The Grown up by Gillian Flynn, 80 pages, W&N, 2015
Warning: Adult Content
I have loved all of Gillian Flynn’s books, especially Gone Girl. Her characters are always different, different maybe an understatement, but you like them even when you are not should that you should. The plots are always interesting, but never what they seem. There is also an underlying creepiness that makes her stories seem at times more like horror than crime. I am glad to say that The Grown Up is everything you can expect and not expect from Gillian Flynn.
The Grown Up is a short story, originally part of George R. R. Martin’s “What Do You Do?” It centres around an unnamed con artist posing as a psychic (amongst other things) who is approached by a client, Susan, who has come to believe that her house is haunted and her stepson possessed, terrified, she seeks the help of a psychic.
I’m going to be honest, this book kind of left me thinking “what happened?” I knew what had happened but I don’t think I understood, if it is possible to be confused in a good way, then I was good confused.
I liked the protagonist (no heroines here), she is tell it like it is, intelligent and witty. The book reminded me of *The Fall of the House of Usher, in that an unnamed narrator is summoned to help someone living in a creepy, imposing, possibly sentient house, whose description would make you cringe.
“The carving was in a severe Victorian cursive, the two juicy o’s dissected by a feathery curlicue. It made me want to protect my belly.”
A description like that would make anyone shiver and that is what Gillian Flynn does best, all of her books make you feel like something is really wrong, something in the shadows you can’t see, whatever you think is going on isn’t.
This is a short read at 67 pages. My only complaint is that it is a short story because it definitely has the potential to be more, so it isn’t a long read, but it will stay with you after you’ve finished, it gets 5/5 stars from me.
*The Fall of the House of Usher by Edger Allen Poe