I heard about Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl long before I heard of her first novel, Sharp Objects. My friend Todd was telling me about Gone Girl, about how it was one of the best books he had read in ages, and he vaguely described the plot to me: wife disappears, husband is suspected, secrets are revealed and mystery abounds. I thought to myself, ‘I can’t read that!’ because as he described it, it sounds so much like my stories, The Hannah Sketches, which I just added to the blog today. I didn’t want to read Gone Girl because I didn’t want another successful writer to influence my story. Now I am wondering whether I should just read it anyway and give up on dreams of being a literary master. I am not sure I have in me what Gillian Flynn obviously has in her.
Sharp Objects is not a long book, only about 250 pages, and I read it in a weekend. If I’d had the time, I wouldn’t have stopped reading once. I was hooked and thinking about the characters from the the very beginning and wanted to give most of them hugs, and punches in the face. Simultaneous conflicting feelings were a huge part of this book – I never knew whether I should cheer for the heroine or be just as disgusted with her as she was about herself, which is interesting for a main character. You usually want your main character to be likable, but Camille Preaker was a fickle one. Just when you think you know her, she reveals another secret that makes you wonder who she really is and what she’s thinking.
I took something great away from this book though, a writing technique that stood out to me: Camille Preaker was the narrator of this book. We were in her head from the very beginning, knowing her thoughts and feelings – but it was shocking how much the narrating character held back about her own past. Huge revelations that were vital to the story weren’t revealed until nearly halfway through this short novel, and it was stunning. I was constantly stunned by the new information that the narrator slowly let be revealed, and the build-up to the climax was paced PERFECTLY.
I really can’t wait to read more of Gillian Flynn’s work. I may not read Gone Girl yet, but she has more in her catalog that I will try to get my hands on soon.
** In case anyone is like, what the fuck is this? I just want to let you know that I am a really crappy book reviewer. I just like to briefly write about the books I’ve read to remember myself how I felt about them. I have no aspirations as a book blogger.