Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Grownup” as Want to Read:
The Grownup
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Grownup

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  105,067 ratings  ·  11,784 reviews
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, wh ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published November 3rd 2015 by Crown (first published June 17th 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Grownup, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Daniel Hall 64 pages is all you get. It's a good short story but Flynn could have written a much longer, more detailed story. That being said, it's still good.…more64 pages is all you get. It's a good short story but Flynn could have written a much longer, more detailed story. That being said, it's still good.(less)
Carol Yes, just with a title change.
Yes, just with a title change.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  105,067 ratings  ·  11,784 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Grownup
Emily May
The first part of this short story is... expected. It is exactly what I would expect from Gillian Flynn. An unnamed female narrator manipulates people every day in her job - from giving hand jobs to wealthy men to reading people's "auras".
I didn't stop giving hand jobs because I wasn't good at it. I stopped giving hand jobs because I was the best at it.

She's smart, ambitious and perceptive. She has a laid back attitude towards sex, even as a form of manipulation. And she isn't afraid to scr
holiday hand jobs are sad for everyone.

2/3 of this story is fantastic. the ending is not.

you know how at the end of clue, you get a reasonable explanation for the murders and then this flashes on the screen:

followed by a less-satisfying solution

and then this

followed by the big, silly ensemble ending? that's kind of what this feels like, but with all the fun sucked out. clue can get away with twisting and turning and running all over the place making no sense and just having a good time because i
Lala BooksandLala
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
read it for the first time in the Rogues anthology and loved it. bought it as it's own copy and loved it even more the second time around. ...more
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, short-story
I loved the book! What better compliment can I say?


Gillian Flynn! You did it again!

I loved to read this short story!

I loved how Gillian Flynn, the author, played with my brain. At the end of the reading, my mind was so screwed up (but in the good way!), that I was thankful that she didn’t gave up a clear explanation about what just happened in those couple of hours while I was engaging into the book.

Sometimes you need explanations, and I have no doubt that some people n

Let me just start by saying- I am a huge Gillian Flynn fan. I loved Dark Places more than words can say- and I adored Gone Girl. So I am not one of the "what is all the hype about?" people.

...but where THE GROWN UP is concerned....I don't get it. This is just not good. Not good at all.

It started out good.

 photo 97f47133-a347-4e12-852f-df25109ac64f_zpsylsana0f.jpg

I am not a person easily shocked or put off by unlikable characters doing smutty things.

 photo c53e055b-a2fd-4741-8fd3-075deb6324f1_zpscai9whbf.png

So when the story started out with a women who gave perfect hand jobs- I said "YAY!!! Way to go you pe
Jan 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Gillian should reimburse everybody and give them a free novel.
1 "this short story is the biggest scam and piece of crap" stars !!

2016 Book I was most afraid to Hate (Runner Up)

This book f'in infuriated me!

Some of you know I was not a big fan of Gone Girl (2.5 star read). Not badly written but ridiculous.

Yesterday we were in Indigo bookstore and they were selling this little piece of doo-doo for $12.99.
Can you f'in believe it?

This is the biggest sociopathic money-grab I've seen in publishing.

I read this in 25 minutes and I borrowed it from the library.

j e w e l s
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-bejeweled
This is a short story, people! Don’t get your panties in a twist saying you don’t understand such a short weird novel. Yes, it’s short! Yes, it’s weird and dark.’s Gillian Flynn 😍😍

If the old Twilight tv show and the lovely Black Mirror series were shaken and stirred..... well, you would have this itty bitty book to drive you crazy.

I love a great short story, typically they concentrate on creating a mood, rather than a plot. Flynn does not disappoint with The Grownup. It’
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Before I begin this “review” – here’s a little Public Service Announcement for all you fine folks. While The Grownup had a publication date of yesterday – the story actually came out back in 2014 under the title What Do You Do? (Sidenote: New title is mucho better) which was contained in the short story collection Rogues. When I hopped over to the library website there were FIFTY people ahead of me for The Grownup. There were zero for
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Holy crap on a cracker! That was so damn bizarre and good, I went and bought the kindle edition after reading the library book!! I can’t even people!!

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, short-fiction
It takes some serious skill to write a story that is so layered and has such well-developed characters in only 65 pages. But leave it to Gillian Flynn to do it. I loved this modern take on the classic haunted house story. It's messed up and so well executed. She's really great at creating voices that are identifiable and confidently written. Once again I'm out of Flynn material to read. Can't wait for whatever she comes up with next. ...more
Take a potentially haunted house...


Then toss in a creepy fucking kid.


Add in a retired handjob "specialist" with carpal tunnel, turned psychic grifter who (kinda/sorta) grows a conscience.
At which time she learns something the rest of us already know.
No good deed goes unpunished.


