64 pages novel, The Grownup. I have read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, It introduces me that Gillian Flynn is a master of the dark, psychologically twisted character who leads the reader on a delightfully sick reverse of the hero’s quest. The Grownup is no exception. It is a short story by Gillian Flynn published in the form of a book. It is a hybrid between a thriller and a horror story with amusing plot twists.
The narrator is a lifelong grifter, having mastered the secrets of successful panhandling before puberty. Her lazy mother never worked legitimately a day in her life, preferring to beg, steal, panhandle, manhandle and manipulate. Even though our nameless main character attended a swanky charter school, she left home at 16 and proceeded to do things that guaranteed she, too, could never hold a respectable job. So, she gives hand jobs to men in the back room of Spiritual Vibes and poses as a psychic up front.
Her business thrives at both ends. She has one special gentleman who visits her often (of course, for the back end service) and lends her books. Thriving businesses add to greed, right? So she agrees to do some cleansing at a haunted Victorian house at the request of a young lady named Susan to rope in a few extra bucks. She dreams big money. Our heroine’s life is perfect. Or is it? Bizarre happenings and Susan’s creepy stepson Miles enter the picture.
The story bears resemblance to Gillian Flynn’s writing style of suspense and a manipulative female lead. The story is fast paced and with each page you ask “Who is the Grown up?”. I did not feel the horror said to be embossed in the story, but I was more fascinated by the characters in it. The Grownup was intended to leave the reader salivating – trying to determine who is telling the truth, who is the liar, and what will happen when two totally messed up people arrive at the paranormal convention. There’s sure to be lots of complaining from readers who expected more, and there will be those who will say Gillian Flynn is taking advantage of her fanbase by releasing this as a standalone hardcover. Regardless, each side will be secretly hoping the talented GillianFlynn will flesh this tantalizing tale into a fully fledged novel.
“But I wasn’t a well-read bookworm; I was just a dumb whore in the right library.”
4 out of 5 stars