Sharp Objects

My sweater was new, stinging red and ugly.

Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl was a small big success. People who already were familiar with her work, told me pretty unanimously that Sharp Objects was (even) better. Once again my library provided and I could get into Camille Preaker’s world.

Preaker is a news paper reporter. When in her small home town a girl gets missing and found dead, her boss sees it as the perfect opportunity for a scoop. She’s pretty much an inside source, after all. Camille really doesn’t want to go back there. She left for a reason, her family isn’t her family and she knows how a small town can turn on an outsider. Yet she goes where her boss tells her to go.

Things go from dodgy to bad and worse: more young girls are missing, Camille’s half sister gets under her skin while her mother’s passive aggressiveness exhausts her. The town sees her as a traitor, the police as a nuisance. Camille tries to cope, but her paranoia and insecurity drips from the pages. It’s unsettling without being loud, small horror in which the humans are the monsters.

I wouldn’t say that Sharp Objects was better than Gone Girl. But I would recommend it sooner.

 

Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2006

Gone Girl

When I think of my wife, I always think of her head.

This is the first book I ever read because a book club (on goodreads.com, my account name is MNLO) suggested it. It was also my first time reading an eBook. Does that excitement take anything away from the novel? No.

I read a lot of books. The bad thing about that is that it’s kinda hard to surprise me with genuine plot twists or original lines. This will sound very snobbish, but I like to be surprised not more than one page before the twist, not thirty pages in advance with “subtle” “hints”. Gone Girl definitely delivered on this, receiving several surprised ‘Oh wow!’s from me.

In Gone Girl the reader follows a men and a woman, from meeting and dating to married life and what follows after that. The disappearance of the woman.
After that – instead of turning into a run of the mill – missing person story, Gillian Floyd keeps throwing the reader curve balls, adding (little) twists. A lot of them are very spoilerish, so you will have to find out for yourself.
Another thing I liked about this, is that neither of the main characters are like-able and yet they are not irritating (to me, any way) to read. There is a difference between not caring about your characters because you think they’re horrible or care because you might wish horrible endings for them.
And even the ending surprised me, even though I’m usually not a fan about these kind of endings.

So all I can say is: Yes, I enjoyed this very much (not sure about the eBook though) and recommend this book. Good work, book club.

Gone Girl, Gillian Floyd, Crown 2012