Book Talk: #weirdathon update // The Grownup

11:31:00 AM

It's time for another weirdathon update! I have to admit, after several weeks of weird reading, this was the week I hit my slump. I was miserably ill and while I received a purchase that I was super pumped about, I didn't read more than a handful of pages. I did, however, listen to the audiobook of Gillian Flynn's The Grownup.

It's a short story that was originally published in George R.R. Martin's anthology Rogues (where he collaborated with a bunch of incredibly talented people). I didn't know this until later. In fact, I knew very little about The Grownup - only that Gillian Flynn was the author - and since she's one of the authors I'd follow anywhere, that's pretty much all it took for me to put a hold on it at my local library. Once I pressed play, however, I quickly realized that this short story would be perfect for the weirdathon. After all, how often do you pick up a story that begins,

"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." 

Yep. Gillian Flynn hasn't lost her knack for knocking readers off balance with her brilliant and manipulative characters. In the case of The Grownup, our narrator is an ambitious, hand-job giving, aura-reading shyster. She has no qualms about using anyone and everyone to get what she wants, and lives by her own particular moral code. I love Flynn's characters, and these characters were no exception. And while I wasn't as disappointed as some seem to have been by the ending, I do agree that it isn't the strongest work of hers. Still, if you're looking to see what all the fuss is about, dipping your toes in to a short read (and even shorter listen) might be the way to go.

As for the exciting purchase I mentioned earlier, it was none other than House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski!

I'd heard the title and knew this book had developed a cult-like following, but it wasn't until I picked it up a few weeks ago and flipped through it that I understood why. As I contorted my neck in all kinds of unnatural angles trying to read text that was backwards, diagonal, or written over existing writing, I realized that, like the house the story depicts, the book itself is intended to be disorienting. I think it's a struggle for anyone to put into words what exactly this book is, but I definitely recommend you look at it in person. I ran from the store in fear when I saw it, but later bought the book online when I couldn't stop thinking about it! It's something you have to see to believe. It's without a doubt the weirdest book I've picked up because of weirdathon, and I can't wait to really sink my teeth in.

Let me know what books you've been reading for weirdathon, and if you've read either of these books, I'd love to know what you think!

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  1. You are the second person to have mentioned House of Leaves, I am definitely going to have to search this out. thanks

    1. I'm only 50 or so pages in, but so far it's good (if a little mind bending). I definitely recommending searching it out!

  2. I read House of Leaves in college and I loved it. I'm not sure how I'd feel about it now, and I've never managed to push my through any of Danielewski's other novels, but this one was a winner for me. Also, in regards to the Flynn story, this made me cackle! "our narrator is an ambitious, hand-job giving, aura-reading shyster." That says it!

    1. It's a really bizarre reading experience. I keep getting distracted by footnotes and translations and Truant's additions, which I think is intentional, but it makes it hard to wrap my brain around. As for Flynn's story, I laughed out loud when I heard the first line. It's that kind of story for sure!


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