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Sharp Objects

A Novel
Written by: Gillian Flynn
Narrated by: Ann Marie Lee
Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (791 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

NOW AN HBO® LIMITED SERIES STARRING AMY ADAMS, NOMINATED FOR EIGHT EMMY AWARDS, INCLUDING OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES FROM THE NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF GONE GIRL 

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: She must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful 13-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims - a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story - and survive this homecoming.

Praise for Sharp Objects:

“Nasty, addictive reading.” (Chicago Tribune)

“Skillful and disturbing.” (Washington Post)

“Darkly original...[a] riveting tale.” (People)

©2006 Gillian Flynn (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the critics say

"A witty, stylish, and compelling debut. A real winner." (Harlan Coben)

"Flynn delivers a great whodunit.... Piercingly effective and genuinely terrifying." (Kirkus Reviews)

"To say this is a terrific debut novel is really too mild. I haven't read such a relentlessly creepy family saga since John Farris' All Heads Turn as the Hunt Goes By, and that was 30 years ago, give or take. Sharp Objects isn't one of those scare-and-retreat books; its effect is cumulative. I found myself dreading the last 30 pages or so but was helpless to stop turning them. Then, after the lights were out, the story just stayed there in my head, coiled and hissing, like a snake in a cave. An admirably nasty piece of work, elevated by sharp writing and sharper insights." (Stephen King) 

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Overall great

Good author, good narrator, good story. Well written and kept me interested the whole time!

11 people found this helpful

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Chilling

I don't want to give anything away, so I won't say a lot. If you enjoy a good mystery, this book is for you. Some parts made my stomach lurch and skin crawl, but in a good way...
It takes a few chapters to get into so give it a chance,, you won't be disappointed.

11 people found this helpful

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Ann Marie Lee Should Narrate My Funeral

This story was brilliant and its led me down the rabbit hole of Gillian Flynn's works, but Ann Marie Lee has now soared to the top as my favourite narrator. Her voice and acting is riveting from the moment she opens her mouth. She sold this story to me by the end of her first sentence. I'm in love with a voice??? I just. I'm so glad I tried this audiobook. The most emotionally charged scenes in this book were still comforting because of how well she voiced them. That's unbelievable to me. I normally have to walk away at any sort of emotional abuse and nope. She took my hand, led me through it, and I finished 90% of this book in a single day - no regrets.

8 people found this helpful

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Intriguing

This was my first Gillian Flynn read but certainly won’t be the last. It gets you hooked from the start. Suspenseful, mysterious, dark and unpredictable. Recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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Great character building, slow story

I thought the character building was great. I was drawn to the twisty and dark main character but the story didn’t catch my interest as much as other books have. I thought the progression of the story was too slow and it took me a while to get through this. Overall, I did like the performance. The story just wasn’t my cup of tea.

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Twists and turns, and then twists again

I'm a big fan of books following murder investigations, and while this one at first didn't seem to be too special, the writing was vivid and beautiful and there were other aspects to the story that kept me interested while the main drama slowly sank its teeth in. Before too long, and without realizing it, I was hooked.
I've read a lot of true crime and mystery before, so I felt like I had an edge over the twists and turns of this story; I was wrong. Without getting too into spoilers, part of the excitement of this book is figuring out what has happened before Camille does, and then still watching it all unravel in ways you do not expect. Loose ends and things you'd half forgotten about come back to make sense in horrifying and fascinating ways, and in general the conclusion leaves you feeling a bit exposed, but satisfied. I only gave the story four stars because I did find it to meander a bit more than I would have liked, but really I think the last few chapters of the book are breathtaking.
I also can't say enough about the excellent narration. The different tones and "voices" used are exceptional, making it easy to differentiate characters and even get a sense for who they are at what they're like beyond just the words. The narration is so good, honestly, that seeing another book narrated by Ann Marie Lee might be enough to convince me to listen to it.

