching upon this controversy too much, as I don’t think there’s very much I can say that hasn’t already been discussed. I personally want female villains and anti-heroes who are just as complex as their male counter parts—which I didn’t find in this book where all the characters were so shallow. There were a few things that did seem problematic: - The main character calls a man a “sexist, liberal lefty practicing sexual discrimination” for believing a drunk woman having sex with an entire football team without her explicit consent was sexual assault. Even when when it was revealed the woman was a minor. - This entire quote: “Sometimes I think illness sits inside every woman, waiting for the right moment to bloom. I have known so many sick women all my life. Women with chronic pain, with ever-gestating diseases. Women with conditions. Men, sure, they have bone snaps, they have backaches, they have a surgery or two, yank out a tonsil, insert a shiny plastic hip.” - The whole book is filled with the assumption that woman are either so fragile they are sick and broken all the time, or that they just love the attention of being sick. I understand a large part of this was related to the situations Camille was raised in and her mother, but it extended to every other character as well. - “Women get consumed. Not surprising, considering the sheer amount of traffic a woman's body experiences. Tampons and speculums. Cocks, fingers, vibrators and more, between the legs, from behind, in the mouth.” WOMEN ARE NOT COMMODITIES THAT GET CONSUMED. The implication that a woman can be ‘run-down’ based off the amount of things she’s had in her orifices is completely disgusting. I guessed whodunit less than halfway through. The reasoning was interesting, though the way it was all revealed match the same odd, explicit tone as the rest of the story. In Conclusion: Safe to say, I will not be reading Dark Places.

  13. 5 out of 5

    The Burning Rose (Jess)

    3/5 stars. The book tells of a young reporter named Camille. She escaped from the town where she grew up years ago to break away from the cruel life she lived, and to start a new life. Years later, Camille had to return to the town for the article she needed to publish. Camille, who did everything to disavow this town, found herself returning there unwillingly. I know that in the description of the book, it says it's a murder story. But I wouldn't describe this book that way 3/5 stars. The book tells of a young reporter named Camille. She escaped from the town where she grew up years ago to break away from the cruel life she lived, and to start a new life. Years later, Camille had to return to the town for the article she needed to publish. Camille, who did everything to disavow this town, found herself returning there unwillingly. I know that in the description of the book, it says it's a murder story. But I wouldn't describe this book that way. True, there were brutal homicides in the town. True, the main character, Camille, is trying to figure out the murder. True, there are detectives, there are investigations. But after all, I wouldn't say the book is about the homicides. The book is about the main character. Her past and present. The book is about this strange and cruel town. The book is surrounding around Camille herself, her family and the town itself. I personally didn't like the book so much. It was... too dumb. Not the book itself tho, but the town. I hate this town. I'm not sure how to explain it, but while reading the book I just... felt bad. Just like that. I had a bad and restless feeling. This town, the people who live in it, the way they live. They are godless. They are cruel. They are hypocrites and liars. It's just so fucking dumb. If I lived there, I probably would’ve committed suicide. And I'm not kidding. And Camille, so broken on the inside, so twisted, so scarred, literally. She was scarred from the moment she was born in this town. But that's exactly the problem - everyone's scarred because of this town. I'm not sure how many stars I really want to give this book. After all, it was pretty interesting. But like I said, this book made me feel so bad. And even after I finished the book - the bad feeling remained there and gave me no rest. The ending was over well, but I personally didn’t feel rested, the book continued to disturb me even after I finished reading it. The only reason this book gets 3 stars and not less, is thanks to Flynn's writing. She writes incredibly, and she deserves a hundred stars just for her writing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    karen

    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 bastard out of carolina. come to my blog!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters

