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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 (346 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker's troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille's first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.  

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, 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 again in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, she will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

With its taut, well-crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.

©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!

7 of 7 people found this review 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.

7 of 7 people found this review 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow

Absolutely loved this book. The twists and turns. Kept me enthralled till the very end.

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twisted and unhealthy. perfect mix!

the narrator during this was really good
different tones differentiated different people. the story was good. hooks you from the start. nice length of book, too

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Good story and narration

It took a little while for me to get into it, but I found this story entertaining and well narrated. After the first couple of chapters I was hooked. Somewhat predictable, but it still had some unexpected twists. A great bedtime story.

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Excellent book, great narrative

Interesting and dark. Characters are deeply flawed but so enticing you want more. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.

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draws out the building of the antagonist....

an easy listen with some interesting narrative but was slightly predictable with fairly cliche characters.

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Seriously I couldn’t put it down!

I finished this book in two days, it was so good. Such a easy listen with a great story that kept me thinking that the heck is going on! I was slightly surprised by the ending, they Gillian really did a great job with this book. Highly recommend!

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Chilling Intrigue

A chilling yet intriguing story with neither a disappointing, or overly satisfying end. Fantastic narration.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kelley
  • CA, United States
  • 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.

291 of 310 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • theenglishmajor
  • NJ
  • 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.

186 of 198 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Connie G
  • St. John, KS.
  • 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.

38 of 40 people found this review helpful

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  • Amanda
  • Phoenix, AZ, United States
  • 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.

133 of 145 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

135 of 150 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AmazonShoppingQueen
  • Chicago, IL
  • 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.

64 of 72 people found this review helpful

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  • ELB
  • 2015-04-18

Liked the story, but not the performance

I can't say what bothered me about this story without spoiling it, so I'll just say that I got hung up on some factual/conceptual flaws...otherwise it is suspenseful and beautifully harsh, as you would expect from Flynn. I found the performance, especially of the regional accents and mannerisms of teenage girls, almost too annoying to continue listening to. I went back to the text several times so that I didn't have to hear the grating sound of the narrators voice.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Phyllis
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 2009-10-04

Definitely in my top 10

There's so much more here than an absorbing mystery. Flynn really captures the dynamics of a small town. The characters, even those who only appear briefly, are layered. Plus, the main character is as intriguing as she is unusual. The narration is perfect. I'm looking forward to the next Gillian Flynn.

35 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Snowy Marigold
  • 2009-05-25

Compelling read

Blunt. Deeply troubled. Intense. The main character of this story is, as many of us are, wounded. When she returns to her hometown, she uncovers just what the nature of that wounding is and who abused her. Intertwined is a whodunit murder mystery.

I couldn't stop listening. I spent extra hours in my art studio (that's where I listen)just to hear the story. This is the first book I want to listen to for a second time.

53 of 61 people found this review helpful

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  • Theodore
  • Kingston, Jamaica
  • 2013-06-05

Wow.... Gillian Flynn has a knack for this

I am having issues finding fault with Gillian Flynn I find. I am a fan, a true fan of Gillian Flynn and keeping that in mind I am concerned for my own mental health because I am sure that says a lot about me.

Gillian Flynn's brand of dark, twisted writing comes from a truly dark place. Her mind clearly goes places that a normal person would call... disturbing. I find though that it taps into that place that I think everyone has (as a form of justification because I clearly have it maybe). That dark/twisted/demented place where things aren't all rainbows and butterflies.

Gillian Flynn creates an amazingly flawed female characters in the form of Camille here. Her knack for creating such characters again is both dually intriguing and disturbing in the same sense. The way everything unfolded in this book was creepy in short and the way the entire story unwound itself was jarring at the very least. You might have been able to see what is about to happen from a mile away but even so you will enjoy each and every twisted, demented, crazy stop in the process. The writing in this book as the writing in all of her books just seem to be in a different league amongst most authors. Even if you dislike how dark this book is you will find yourself enjoying this dark twisted ride if only for the superb writing.

Another narration that I can find little fault with. Ann Marie Lee was able to portray Camille just as I expected her to sound. She kept up with the excellent storyline and only served to enhance the overall listening experience.

55 of 64 people found this review 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!