Review: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

9:24 PM

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn | Rating: ★★★☆☆

"People want passion. People want a sense of purpose. And when they get those things, then they come back to you because you predicted their future, and it was good."

It took me a long time to read this novella. I picked it up several times in the last couple of years, only to put it aside. Something I never expected, considering Gillian Flynn is one of my favourite authors. The Grownup wasn't a bad story, per se, it just was let down by its story length. In the moments it was good, it was the exact formula you'd expect from any Flynn story: chilling, thoughtful and brilliant. While it could have benefited further from being a full length novel, there was still a deeply engrossing quality to the short story that will leave fans satisfied with their twisty Flynn afterglow.

The truth is, I'm biased and of two minds in that frame of mind. I'm biased because I practically worship Gillian Flynn's prior releases ("Sharp Objects" is my favourite standalone novel of all-time) but I'm also not a fan of most novellas. So, there was a bit of a struggle for me to complete this.

Here's what I did like out of it:

Gillian Flynn's prose. She could write about someone observing an old, moldy phone book and I'd probably find something to tab or highlight. Flynn writes the world beautifully and often darkly; the perfect contradiction to what it is.

As always, Flynn takes readers by the throat and toys with your emotions. Everything is in a gray area. The characters, their actions and morals, their flaws and their quirks. She has an uncanny ability to not only capture the flaws in each character, she always hits the nail on the head when it comes down to uses those complexities in smart, unexpected ways. In so many ways, The Grownup is an unexpected tale.

Just as I figured out where the story was going, Flynn took one final blow and knocked me out with a twist. Then there's the matter of the chilling finally sentences in The Grownup.

Ultimately, it wasn't my favourite release by her, but it was still an enjoyably dark tale.

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