Life’s Complicated for a Grownup [A Review]

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

gillian flynn - the grownup

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This is a novella that I finished in one (very short) seating. 

I’ve never been a big fan of short stories (maybe except for those that Roald Dahl wrote), partly because the story’s usually over before I could grow to like or hate the characters.

Ironically, a third of this story was dedicated to the protagonist’s history and background, and I didn’t like it. I’m not sure why, but I think I was expecting Flynn to get to the story more quickly, given that there were not many pages to the book. What saved the book was probably the fact that Flynn wrote it in a highly readable and engaging style that tended to keep the reader turning the page.

I’m glad I didn’t abandon the book before I reached the mid-way point though, because that was when the story finally got interesting, and I was rewarded with a Gillian Flynn twist that I wasn’t expecting. 

VERDICT: Don’t compare this with Gone Girl, and don’t expect to have a conclusive ending to this story. I can’t tell you more than that without betraying what such a short story can offer.

For those who want to know a little about the story line, here’s an overview from

A young woman is making a living faking it as a cut-price psychic (with some illegal soft-core sex work on the side). She makes a decent wage mostly by telling people what they want to hear. But then she meets Susan Burke. Susan moved to the city one year ago with her husband and 15-year-old stepson Miles. They live in a Victorian house called Carterhook Manor. Susan has become convinced that some malevolent spirit is inhabiting their home. The young woman doesn’t believe in exorcism or the supernatural. However when she enters the house for the first time, she begins to feel it too, as if the very house is watching her, waiting, biding its time …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.

Cormoran Strikes Again! [A Review]

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

robert galbraith - career of evil

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I’m not sure where to start with this review, because I’ve been a Harry Potter fan since the beginning, and am now a Cormoran Strike fan, and J K Rowling’s latest book has created mixed feelings in me. So, I’ve decided to write this review in sentences that describe what I like and dislike about the book.

I like this better than The Silkworm, much to my relief, but I think The Cuckoo’s Calling is still better. 

I don’t like the parts written from the killer’s perspective, although it kept me guessing and trying to match his descriptions with the profiles of the four suspects. I’m not sure why I don’t like those parts – they just didn’t feel right.

I like the British wry humour Rowling has been able to insert in the story consistently through Cormoran Strike.

I don’t like the extra layer of emotional baggage Robin Ellacott has been given in this story, and I certainly don’t like her personal decision at the end! (I’m not going to spoil this for you though.)

I like the entertaining style and suspense that Rowling never fails to inject into her stories.

I don’t like the abrupt ending – the story had gone on for too long for it to have ended in such a flash.

VERDICT: If you are a Cormoran Strike fan like me (and especially if you had not liked The Silkworm as much), you won’t be disappointed with the pace of this book, barring the emotional bits on the part of Robin. 

For those who want to know a little about the story line, here’s an overview from Goodreads:

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

Career of Evil is the third in the series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A mystery and also a story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.