Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Twisted. The writing in this book is sharp, much like the point of the story. It's gritty, and blunt, but avoids being vulgar... somehow. I had to keep reminding myself that a female wrote this and that the main character was female as well. Odd I know, but it just sounded so.... male.

Stephen King said that "(I) found myself dreading the last thirty pages or so but was helpless to stop turning them." I wouldn't say I was dreading them, more like wanting to keep reading to find out exactly what happened; it was definitely a page-turner for me, and especially towards the end.

For an authors debut novel, this is pretty good. It is likely to not appeal to all, as the subject matter and characters are pretty damn dysfunctional. As you start reading this, you may not really realize something is quite wrong with Camille, but you definitely begin to see she has her issues. She drinks way too much, behaves like a rough, and withdrawn male detective, even though she's a reporter, that's just the type of image that comes to my mind. She makes a lot of really bad choices, but as you learn more about her past, I really could see why in the hell she's so damn messed up. She's come back to her small town, Wind Gap, to cover the story of the second of young girls that have gone missing. One was found dead the previous year and one is just still missing.

As we go along with Camille on her journey to her home town, we are taken on a voyeuristic jaunt with her as she begins to succumb to her mamma's odd, cold, and twisted style of mothering. This time, as an adult.

Really, it's a great read that takes you into the messed-up minds of a family that looks so perfect from the outside and functions so so wrong inside. They live in the familys' Victorian mansion, and completely run the town, so no one questions anything they do really. I get the sense that people know what's really going on, at least to some degree, but there's too much denial going around for anyone to actually deal with anything. Not to mention all the wealthy, bored housewives are too drunk, and popping too many pills to even question how many backs they keep stabbing. There is such a thin grasp on what's actually acceptable and unacceptable in their realities that most of what wrong was done, they just don't even realize it's not how humans are supposed to behave or be treated.

It's a stark and pointed story. It has a great set-up and the plot kept me reading because I really did want to watch it unfold. It was a fast-read for me, it took about a day to finish. It didn't leave me feeling happy and warm, but I didn't find it repulsively disturbing. Just very very wrong, but absolutely tolerable. Sometimes books come along that you really just don't want to keep reading because they're too much. This never went off the edge for me, but was teetering enough that I was intrigued to discover the pathology of these small-town, ridiculously wealthy, disturbed people. In the end, it becomes the healing path for Camille as her entire childhood finally unfolds and she learns the truth.

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