    Update - NEWS ABOUT the HBO mini-series of "Sharp Objects". Who else has seen it? What are your thoughts? Which did you enjoy more? The book or the series? Amy Adams was outstanding!!! One of the best acting roles I've seen her play. VERY creepy show -- 'excellent' -- All the actors were great. In many ways --I liked the HBO show more than the book. I know --weird --right? --Or??? maybe I was more prepared for just how disturbing this story is! The ending in the HBO series -- was .......... Update - NEWS ABOUT the HBO mini-series of "Sharp Objects". Who else has seen it? What are your thoughts? Which did you enjoy more? The book or the series? Amy Adams was outstanding!!! One of the best acting roles I've seen her play. VERY creepy show -- 'excellent' -- All the actors were great. In many ways --I liked the HBO show more than the book. I know --weird --right? --Or??? maybe I was more prepared for just how disturbing this story is! The ending in the HBO series -- was ......................'creepy' as can be!!! OLD REVIEW: I've had both "Sharp Objects" and "Dark Places" for years....but, hey, I'm slow. I picked "Sharp Objects" to read first when I heard Amy Adams is going to be the leading actress in a drama series. I wasn't expecting so much violence. This is a very dark disturbing story..... ......but my favorite parts were the psychological aspects of he mother/daughter relationship. When a child has a mother from hell - kinda shapes your life from the 'get-go' and not in a pretty way. I can already see Amy Adams playing the role of reporter Camille Preaker....who returns to her small hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. She identifies with the girls a little too closely -- plus she had recently spent a short stay in a psychiatric hospital. Camille is vulnerable- fragile- and flawed. The closer she gets to cracking the case she is working on, the more she begins to crack. Old haunting demons are rising to the surface ...memories of her sister and emotional and physical abuse. This book could have been called "DARK SHARP PLACES AND OBJECTS"!!! Happy day 2 days after Halloween ....ha! :) 3. to almost a 3.5

  16. 5 out of 5

    Maxine (Booklover Catlady)

    Squee! This is coming out on TV on Sky Atlantic. I cannot wait! (2018). I don't know about you, but in my opinion this is WAY better than Gone Girl, I think this one is a hidden gem. It's a lot more subtle but that's why it works more. This is one spine-chilling disturbing and dark book and I absolutely loved it. Some of the scenes in this book literally just stunned me. Very clever writing from Gillian Flynn. When two girls are abducted and killed in Missouri, journalist Camille Preaker is sen/>When Squee! This is coming out on TV on Sky Atlantic. I cannot wait! (2018). I don't know about you, but in my opinion this is WAY better than Gone Girl, I think this one is a hidden gem. It's a lot more subtle but that's why it works more. This is one spine-chilling disturbing and dark book and I absolutely loved it. Some of the scenes in this book literally just stunned me. Very clever writing from Gillian Flynn. When two girls are abducted and killed in Missouri, journalist Camille Preaker is sent back to her home town to report on the crimes. Long-haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her mother for years, Camille suddenly finds herself installed once again in her family's mansion, reacquainting herself with her distant mother and the half-sister she barely knows - a precocious 13-year-old who holds a disquieting grip on the town. As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims - a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. If you have not read this one yet but have been meaning to, please do it. This sat on my bookshelf for over a year, what a waste, it was one of my most memorable reads of the last few years. Camille, who is a Journalist is sent back to very small town USA where she grew up to get the juice on a story of young women going missing and turning up dead - with their teeth pulled out. Her big Chicago boss is hoping her home connection will give her the inside scoop. The characters in this book are bloody EXCEPTIONALLY done, both Camille's mother and her half-sister, Amma are some of the best written, most disturbing characters I have read in a book in ages. I had goose bumps with both of them, a lot of goose bumps. Did I say this book has a dark overtone? Camille is a flawed and damaged character, what you see is not always what you are seeing, I really grew to like her and her tenacity for the truth no matter what the cost. Once she gets it, it changes everything. Amma got under my skin in a very uncomfortable way, Flynn portrays her in a way that makes an impact on your psyche. The town doesn't just welcome Camille in and for a while nobody is talking but she is determined to keep digging and what she uncovers is just wrong, so wrong, so darn wrong. Is she even on the right path? Can she see clearly what is right before her eyes. With scenes (pig farm) that just churn you inside and sentences spoken that literally make the temperature drop in your body, this one has subtle yet so blatant shock factors all the way through it. It creates atmospheres that you feel part of from awkwardness to sheer terror. I could not put this book down because each bit rolls into the next and I had to know what was really going on. Just who is taking these girls and killing them so brutally? The whole town believes it's one of their own and everybody has their theory, fingers are pointing everywhere. In the uncovering of the truth Camille is forced to face demons from her past. For me this is a 5 star read because I won't forget it, I devoured it and could not put it down, it's well written and it's cleverly done. LOOK! I asked for this way back and this year, 2018 it’s going to be on Sky Atlantic! I wish they had made this one into a movie instead of Gone Girl, would have been so much darker on the screen.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    3.5 stars. I’ll be honest, I was scared to read this book. It gave me horror vibes, and because I do not read horror – with very few exceptions on Halloween – I didn’t even want to think about reading this book. But then an opportunity fell into my lap, and so here we are. Turns out, it’s not scary. But it is quite disturbing. I can’t wait to watch the series with Amy Adams. It has got to be pretty captivating and I am curious to meet all of these characters on s 3.5 stars. I’ll be honest, I was scared to read this book. It gave me horror vibes, and because I do not read horror – with very few exceptions on Halloween – I didn’t even want to think about reading this book. But then an opportunity fell into my lap, and so here we are. Turns out, it’s not scary. But it is quite disturbing. I can’t wait to watch the series with Amy Adams. It has got to be pretty captivating and I am curious to meet all of these characters on screen, perhaps they will be far more dimensionalized. July can’t come soon enough! This is the story of Camille, a journalist who was sent to her hometown to report on the murder of a young girl and how it relates to the previous murder committed. Camille, whose own sister died when she was young, can’t help but relate to the cases and question her own past. Gillian Flynn’s writing is one to get used to. It took me a few chapters to become invested in the story and characters – more specifically, the heroine herself – but it managed to keep me on the edge of my seat and mystify me with its quiet, almost whimsical, atmosphere. You think your family is dysfunctional… and then you are introduced to Camille’s and suddenly you thank the skies that your own mother and sister are not so damn creepy. Personally, if I were to sleep in the same house as them, I would hide a knife under my pillow. No wonder Camille was reluctant to go back home. Everyone in that house is in need of some therapy. As a mystery novel, this does not shine. Yes, it kept me guessing and interested, but that’s because I was fascinated with Camille’s family, not the murder case per se. So as a family-focused and psychological story, this is well enough done, but maybe stay away for now if you’re not in the mood for slow and short. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  18. 5 out of 5

