Per Gillian’s Flynn in the dedication to the short story, The Grownup: A Story by the Author of Gone Girl, Flynn dedicates the story to George R R Martin, who asked her to create the tale for a collection he was putting together. What’s more deranged than George R. R. Martin? Flynn follows up her popular book about a Sociopathic housewife (Gone Girl) with another book about a family that is not quite all there. The narrator of the story is a part-time sex worker and pretend psychic at a combo shop called Spiritual Palms. After she develops carpel tunnel syndrome performing repetitive strain on a particular male body part, her boss moves her up to fake psychic work. When client Susan Burke comes in to discuss her difficult life, the narrator quickly locks in on her as a possible con. She agrees to come to Susan’s giant manor, where she quickly meets the quiet sociopath, Miles. The narrator quickly learns that this house isn’t going to be her usual easy mark and there’s a chance her life is in danger.
Gillian Flynn writes the way I wish more writers would; smart, purposeful prose with blunt images and bizarre intentioned action. In short story format, she reminds me of the way Chuck Palaniuk once wrote in his works like Survivor and Haunted. Her writing is dark and twisted, but still makes sense in the scheme of things. It makes Flynn appear as someone you’d want to come to your book club, but you’d make sure to pour your own wine.
The Grownup is a very quick read and utterly delightful. I managed it while finishing a lunch break and desperately wished there for another of her books.
The Grown Up is now available from Crown Publishing.
FTC: I received a tangible copy of The Grownup for a fair and honest review. I genuinely loved this book and it is going into my permanent collection, next to the ghost stories.