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Sharp Objects Paperback – July 31, 2007
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10 Second Interview: A Few Words with Gillian Flynn
Q: Do you prefer writing novels or reviewing?
A: I think writing is more pure--and actually a bit easier for me. It's just me and my laptop, not me and my laptop and a TV show that 30 people have worked on. Reviewing keeps you sharp--I can hardly watch or read anything without taking notes now--but plain old writing I find actually relaxing.
Q: Do think your writing is influenced more by books that you have read, or shows/movies that you have seen?
A: My mom spent her career as a reading teacher and my dad is a retired film professor, so I was really steeped in both books and movies growing up. To this day, when I get my dad on the phone, pretty much his first sentence is "Seen anything good lately?" I love putting words together (I've never met a simile I didn't like), but when I write I often think in "scenes"--I want these two people, in a dirty bar, with this song playing in the background.
Q: I hear you are working on your second book...is it is too early to ask what it's about?
A: I'm still playing around with the whole plot--when I wrote Sharp Objects, I wasn't even sure who the killer was for a bit. But I can say [the new book] has to do with family loyalty, false memories, a wrenching murder trial, and a dash of good 'ole 1980s hair metal and devil worship.
Q: What is your writing process like? Have you changed anything about how you work since your first book?
A: My writing process is incredibly inefficient, and hasn't changed between books. I really don't outline: I know basically how I want the story to start, and vaguely how I want it to end (though like I said, with Sharp Objects even that changed!). Then I just write: Some characters I start finding more interesting, some less. I write entire swaths that I pretty much know I'll cut. I have an entire file of "deleted scenes." I guess the one thing that has physically changed is I moved into a new place since my first book--it has a great bathtub, and I'll prop my laptop up and write in the bath for hours. Which is, admittedly, weird.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
This is the story of Camille Preaker, who works as a reporter for a newspaper in Chicago. She has been assigned to cover the story of a possible child serial killer in a small town in Missouri. She was given this story mainly because this small town happens to be her hometown.
We know that Camille is a physically beautiful, but very troubled young woman. We know that she does not want to go home, and throughout the course of this disturbing novel we find out why.
I found this to be a very interesting story, and a page-turner which is high compliment. This book does an excellent job of showing the repercussions of child abuse, and what life is like in a small town.
The only reason this book did not get 5 stars is the mystery aspect. I cannot say more without a spoiler, but I found that part of the resolution improbable for a variety of reasons.
Still, this is a suspenseful, *different* book, and I think that the character of Camille Preaker will stay with me for a long time. I would definitely give Gillian Flynn another try.
I found this book to be an emotional experience because the deeper I got into Camille's world and the more I learned her personal story, the more I realized that her discovery of who the murderer was would have the potential to absolutely destroy her -- and she's someone who, by all rights, really should have hit bottom by now.
A short, terse book you won't soon forget.
Camille Preaker, a reporter for an obscure Chicago newspaper, is assigned to investigate the recent murders of two young girls in her claustrophobic Missouri hometown. Besides overcoming the natural wariness the townsfolk exhibit toward a nosy journalist, Camille must face down her dysfunctional family - a controlling mother, distant step-father and a disturbed, thirteen-year-old step-sister whose catty group of friends makes the "Mean Girls" crowd look like a troup of Brownies. The closer Camille gets to cracking this grisly mystery, the harder she struggles to keep her horde of inner demons at bay and the more she begins to fear for her own safety.
If judged purely by the intensity of its suspense and page-turning quotient, "Sharp Objects" would easily merit five stars. Flynn taps into the psychological horror generated by a twisted family in a way that electrifies the narrative, reminding me of Dean Koontz in that regard. I had trouble, though, accepting the unlikely logistics behind the crimes and found certain characters to be so over-the-top as to strain credibility. These quibbles aside, Gillian Flynn already has mastered a fast-paced and hard-boiled writing style that's perfectly suited for the suspense genre, and she has created a fascinating heroine who could form the centerpiece for a winning series.
-Kevin Joseph, author of "The Champion Maker"
Ms. Flynn nails perfectly small Midwest town life. A quote in her description of small town life,
"Like all rural towns, Wind Gap has an obsession with machinery. Most homes own a car and a half for every occupant, plus boats, Jet Skis, scooters, tractors, and among the elite of Wind Gap, golf cars, which younger kids without licenses use to whip around town."
Ms. Flynn makes some disturbing observations about parenting and family life - and ties them in to premature death:
As to the death of a young girl, "it's the only way to truly keep your child. Kids grow up, they forge more potent allegiances. They find a spouse or a lover. They will not be buried with you. The Keenes, however will remain the purest form of family. Underground."
The situations described in this book are exceptional, but she breaks the image of small rural life as being ideal. Terrifying violence and dysfunction lurks beneath the surface and I have to say, she nailed it in terms of describing my small rural home town. As Flynn writes, the idealic quality of small towns is false. A question is - should people go home once they have fled extreme unhappiness? Can they go home and survive it emotionally?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really liked the ending of the book. Every time I thought I had all the answers I second guessed myself - all the way up to the very last part.Published 3 hours ago by Ashley
It was just alright, nothing like her Gone Girl book. Based on the cover, this could be a huge trigger for some people. Read more
This book kept me interested and intrigued. Was dark as most her work is but I would anxiously await free time to read more. I would recommend it.Published 1 day ago by Mojita16
Honestly an amazing book. Very drawing and amazingly written. I will for sure be reading more novels by this author!Published 1 day ago by Hannah Lisagor
I read her other book "Gone Girl" and it was awesome. I started "Dark Places" but didn't finish. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Maddy
Gillian Flynn is a terrific writer. All of her books are some of my favorites. Gone Girl was the best but this book was definitely keeping me on the edge of my seat. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Catherine