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Gripped: Your Personality is What's Holding You Back [Kindle Edition]

Jason Donnelly
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $7.99 What's this?
Print List Price: $18.95
Kindle Price: $6.15
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Book Description

If you're not offended by the first line, we're good to go. If you are, go to the cover and read the quote from my mom. The book is a social media satire (FICTION) about the way we're currently being sold everything we consume. It used to be ads, now it's each other. Enjoy this book with a nice Evian water. ;-) 
P.S. there's a lot of masturbation. 

"Jason Donnelly's words slap you around like a horny Grizzly bear."
-Scott C. Rogers, Publisher at Black Coffee Press

"Part cautionary tale, part satire, and always dysfunctional, Gripped is a hilarious and disturbing story of angst, delusion and the basic human desire to connect. If Kurt Vonnegut and Sarah Silverman had a literary offspring, it might look something like this."
-Richard Thomas, author of Staring Into the Abyss

"Donnelly proves he is a true artisan of literature, fashioning from man's insecurities a puzzle box of a story where the dark underbelly of life is explored, and the pursuit of happiness is a road tarred with absurdity and wit."
-Craig Wallwork, author of The Sound of Loneliness

"Gripped holds a mirror up to America's narcissistic social media self-obsession. In our modern culture of ME ME ME, Donnelly dances on the line of comedic grace and brutal honesty to show how ugly personal growth can be."
-Michael Paul Gonzalez, author of Angel Falls

"Donnelly is lampooning American consumerist culture, a culture that is, in itself, a kind of masturbation, so it makes sense that the main character is a masturbation addict. With prose that is spare and clear, he avoids heavy-handedness with his message by lacing the novel with humor and verve."
-CL Bledsoe, author of Man of Clay and The Saviors

"The powers of consumerism and masturbation compel you! Gripped is the new slacker novel for the rebelling automaton in us all. Funny, fast, and slyly unconventional, Jason Donnelly must be stopped before it's too late."
-Paul Tremblay, author of In The Mean Time

"Just finished Gripped by Jason Donnelly, a dark tale of control, of Mark McCarren, that's two C's and two R's... and an 8 week program. It is funny while having a malevolent darkness through it."
-Jonny Gibbings, author of Malice in Blunderland

Editorial Reviews


"tightly wound satire" - Tony McMillen, DigBoston
"I'm so much more enlightened now." -SDB, Transpacific Flight Taker
"Unusual, uncomfortable, and absolutely worth your time! Gripped is a book that pushes the comfort zones of the vast majority of readers - in more ways than one." -Darcie Duranceau, SlushHeap Google+ Author Hangout
"Not only is this the only fiction book that I have finished in the last 3 years, it is the only book that I have EVER READ more than once! It straddles the line between comical think-piece and thriller perfectly. I can't wait for the author's next book." Jeffrey Benzon, Professional Photographer
"Familiarize yourself with the name Jason Donnelly, it's going to be prominent among authors for a long time. I strongly encourage you to read this book." Brady Fantasie, Rockstar Guitarist

From the Back Cover

Hi, Friend. 
Have you ever read an advertisement and felt like it was written directly to you? Well, what if it was? And if you were told that there's an underground group telling you and those around you what to buy, what to wear, and what to consume? 
Join the fun. The only thing holding you back is your own personality. 
We recommend that you read Gripped with a nice bottled water.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1364 KB
  • Print Length: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Perfect Edge (September 27, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EPQ7Y7W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,939 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Admirable First Effort October 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Gripped recounts the experiences of Marky McCarren, slacker and office clown. Before long, his clownish behavior has landed him in sufficient hot water at work to lose him his job.

Enter "The Program." After watching a late-night informercial and calling in for more information, Marky finds himself enrolled in the Program, for free. They immediately set about changing his habits for the better.

But all is not right in self-helpsville. The plan's instructions include some thinly veiled threats, and they know an awful lot about Marky's life.

Fans of the Stephen King story "Quitters, Inc." or the Michael Douglas movie The Game will see immediate similarities. But Gripped takes this tried-and-true beginning and turns into its own animal by the end. It's an enjoyable blend of humor, mystery, a dash of thriller, and wry observations about modern life.

The book isn't without its problems, however. The rising action is a bit too long of a slow build, in my opinion. Too much of the middle of the book is similar to what's around it, making it feel monotonous. The writing itself could be better, as well. Sentence structure is frequently awkward. Similes sometimes don't quite make sense. And the use of commas is absolutely atrocious.

All in all, I found Gripped an enjoyable read, and a decent freshman outing for Donnelly. I look forward to seeing where his wit takes us next.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Gripping (See What I Did There?!) September 16, 2013
Granted, this review may seem a little biased, because I was lucky enough to be a part of this book while it was being written. However, finally being able to hold such a quality product felt just as good as if it were one of my own (and I got to do that today, as a matter of fact). So, nanner nanner.

