Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn - Book Review

        Coming off a brief stay in a psychiatric hospital. Camille Preaker, a reporter for a small newspaper in Chicago called the Daily Post, has a difficult assignment.  She is to return to her home town of Wind Gap to cover two murders that could have been done by a serial killer.   Not only were two girls murdered but their teeth were removed as well. 

       Like much of the cast of this story, the characters in Sharp Objects seem to be broken, creating a picturesque town that in some ways can be related to the TV series, Twin Peaks.  Of all the characters that seem to be broken, Camille seems to have been the worst off, considering the fact that she was in a psychiatric hospital because she used Sharp Objects on herself.  

        The story moves along with Camille trying to interview the families that lost their children to this serial killer.  The clues are there and each chapter seems lead to reasons why this happened.  

         The subplot of the story are the relationships Camille is having with her mother, Adora, and her younger sister by a second marriage named Amma.  The relationships with the family members are dysfunctional and Flynn does a wonderful job of portraying this throughout the story, along with a mystery that seems to unravel.  

           While this is the debut story for Gillian Flynn, I would say that the story is very disturbing, maybe too disturbing for people who want to read a book and feel entertained.  Yes, the story moves well through the mystery and the relationships but seeing a reporter such as Camille being so passive in her relationships with her much younger sister and mother didn’t seem believable to me considering the fact that she was a reporter for a newspaper where a reporter is supposed to be aggressive in getting the story no matter what.  

            Putting that fault aside, I have to say that If I’m going to enjoy a book, it’s based on suspense or in this case, who the serial killer was.  If the challenge is there to the very end, then I think that there is a feeling of satisfaction that the job was done and it was a good story.  In the case of Sharp Objects though, even though there was some twists and turns that led to a surprise ending, my feeling was that by the time I got there, I really wanted to stop reading the book because it was too disturbing and the ending not only reinforced that but made me feel that I wish that I didn’t read this book in the first place. 

            My general feeling about this book was that it was very disturbing, and all I did was shake my head and wonder why Gillian Flynn wrote such a morbid, depressing story.  I would hope that Dark Places would be a much better story than this one because compared to Gone Girl, Sharp Objects was an awful story.  As far as I’m concerned, I wish I never read the story and I hope that I can forget about it at some point.  As a result, I can only give it one star.  

Ron Hummer

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