And there you have the recipe for a short story by Gillian Flynn and a fun way to spend your lunch hour.
I listened to the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group audiobook read by Julia Whelan.

Mohammed Arabey
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A 64 pages like..having A Hand Job..

..for the mind
by A Real Hand Job & "Aura read" expert, A Desperate Housewife, An Ancient Creepy Victorian House, A Wicked 15 years old boy -but looks 12- AND Gillian Flynn herself.

Gone Girl جيليان فلين مؤلفة
ستتلاعب بعقلك بشكل جهنمي هنا،مع فتاة خبيرة في منح الرجال العادة السرية وأيضا قراءات هالات البشر الروحية , ربة منزل بائسة, منزل فيكتوري مقبض مرعب , وطفل غريب الأطوار في الخامسة عشر من عمره -شكله فقط 12 عاما- لمدة 64 صفحة

بصراحة لا أنكر انني صدمت بالسطر الأ
I really didn't think I was going to bother with this one.

The very first description I saw was:

"Gillian Flynn’s Edgar Award-winning homage to the classic ghost story, published for the first time as a standalone."

After reading that description I wasn't all that interested. However, after reading a few reviews that piqued my interest I thought ah it's only 60ish pages long. What's the harm?

I think if I hadn't known it was a short story when I bought it, I may have been a little ticked
Darth J
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
For my first Flynn, it really wasn't bad for the most part. (The ending made my eyes roll, but more on that later.) It seems that the writer is a keen study of the human condition, her snark is cold yet captivating and really cuts to the truth.

(view spoiler)
Elyse  Walters
Audiobook....freebie from the library....

Having 'zero' knowledge or information about this book...I downloaded it...
only remembering that I saw it around on Goodreads. I couldn't even remember how people rated it, let alone what it's about.

If the start of this book doesn't catch your attention, no book will.
I was crackin-up...walking on the trail... ( hoping nobody could hear what I was
listening too).
....But then it got less interesting ...
....Then a little less interesting...
....Then just wei
Reading Corner
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the short length, The Grownup is another fantastic example of Gillian Flynn's talent in creating a tense,creepy tale through her terrific writing.The short story follows a fake psychic who agrees to help Susan as she's encountering problems with her 15 year old son, Miles and believes it could have something to do with their new house.

This is another chilling tale by Gillian Flynn and never turns out how you expect it to.I really enjoyed how the story unraveled, although I felt it could
Dannii Elle
First Reading: August 2016, Rating: 4 Stars
Second Reading: January 2019, Rating: 5 Stars

Gillian Flynn does it again!

The Grownup was written in a completely different vein from what I had expected, given the genre of her other books. One thing that did remain the same, though, was that she managed to shock and misdirect her readers page after page!

This follows the story of an unnamed sex-worker-turned-phony-physic and her bid to help a family plagued by a haunted house and a crazed step-son.

The s
Dr. Appu Sasidharan
Summary (Regular Review)
When a fake cut-price psychic visits a scary “haunted” Victorian house called Caterhook Manor of Susan Burke to help her escape from terror and grief, she had no clue that she would have to face enormous obstacles and that her concept of ghosts and exorcism might change forever. The events following that will take us for an exciting ride.

Gillian Flynn is one of my favorite authors. I had no clue that she wrote a fourth book until last Wednesday. So as soon I saw this
**Re-read it 10/5/20

**Re-read it 9/2019

**Re-read it 10/2018 - I feel like this needs to be turned into a Netflix movie, it would be perfect.

**Re-read it 9/24/17 and loved it just as much as the first time I read it. It's spooky, insane, and it's an awesome quick read for the fall.

**Re-read it 10/15
Of course this was a crazy mind-fuck like her other books and I loved every moment of it. I'll talk more about it in my November wrap up. :D
Megan Johnson
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm not usually one who loves paranormal or ghost stories, but I do love Gillian Flynn's work so I wasn't about to shy away because it's a genre I don't usually gravitate toward. Hence why I picked up The Grownup and was suddenly immersed in a world that is, well....let's just say "kooky."

The Grownup is a short story that I read in about an hour. Set in a small town, the main character is an "aura reader" who is roped into conducting a sort of makeshift spiritual cleansing of a client's house. F
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
HA! I bet you've never read a novel that begins like this one.........

I went to bed last night shaking my head and smiling after reading Gillian Flynn's new short story. (written for George R. R. Martin)

Yep, it's dark, Yep, it's creepy-weird, and Yep, it has an ill-fated ambiguous ending and a nameless narrator. (no more hints)

What do you believe? (view spoiler)

Iris P
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Grownup

Who knew Gillian Flynn had such a great sense of humor? The first 15 pages or so of The Grownup are so hilarious and made me laugh so hard I thought that alone justified the $2.99 I paid for the story!

