TBF : The Book Files : Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn 

Hello everyone!

Belated Friendships Day wishes to all!

I took a Sunday break to spend much needed time with my family, went to a social engagement and watched a movie with my Hubby (and best friend) to celebrate the special day!

As promised today is a book review day; Time for THE BOOK FILES. 

The second chapter of TBF will cover the review of : Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. 

Sharp Objects 
Author : Gillian Flynn

Release year : 2006

ISBN :  0307341550

Available On :

http://www.amazon.in : INR 170/- ( Condition : New)

http://www.bookchor.com : INR 198/- (Condition : Loved)

When Gone Girl came out, the hype was almost palpable. Books were flying off the shelves from libraries and bookstores and the waiting list was unbelievably 4 weeks long. On one of my trips to London’s many charity shops in the hunt of great books (⚠Hoarder Alert!⚠) I found a copy of the same and grabbed it before anyone could! I sat in the Student Lounge on a sprawling sofa while my friends got busy discussing other trivial things (Like the accounts assignment and their prospective topics for the dissertation), yanked the book out of my bag and started reading ecstatically. The joy was short-lived when I discovered that Flynn’s writing style was all over the place. It was a mix of classic writing with contemporary twists and a LOT of random phrases. I thought that this was what was called “modern writing” and still resolutely continued on. The book was atrocious. There. I said it. No better word for it. Even though the story was thrilling and ever-shocking, the writing style was dragging and so exhausting that I felt tired after a few pages. I thought the hype was getting to me and put the book down to read later with a fresher mind. The same thing transpired everytime I read the book, finishing it in a hurry and flurry to get it over with. Mixed feelings. Unfortunate incidents of boredom and exhaustion. Who knew. Crazy.  [Yeah, I had to endure THAT for 200 plus pages]

I had entirely written off Flynn’s work as an impossible read but then I heard great reviews about her previous books. Intrigued I ordered the two online, Sharp Objects and Dark Places. While I was wondering if the same incident would repeat itself, I was also determined to not let any hype or bias deter me from giving it a fair shot. I realised that her writing style was consistent. Sharp objects had pretty much the same haphazard diction which kind of muddles the reader with short random phrases strewn about. Once I got over it, since it somehow was much more readable than Gone Girl,  the story was entrancing and captivating.

It’s the story of Camille Preaker, a small time newspaper journalist in Boston who returns to her hometown, Wind Gap, Missourie, reluctantly, to investigate and collect facts for a story on a loose serial killer. Although she initially declines to return to her native town, her boss Curry, leaves her with no choice and she grudgingly accepts to cover the story. It is revealed that she is a self-harmer with cuts in the shape of words all over her body owing to a bad past. A cryptic, cynical yet vulnerable woman, things go downhill as she moves back home with her mother, Adora, step-father and half sister,  Amma. Being home reminds her of her sister, Miriam, whom Adora doted over but died at a very young age. Still unable to get over her death and deal with her own insecurities, she tries to fit in with the family during her brief stay. Her stepfather is dismissive and uninterested to have any sort of a relationship with Camille and her half sister, as she shockingly realises, leads a double life to fool her mother. Indulging in drugs, alcohol and sex, Amma is a feared ringleader of her group who switches to the personality of a scared, vulnerable little girl in front of her mother to get her attention. Adora, on the other hand, enjoys looking after a sick Amma and also tries to nurse Camille when she falls ill. Tangled in a complicated relationship of sorts with the main detective on the case, Camille reaches a breaking point as the facts unravel to reveal the secrets of her sordid past.

In my opinion, Sharp Objects is a way better read than Gone Girl simply owing to the fact that it’s much more understandable by an average reader without actually giving them a headache. Inspite of the writing manner, what drew me to the story was its characterisation. 

Contrary to general novels, this protagonist is not a hero; if anything, she is the reflection of a broken soul, someone who braves the world with big words and a cold demeanor but is easily breakable and vulnerable. Its a great portrayal of the dark side of an average person, showcasing the muddled train of thoughts running through them. 🔼Graphic details of self mutilation, violence and harsh scenes are prevalant in the novel and are as easy to come by as a normal sentence.🔼 If you know anyone who is depressed or self harms and you want to know what exactly they might be thinking, this is your answer. I was disturbed for quite a few days to be honest after I read this book, because it is a really dark story and will leave behind a restless feeling. Only 3 authors in my score of reading have had that impact one me : 

  1. Nicci French : A husband-wife duo who write spellbinding stories that always have the elements of dark and creepy.
  2. Gillian Flynn : I have read all her works except the newest one called The Grownup which is a short story and I can assure you, it will be as black as it’s cover.
  3. Algernon Blackwood : Horror specialist Algernon’s stories send shivers down my spine. Forget ghosts and banshees scaring you; it correctly proves the theory that an unhinged human is the most dangerous creature in the world.

Despite the discouragement suffered at the hands of Gone Girl, I did like the book as an overall read. Added to that the spine tingling nuances of fear, darkness and the bleak outlook of a damaged personality, it does qualify for a ⚠read at your own risk warning⚠. Stay clear of it if dark stories are not your cup of tea but otherwise, it’s a great one!

Overall rating : 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 

  • Characters : 8.5/10 (Barring a few, all characters have their own strong backgrounds and nature which shows that the author put in a lot of work creating each one.)
  • Storyline : 10 / 10 (The story is captivating, engaging and full of twists and turns. Except a few gory areas where the protagonist engages in self harm, the story is a typical thriller but it is the main character and her strength which give the novel the overall edge.)
  • Writing Style : 6/10 (Imagine if this scores a 6, what would I have scored Gone Girl. Anyhow, the diction and style are the only factors that marr a great story. Then again, since it’s about a bewildered depressed character and showcases her train of thought, it is justifiable  (almost; well sort of). New readers may find it a little confusing but for an average reader it would pose less of a problem.)

Well, there are my views in the book and it’s a must read for anyone wanting to get a peak at the human mind at its weakest. 

Until next time!




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