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Publisher's Summary

Julie and James settle into a house in a small town outside the city where they met. The move - prompted by James' 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 rooms - 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.

©2017 Jac Jemc (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • cristina
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 08-30-17

Ultimately disappointing

I think the best kind of horror stories build. You get to uncover some mystery in bites and pieces. This novel seemed to stall for a long time in the middle. No new information, just the couple being subjected to the same "haunting," chapter after chapter after chapter.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Wait....what??

I wanted to like this book, but I actually couldn't figure out what was actually going on - the entire story just kind of flew right by me. Which may have been the point. I get it - the characters are unwittingly stumbling around in ever murkier insanity and confusion - does that mean I have to as well? Overly esoteric - and at times incongruent - adverbials take away from the storyline - the prose itself is overly descriptive to the point of being a bit obnoxious. Is it super clever to relate brain matter to a flaking diamond? To call a spouse and not-spouse, a her a "not-her?" Does flesh "convince?" Too much talk, not enough action. Which is too bad, because I think there's a good story in there: good character development; storyline flow that didn't have any glaring gaps in suspension of belief; believable, well-paced dialogue. But the language itself left me clueless. I found myself wondering "Is this a dream sequence? Stream of consciousness? Opposite-land? What is actually HAPPENING?" Maybe this audiobook is only for the very smart and very avant-garde, but I didn't get it, and as a former copy editor I would have told the writer "Less talk, more action." While listening to this audiobook I kept being reminded of an overly-eager creative writing student who needs to step very, very far away from the Thesaurus.

The narration, by the way, was good, but without direction it was all just talk.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • HS
  • 12-08-17

Snooze fest

This book was incredibly boring- fell asleep almost every time I listened to it. Prose is repetitive and there is no real story line or conclusion

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Julie's narrator was awful but the book was good

The book was creepy and paranormal. Definitely some bone chilling scenes, however Julie's narrator spoke so awkwardly, it made it hard to concentrate on the novel. I kept focusing on how awkward she was speaking and wondering if I was listening to a robot or a human... overall, it's a quick read that gives you the paranormal creep feeling. The ending was sub par. There were no answers to the questions. Maybe that's what makes the book perfectly analytical, because you can create your own ending from the author's story line. However I prefer the book to have the answers to why, rather than have the reader determine that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good if you like a lot of explative

I felt the ending was unsatisfying but I get where the author was going with it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ending was a let down, seemed rushed.

Started off great, but the story fell flat at the very end. Ended abruptly and was expecting more.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Stars Awesome - Ends...Abruptly

S P O I L E R S


This was somewhat of a disappointment at the end.

James and Julie move into a haunted house to run from James’ demons in the city. Unbeknownst to the you couple, the demons in the home they move in to are bigger. Mysterious rooms, odd writing, replicant beings and shadows in rooms, a neighbor who will not stop looking into the home from his window, an overall feeling that something is off, bruises covering Julie’s body, and lapses in time that somehow disappear. This is what you can expect with this book.

It’s a quick read. It’s fast paced and it’s definitely creepy as hell up until the end. The book flips between both peoples perspective of the events occurring giving you both perceptions. Then, sadly, the book outpaces itself and just - ends.

Honestly, I’m fairly certain the scene of James being under the bed, the Julie sex scene with “not James” and the James scene where he sees her standing with the mask on (and she’s in bed when he walks in to get in bed) will probably sit with me for the next several months. Creepy as hell.

When I say it ends - I mean - it just ends. Abruptly. Almost like the author got tired of maintaining the terror and said - okay we’re done here so they’ll just sell the place and move on with their lives like nothing ever happened. Started off with a bang - ended with barely a ripple.

Also question - if the house had such a mold issue - could you sell it? Maybe I missed it but - fairly certain you can’t.


  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don't Waste Your Time

Synopsis:

A couple, James, and Julie, move into a more rural area outside "the city." It never really says what the city is, but I assume that it's New York. It very well could be any big city in the northeast, but I doubt it's anywhere west of Indiana. From the beginning, they notice the sound that permeates much of what is going on. They try to get in touch with the formal realtor, but his advertisement is gone and the number on his website is out of service. They notice things that lead them to believe there are ghosts (shadows, Julie is covered in bruises, James is missing time, there is mold growing everywhere, cartoon faces are drawn all over, and more).

The entire story switches perspective and makes you believe that one of them may be hiding something or just isn't being forthright. They are both unreliable narrators, but, to be honest their unreliability seems unimportant.

The Review:

Like I said in the title of the review, don't waste your time. This book wasn't scary if that's what you're looking for. If you're looking for a book in the psychological suspense category, technically, that's what this is. The problem is that there usually is some kind of resolution. James and Julie's story just seems like the most boring way to inform the read of some outlandish and crazy moments. I wanted there to be this big reveal and I even had a theory. I'll make this simple and just say that every moment of this book was dull. EVERY moment.

I'm very disappointed in this book and sad that I won't be able to get the time I wasted back.

The narrators were decent, so I'll give them three stars. Although I believe that both of these narrators are experienced and great, I don't believe they showed their real skill in the entire book. It was almost as if they were as bored as I was during the narrative.

So, the book, if we're just talking about text, storyline, and no narrators, Mr. Jemc will receive a one star rating from me. I'm so very disappointed.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • CW
  • 11-29-17

Marriage at its ookiest-spookiest

A Cassevetes-esque relationship drama set against a surrealist haunted house nightmare. Beautifully written and narrated quite well.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Subtle and creepy

This is one of the better "horror" novels I've read in quite some time. Subtle yet genuinely creepy.