Book Review: "The Grown Up"

Updated on August 16, 2019
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The Grown Up is a short story by Gillian Flynn, the author of the bestseller Gone Girl. The story won the prestigious Edgar award for best short story in 2015. It’s a story with unexpected and spooky twists and turns. This story first appeared under a different title, What Do You Do?, in an anthology put together by George R R Martin. It was later published as a standalone novella.

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The Grown Up
Gillian Flynn
Originally published
3rd Nov 2015
Fiction, Ghost story, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological thriller
0804188971 (ISBN13: 9780804188975)
Edition Language
Literary Awards
Edgar Award for Best Short Story (2015)
No. of Pages

The Plot

A child who terrorized his little brother and threatened his stepmom. Who told me calmly that I would die. A kid who cut the tail off the family pet. A house that attacked and manipulated its own inhabitants. A house that had already seen four deaths and wanted more.

The story is about an aura reader who is actually a sex-worker (hand jobs only). She poses as a psychic and also retains some of her previous clients whom she entertains at the back of her shop. One afternoon, a rich lady named Susan comes to her who believes that her large, palatial Victorian house is haunted. Susan is rich, and her marriage is in shambles. Seeing this as an opportunity to make money and move into the higher class of society, the girl offers to cleanse the house of negativity. But in the house, the girl feels some kind of eerie, malevolent presence. Susan's step son Miles is another weird and mysterious person. Soon the girl finds herself in a situation where her own life is in danger, and she doesn't know whom to trust. Miles seem to be possessed by some evil spirit.

On the other hand, Susan has discovered that her husband has been visiting this girl as a client, which seems to be a motive for revenge. What is in store for the girl? Will she be able to come out of the house alive? Who is the danger to her life- Susan or Miles or the creepy Victorian mansion? You have to read this gripping story full of thrill and suspense to find the answers.

People are dumb. I’ll never get over how dumb people are.

— Gillian Flynn, The Grownup

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My Review

The book is just 64 pages and makes for a quick read. I finished it in an hour. It is a modern take on the classic haunted house stories. In terms of narrative style and plotting, it has a lot common with its predecessor Gone Girl. The characters are well-developed, and the story is well-executed. The writing style is beautiful and gripping. The story is breezy and a little spooky. It's dark, it's creepy-weird, it's the typical Gillian Flynn story which keeps you glued to the book till the end. The first few pages threw me off a bit, but the story picks up once you get to the house. The fun, the suspense, and creepiness keeps you on your toes till the end. The ending is ambiguous, which keeps you guessing. I wish there was more clarity about the end, but I guess the big question mark at the end is what adds to the charm of the story.

Twists, creepiness, messed up & twisted characters. Super entertaining! Go for it if you are looking for some quick and interesting reading. If you're a Gillian Flynn fan, then The Grown Up won't let you down. And if you haven't read her yet then read this short story and be prepared to become addicted.

My Rating: 4/5

Which is your favorite Gillian Flynn book?

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About the Author

Gillian Schieber Flynn is a famous American author. She has published three novels which are all thrillers: Sharp Objects, Dark Places, and Gone Girl. Gone Girl was adapted into a movie in 2014 of the same name which was directed by David Fincher and had Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in the lead roles.

Gillian Flynn was formerly a television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She also collaborated with illustrator Dave Gibbons and wrote a comic book story called Masks.

Hollywood Film Awards: Gillian Flynn Exclusive Interview

© 2018 Shaloo Walia


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