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Come Closer

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  1,829 ratings  ·  352 reviews
If everything in Amanda's life is so perfect, then why the mood swings, the obscene thoughts, the urge to harm the people she loves? What are those tapping sounds in the walls? And who's that woman following her? The mystery behind what's happening to Amanda in Come Closer is so frightening that it "ought to carry a warning to...readers."
Paperback, 194 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by Berkley Trade (first published 2003)
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I never thought I'd say this, but this is a beautifully written book about demon possession. There are no spinning heads and spewing pea soup, just a tale about an average happily married woman named Amanda unlucky enough to have been chosen for possession by a female demon with pointy teeth named Naamah.

The possession starts out at a snail's pace, tapping inside the walls of her home; dreams about sitting in a red beach with a beautiful woman who hugs her tightly and whispers that she'll never
This was not a bad read. It was a nice, quick, change of pace. It tells the story of demonic possession from the perspective of the victim. It is very atmospheric in the beginning and the author selected an excellent, abandoned setting with the correct number of stray dogs and empty apartments for the story.
The narrator’s thoughts and actions become increasingly disturbing as the plot progresses. The story does become predictable fairly early on and the reader will probably guess the ending lon
Alisha Marie
I read "Come Closer" in one day (it was an exceptionally short read) and in broad daylight. And while I was reading it, I was thinking "yeah, good story, interesting, creepy, but not downright scary." All along I was thinking that it wouldn't affect me the way other books/movies about possession would (The Exorcist traumatized me severely as a kid. I kept thinking that if I slept in my bed it would start shaking and I would be possessed. Yes, yes, I had an extremely active imagination like most ...more
For those of you who know Sara Gran for her crime novels and read the quote "probably this year's scariest novel" and wondered what was going on, I point you to the other quote that starts "like Patricia Highsmith" and hopefully you understand just why this is a scary novel and then continue your enjoyment of Sara Gran as an interesting new literary voice.

For those readers who take a look at that nice generic quote from The Charlotte Observer "It's terrifying" then combine it with the demonic po
Angel Gelique
Possessed woman photo: Possessed tumblr_m0ehnw83hU1r6vhy4o1_500.gif

It started with a strange tapping sound. And then small, subtle changes in personality. More fights with her husband. Bizarre impulses. Before long, Amanda feels her life spiraling out of control. She suspects something is terribly wrong. But when she tries to take action to get her life back on track, she finds her choices overrun by someone--or rather, something--else usurping her will.

This story is not scary, but it is pretty unsettling with some disturbing scenes and eerie undertones. It's
Shocking how an ordinary persons life can be turned upside down and life destroyed, if you are unlucky enough to be possessed by a Demon then this will happen. This happens to Amanda, the main protagonist, and she tries eventually once aware of the possession to rid herself from it.
The story is interesting and I like the way the author has used some Jewish folklore in the story. The story could have been more deeper sometimes the writing jumps to situations or days at start of chapters but conce
I wasn't sure what to expect with this one and its front cover praise, proclaiming it to be the year's scariest book. I don't know if it was, but then again I don't know/probably haven't read all the scary books that came out that year. But...this book was very very good. It dealt with the subject of demonic possession in a very matter of fact first person narrative that I found to be very effective. If it was all an elaborate metaphor, it clearly went right over my head, but as a straight-up po ...more
I discovered this book last year at a bookstore and was immediately attracted by the french cover ( and then the synopsis. But at the time, only the hardcover was available and it was too expensive so I waited for the paperback version... goodness, I did well. No wonder we say "Don't judge a book by its cover".

The good points of this book are that it's short and easy to read... that's all for me.
The only thing that comes to mind after the last page (well
The ultimate measuring stick for novels of demonic possession remains and will always be The Exorcist. That novel's pacing began with a niggling sense of dread as the hints of possession were beginning to take hold.

Sara Gran uses a similar pace to possession, but from a first-person perspective. Amanda's possession begins with same niggling sense that something is there, and things begin to unhinge for her from then on out.

