2017年7月17日 星期一

Review: 'Sharp Objects' by Gillian Flynn

  I am interested in Gillian Flynn because of her famous novel Gone Girl. I usually don't read thrillers, but I heard that her novel is very well-written, so I want to get a feel of it. Sharp Objects is her debut novel first published in 2006. The edition I borrowed is a later edition published by Broadway Books. The book cover is full of praises from the media and writers, which promise an addictive story and a book hangover. Chicago Tribune says, "(it) keeps you reading with the force of pure but nasty addiction." This may be a nasty addiction not only because the story is disturbing, but also you are here to find out who is the crazy psychopath who kills people. It is a bit hard for me to get used to viewing the characters of a story as suspects. This novel is really good for its genre but it does not make me like crime thrillers more.

  The novel is about a reporter Camille, who returns to her tiny hometown, Wind Gap,  to cover the murders of two girls. At first, it is a typical crime story, which involves talking to police officers and trying to get a clue of the incidents. Yet as the story unfolds, we understand more about her psychological struggles, her alienated relationship with her mother, and her haunting past in the family and the hometown. Her personal narrative intertwines with the crime story, and this makes the story more interesting and complex. It is a story within a story. 

  I think Flynn is very good at constructing the setting and writing the subtle details. The town's main industry is pig farming and slaughtering, which Camille utterly disgusts. This setting echoes with the abusive relationship among some of the characters in the novel. That her half-sister love eating ham and watching pig-farming reminds readers of her being a bully in school. 

  The novel also strikes me as how suitable it is for movie/TV adaptations. It has the actions, the atmosphere, a real setting, and a chronological storyline with some flashbacks. This is one thing I want to complain about. Although there isn't any cliche, this type of story makes a familiar thriller movie. It kept me thinking about the story for a couple of days, but I learned nothing new about this genre, and it didn't leave me questions to wonder. Yet I still quite enjoyed following the plot. 
 

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