    Samadrita

    When I had first come across rave reviews of Gone Girl, 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 disappointm When I had first come across rave reviews of Gone Girl, 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. Sharp Objects 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 Gone Girl or Dark Places.

  19. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    well, this thriller was less than thrilling. so theres that. :/ i guess in all fairness, i should mention that i wasnt really in the best mental state to read this, which is probably why im rating it so low. the story is very disturbing, very dark, and wayyyy outside any realm of normality. its definitely one of those stories where you have to really commit and see it through, uncomfortable topics and all, and i just wasnt feeling it. it also doesnt help that this felt rath well, this thriller was less than thrilling. so theres that. :/ i guess in all fairness, i should mention that i wasnt really in the best mental state to read this, which is probably why im rating it so low. the story is very disturbing, very dark, and wayyyy outside any realm of normality. its definitely one of those stories where you have to really commit and see it through, uncomfortable topics and all, and i just wasnt feeling it. it also doesnt help that this felt rather slow to me. a lot of time is spent on character development, and when you dont relate to or care for any of the characters, it starts to drag. the only parts i was interested in was when things about the case started to actually unfold. i might try picking this up again at some point because i actually really liked the writing. and now that i know what to expect, i can go into it much more mentally prepared down the line. ↠ 2.5 stars

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laz

    “Sometimes if you let people do things to you, you're really doing it to them.” It's freaky and twisted. It's terrifying and compelling. You'll sit down, grab the book and read it until you've reached the last page. No kiddings here. I read this in one sitting, no pause for water, no pause whatsoever. It'll creep you out and fascinate you and you'll connect with the story on many levels. I did. I connected with the character and I'm still having nightmares about it. By all accounts, this i “Sometimes if you let people do things to you, you're really doing it to them.” It's freaky and twisted. It's terrifying and compelling. You'll sit down, grab the book and read it until you've reached the last page. No kiddings here. I read this in one sitting, no pause for water, no pause whatsoever. It'll creep you out and fascinate you and you'll connect with the story on many levels. I did. I connected with the character and I'm still having nightmares about it. By all accounts, this is a Gillian Flynn novel. Having read all of her books now, I can safely say that she has a very dark mind. I cannot for the life of me understand how someone can put so much fucked-up in less than 300 pages. She will take the safest of things. The one thing everyone considers safe and regular, and she'll twist and turn it until there's a monster made out of it. I don't know if it's a curse or a talent. Dark Places & Gone Girl were amazing, incredible. They both left me wanting for more. But this one really did the job from me. I was fascinated from the first page till the very last hence the five stars. I think what mainly got to me was the fact that this book had a main character who was full of weaknesses and sensitivities. Camille has about one hundred insecurities and has only ever known hurt and betrayal and not for once in her life has she felt loved. And I mean, never. Not when she was a baby, not while she was growing up and certainly not now. In comparison with Mrs. Flynn's two other books, whose characters are more tough and more independent and sure of themselves and are just bad bad people, this one pictures a character who every reader can connect with and feel for and maybe identify themselves with. Camille Preaker is a reporter, coming back from a psych ward she throws herself at her job. That's it until her boss sends her to her hometown where there seems to be a serial killer on the loose and has yet to be covered by the media. Her hometown is really secluded, not in the way of no nearby cities and that shit but in the way of secrets having the tendency to never get out of the town. People there turn their heads around when something bad is happening, denying having ever seen it. Is a girl having sex with 4 boys at plain sight and a neighbor sees it? No, it didn't happen. People have a short-term memory, like goldfish. Having lost her younger sister at the age of 13 and having never known motherly or fatherly love, Camille was a teenage girl who'd let anyone take advantage of her. She'd harm herself in more than one way. She'd do it over and over again. No stopping. What's terrifying is seeing the world through Camille's eyes. She chooses to see the best in people even when they haven't given her a reason to do so. That's what really got her to where she is, in the first place. Dark is a word to characterize this book, twisted is another. The killings go way deeper that what you'll first imagine and think another "solve the mystery" novel. After every book of Mrs. Flynn I read I feel insecure and have a feeling of dirt, not the physical kind but the mental one. No shower will ever rid me of it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Finally I climbed out under my rock to read my first GF novel. I was happy I did. Camille got under my skin, zero pun intended, and I enjoyed the whole ride. Whilst graphic, I wasn’t bothered, and whilst dark this was fine too. I was impressed with the writing of this book and understand why this author has hit it off worldwide. Camille is a very troubled young woman, a mediocre journalist and a recovering cutter. Self harming herself in the most dreadful way, by inscribing words into Finally I climbed out under my rock to read my first GF novel. I was happy I did. Camille got under my skin, zero pun intended, and I enjoyed the whole ride. Whilst graphic, I wasn’t bothered, and whilst dark this was fine too. I was impressed with the writing of this book and understand why this author has hit it off worldwide. Camille is a very troubled young woman, a mediocre journalist and a recovering cutter. Self harming herself in the most dreadful way, by inscribing words into her skin. All over her body. She returns begrudgingly to her home town that is probably only good at one thing, for churning out pork meat and alcoholics. The people in the town seem to be a mess, the teenagers horrible, and let’s not forget Ms. Horrible little sister. For as much as she was troubled herself, she did try to help and nurture her in some way. This girl was too far gone to hope for any type of redemption. The women who grew from teens that Camille grew up with are equally as horrendous. Camille’s mother was a loveless soulless woman who had a strange marriage with a horribly boring man called Allan. Upon this homecoming we see Camille struggle with returning to this hell hole and trying to piece together a child serial killing situation. This just seems nearly impossible for her to do as she relives memories from losing her own little sister many moons ago. Absorbing reading, hateful characters and lovely ones too. I really did love John, the out of town Detective Richard and most of all the lovely Camille who it seems was facing her own redemption by the end. Silly me for leaving this author on my shelf for too long!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Troy

