Posts Tagged ‘Gillian Flynn

04
Mar
13

Scootsa1000’s #CBR5 Review 7: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

UnknownBy now, everyone has heard about Gillian Flynn and Gone Girl. Most of us have read it, and for the most part, the reviews have been positive. I saw Sharp Objects, one of her earlier books, at the library last week, and picked it up knowing nothing about it — other than it was written by Gillian Flynn.

Sharp Objects is about Camille, a reporter at a third-rate Chicago newspaper. Her boss hears about a series of murders in a tiny Missouri town — the very town where Camille grew up — and sends her home to ask questions, do some research,write, and report back. Why is someone killing little girls? Is it someone from town, or an outsider? Are the police doing all that they can to find the murderer? And could Camille get a Pulitzer out of it?

Camille dreads going home, and its easy to see why. Her mother never loved her (and has told her as much), especially since the death of Camille’s younger sister years ago. Her younger half-sister Amma is out of control — sex, drugs, and drinking, all at 13. Her stepfather is more or less a non-entity in her life. And Camille has no idea who her real father is. Going home forces Camille to deal with a lot of things from her past that she would rather forget, including her teenage promiscuity and her past as a cutter. Camille’s body is covered in scars as proof of her self-medicating cutting. When she felt pain, at least she was feeling something.

I don’t really want to get to much into the story of the murders and the stories of the dead girls, as I fear I can’t get into it too much without giving the ending away. Unlike Gone Girl, I had figured out the ending about half-way through the story (with Gone Girl, no way I could have figured that thing out). But guessing who the murderer was didn’t make the story any less shocking.

Good God. What happened to Gillian Flynn that made her this dark and twisted and creepy? That’s all I could wonder while I read this book last weekend (home, sick in bed…this DID NOT make me feel better). In both Gone Girl and Sharp Objects, we’ve seen some truly horrible people do unspeakable things, all while appearing normal to those around them. While I think Flynn is an extremely talented writer, I’m just not in a rush to read her other novel, Dark Places. There’s only so much I can take.

 

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03
Oct
12

Scootsa1000’s #CBR4 Review 45: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I’ve read a lot of scary and disturbing books over the years.  Lots of Stephen King, Peter Straub,  Dean Koontz,  Joe Hill, Battle Royale-esque stories, etc.  And I keep going back for more.  I’ve seen — and have enjoyed — tons of horror movies (Eli Roth is one of my brother’s BFFs from childhood, you can see him die brutally in most of Roth’s work. Fun!).  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I guess I’ve become desensitized to the “horror” genre.  And maybe that’s why I think its such a big deal that I found Gone Girl so downright frightening.  I started the book expecting a Dennis Lehane style mystery, and ended up with something much, much different.

Gone Girl has been everywhere for the past few months.  Book clubs.  Online discussions.  Displays at Barnes & Noble.  And before I read it, I knew a little bit about it: a young wife goes missing and her husband becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance.  Told partly in flashback and in journal entries, we get the story of a marriage from both sides.  We also get to see what happens when a news story (like a missing spouse) turns into a media circus, complete with a terrible Nancy Grace-esque talking head, and how the media can sway public opinion regardless of the facts.  I expected and was interested by of it.

What I was not expecting, and ended up being both fascinated and terrified by, was the rest.  This book surprised me more than any other book I can remember reading.  Every 30 or 40 pages, I would completely change my mind about what I think the ending would be and what had happened to Amy (the wife).  Was it handsome husband, Nick?  Or his adorable mistress, Andie?  Or maybe one of the many people who have been accused of stalking Amy over the years?  A jealous neighbor?  A homeless vagrant?  His angry father? Her bizarre parents? Who would want to hurt beautiful, lovely, wealthy, perfect Amy?  And why?

And then, about halfway through, something shifted…and the psychological portrait the story painted of this seemingly normal American couple turned into the scariest thing I can remember reading in ages.  And at that point, I couldn’t put the book down.  I’ll definitely be seeking out other books by Gillian Flynn.  The characters she painted were vibrant and real, and the backstories and details about each of them were fascinating.

I love that this book seems to have fallen into the Sixth Sense/Fight Club/The Crying Game territory, where nobody who has read it is willing to spoil the outcome, leaving interested readers to find out for themselves.




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