Crown Publishing Group
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Date Read: November 5, 2015
Gillian Flynn’s Edgar Award-winning homage to the classic ghost story, published for the first time as a standalone
A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the "psychic" visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.
“The Grownup,” which originally appeared as “What Do You Do?” in George R. R. Martin’s Rogues anthology, proves once again that Gillian Flynn is one of the world’s most original and skilled voices in fiction.
I have been living under a rock. That is honestly the only explanation that I have. How else could someone that reads as much as I do somehow miss out on reading Gillian Flynn? I mean I have heard of her and have had every intention of picking up one of her books. I think I even checked one out from the library at some point. I just never got around to actually reading any books with her name stamped on the front. When I saw this story, I knew that I could find the time to read this short piece and finally sample this incredibly popular author's work.
This short story does a lot of things really well. The writing is really good. I mean really, really good. I picked up this book just to look at it and the next thing that I knew I had finished it. It is amazing how sometimes those kind of things just happen. It is short.....very short....but the story doesn't feel small. This is a big story filled with an intriguing plot, interesting characters, and passages that you will want to share with others. This was the kind of story that I had no idea which direction it would go and every twist was a complete surprise. I was a little sad when I reached the last page because I wanted more.
I read this story in hardcover and the presentation is cute. This is one teeny tiny little hardcover novel. It is pinch a baby's cheek kind of cute simply because it is so little. The story starts on page 7 and ends on page 62 and the actual book is only slightly larger than my kindle. It is a nice looking book but I am not sure if it is really worth the $9.99 price tag stamped on the back. I would probably recommend that readers borrow this one from their library or maybe spend a couple of extra dollars and pick up the anthology that it originally appeared in. I read the whole story in less than an hour even though I stopped several times to read passages out loud to my husband.
I would recommend the story to others. The writing was wonderful and the pacing of the story really kept my attention. It is obvious that Gillian Flynn is a fantastic storyteller. I cannot wait to read more from this very talented author.
I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books for the purpose of providing an honest review.
About the Author
Photo: © Heidi Jo Brady
GILLIAN FLYNN is the author of the runaway hit Gone Girl, an international sensation that has spent more than ninety-five weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Her work has been published in forty languages. Gone Girl is a major motion picture from Twentieth Century Fox. Flynn’s previous novels, Dark Places and Dagger Award winner Sharp Objects, were also New York Times bestsellers. A former writer and critic for Entertainment Weekly, she lives in Chicago with her husband and children.