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Couldn't finish it

The narrator kept me going, but I couldnt finish it. Just too dark and graphic.

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Dark and Heavy, not an easy listening book.

I had no idea what 'Sharp Objects' was about, but I wanted to listen before watching the HBO production. This story slapped me in the face with the heavy themes of abuse, addiction, self harm and many other dark subjects. It's rare to see a female protagonist in this type of story, with most of the important characters being female and I enjoyed that. Women can be just as evil as men, and this book certainly did not shy away from that. The Narrator is amazing- her husky voice was so alluring, and she was able to subtly change it for each character who spoke. This book made me feel things.

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Sharp Objects

I’m not sure if I have words. Absolutely captivating. A thrill to read. I gobbled up the audio version.

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    1 out of 5 stars

I know what it was in the 2 for 1 bin....

If you're into drama about people creating their own problems for no apparent reason...this is for for you.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kelley
  • 2008-01-26

I agree with Stephen King

There's something almost magnetic about this book. It quickly becomes hard to listen to and impossible not to. The author has virtually every family disfunction ever featured on Lifetime in this book and I did not roll my eyes once. I can't tell you what or how without ruining the agonizing unraveling for you but I think it takes a very skilled pen indeed to make so much seem so natural. At the end I felt real grief for the central character.
The narrator's performance is flawlessly understated and adds to the mesmerizing almost 'real-time hyper-reality' of this unbelievable story.
If you've any interest at all in the dark side of small town life and of the american family, I think you will love this book.

318 people found this helpful

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  • theenglishmajor
  • 2014-02-14

Pitch Perfect Performance

I selected this book because I enjoyed "Gone Girl" so much. "Sharp Objects" is equally as brilliant and in some ways, better. Like "Gone Girl", there is an element of suspense that keeps the reader involved until the end. These characters are equally as flawed and as brilliantly portrayed as the characters in Gone Girl. When I was in college, a group of friends in my dorm used to recite dialogue from the movie classic "The Bad Seed" and I found myself thinking of that movie as I was listening. Part "Bad Seed", a little "Lolita" with a bit of Patricia Highsmith thrown in for good measure, the book leaves the reader wondering where the author comes up with her ideas.
The narrator was perfect, one of the best matches I have come across between a book and reader. Not only did she truly differentiate the characters, but her reading pace was perfect.
I knew nothing about the premise of the book before I started listening, and I believe that added to my enjoyment.
I think Gillian Flynn is a gifted young writer, and I look forward to reading more of her novels.

212 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-09-19

Unbelievable and Predictable

The narration is incredible, but the story leaves something to be desired. In the beginning, it seems to be really promising, but quickly falls apart towards the middle. I understand bullying and gossip in a small town, but as someone who is FROM a small southern town, I just couldn't believe any of it. The things the townspeople did just. Aren't things people do. There is also an obsession on sex, which makes sense somewhat, but it is drawn out way too much. Also there's a lot of forced underage sex, more than simple pre-teen/teen peer pressure, and it definitely gets uncomfortable after a while. Seriously, please stop describing a 13 year old's breasts. I got it the first time. Personally, the other "gore" didn't bother me, so I don't think it was a problem.

There are only TWO likable characters, and they are minor and only appear rarely throughout via phone calls. The entire plot is extremely predictable. No spoilers, but seriously I don't understand how people were surprised by the reveal. There were some really good moments that had potential, but overall the unbelievable characters and predictable plot left me disappointed.

Also the romantic subplots were a joke. They didn't make any sense and had no impact on the story other than emphasizing SEX.

P.S. You don't need to repeat the same foreshadowing line 300 times. I get it: "A woman would never do such a thing"

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 2012-06-15

Cutting Words

Having discovered the author (Gillian Flynn) when reading her newest release, I promptly decided to try one of her other 2 books. I selected Dark Places, and found it to be one of the best books I've ever read. That is how I found myself here with Sharp Objects; looking forward to the anticipated quality of the work, but already bracing myself for the emotional hit this author packs.

