Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn [Book Review]

sharp-objects-book-cover.jpgTitle : Sharp Objects

Author : Gillian Flynn

ISBN : 9780307341556

Publisher : Broadway Books

Genre : Mystery

Pages : 394

Source : Self

Rating : 5 stars




“See, there I am. I told you I lived. I told you I was.”

Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects crashes into a person’s consciousness like a wave. There is strength in the dialogue and the script and she eases it home with a plot twist waiting to be unraveled.

At the outset, Sharp Objects sounds loosely like any other detective novel. Camille Preaker, a journalist, is sent to her hometown, a place she has not visited in years, to cover a series of murders. She does so reluctantly setting the plot in motion. Once there, she just remembers all the reasons why she has avoided that place like the plague. Only, being older and more knowledgeable this time around, her intuition warns her of something amiss, and that is something connected to the series of murders plaguing the town.

Written in first-person, it follows Camille’s thoughts and observations turning this into a suspense thriller of the first order. But there is more to this book than a person might gather from the summary – it is also a psychological thriller (in a weird way comparable to In The Woods by Tana French)

As any other Flynn’s books, Sharp Objects targets the ugly side of humanity, the one that people are not okay exposing, but she reveals it layer by layer, showing us how warped humanity is under all its pretenses. It is the protagonist’s inner thoughts that actually bring out the raw and real side of the book. Thoughts like “A child weaned on poison considers harm a comfort.”, and “I ached once, hard, like a period typed at the end of a sentence.” makes the reader give just that pause to understand how Camille processes things, how messed up she is in the head and the circumstances that brought her to it.

Flynn does an amazing job pulling off damaged humans and the surrounding environs, but there’s truth to it; nobody’s undamaged in this world, there’s always a certain tick that sets people apart. It’s just that some people exhibit it, some don’t. The characters introduced are complex, majorly messed up, which also makes them very real to the world. She does not mince words when it comes to describing and analyzing horrific details either, whether of the murders or of the characters. The plot itself is convoluted and fast paced so a reader would want to keep reading, with the knowledge that a lot of messy things are just around the corner. All said and done, this book is not for the faint hearted, and if self-harm disturbs you, consider this the warning.

Reviewed by Mitra Somanchi.

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