    Terrific book, truly creepy. A page turner about a journalist going back to her tiny Missouri home town to cover the recent murders of two little girls. Gillian Flynn's writing in Entertainment Weekly has always been a notch above, and her first novel is no disappointment. What's remarkable about this book is that it focuses on some of the most damaged and interesting women I've ever seen in fiction. Strong women in fiction usually means one of three things: 1) Ass-kickers Terrific book, truly creepy. A page turner about a journalist going back to her tiny Missouri home town to cover the recent murders of two little girls. Gillian Flynn's writing in Entertainment Weekly has always been a notch above, and her first novel is no disappointment. What's remarkable about this book is that it focuses on some of the most damaged and interesting women I've ever seen in fiction. Strong women in fiction usually means one of three things: 1) Ass-kickers in fantastic outfits that talk, think and fight like men (think Tarantino) 2) Delicate little homebodies with surprising reserves of strength when needed (think Jane Austen) 3) Raging bitches (think Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada) What's great about the women here is that they don't really fit into any of the above categories. They're conniving, manipulative, sweet, deeply insecure, fierce and hopelessly crippled people whose flailing at one another feels very real and very scary. Great book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    This book was so stupid and hysterical and I loved every second of it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    Grippin’ book! WHERE EVERYTHING STARTED Gillian Flynn is one of the most worldwide famous and popular authors nowadays with best-selling novels like Gone Girl and Dark Places, along with the short story The Grownup, but her debut novel was this one, Sharp Objects. Flynn’s style features broken characters, nasty acts, gruesome crimes and plot twists, showing a face of American contemporary towns (not matter if they’re ficticious) that it’s not so common portraited… …and a truly grippin’ narrative. Maybe Grippin’ book! WHERE EVERYTHING STARTED Gillian Flynn is one of the most worldwide famous and popular authors nowadays with best-selling novels like Gone Girl and Dark Places, along with the short story The Grownup, but her debut novel was this one, Sharp Objects. Flynn’s style features broken characters, nasty acts, gruesome crimes and plot twists, showing a face of American contemporary towns (not matter if they’re ficticious) that it’s not so common portraited… …and a truly grippin’ narrative. Maybe in this first book, and due precisely being her initial publication, I didn’t feel her attempts for plot twisting as successful as in her following works. Since in this novel are too obvious (at least to me), but still a great novel to read, thanks to Flynn’s narrative. So, while it didn’t gave so much surprises as in her other books (that I read before this one), still, her narrative style is so enriching to read, that I appreciate a lot the actual reading experience. Definitely a sharp reading experience indeed! It’s quite interesting how Gillian Flynn is able to “sell” us broken characters as the “heroes” of her books, since if you ponder about them, they’re not nice people (or are they just real people?) where they’re not truly evil, but neither are completely good, always walking in a very grey path where you can’t predict what they’ll do next, and since you can read their thoughts, they can’t lie to you, they may lie to other characters in the stories, but the reader is able to fully grasp the souls and conscience of the main protagonists... ...and while you're aware that they're not nice on taboo and/or politically correct subjects, you still develop a bond with the protagonists, you may not think like them, but get to understand why they think in the way that they think, due the enviroments where they grew up and the traumatic experiences that they've suffered. And you have to respect Gillian Flynn since she’s a bold writer that don’t hesitate of being non-politically correct when her characters express their particular points of view about everything, and indisputably resolute of using the darkest deeds that human beings can do to other human beings. And everything started here. WELCOME (BACK) TO WIND GAP Camille Preaker is a young journalist specialized in the crime beat of the Chicago’s newspaper, where she works, and she’s assigned to cover a possible serial killer operating at her hometown, Wind Gap, Missouri… …but Camille left the town for good reasons, she is still experiencing very personal traumatic after effects for her living there, and she hoped never come back. Against her best judgement, Camille is the prodigal daughter of Wind Gap, but hardly she is truly welcomed in her own home, where Adora, her strict