November 2021 book of the month club

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rubysmama

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Ok, here's my review, aka rambling thoughts, of the book.

This was my first book by Gillian Flynn, so not sure if it is typical of her writing style, but if it is, I don't expect I'll read any of her other books, as I just could not relate to any of the characters. (I got spoiled on the end of Gone Girl years ago, so never bothered to start that one)

Camille, the protagonist, with her cutting issues, I get was something she needed help dealing with, which she had done. And it also made sense that she was still struggling with the thoughts, especially once she was back among her dysfunctional family. But I still could not understand a 30-something year old woman going out partying and doing drugs with her 13 year old sister. And in no universe at all could I see her willingly going back to her mother's home where she'd already been drugged, and then accepting more drugs. I do get that she had issues making her want her mother's love and acceptance, but I just found it all a bit too extreme.

I could go on about all the other dysfunctional characters, including the lame Allan. Like, what did he even do all day long? And couldn't he see his wife was harming their daughter.

Even Richard, the detective, though mostly seemed to be acting rationally, didn't try to stop Camille from going back to her mother's place, even after she told him her mother had drugged her, and with him investigating the mother's role in the Marion's death years earlier. "Nothing will happen tonight", he said, or something like that. Yeah, sure. :rolleyes2:

Then we get to Amma. Her extreme behaviour did bring me at one point to wonder if she had anything to do with the girls' murders, but didn't think she'd be able to pull it off on her own. Didn't expect that her friends would be accomplices. though that actually seemed plausible to me, as there's certainly been news stories about teen murderers before. But the thing with the teeth at the end. So creepy.

The author definitely had an obsession with violent characters, as even the 2 young girls had issues with hurting people. That didn't really seem necessary, and Adora could have still taken them under her wing, if they'd just been lonely children, and not wannabe murderers. I suppose their biting issues was connected to the end, but not really sure.

Anyway, guess it'll come as no surprise that I wasn't a big fan of the book, despite my usual enjoyment of psychological thrillers. This one, I think, was just a bit too psychological for me. Oddly, though, it wasn't a hard book to read, and I did get to the end without wanting to stop reading. I just kept shaking my head at all the actions of the various characters.

Because I did finish it, and it did make me think about it more than some books, I'll give it a 2 out of 5 stars.
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gilmargl

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I'm afraid I thought this book was just too unbelievable and over the top to be taken seriously. At first I thought I was reading a draft copy before any proof reading had been done. The last few chapters, when everything was much too hurriedly brought to a most unsatisfactory close, I was almost convinced that I was indeed reading an unfinished script. The final murder, seemingly added as an afterthought, was surely more likely to affect "what was her name?" far more than the first two. Camille Preaker - that was her.
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I must admit, at first I thought the murderer would turn out to be someone working at the pig farm, who may have been forced to remove the teeth from piglets so that they couldn't bite the sow. He then took his vengeance on the community by killing little girls and removing their teeth. But, we all now know who dunnit!

How did Adora manage to use teeth to make an ivory floor for her dollhouse? (Or did I misread something - I really can't be bothered to search and reread any of that text again.

I wouldn*t even classify this book as a psychological thriller - more like a perverse fantasy. It was so badly written that it didn't have any effect on me at all - I usually hate reading about violence, cruelty to animals or children, but this was like a comic strip. I did read the book very quickly - perhaps trying to find the reason for it being a best-seller! At least I didn't have to pay for my copy and it was a quick read.

You can't give no stars at all, so I am being forced to give it ⭐ !
 
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rubysmama

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The last few chapters, when everything was much too hurriedly brought to a most unsatisfactory close, I was almost convinced that I was indeed reading an unfinished script. The final murder, seemingly added as an afterthought, was surely more likely to affect "what was her name?" far more than the first two. Camille Preaker - that was her.
Oh, yeah, I forgot about the rushed ending. I guess she wanted a shocking twist.

