Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Grownup

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn (2015)

Gillian Flynn's standalone short story begins when the unnamed narrator had to give up her job of giving hand jobs because she had carpel tunnel syndrome. Luckily, the establishment she worked for, Spiritual Palms, also employed psychics. One day a desperate woman named Susan Burke comes in and the narrator goes a bit above and beyond to help with her family problems, but is soon in over her head.

I don't want to say too much about it, since it's just a short story so there's not a whole lot to it. The setup was great, and I really liked the narrator (and didn't even realize until I started writing this that I don't know her name.)

Late in the story there's a part where a character goes into a lengthy explanation that he simply didn't have time for, and which was a whole lot of telling and not showing. A friend's Goodreads review describes it as "verbal throw up." It felt like time stood still in the story to wait for the guy to explain what was happening, which was disappointing coming from a talent like Flynn.

However, I was pretty sucked in up until that time, and there were parts that seriously gave me the creeps. I love Gillian Flynn, and an imperfect story from her is better than some other authors' best works so this wasn't especially disappointing.

It also qualifies for Winter Bingo, because this book was a gift. I realize it's not an entire novel, but it is a stand-alone book and it's not like there are even prizes for this challenge (I don't think?) so I feel fine including it. Plus I just read Hild, which was approximately 4,000 pages long so I think the two balance each other out.

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