mother, and Amma, her volatile stepsister, each giving to Camille, their own particular kind of “greetings”, finding herself in the middle of their mischievous games, making to remember to Camille why she left several years ago. Wind Gap’s Police Department doesn’t want to admit that a serial killer is in town, but a young girl murdered and another missing (which most likely will appear dead soon), it’s becoming harder and harder to avoid the gruesome scenario and the worse thing… …it’s very likely that the serial killer is one of Wind Gap’s citizens. Wind Gap’s Police Department received the external support of a Kansas City PD’s homicide detective, and soon he started a mutually beneficial relationship with Camille, where she tells him without much constraint the real dark history of Wind Gap. Camille tries her best to investigate the case at her old hometown, interviewing the affected families for the crimes and any witness of the acts, but she left Wind Gap, so many time ago, that almost nobody sees her as a fellow neighbor anymore… …and her unavoidable status of being part of one of the most influential Wind Gap’s families isn’t clear to Camille if it’s an advantage or a burden for her journalistic task. However, Camille can’t stop since she may be the only hope to stop Wind Gap’s blood shedding.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    "I just think some women aren't made to be mothers. And some women aren't made to be daughters." Journalist Camille Preaker is sent back to her hometown, where one girl has been brutally murdered and another one is missing. Dark and twisty and fucked up characters are my FAVE, and Gillian Flynn seems to be the absolute queen of creating them. Although one of the issues with having such car crashes for human beings in your stories is that you often don't have a character who "I just think some women aren't made to be mothers. And some women aren't made to be daughters." Journalist Camille Preaker is sent back to her hometown, where one girl has been brutally murdered and another one is missing. Dark and twisty and fucked up characters are my FAVE, and Gillian Flynn seems to be the absolute queen of creating them. Although one of the issues with having such car crashes for human beings in your stories is that you often don't have a character who you really root for or relate to. Usually I like having this sort of character in my books, but sometimes reading a book just for the sake of getting engrossed in the storyline and disentangling all the threads running throughout is all you need! Also known as… the perfect poolside read - which this was for me. I'm a huge fan of Flynn's writing. Some of her descriptions and prose really wow-ed me. One woman she described as having "hips like antlers" in the way that the bones jutted out, and I just really liked that simile. There were a lot more instances like this where I would read a sentence or a paragraph and think "Oooh, that's GOOD!" I also loved a lot of the dark imagery that she included, it felt like quite a visual book and some of the scenes created will leave a lasting impression for sure. Sharp Objects is full of twists and turns, a few of which I had predicted before they happened, but there were still a few that surprised me. The ending in particular! I thought I had it figured out, then it went one way and then another and I was just like WOOOAAHHH this is awesome. Although that's not to say I had some issues. One of my major annoyances with this book was that it was extremely over sexualised at times. I am not a prude by any means, but it just felt like everything had links to sex in some way. EVERYTHING. And a lot of the time it seemed completely needless and tacked on. One event in particular… which I can't really talk about as I never include spoilers in a review, but it involved Camille's relationship with someone and it was just… completely unnecessary. In my view, anyway. ALSO, also. I just do not buy that Amma is 13 years old! I just don't. I can completely understand that some kids are very mature and almost behave like adults at such a young age, but 13 was a bit of a stretch. Especially when you go on to watch the TV adaptation. I'm just not buying it, maybe 15 years old would be more believable? Some of Camille's opinions also rubbed me up the wrong way (that phrase would totally be made into some kind of innuendo in the book *rolls eyes*). In particular, there was one part where she discusses how women get "consumed" due to the "sheer amount of traffic" a woman's body experiences. I understand that this is merely Camille's opinion and I can't hold that against the book itself but the implication of it just grated on me. That actually sounds like I had a lot of issues… but I still enjoyed the story a lot!! It's a page turner and it was exactly what I needed for my holiday. 4 stars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    emma

