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The Grownup
2014
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Unnamed (Female), Con artist, Earns a living pretending to be psychic; visits a client's house rumored to be haunted
Genre
Fiction
Thriller
Short story
Topics
Con artists
Fraud
Auras
Haunted houses
Teenage boys
Supernatural phenomena
Impostors
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

While Flynn's high-flying Gone Girl hasn't wandered far from best sellers lists, the wait is on for what she'll publish next. She's reportedly working on a delayed new novel-a murder set in the Midwest-and has signed on with "The Hogarth Shakespeare" series to reimagine Hamlet any way she sees fit. For the time being, her audiences can listen to this stand-alone novella. Originally titled "What Do You Do?," it won a 2015 Edgar Award after appearing in George R.R. Martin's 2014 collection Rogues. A twentysomething woman once "gave the best handjob in the tristate area" until she was forced to quit because "carpal tunnel syndrome is a very real thing." Well read-in books and people-she moves on to interpreting auras at Spiritual Palms. One rainy April morning, Susan Burke walks in, then comes back four days later. Soon enough, our narrator finds herself in -Susan's creepy Victorian home-and she's definitely not alone. VERDICT Veteran narrator Julian Whelan is the perfect voice for Flynn's latest seductive thriller. She's got just the right inflections to lure, mislead, divulge, and shock. Here's your gloriously creepy warning: Don't believe a thing you hear!-Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

This intriguing, suspenseful short story by the author of Gone Girl packs a powerful punch in audio, thanks to the excellent narration by Whelan, who sounds completely truthful and earnest as the unnamed, unnerved young woman telling her unsettling tale. The quirky protagonist earns a living giving hand jobs in the back parlor of a fake fortune-teller's shop, and Whelan conveys her unconventional personality perfectly. When the young woman is promoted to the role of fake fortune-teller herself, she sees an easy mark in Susan, a rich socialite who believes her house is haunted. But when she comes to "spiritually cleanse" the house, the fake psychic finds more than she bargained for and fears that she herself may truly be in danger from a supernatural force. Whelan uses her voice to gradually increase the suspense and sense of dread, and she perfectly portrays the hysterical, desperate housewife and her sullen, hostile teenage stepson, in addition to the protagonist. Fans of Flynn's novels and listeners who enjoy Twilight Zone-style suspense stories with surprise endings will love this one. A Crown hardcover. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
Gillian Flynn's Edgar Award-winning homage to the classic ghost story, published for the first time as a standalone. <br> <br> A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the "psychic" visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan's terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan's teenage stepson, doesn't help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.<br> <br> "The Grownup," which originally appeared as "What Do You Do?" in George R. R. Martin's Rogues anthology, proves once again that Gillian Flynn is one of the world's most original and skilled voices in fiction.
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