Any rate, Jason tells a great story wrapped in filthy jokes and sideways looks at social networking, product placement, and himself. While his main character, Marky, navigates life and The Program, everything about life changes. And then he rises up against tyranny and excels. I mean, really, it's a contemporary novel, nerds. If I just spoiled something for you, perhaps you should get out and/or read more.

Jason takes you one a fun ride and that's the point. If you like Chuck Palahniuk's books before he turned to poo (circa anything pre-Haunted) or anything S.G. Browne has written, like EVER, then you're sure to enjoy Gripped. Buy it. Buy it now. Don't hesitate, The Program is watching.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They're listening and are somehow everywhere. May 27, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can't tell if I'm writing this because The Program told me to, or if it's by my own volition. What I do know is that "Gripped" couldn't have a better title. This book is gripping from the first sentence to the last. You can read the basic gist of what's happening in the book, but no review and capture the effect this book has on the reader. It pulls you in, makes you question things around you and instills a tiny, nagging pang of suspicion in your mind... maybe this book isn't fiction?

I do not suggest this for the paranoid schizophrenic out there... it'll just make things worse.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!!! January 29, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was visiting Chuck Palahniuks's fan website one afternoon and came across a post from Jason Donnelly offering up a free download of his book. Figured it's free so if I don't like it I'm out nothing. I'm so glad I downloaded it. Very quick read and I laughed throughout the entire book. And like the told me to do I'm giving it a favorable review. Really captured what our plugged in world is like and how you can feel like cannon fodder for advertisers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tough to Peg January 13, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There is enough of a solid concept and quirky humor in the book to make me enjoy it, but there was also more than enough repetitiveness and odd writing choices throughout to make me lose interest for brief lapses. When you’ve got running commentary on the dislike for poorly-spelled text messages, varying masturbation slang, constant mention of the “Three S’s”, the judgmental cat, the nightly doses of sleeping pills, as well as the mention of what song comes on first thing in the morning, it really adds up after a while. Enough to make the reader question just how much material is really in the 270+ pages.

I enjoyed the chapter layout immensely. Too often when the events in a novel take place over a period of time, it’s frustrating as a reader when you don’t immediately know how much time has passed from chapter to chapter. In Gripped, each chapter is one day in a long span of consecutive days. Absolutely no confusion there. I found myself loving the main character (Marky) at the beginning of the book. His exploits at his menial office-type job are painful in a very entertaining way. You even want to root for the poor bastard.

What I found odd was that Marky seemed like a different character once he’d begun his relationship with Emily. It was too drastic a shift from the downtrodden, can’t-get-anything-right office schmuck to the upbeat, positive, full-of-hope-and-love boyfriend. But maybe that’s intentional? Perhaps it’s a commentary on how we change when we’re in new relationships? There is some “future glimpsing” from Marky’s standpoint at the beginning; when he first meets Emily he states how she will eventually “ruin everything.” He notes, “I’m about to meet a mistake.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever
Best book I have ever read! I don't read books ever but was told this book is well worth reading and that was no lie. I highly recommend this book.
Published 2 months ago by tim
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripped makes you truly aware of the intrusive nature of ...
Gripped makes you truly aware of the intrusive nature of modern society. You truly are what you eat or drink...(Evian)
Published 3 months ago by Robert L. Seaman
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripped kept me entertained and wanting more!
I didn't know what to expect in Gripped, but I simply couldn't put it down once I started reading (and got past the first paragraph, haha). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jason Zook
4.0 out of 5 stars haha I'm reviewer number 69
But any who, sex jokes aside, I truly enjoyed reading this book, with a sense of dark humor that I extremely related with. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Haija
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Like a Good Book and an Ice Cold Bottle of Evian...
What is there to say? If you get through the first sentence of this book, and you are more amused than disgusted, this is probably a book for you. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Leslie A. Ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm writing this review because the book told me to
I loved Gripped. The concept was great and brilliantly executed, and the ending was really on point. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Saya Leland
4.0 out of 5 stars CU agn soon, in future reviews
I have no idea how I ended up with this book. Probably during one of my mass downloads where I grab a bunch of free books just for the hell of it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by gmoney3689
5.0 out of 5 stars Sex, masturbation and ads, what's better than that?
Sex, masturbation and ads, what's better than that? A friend recommended that I check out this, and it didn't disappoint. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Nick Cicero
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars bcuz, lol
Yes, it's a page-turner, but if it was PG rated, it could have been a classic, a winner. I'm sorry the author sold out.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A quick read with social commentary wearing a slick disguise ...
A quick read with social commentary wearing a slick disguise as suspense. Not the book to share with your maiden auntie, perhaps, as the first line has the narrator masturbating... Read more
Published 6 months ago by D.
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More About the Author

Jason Donnelly is a writer in NYC currently seeking world domination. He has an MFA in creative writing and a horrible amount of debt from a University in Pennsylvania that shall not be named. Over the years, he's held the title of juggler, college recruiter, adjunct professor, headhunter and is currently a copywriter at a NYC ad agency. Find out more than you ever wanted to know about him here, and then like the book page here,

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