    BEST GILLIAN FLYNN BOOK. By a mile. Sorry, Gone Girl, you are no longer welcome here. (Just kidding I'm probably going to reread it in one absolute second but will it be as good as this book? No, it will not.) This is so CREEPY and the writing is so visceral and it's so unique. There have probably been thrillers like this one since this one, but definitely not many before. There are so many characters that are just hopelessly fascinating. Like, all of them, basically. Any time the pro BEST GILLIAN FLYNN BOOK. By a mile. Sorry, Gone Girl, you are no longer welcome here. (Just kidding I'm probably going to reread it in one absolute second but will it be as good as this book? No, it will not.) This is so CREEPY and the writing is so visceral and it's so unique. There have probably been thrillers like this one since this one, but definitely not many before. There are so many characters that are just hopelessly fascinating. Like, all of them, basically. Any time the protagonist gets into a conversation with any human person it's a goddamn treat because everyone is so interesting and confusing and you just want to know everything about everyone!!! Flynn also has this fantastic crazy writing style that you feel and picture so hard. Very Virgin Suicides. There are turns of phrase in this book I read four times and promptly filed away as "you will remember this at random points for the rest of your life." I don't even know what to say beyond this is a whole new level of good. You have no idea. If the HBO adaptation doesn't do it justice I will goddamn picket the home of Amy Adams with a protest sign but also HOW COULD IT DO IT JUSTICE. I'm a mess. And I'm not even mad about it. Bottom line: How is this Gillian Flynn's first book??? How is this any non-deal-with-devil-having person's first book????? How is this a book????? ------------- me: yeah i can reread this before the show premieres ...even though i haven't finished a book in almost a week ...and i have to read another book in its entirety today for school ....and the show premieres in less than 9 hours. sure no problem!!!! gillian flynn come thru

