The Grownup

The Grownup

A Gillian Flynn Short

eBook - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Gillian Flynn's Edgar Award-winning homage to the classic ghost story, published for the first time as a standalone.

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.

"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.
Publisher: New York : Crown/Archetype, 2015
ISBN: 9780804188982
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Call Number: eBook

Related Resources


From Library Staff

List - Ghost Stories
DCLadults Oct 13, 2017

The suspenseful tale of a fake psychic hired to “cleanse” a haunted house. Fans of “Twilight Zone”-style suspense will love this short story from the author of “Gone Girl.”

AnnabelleLee27 Oct 16, 2016

A short ghost story,I found this book to be utterly delightful! It does a great job building character & atmosphere and it has an 'O'Henry-esque' ending which I appreciated. Speaking as a dedicated Poe fan, I was very delighted and satisfied. How fun!

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

A scam artist posing as a psychic latches on to one of her clients and gets much more than she bargained for in Gillian Flynn’s eerie, engrossing novella “The Grownup.” Fans of Flynn’s caustic wit, dark humor and very messed up female protagonists won’t be disappointed, and fans of ghost stories looking for a quick read will be satisfied as well. The story is fast paced (a very quick 63-paged read) and, in true Gillian Flynn fashion, full of twists. It leaves you on a “I’m not sure what I just read” kind of note. Recommended for a rainy evening or a long bus ride! (Submitted by Mandi).

Oct 02, 2018

Short and interesting.
I wish there were more books written by Flynn as I have enjoyed everything she has ever written.

Sep 17, 2018

A entertaining quick read - would make a good episode on a "Twilight Zone" type TV series.

Jul 25, 2018

As creepy as Gone Girl. A single CD - so more of a novella than a novel. That Ms. Flynn sure knows how to write a gripping tale.

Mar 22, 2018

Read it in a single sitting. Quick, fun, twisty. Left me guessing until the end. Good weekend read.

ArapahoeSarahD Sep 14, 2017

I LOVE this story. It is short but far from sweet. As is typical for Gillian Flynn, this book is dark, mysterious and full of twists. I cannot recommend it more.

Apr 21, 2017

I loved all Gillian Flynn's other works, so I thought this one would be great. Very short but not very exciting. Kind of a let down. Not as dark and twisted as her other stories.

Mar 23, 2017

Short book about a con-artist and an incorrigible boy she helps, and the weird goings - on in the house in which he lives. Decent short story but nothing revelatory here.

Mar 04, 2017

Quick read, fun mystery!

britprincess1ajax Feb 11, 2017

I usually love Gillian Flynn's books, but this novella was just too darn short to lend itself to the complexity of her twisted plot lines. She needed more time and sixty pages is simply not enough to time to craft something great. Don't get me wrong; it was okay, good in a short-story sort of way, but it felt all the worse knowing that Flynn does not operate in mediocrity. Ultimately, THE GROWNUP had only just got going when it ended, concluding (or at least pretending to) in the middle of the action. There was another two hundred pages to go, a phantom book that we never got. Oh, well. I can't complain too much because it took me under an hour to read it. Still, if you're a fan of Flynn, I wouldn't recommend THE GROWNUP.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

Mar 04, 2017

blairl thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Nov 30, 2015

jescar82 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add Notices

ReadingAdviser_Sally Mar 13, 2018

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Some frightening and intense scenes.

ReadingAdviser_Sally Mar 13, 2018

Sexual Content: Hand jobs and talk of prostitution.


Add a Quote

Dec 06, 2015

She came up here for college, but her daddy got cancer, and the farm got sold, and ends stopped meeting …
But big house in the city, husbands who didn’t beat them and helped with the kids, sometimes with careers but always with book clubs. And still they felt sad. That’s what they always ended up saying: “But I’m just said.” Felling sad means having too much time on your hands, usually.
“… I’m not haunted, I’m just a run-of-the-mill teen sociopath. You pushed me too hard, I killed you. ...”

This tiny teen needed a grown-up to move in the world, and there was nothing a con girl could use more than a great con kid. “What do you do?” people would ask, and I’d say, “I’m a mom.”

But I was either screwed or not screwed, so I chose to believe I wasn’t. … Convincing myself what I was doing was reasonable. Not decent, but reasonable,

Sonjahv Nov 14, 2015

"When people ask me that question that everyone asks: What do you do? I'd say, I'm in customer service, which was true. To me that's a nice day's work when you make a lot of people smile. I know that sounds too earnest, but it's true. I mean I would rather be a librarian, but I worry about the job security. Books may be temporary; dicks are forever."


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at DCL

To Top