I finally picked up Gillian Flynn’s novel Sharp Objects the other night. Marathon read half of the thing before bed and polished the rest of it off today. After reading Gone Girl some weeks back and finding out how good it was, I had to give what was said to be the better of the two books a try. It was an invigorating, fast paced read and I could see how a lot of the subjects in the book could dredge up past problems for many people. The reviews I had seen on Goodreads and Amazon made it sound like I was in for the shocker of a life time. People were calling it the darkest thing ever.
I was ready. I geared up for that gritty, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-esque darkness that seems to breed high octane nightmare fuel. What I got was damaged people, mostly damaged in normal ways. People seem to ignore this in real life, but this kind of thing happens all around us. Meth, sex for attention, self-harm, drug use to feel alive, hurting others to feel alive…sure it’s not always in the open and not all of it. But some of it is and I think that the news and other places cover it quite nicely.
These things come together in an explosive cocktail in Sharp Objects, but that doesn’t make the individual parts of the solution any less real and prominent.
We have a really bad habit of closing our eyes to the things going on around us and writing things off as just juicy gossip pieces and harmless. This book shows a town that let all that poison curdle and sour the town. I think people are more scared to read something slightly real and with people with real problems, though. This could pass for horror for some when it’s really just a mystery story.