How did Adora manage to use teeth to make an ivory floor for her dollhouse? (Or did I misread something - I really can't be bothered to search and reread any of that text again.
Did you mean to type Amma instead of Adora? Reason I ask, is I'm not even sure if Adora was aware that her daughter was a murderer. And using human teeth for the floor of the dollhouse wasn't much more horrific than using ivory for the bedroom floor. I can't imagine how many elephants would have to be killed to accomplish that.
 
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verna davies

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I had read Gone Girl by this author and wasnt impressed and unfortunately I feel the same about Sharp Objects. Whether it's the unbelievable characters or her style of writing, maybe both, but I was glad when I had finished it. If the characters are based on people Gillian Flynn knows then she needs to make new friends quickly.

Camille Preaker with her issues of self harming choosing to stay with her unfeeling, self absorbed mother and strange sister in the house that had so many unpleasant memories is not believable. Vickery with his indifferent attitude, teenagers who kow towed to the local bully. Did they take all the people with dark pasts and issues and put them together in a small town, it seems like it.

I found it quite uncomfortable to read in parts and some descriptions unnecessary..too much detail.

I felt the ending was rushed, told through recollections rather than part of the unraveling of the murders.

I give this book one and a half stars.
 
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rubysmama

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So far, it seems we all have similar takes on the book. Maybe that's what the author was expecting, when she wrote such a dark, and disturbing story.

If the characters are based on people Gillian Flynn knows then she needs to make new friends quickly.
LOL.

I found it quite uncomfortable to read in parts and some descriptions unnecessary..too much detail.
That reminded me of something that bothered me when I read the book, but didn't think to add to my review. I found some of the descriptions of drug usage too detailed, and read almost like a how to guide, which I found disturbing, especially when it was barely teenaged girls involved.
 

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I actually got the reading done the last two months but never got around to commenting. I'll try to make up for it here.

I've worked with adolescents in two different psych hospitals, one mainly for eating disorders and the other general psych. Sadly the self-harm, drug abuse, anxiety, and other co-morbidities occur in both populations.

The scenarios the author described are all real. The ways different characters dealt with their issues are also accurate in that it can happen that way, but not that everyone will end up so totally dysfunctional. What I found over the top was stuffing every single psych condition into one little story.

I have no desire to read any other books by this author.
 

verna davies

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GoldyCat GoldyCat Its interesting to read your post about the conditions and that the scenarios in the book are real, unless you have seen/experienced it they seem a little far fetched. Totally agree with you on the number of characters in one book with the issues.
 
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rubysmama

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Interesting to read your post, GoldyCat GoldyCat , since you have first hand experience working with patients who suffer from some of these conditions. It must have been difficult at times, and hope you saw mostly positive outcomes.

Good to know that the scenarios described were all real. I've actually heard of Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MBP) before, so though I couldn't relate, it was mostly believable. As we all seem to agree, it felt unrealistic that almost every character in the book had some sort of psych issue. It's too bad the author's editor hadn't suggested making some tweaks, that might have lessened the unbelievability aspects. But then I'm reading that her 3 books have sold a combined total of 23 million copies, so guess there are some readers out there who are fans of her writing style.
 
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We've reached the end of another month, so also the official end of the Sharp Objects discussion. It was a bit disappointing that a fewer than usual number of members read the book, and that none of us who did read it enjoyed it. However, we did all post our honest, albeit critical, reviews, and had a bit of a discussion, as well. So thanks to all who participated. Though we're moving on, as usual the thread will remain open, if anyone has anything else to post.

Next up is December, where instead of reading a book, we are going to be reading 3 short stories. Being that December can be a busy month for some folks, we are having an abbreviated book club month, with the reading period and the discussion period both finished by December 15th. We hope some of you will be able to read at least one of the short stories (ideally all three) and then join the discussion. Here's the thread with all the info:
December 2021 book of the month club

And for those looking ahead to the new year, we've already chosen a book for January, which we'll announce in early December. It's a novel which was released in 2003, and per Wikipedia would fall under these genres: Historical fiction, Drama, Classic, Coming-of-age, Literary realism.
 
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