After the long, long lengthiness of Vanity Fair I also listened to the audio version of Sharp Objects for my book club’s January challenge to ‘read something being adapted to the screen’. I felt it was written largely to shock the audience with a lot of explicit sexual encounters intermingled with grotesque slaughterhouse scenes featuring raw, butchered meat and caged livestock. It was quite unpleasant in that respect (as you might imagine!) and there was a lot about the plot (sexual abuse and exploitation of minors, drug use, mental health issues) which was similarly unsettling. Despite the efforts put in to the more controversial, teen-scenes, I thought the portrayal of the mother’s condition, ‘munchausen by proxy’, was actually the most haunting aspect, and her characterisation was the redeeming feature of the book for me.
That said, I wouldn’t recommend this one. I know it was Gillian Flynn‘s first novel, so maybe it’s understandable that the writing wasn’t perfect, but on top of this I found the plot fairly predictable and unexciting. Written to disturb, and on the whole successful in that aspect, the book is nonetheless, mediocre. I would recommend sticking to Gone Girl if you are a fan of psychological thrillers and want to try some of Flynn’s work.
It will be interesting to see how Amy Adams manages in the TV series, I think the last film of her’s I watched was ‘Enchanted’ (I have a certain soft spot for kids films…), which she was fine in, but if she manages to pull off the oh-so-slightly less singalong-with-bluebirds role, her acting skills will definitely go up in my estimation!
I expect the new series’ creation was sparked off, at least in part due to the success of the television version of Big Little Lies, which, *shock, horror*, I actually enjoyed more than the book, (and I do love a bit of Liane Moriarty). However, I can’t imagine this series will be as good as that, particularly given the comparatively un-flashy lineup. If it gets positive reviews I’ll certainly take a look, but I won’t be counting down the days.