  27. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    The next two paragraphs give my review of this book, but if the only reason you’d be tempted to read on is to hear about the time I “met” Gillian Flynn, you can scroll past them. Like so many other Goodreaders seduced by the buzz, I read and enjoyed every sharp bend of Gone Girl. It proved to be something of an archetype, too, with books like The Girl on the Train and The Woman in the Window cashing in on similar threats and thrills. If you’re looking for even better correlation, though, go backwards in Flynn’s own oeuvr The next two paragraphs give my review of this book, but if the only reason you’d be tempted to read on is to hear about the time I “met” Gillian Flynn, you can scroll past them. Like so many other Goodreaders seduced by the buzz, I read and enjoyed every sharp bend of Gone Girl. It proved to be something of an archetype, too, with books like The Girl on the Train and The Woman in the Window cashing in on similar threats and thrills. If you’re looking for even better correlation, though, go backwards in Flynn’s own oeuvre to this one. (Please allow me a quick aside to express an unreasonable but intense dislike for that word—oeuvre. When I try to sound it out in my head, that trailing “re” throws me, like Brett Favre’s name did to the people in Something About Mary. Plus, when I try to Frenchify that opening diphthong, my internal ear hates how affected it sounds. Sorry, I guess I needed to get that off my chest.) Anyway, Sharp Objects has the same kind of feel to it as her famous bestseller. There are vivid descriptions, enough interior life written into the characters that you imagine you know them, and a screenwriter’s gift for how to set a scene. This one pulls a few surprises, too. (With some people, you come to expect the unexpected, right?) It also gives you a proper fear of Wind Gap, Missouri, where investigative journalist Camille Preaker grew up. She was working in Chicago but then returned to Wind Gap to uncover whatever she could about two girls, one murdered and the other missing. She and a police detective / love interest gathered details about the crimes which were pretty intriguing by themselves. But it was the human interest angles that gave it real life. We get a surfeit of dysfunction with this one: boozing, self-mutilation, and a rather exotic psychological syndrome. As it turns out, I had a brief encounter with Ms. Flynn’s dark side in real life about two years ago. I came away thinking her characters come by their edginess honestly. It happened when we were living in Chicago. I’d taken to looking up semi-famous residents on the internet and then jogging by their addresses, mostly just to see what their places were like, but also on the off-chance of spotting them in person. I knew where the Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews lived, John Cusack’s building was an easy trot away, and I could locate plenty of others from business, politics, sports and the arts. Anyway, it was a cool evening in Flynn’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. I’d been by her place before—very nicely kept, tucked away behind lots of trees and a fence. In the leafless part of the year you could get a view of the house itself. That night I saw a light on and heard music, so even though I knew I probably shouldn’t, I decided to stop for a closer look. I had my hands on the iron rails of her fence, peeking in, when all of the sudden from out of nowhere something grabbed hard at my loose sleeve. It was a large, no-nonsense dog that looked to be somewhere on the Doberman - Rottweiler spectrum. Of course I pulled back right away, but he’d gotten his teeth stuck in the cloth and wasn’t about to let go. I kept yanking to no avail. My heart rate, already elevated from the run, must have doubled again. The dog, meanwhile, was growling loudly enough that Flynn came out to investigate. I wished she would have called the brute off right away, but instead she said with imposing authority, “What the hell are you doing here?” “Nothing,” I said. (Quick thinker, me.) “Well, this is private property.” “I wasn’t trying to do anything. I was just out for a run,” I said. “Seems like you’re stalking me. Do you know who I am?” I wasn’t sure if it was daggers or machetes she was staring at me. Something sharp in any case. Also she was wearing a low-cut sweater showcasing a necklace with a razor blade pendant. “Yeah,” I said, “you’re Gillian Flynn, right? The writer?” Only I messed up her name and pronounced it with a J sound. “You don’t know me well, obviously. It’s Gillian,” she said, hitting the “guh” sound hard, as in Gone Girl. “Oh, right, I should have known.” Then I thought there was a remote chance I could turn this around. “But hey, I really liked your book.” By this time Satan’s Little Helper or whatever the dog's name was had relaxed his clench so I could take back my sleeve. “OK, so you are some kind of celebrity stalker,” she said. “Pathetic. And a fool to boot. You need to get the fuck outta my yard.” With that she marched back inside. Then her dog looked over as if to say, “Take it from me, buddy, you do NOT want to get on her bad side.” I never did run by that house again. I’ll tell you what I did do, though, if you’re curious. (view spoiler)[I continued a tradition today that I started years ago with this April Fools’ Day prank post. I never did meet Gillian Flynn (though I really did run by her house once or twice). For all I know, she’s much nicer than that. At least I think she may be. (hide spoiler)]

