If you're looking for a writer who can keep you on the edge of your seat, make you laugh, and completely freak you out to the point of terror, then, uh, here's your girl: Gillian Flynn. In a recent interview with Chicago Magazine, Flynn gave readers the briefest, most delicious taste of a hint about an upcoming book. Flynn, perhaps most known for her 2012 ultra-bestseller Gone Girl, has built a reputation for penning creeping, unsettling, at times nauseatingly dark thrillers that explore gender, family dynamics, and the ways in which violence is personified throughout our culture. I've read each of her books the exact same way: frozen, in one sitting. And then I can't sleep for the next 48 hours, at least.
In addition to Gone Girl, Flynn's listography includes Sharp Objects (2006), which will hit small screens this summer as an HBO series starring Amy Adams (I'm so freakin' excited), Dark Places (2009), which was adapted into a 2015 film starring Charlize Theron, and The Grownup (2015), a stand-alone novella. Every time a work of hers hits shelves, there follows a stampede.
But Flynn, predictably, is notoriously close-mouthed about her unfinished works, and hasn't published a full-length novel since Gone Girl. As are you, I'm sure, so here's Flynn's morsel of information, in all its Gillian-Flynn-ness glory.
"It's very sinister and dark," Flynn told Chicago Magazine. "And there are definitely some funny pieces to it. Brett, my husband, has read the first page, which is a fucking spectacular first page. It’s the greatest first page that’s ever been written."
Flynn then elaborated on the effect writing such a dark book has had on her psyche, noting "When you’re writing one of the darker portions, it sort of gets to you a little bit—as it should if you are fully invested in it. At the end of the day, so that I don’t bring that upstairs to my family, I put on Donald O’Connor and 'Make ’Em Laugh.'"
In that same interview, Flynn noted that her favorite emotion is "dread" - "...I love that slow-boil dread of, 'Something’s wrong here. I don’t know what it is,'" she said - and if that isn't a perfect encapsulation of the Gillian Flynn aesthetic, I don't know what it.
....which, like, oh my goddess? This new book is so spooky and unsettling that it's own creator, Queen of Dread, is knocked off center a bit?!
Though Flynn didn't provide a name for this upcoming work, we do know she's on the hook for a re-telling of Shakespeare's "Hamlet," as part of Hogarth's five-year Shakespeare project which recruits bestselling writers to re-tell and re-shape some of Shakespeare's most famous works. Flynn's is the final re-telling, in a project that has included Margaret Atwood and Jo Nesbo, and is expected to be released in 2021.