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The Grip of It Audiobook, by Jac Jemc Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jac Jemc Narrator: Amy McFadden, Michael David Axtell Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2017 ISBN: 9781538414736
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Julie and James settle into a house in a small town outside the city where they met. The move—prompted by James’ 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 home and 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The novelist weaves insidious, lyrical prose into a chilling take on a marriage’s implosion and sets it in a haunted house whose inhabitants hold as many secrets as the structure itself.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “With an eerie quality evocative of Shirley Jackson…[The Grip of It] feels both familiar and disorienting and both Gothic and modern—a reflection of Jemc’s masterful talent.”

    National Book Review

  • “A page-turning psychological thriller…as chilling as it is evocative.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Jemc effortlessly weaves threads of reality and the abstract into an unsettling lens that distorts perception itself.”


  • “Jemc reconfigures the haunted-house story to reflect current anxieties and their violation of formerly intimate spaces and relationships.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “A psychological spook story in the best high literary tradition…Shivery and smart. A book that brings the legacy of Henry James into the modern world with great effect.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “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.”


  • “An exhilarating and unsettling literary page-turner…The conclusion is the perfect cap to a story full of genuine frights.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A stunning, smart, genuinely creepy page-turner that I couldn’t put down. It’s got depth, thrills, twists, and great writing…One of the few haunted house stories that sticks the landing.”

    Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy and Borne

  • “This one grabbed me, not only because it was scary as all get-out but also because it was such an incisive and unwavering portrait of young marriage. I love Jemc’s depiction of millennial romance, her smart and funny dialogue even as readers’ unease keeps growing, and I love the way she plays with unreliability. This is a worthy successor to Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves."

    Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will

  • Nylon Magazine Pick
  • Marie Claire Magazine Pick
  • Oprah’s Book Club Selection for November
  • Finalist for the Chicago Review of Books Award
  • Entertainment Weekly Pick
  • Men’s Journal Pick

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About the Author

Jac 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, one of Amazon’s Best Story Collections of 2014. 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.

About the Narrators

Amy McFadden has narrated more than two hundred titles in many different genres. She is an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and has been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. She has acted on stage throughout Michigan for more than twenty years and in commercials and film for ten years. She is a founding member of Dog Story Theater in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Michael David Axtell is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.