The Grip of It: A Novel

Category: Book
By (author): Jemc, Jac
Subject:  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Horror
  FICTION / Literary
  FICTION / Psychological
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
Published: August 2017
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 7.50in x 5.00in
Our Price:
$ 21.00
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*One of Nylon 's 50 Books We Can't Wait To Read In 2017" One of Chicago Reader 's "Books We Can't Wait To Read In 2017" 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 homeand 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. "
Review Quote*Praise for The Grip of It A psychological spook story in the best high literary tradition . . . The real scare in this truly haunting novel stems from the way Jemc keeps the psychological tension of Julie and James' relationship taut . . . Shivery and smart. A book that brings the legacy of Henry James into the modern world with great effect." - Kirkus (starred review) "A haunted house tale that toys with the hallmarks of ghost stories - a young city couple moving to a small town, a curmudgeonly neighbor, a spooky legend - to create an exhilarating and unsettling literary page-turner . . . As the author ratchets up the tension, the reader eagerly follows. The conclusion is the perfect cap to a story full of genuine frights." - Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Told in a luxuriously looping style that examines experiences from two points of view, this seemingly typical haunted house tale takes some very unexpected turns. Jemc has created a frightening world that feels both impossible and altogether too real. Prepare to read this in one sitting and think about it for days to come." - Booklist " The Grip of I t is a stunning, smart, genuinely creepy page-turner that I couldn't put down. It's got depth, thrills, twists, and great writing. I'd recommend this novel to anyone. One of the few haunted house stories that sticks the landing." - Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy and Borne "I mean this in the best possible way: Jac Jemc gives me the creeps. The Grip of It deserves a spot on the shelf beside Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, and Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves - not only because it is a masterful haunted house story, but because it, like its literary predecessors, is elegantly written, psychologically rich, and damn terrifying." - Benjamin Percy, author of The Dark Net, The Dead Lands, Thrill Me and Red Moon "This contemporary haunting is unsettlingly plausible. Short chapters alternate narrative viewpoints and contribute to the feel of a ritual being played out. Jemc makes readers ask: What happens when walls go up - in a house, in a relationship? What's the difference between being trapped and being free? Just as Julie cries about the gap that has formed between the couple, the two find physical holes in the house similarly impossible to bridge." - Library Journal "Jac Jemc's novel gets into your brain from the first page, then steadily gasses you with a sense of growing dread. The Grip of I t is a beautifully built scare ride, and also a surprisingly moving and trenchant portrait of married Millennials. It held me in its grip and squeezed." - Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will, Await Your Reply, and You Remind Me of Me "Quick and haunting, stark and unsettling, every page of this novel is a shingle laid over the dark heart of a couple in quiet crisis. Take shelter!" - Amelia Gray, author of Isadora and Gutshot "A horror story, a love story, an astute exploration of the unrealiability of thought and perception, Jac Jemc's brilliant and moving novel challenges and enlightens on every page. I couldn't put it down. - Stephen O'Connor, author of Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings "
Biographical NoteJac Jemc is the author of My Only Wife, a finalist for the 2013 PEN / Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award, and A Different Bed Every Time . She has been the recipient of two Illinois Arts Council Professional Development Grants, and in 2014 was named one of 25 Writers to Watch by the Guild Literary Complex and one of Newcity's Lit 50 in Chicago. She recently completed a stint as the writer in residence at the University of Notre Dame and currently teaches at Northeastern Illinois University and StoryStudio Chicago, as well as online at Writers & Books and the Loft Literary Center, and she is the web nonfiction editor for Hobart .