This is a very fast read, and best read alone in a quiet room. Gran does
I'm still not sure if this was a book about demon possession or mental illness. But I do know I will be reading it again. Chilling!
Gwenyth Love
This book hit so close to home, it scared the sanity out of me. Everything about Amanda reflected major aspects of my life onto the page, pulling me in like an invisible lead on a collar. I couldn’t help but fall in love with her. Some people might call her plain, or boring. I, however, found her “normal” nature and “normal” issues to be an intriguing characteristic in this type of novel. Too often characters in this genre are so over the top that they become completely unbelievable, unreal, the ...more
To put it plainly, this book scared the crap out of me.
Gran's literary economy reminds me of Shirley Jackson. Anything in the story could have been padded out for size but the fact that only choice things are adds to their resonance and the whole thing's credibility. The structure is perfect. The suspense is impeccable. It's creepy while you read it and haunting when you're done because the more you roll it around in your mind -- i.e. the closer you come -- the more freaked out you get!!!! Perfe
Richard Thomas
Wow. Re-read this book, sat down last night, just meaning to take a peek, and then two hours later, DONE. Such an amazing book, not at all what you'd think a book about demon possession would be like. Terrifying, subtle, and stylish. Fantastic.
Paul Eckert
I read quite a few books in a year, but I don't consider myself a fast reader. However, I started this book last night and finished a few minutes ago.

This is a story of demonic possession in a way that I've never experienced it before - from the point of view of the possessed. Sentence by sentence we're drawn into the story of Amanda and the strange tapping noises she hears, and from this point on her life will never be the same. Her life becomes entangled in the stuff from horror movie cliches
Quel roman ! Je l'avais à peine ouvert qu'il m'a ensuite été impossible de le lâcher. Il se lit en une goulée, tant il nous captive dans la descente aux enfers de son héroïne. Amanda, une architecte new-yorkaise d'une trentaine d'années, mène une vie heureuse et comblée... jusqu'au jour où un rêve étrange la surprend en train d'être embrassée par une autre femme, très belle et irrésistible. Dans les jours, puis les semaines, qui vont suivre, rien ne sera plus pareil dans son existence. Petit à p ...more
Kristin Walcott Figueroa
I read Come Closer because I wanted to review a horror novel for Halloween. This book was in my TBR pile, so I thought I’d give it a shot. This quote from the description held great promise:

“The mystery behind what's happening to Amanda in Come Closer is so frightening that it "ought to carry a warning to...readers.””

Sadly, it did not deliver. Novels about demon possession can be very creepy, especially in a quiet not-so-obvious way that can sneak up on you. I did have one such experience while
Classified as part thriller and part horror, Come Closer is an enjoyable read for lovers of those particular genres. At 168 pages, it isn't going to take long to read, but the action starts on page one and does not let up until the last sentence. It is an intense psychological thrill ride that has one questioning what it means to be happy or insane, self-possessed or demon-possessed.

Amanda is discontent with her life, which is a huge reason (in my opinion) why certain events unfold as they do. S
Sarah Botkin
Is Amanda possessed or is she mentally ill?
That seems the key question behind Sara Gran's creepy and depressing little novel.
Not at all the regular spooky haunted house rehash I was expecting, Come Closer is an uncomfortably intimate look at the universal and core selfishness of the mentally ill. It gets inside your head and toys with every humans biggest fear- the loss of ones empathy and impulse control, for those are what make us human, yeah?
If you want a conventional The Exorcist-esque ha
This book FREAKED me out!! I loved it! It's was suggested to me for my off genre task for the TNBBC Spring Challenge and I'm so glad that I took a chance on it.

Amanda has a perfect life, then suddenly things start to go terribly wrong. She hears strange noises, starts doing things she would never do, blacks-out for long periods of time with no idea what she's been doing. She tries to get help, but can't. Things just keep escalating and getting worse.