The story is breezy, funny and just a little bit spooky. I am big fan of Flynn's writing and love her capacity to entertain the reader while exploring very dark stories and characters.
But The Grownup shows a more humorous side of Flynn than anything I'd read from her in the past.

The unn
Nov 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Flynn, you definitely know how to lure in a reader. Full shock value obtained in the opening page with the whole hand job introduction. I was unaware you could get carpal tunnel syndrome from giving too many although I guess any "job" comes with its occupational hazards.
This story isn’t about hand jobs though. It’s a little twister that involves some creepy characters and a plot that just isn't deep enough. I need a longer story, Flynn!
When I read your acknowledgements you wrote this little sto
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-german
Actual rating: 4.5 🌟

I went into this thinking I'm not going to like it very much for two reasons:

1. It has the lowest rating out of Gillian Flynn's books.
2. I'm not a fan of short stories.

Funnily enough, I ended up finding this to be the most interesting story out of the all the ones the wrote so far. There isn't much I can say about the plot or characters (since, after all, it's such a short piece of work - my copy has 57 pages with some rather large print), but somehow I was completely enthra
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jillian Flynn fans
The first few pages through me off a bit, but once you get to the house the story turns into a lot of fun. Only 64 pages, but worth it. I really enjoyed the ending which left you with a big question mark.

If you like Jillian Flynn go ahead and read it.
4 out of 5 stars.
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-hardcover

This kept me guessing the entire time. I still don't know what to believe! Given that this book is just over sixty pages, I wasn't expecting a lot to be honest. I felt there was a complete story here though. I was pulled in and invested in what was happening to the characters. My only complaint is (view spoiler)
Here's the big-time anti-snooze opening line:

“I didn’t stop giving hand jobs because I wasn’t good at it. I stopped giving hand jobs because I was the best at it.”

Hm...that looks a little loud and shocking in boldface! But who cares? How can you beat an opener like that? And talk about having no idea where the story would go (could go) after that!

For a minute, I was worried that the whole story might be about hand jobs—maybe it would talk about methods and mistakes or other seedy aspects, which
Diane S ☔
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
1.5 A rather steep price is wanted for this short story. 9.99 for the book, 2.99 for kindle. Luckily I did not pay for it. The story was originally part of an anthology and possibly I would have liked it better there, surrounded by other writers and other stories. Or maybe not. Hand jobs to evil in a house, while at times amusing, did nothing for me as a whole. I wonder if Flynn's publisher advised her to put this out there, since she hasn't written a novel for a while? The reading public can be ...more
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
★★★½ /5

This was an interesting read. At first, it was quite weird, but more story went on more gripping it become. Of course, this is a short story so it was very quick read, the plot was fascinating and everything action evolved quickly. The ending not gonna lie was unexpected form me, I didn’t predict it.
This was a good short story.
Elizabeth Sagan
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’m not surprised that I liked this short story by Gillian Flynn since I absolutely loved Gone Girl. It reminded me of Apt Pupil by Stephen King (you should check that one too). The writing style is really beautiful and it draws you in from the first paragraph. And the plot twist was nicely made. I’ll give it plus points for the great dialogue at the end.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Literary Lunch Mu...: Episode 3 discussion: "The Grownup" by Gillian Flynn 1 2 Dec 05, 2020 09:25AM  
Edición Adultos 1 2 Aug 13, 2019 08:15AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn>>> starting on 2nd of January 2019 11 15 Jan 09, 2019 09:11AM  
Play Book Tag: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn - 4 stars 4 25 Jan 08, 2017 03:27PM  
Play Book Tag: The Grownup - Flynn - 4 stars 9 21 Dec 12, 2016 04:53AM  
The Ending 12 424 Aug 01, 2016 10:22PM  
Play Book Tag: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn-4 Stars 3 21 Mar 18, 2016 11:17AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things
  • Home Before Dark
  • Lock Every Door
  • Sisters
  • Bunny
  • The Guest List
  • The Turn of the Key
  • One by One
  • My Dark Vanessa
  • Mexican Gothic
  • Night of the Mannequins
  • The Test
  • Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes
  • The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
  • A House at the Bottom of a Lake
See similar books…
Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She has so far written three novels, Sharp Objects, for which she won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller; Dark Places; and her best-selling third novel Gone Girl.

Her book has received wide praise, including from authors such as Stephen King. The dark plot revolves around a serial killer in a Mi

Articles featuring this book

You're almost there. Your Reading Challenge goal is just within reach and we're cheering for you right from the sidelines. Because...
149 likes · 53 comments
“Books may be temporary; dicks are forever.” 59 likes
“I lack formal education. So I'm left with the feeling that I'm smarter than everyone around me but that if I ever got around really smart people—people who went to universities and drank wine and spoke Latin—that they’d be bored as hell by me. It’s a lonely way to go through life.” 47 likes
More quotes…