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    I really liked Gone Girl, but was quite disappointed by Dark Places, so I had absolutely no idea what I would think about this book. I'm happy to report that this one was another win for me! It was a super easy and fast read with a solid plot and interesting characters. In fact, I think the main character Camille is my favorite one out of all the ones Gillian Flynn has created over the years. Some actions of hers seemed a bit too hectic (?) for me though; I couldn't understand why the author decided to writ I really liked Gone Girl, but was quite disappointed by Dark Places, so I had absolutely no idea what I would think about this book. I'm happy to report that this one was another win for me! It was a super easy and fast read with a solid plot and interesting characters. In fact, I think the main character Camille is my favorite one out of all the ones Gillian Flynn has created over the years. Some actions of hers seemed a bit too hectic (?) for me though; I couldn't understand why the author decided to write some (to the plot completely unnecessary ) scenes involving her in there. These scenes didn't really line up with the rest of her character traits. On the other hand, this also kind of fit in with Camille's overall personality. So I didn't mind this too much. However, I did have a bigger problem with the portrayal of her little sister Amma. I feel like she acted way to mature for her age. Sure, some teens grow up faster than others, but she seemed a bit too "out there" for my liking. At some points I was even questioning if maybe Camille (who narrates this novel) just majorly exaggerated her behavior and that this would somehow tie into the story. Since this wasn't the case though, it's hard for me to view Amma as a realistic character. But maybe I'm just too much of a prude to believe that someone like her would actually exist... The topic that gets dealt with is very interesting, but also very heavy. Too heavy, in my opinion, to wrap up in such a short amount of pages. Some deeper explanation and exploration would have been needed for a deeper impact. Everything wrapped up a bit too easy and quickly in the end. It was still shocking and highly entertaining though, which made this a great thriller to pass some time.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    From the first page, I felt the author had just finished a Chuck Palahniuk novel and decided she wanted to be like him when she grew up. Sentence fragments can be fun if you're in the mood for things like "A belly. A smell. He was suddenly standing next to me." (Not exact quotes, but pretty close.) I wasn't in the mood, and it was irritating. Also, I couldn't enjoy the main character. I found the scene where she was 12 years old and in someone's hunting shed, full of dead, bloody animals and por From the first page, I felt the author had just finished a Chuck Palahniuk novel and decided she wanted to be like him when she grew up. Sentence fragments can be fun if you're in the mood for things like "A belly. A smell. He was suddenly standing next to me." (Not exact quotes, but pretty close.) I wasn't in the mood, and it was irritating. Also, I couldn't enjoy the main character. I found the scene where she was 12 years old and in someone's hunting shed, full of dead, bloody animals and porn irritating. I get that I was supposed to think "oh wow what a messed up home life she has to be masturbating in a shed full of dead animals", but instead I thought " I have no interest in this, or her."

  30. 4 out of 5

    Roxane

    I loved Sharp Objects as much as I loved Gone Girl. Camille is an amazing protagonist, utterly believable, well drawn, and I related to her far more than makes me feel comfortable admitting. This is a book about darkness and women and Flynn is one of those writers who stares darkness down and goes even darker. Just like Gone Girl, though, the ending is ludicrous. I laughed out loud, because it was just too much. Completely bananas. I figured it out early on and don't mind that it ended where I e I loved Sharp Objects as much as I loved Gone Girl. Camille is an amazing protagonist, utterly believable, well drawn, and I related to her far more than makes me feel comfortable admitting. This is a book about darkness and women and Flynn is one of those writers who stares darkness down and goes even darker. Just like Gone Girl, though, the ending is ludicrous. I laughed out loud, because it was just too much. Completely bananas. I figured it out early on and don't mind that it ended where I expected but the last few chapters are just, "Let's throw everything ridiculous at the reader and see what sticks!" So there's that. Anyway, this is still an awesome book.

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