The Grip of It
"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
"The Grip of It 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 (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance), Borne and City of Saints & Madmen
"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 It 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, Threats, Gutshot, Museum of the Weird, and AM/PM
"A horror story, a love story, an astute exploration of the unreliability 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
"Shivery and smart. A book that brings the legacy of Henry James into the modern world with great effect."
- Kirkus Reviews (Starred)
"Short chapters bounce between James’s and Julie’s perspectives, and 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)
"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."
"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
"Forget HGTV's House Hunters—the young couple in this Shirley Jackson-esque contemporary horror story are house hunted."
- Chicago Reader