I think the scariest thing about this book, is
Read this book today. almost in one sitting. Its a short book, barely 200 pages.. and a terrifyingly quick read. I think I worked myself up about it a bit too much, based on the reviews I had read.... afraid to start it until I was sitting in full daylight, fearful that it would be way too creepy and have me sleeping in bed with my kids....too chicken to risk a nite in bed alone...

All for not. It was a very cleverly, conversationally written book about a woman who slowly and knowingly gets poses
Wow. I really liked this novel. Spooky, great writing. I may read it again tomorrow!
Beware the knocking in the walls...c-r-e-e-p-y...
I dunno. Margot Livesey said “Come Closer ought to carry a warning to readers. It’s impossible to begin this intense, clever, beautifully written novel without turning every page.” And Stewart O’Nan said: “Sara Gran has created a sly, satisfying novel of one young woman possessed not only by a demon but also by her own secret desires.”

I quote these two reviews because I have read both Livesey and O’Nan and admire their writing. Believing their assessment of this book is sort of like reading fic
Come Closer is a demon possession story and a story of a disintegrating marriage, kicked off on Valentine's Day, no less, with a certain lack of intimacy and trust between husband and wife (Amanda) after six years of marriage. Gran manages to write a creepy and humorous story in the beginning, but the second half wasn’t quite as interesting, except to sort of finish what she (Gran, Amanda, the demon) started.

One possibly notable aside is that Gran mentions, in one line only, a doctor who died o
Ellen Keim
It's tempting to downgrade the rating when a novel is so brief, but upon reconsideration, I decided that this one delivered just as much as most of the books I've really liked. Hence the four stars. (I rarely give five stars--the book, and the experience of reading it, has to be exceptional.)

This book didn't scare me to death, but it did give me the creeps. And it made me think twice about all the things I do that are counter-productive and self-defeating and thoughtless and sometimes mean. How
Rich Stoehr
Come Closer is a summer storm of a novel - unexpected, hard, fast, and intense.

You can read it in a day - in just a few hours, really. It starts with hints and suggestions, like the smell of heavy clouds, full of foreboding. Amanda, married and successful, starts hearing strange noises in her house, tapping and scratches in the walls. They're worst when she's alone. She becomes irritable and unpredictable, with sudden urges of violence. She finds herself turning into someone she doesn't know, bu
Mar 23, 2013 Tanya rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Shirley Jackson
At first it starts with a simple tapping in the apartment, explained away as a drippy pipe, or perhaps a mouse. An urge to start smoking again and more frequent bickering with her husband. Amanda, a successful young architect, feels a vague sense of unease at the changes in her life. As time passes, Amanda refuses to accept the improbable cause for these changes, with horrifying results.

At 169 pages, it's a short book, and Gran's writing is so clean and succinct that it feels even faster. The sp
As many readers of this blog will know, I'm an absolutely huge horror fan. I love all types of horror but my favourites are those that linger in my mind long after finishing the book - I love those that slowly seep into my subconcious and terrify me when I least expect it. Come Closer is definitely one of those books.

In novels and films we generally see demonic possession from the point of view of the victim's boyfriend or best friend - very rarely from the point of view of the character who is
I'm really glad I read this during the day. I can count on one had with fingers to spare how many times a BOOK has scared me. Only slightly less than films. But this book freaked me out. And even more so, left me feeling despair and sadness. It had elements that reminded me of two films that did scare me, Rosemary's Baby and Paranormal Activity.
It follows Amanda at the beginnings of her possession and deterioration as the demon gains control. It's a short read at under 200 pages and I read it i
Mar 19, 2015 Adam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
Slow progression of a possession. Feels very like The Screwtape Letters, instead of just listing Bad Things, it's a narrative. The choices are clear, the evil was there to begin with, and it even looks like a divine hand is trying to help (ignored).

Very very creepy, but a subtle decent into creepiness. And an almost moral lesson.
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