The Grip of It

The Grip of It

Book - 2017
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"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."-- Provided by publisher.
"A chilling literary horror novel about a young couple who purchase and live in a haunted house"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374536916
0374536910
Characteristics: 276 pages ; 19 cm

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SkokieStaff_Steven Oct 19, 2017

It’s good to know that as long as people keep buying haunted houses, there will be role for public libraries. Where else can nervous homeowners go to research long-ago suspicious deaths on microfilm? I was reminded of this while reading Jac Jemc’s fresh take on the haunted house story called "The Grip of It." As in Daniel Kehlmann's similar "You Should Have Left" which was published at the same time, the house in "The Grip of It" isn’t merely an ordinary building with ghosts in it but something far more twisted and mysterious. The book has been compared to "The Turn of the Screw" and "The Haunting of Hill House," and it is indeed worthy of such peers. I’m not entirely sure where the book’s title comes from, but I can say that it took a firm grip on my stomach as I began reading it and held it there until I put the book down.

t
taylorwoods
Sep 25, 2017

You ever just finish the last sentence, look up from your book at the room you're in, and just think "huh. okay. yeah I liked it" in the most casual way ever? This is how I felt with The Grip of It- a horror novel with a big haunted house punch in the gut right from the beginning. As soon as James and Julie are in this house touring it, they are met with a gross "throat singing" moan that vibrates throughout the house. "That's just the house settling" the real estate agent assures them with a smile. Ohhh man is he wrong.

Told through short, brief chapters alternating between James and Julie's perspectives, we bear witness to the emotional horror that ensues. I think most people who go in expecting the typical haunted house narrative will find this one disappointing though. Jac Jemc is flawlessly a talented writer and it shines through here in this novel. You as the reader feel as though you yourself are in this maze of a house almost and lost within it yourself among all the strange drawings and secret rooms. This is a story that plays with perspective, how singular narratives can diverge, and uncertainty

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