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Come Closer Paperback – May 31, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Strange noises that come and go; objects that inexplicably appear, then vanish. Such bump-in-the-night shenanigans are horror-story standard fare, but in Gran's gifted hands, these stereotypes fade away like ghosts. In this sparsely constructed and compellingly succinct gem of a novel, Gran's heroine leads a normal life until things suddenly and mystifyingly go wrong. Amanda does hear noises and experience bizarre situations, yet as a vague but tantalizing feeling of unease settles in, Amanda's fear feeds her needs and desires. Gran's premise, that we accept the impossible, for to do otherwise is to foolishly court disaster, informs the subtle tension beneath this deliciously wicked tale. A short book, it is nonetheless long on style, thanks to Gran's talent for quickly and convincingly portraying Amanda's reluctant terror, abject denial, and, finally, resigned acceptance of the malevolent force commandeering her life. Seductively menacing, alluringly sinister, Gran's ominous study of psychological and spiritual suspense heralds a refreshingly sophisticated and literate approach to an often-predictable genre. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“What begins as a sly fable about frustrated desire evolves into a genuinely scary novel about possession and insanity. Hypnotic, disturbing, and written with such unerring confidence you believe every word, Come Closer is one of the most precise and graceful pieces of fiction I've read in a long time.”
—Bret Easton Ellis
 
“Ideal for an evening’s reading, with a kick that will stay with the reader for days afterward.”
Dallas Morning News
 
“Sara Gran has written an intelligent horror story, a literary creepshow that works its magic subtly and well.  It’s a marvel of restraint and taste, and still it worms its way under your skin and stays there.”
—Darin Strauss
 
“Sara Gran’s Come Closer ought to carry a warning to readers.  It’s impossible to begin this intense, clever, beautifully written novel without turning every page.  A wonderful accomplishment.”
—Margot Livesey
 
“I read Come Closer on the train, in a snowstorm, on a cold December night.  It was the right atmosphere for this perfectly noirish tale of madness and love.  Author Sara Gran writes with scalpel-like clarity, expertly blending tones to create a new kind of psychological thriller.  I loved this book.  Days after finishing it, it has not left my mind.”
—George Pelecanos
 
“‘What we think is impossible happens all the time.’ So claims the beguiling narrator of Come Closer, and after reading this spare and menacing tale, the reader has to agree.  Sara Gran has created a sly, satisfying (fast!) novel of one young woman possessed not only by a demon but also by her own secret desires.”
—Stewart O’Nan
 
Come Closer is sharp and strange and, best of all, at the moment of truth it doesn’t flinch from its own mad logic.”
—Sam Lipsyte
 
The Yellow Wallpaper meets Rosemary’s Baby in a slim, wonderfully eerie novel.”
Kirkus Reviews
 
"Polished and unsettling."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
 
“It gave us the creeps.”
Arizona Republic

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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Press (May 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616951001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616951009
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #862,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrea Buchanan on August 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
After reading Sara Gran's excellent "Saturn's Return to New York" I couldn't wait to read her latest, "Come Closer." I expected to love it, and I was not disappointed. Her spare style sets the perfect tone for this grown-up ghost story of a modern woman who just might be possessed. The story was absorbing, gripping -- and creepy: although I read it enthusiastically, this was definitely a book I had to put away after dark. Wonderful!
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Format: Hardcover
An aura of menace gathers around narrator Amanda as strange mood swings and irritating tapping-thumping noises in the walls begin to disrupt her happily married life. Small things gather momentum. She begins fighting with her husband, resumes smoking, goes out drinking after work. The imaginary playmate from her childhood returns. It's quite some time before she realizes the seductive, insistent third voice inside her head (after the initial voice of temptation, and after the sober rejoinder of the voice of reason and resistance) isn`t her own. Or is it?

Gran's ("Saturn's Return to New York") short novel is a fairly straightforward tale of demonic possession, made chillingly delicious by the spare, unadorned voice, quick pace, and subtleties of psychological desire. Amanda's fate is not inevitable; there are ways to counter the demon, but does she have the faith required, or the strength of mind? Does she perhaps prefer to give in? Thoughtful as well as scary, Gran's tale evokes the lonely fears of adulthood.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a quick read but it was very dull. No real character development at all so it was impossible for me to care about what happened to any of them, including the narrator. I was not ever frightened or even made uncomfortable or uneasy for a second. The demon was boring along with everything and everyone else.

For this kind of novel you can't really go wrong with Rosemary's Baby or A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel or The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition or A Good and Happy Child: A Novel
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the few novels that have ever made me feel genuinely terrified. I was reading this alone in an empty house and had to stop because I felt so creeped out. The novel is written in a deceptively simple style that soon had me frantically turning pages. I read it in one day and then read it again straight after- it's that good.

I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that this novel is horrific and convincing. It makes some of the cookie-cutter Hollywood `horror' novels (the ones where the girls with big boobs always get caught by the villain with the fish hook who always walks, never runs) look pathetic and childish. The narrator of the story, Amanda, seems so real and normal that watching her life fall apart in such a horrible way made me feel deeply unsettled.

Overall, I recommended this for people who want a short novel that is refreshing, scary and unusual. It's a quick read that packs a huge emotional punch and is very satisfying. I don't normally read horror books, but found this one to be everything I expected and more. The ending is macarbre and a real bone-chiller. Enjoy!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book confused that crap out of me. I felt like I had multiple personalities. The ending left me super confused. Needless to say after I read it, I was utterly disappointed. I kept waiting for something big to happen, but all I thought at the conclusion of this book was...Why the hell did I read this?
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This is a well written short novel with many things going for it, in
a genre that tries so hard to reinvent itself. Horror, dark fantasy,
whatever you call it always has its share each year of classy tales and I would put this one in that easily. I enjoyed the economy of the story, you
don't need to throw in more than needed, this story centers on this one
woman and those close by her(husband, co-workers)and succeeds in inducing an ever increasing
scence of malice and dread. Not to give anything away to those interested,
its a tight, strange little tale, a nice take on a paranormal-possession subject well written about.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very creepy, clever, and surprisingly original book. The plot moves along quickly, and really draws the reader in. I enjoyed it immensely! It's a horror story at heart, but it's also a glimpse into a marriage and all of the pitfalls that one can easily relate to.

Great read! Definitely recommend!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Spooky little story about demonic possession. Not a lot fo backstory, but I didn't need it. The tension just keeps ratcheting up. Loved the voice of the character. If you need to love the main character of a book or have a happy ending, this is not for you. But if you love books about possession, or just criminal madness (you never know for sure what is happening). I loved it, so well-written, especially for supernatural thriller
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