Just as Camille violently cuts her chosen words into her skin, permanently etching them into herself, so does the author, Gillian Flynn, violently cut HER chosen words into the reader; permanently etching them into you. Each cut hurts; but like Camille, we continue on; by continuing to read the story.

This is not a happy book. Not all all. Not one little bit. It's about petty people, hurtful people, evil people...and all the one-time innocents they have damage so badly, they grow into the next generation of hate. And the cycle, in the forsaken town of Wind Gap, continues on through generations.

And still, we read on; because the author has pulled us into this hypnotic web. We continue with the cutting words.

I found this book excellent. The story seemed to have a life of it's own, moving in unexpected directions and growing into the final chapter; by which you understand that no other ending would have been possible.

If the description above hasn't put you off, and you are prepared for the language, violence, and disturbing sexual content, then this book may be for you. I found it haunting and very well done.

142 people found this helpful

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  • Connie G
  • 2012-10-04

Excellent Story. Excellent Writing.

This is the 3rd book by Gillian Flynn that I have read. I started with the most recent and worked backwards but it made no difference.
Ms Flynn's writing style is excellent and Sharp Objects is no exception.

Ms. Flynn is tuned into the emotions and feelings of her subjects and makes them come alive on the pages. It is as if I "knew" the protaganist, Camille, or I know someone like her.
I personally could relate to the small Midwestern town, the violence, the closeness.

Once again, I thought I had the story and the ending figured out and with a quick twist, it was completely different.

Ann Marie Lee did a great job with the narration.

Not only would I recommend Sharp Objects, but also any other book penned by Gillian Flynn.

41 people found this helpful

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  • FanB14
  • 2012-12-13

Gone Girl First?

Devoured Gone Girl and went in search of more. This, her first novel tells the tale of a flawed, off center woman who cuts the words of her anguish over every part of her body. She covers her mutilation with non-revealing clothing (even in the summer) also mirroring how she hides her true self; not letting anyone too close. She returns to her hometown to report on two murders. Her dystunctional family and the town serve as the backdrop for the mystery. Well written, and definitely worth your credit and a read. A little hurried and predictable near the end, but overall am happy to have listened to it. Flynn evolves her talent with each book.

141 people found this helpful

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  • Whit
  • 2018-11-02

Super obvious

This is a mystery where the solution is so obvious that you’ll guess it quickly.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Lundin
  • 2018-09-30

Really Stupid

This book is filled with unbelievable characters. The main character is someone who is a cutter and has scratched words into every inch of her body, except her face and the middle of her back. At the same time, the writer wants us to believe that this person can have a reasonably normal life as a reporter. Her whole family is dysfunctional and unbelievable. The 13 year old daughter is one minute playing with an over the top, extravagant doll house and the next second is wearing a mini skirt and flirting with grown men. She acts 2-3 years old one minute and then 30 years old the next. It's ridiculous. The mother is another piece of cake and is also unbelievable. She puts up with the daughter's unconscionable behavior and is just plain weird, crazy and unsympathetic to the reader. I got through the book as it is well delivered but the whole time I was saying to myself; "This is really stupid!"

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • AmazonShoppingQueen
  • 2007-02-01

There's a reason

This book showed up on so many best-of-2006 lists. It's unlike anything you've read,perhaps a bit of a thinking woman's Silence of the Lambs? Creepy but astonishingly smart and beautifully written and very compelling. Can't wait for her next book.

66 people found this helpful

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  • Pro Grammer
  • 2018-09-19

no one to root for

Not even close to one likeable character. A downer from start to finish. Don't waste your time.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2018-07-26

simply perfect

Awesome story and great performance by Ann Marie lee. could not stop listening! definitely recommend

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-07-24

A must read!

I have no words! Gosh, the last part! What a twist... Love it! Want more!