what I read, what I thought

A few weeks ago, I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and wrote a little review on the book which was recommended to me by a friend. Having been intrigued by this dark thriller, I decided to read Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects while travelling from Boston to Minnesota and back this past weekend. In many ways, the books are similar with their disturbed protagonists who are unafraid (or at times driven) to inflict pain on themselves. Both stories revolve around murder and mystery that bring the protagonists perilously close to the murderers. Dark is a word that is exhausted while describing Sharp Objects. One of my favorite reviews is by Stephen King (Though I have not read any of this novels as I am too scared to do so), “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’s All Heads Turn as the Hunt Goes By, and that was thirty years ago, give or take.”

Flynn’s style of writing is contagious. From the first sentence to the last she generates a fever in the reader that compels him or her to read through the tale of intrique as quickly as possible. Home is complicated place for many and Sharp Objects exposes these trials that members face within a particular family.  The “give and take,” the “love and hate,” and the “for and against” mentality of the family is exhibited for the reader who may or may not understand these opposing feelings about one’s childhood home.  Yet, this conflict whether as extreme as in the novel or more subtle (as I assume in more families), is present. Therefore even though this particular story represents a wild extreme, a reader is still able to identify with the characters and their humanity (or lack there of).  I mention this not to create normalcy out of the events that occur but to explain perhaps why I was so compelled to finish a story as troubling as Sharp Objects. I recommend this book, but only to those who can handle a story that is not in anyway a comfortable portrayal of family.

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what i read and what i thought

I can’t believe I just finished it!! Reading for pleasure during the school year is practically impossible, but when a friend passed along this book to me and said, “I cannot tell you anything about it but that is was amazing,” I knew I needed to make an exception. Each night I would come home with my stack of papers to grade and lessons to plan and stare at the book on the kitchen table.  When would I ever get the time to crack it open?

Then two weekends in a row the city of Boston was hit by tremendous snowstorms. I woke early these days to make my coffee, nestle in on the couch and begin reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

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As the snow fell in heavy flakes outside my window and as I emptied my coffee cup, the pages ticked off one by one. I wasn’t sure this book would capture my imagination.  The first few chapters were good but nothing that compelled me to want to dedicate my day to the story and to the protagonist, Nick Dunne. Early on I didn’t like Nick, so why finish his story? But, my friend had said this was the type of book that you should only read once you have set aside some ours to get lost.

It was about 50 pages in when I became hooked. As the story of murder, intrigue, and possibilities unravelled I found myself squealing with every new twist and turn.  Just when you think you have a handle on what is going on, the trajectory takes a sharp turn and leaves you biting your nails in anticipation. I could not gobble up the last 100 hundred pages fast enough. As I approached the last few pages, David called out, “You are almost there. You can do it.”  I was hypnotized by Flynn’s tale. Never a fan for CSI or Law and Order, I literally could not stop until the story came to its unexpected conclusion.  It was a twisted end and one I am still deciding it I really “liked” or not, but regardless I recommend this book to the next reader.  Enjoy the ride.