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The Grip of It (2017)

by Jac Jemc

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2802666,933 (3.4)25
"A chilling literary horror novel about a young couple haunted by their newly purchased home Jac Jemc's The Grip of It tells the eerie story of a young couple haunted by their new home. Julie and James settle into a house in a small town outside the city where they met. The move--prompted by James's penchant for gambling, his inability to keep his impulses in check--is quick and seamless; both Julie and James are happy to leave behind their usual haunts and start afresh. But this house, which sits between lake and forest, has plans for the unsuspecting couple. As Julie and James try to settle into their home and their relationship, the house and its surrounding terrain become the locus of increasingly strange happenings. The architecture--claustrophobic, riddled with hidden rooms within room--becomes unrecognizable, decaying before their eyes. Stains are animated on the wall--contracting, expanding--and map themselves onto Julie's body in the form of bruises; mold spores taint the water that James pours from the sink. Together the couple embark on a panicked search for the source of their mutual torment, a journey that mires them in the history of their peculiar neighbors and the mysterious residents who lived in the house before Julie and James. Written in creepy, potent prose, The Grip of It is an enthralling, psychologically intense novel that deals in questions of home: how we make it and how it in turn makes us, inhabiting the bodies and the relationships we cherish."-- "A chilling literary horror novel about a young couple who purchase and live in a haunted house"--… (more)
  1. 00
    You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann (sturlington)
    sturlington: Surreal houses, possibly haunted.
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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
This book is about a young couple that purchase a haunted house, so that seems like a cliche. The writing quality of the story though reminds a great deal of Stephen King's style of writing in that there is a predictable worldview that is typical of younger couples that you can fix problems in your relationship by working on joint projects or moving into a better environment. In this case, the husband gambles and moving to a smaller town seems to be the solution they decide on that will fix their marriage -- and that is part of their charm that their problems are solutions I have tried myself. You want to have a conversation with this couple and tell them to bail out now. Then the house begins to take over their personalities much like the hotel in the Shining, and they begin to see children and shadows that aren't there, smell odors and hear sounds that come from nowhere. The tension grows and grows until they begin to sound more and more irrational in their conversations. I read the book in a day, it's hard to put down and without wanting to know what happens to this marriage. ( )
  kerryp | Jul 4, 2020 |
Another good book that I'm glad I picked up.

The authors writing style was a fresh change of pace. The story moves along at a good pace, and you're never sure what is real, and what isn't. Clues are left throughout the book as to what the ending is, but with the way the book ends, you're never really sure of what really happened. Which is great, as it means you'll need to reread a couple of times to really appreciate the book.

Which is not a huge problem, as the book is fairly short.

My biggest complaint with the book is the secrets of the house weren't explored enough. ( )
  tebyen | May 27, 2020 |
I loved the premise of this book and borrowed the audio from library because it sounded so good. The Grip of it delivered!

This audio follows Julie and James as they buy a new home to begin their fresh start. Almost immediately, creepy things begin to occur. Their new neighbor only adds to the uncomfortable atmosphere, not to mention the stories of the townspeople. When mysterious bruises begin to appear on Julie's body, they both have to admit there is some kind of problem, but how are they going to deal with it? You'll have to read this book to find out.

I loved how the chapters alternated between the viewpoints of James and Julie. This worked very well on audio with two narrators. I also enjoyed the slow burn of the stories and how the characters reacted to each occurrence, though at one point, I will admit to just yelling at my phone, "it's time for you to move out!!" Surprisingly, I liked the ending too, which is where almost all haunted house stories fall apart for me. I thought it believable and reasonable. What more could I ask? Oh, I know! More Jac Jemc, please!

Highly recommended, but beware, this is quiet, creeping, chilling horror. Not in your face, blood everywhere type of horror and to that I say, Bravo! ( )
  Charrlygirl | Mar 22, 2020 |
Want a creepy thriller read before Halloween? This is it! A young couple's relationship—and sanity—is tested after moving into their new (and surprisingly cheap) home in small town Wisconsin.[return][return]My one complaint was that the author left a few ends untied (though perhaps this was intentional to leave the reader wondering like the main characters), but the plot and suspense of the book are worth overlooking its flaws. ( )
  kristi_test_02 | Feb 14, 2020 |
Want a creepy thriller read before Halloween? This is it! A young couple's relationship—and sanity—is tested after moving into their new (and surprisingly cheap) home in small town Wisconsin.[return][return]My one complaint was that the author left a few ends untied (though perhaps this was intentional to leave the reader wondering like the main characters), but the plot and suspense of the book are worth overlooking its flaws. ( )
  kristi_test_02 | Feb 14, 2020 |
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