Come Closer by Sara Gran

I’m a little late to this party, but that’s not outside the norm for me. Come Closer was written in 2006 by Sara Gran… But I was eight then and not exactly up for reading this crazy intense horror story. Thankfully, I’m a little older and have now corrected the fact that I hadn’t this book.

Because WOW. I devoured it. Come Closer is outstanding. 

The slow descent of Amanda’s mind really got to me. It was scary in the most perfect way – the way that makes you imagine everything that’s happening to her is happening to yourself. Could you be in the same shoes as Amanda? Could you do the horrible things she does? And is it really a demon behind it all? Or is Amanda’s own dark desires? Sara Gran is masterful in the way that she makes even the slowest, most tedious scenes ominous. I personally was completely hooked from the very first page to the very last. 

Plus, something about her writing style just really appealed to me. It was slowly paced and even a bit bare bones. Everything was stated simply as it was. But it helped the book instead of hurting it – a rare thing for this style of writing. I loved the subtlety to drama that occurred throughout each scene. I was always wondering what parts of Amanda were really her and what parts were being influenced by Namaah. Eventually, would the two bleed together into one? Could they ever coexist peacefully or would they always have a tug-and-pull relationship?

Beyond just wondering about the future for Amanda’s story, Come Closer also made me wonder about how much of it is real. Is this really a story of demonic possession or is it just a psychological thriller about a woman’s descent into insanity? Could it be focusing more on the human psyche than on the mythical? I’m dying to know how much was real and how much was fake. A lot of Amanda’s impulses seemed to have come from deep within herself. What if Namaah wasn’t even real? 

Looking at it from either perspective, Come Closer is an amazing book. It may have been an incredibly short novel, but each page held such incredible value. I definitely recommend reading it if you haven’t already. 

Back of the Book (Amazon.com)

“What begins as a sly fable about frustrated desire evolves into a genuinely scary novel about possession and insanity. Hypnotic” (Bret Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho).

A recurrent, unidentifiable noise in her apartment. A memo to her boss that’s replaced by obscene insults. Amanda—a successful architect in a happy marriage—finds her life going off kilter by degrees. She starts smoking again, and one night for no reason, without even the knowledge that she’s doing it, she burns her husband with a cigarette. At night she dreams of a beautiful woman with pointed teeth on the shore of a blood-red sea.

The new voice in Amanda’s head, the one that tells her to steal things and talk to strange men in bars, is strange and frightening, and Amanda struggles to wrest back control of her life. Is she possessed by a demon, or is she simply insane? Described as “a new kind of psychological thriller” by George Pelecanos and “this year’s scariest novel” by Time Out New York, Come Closer has become a modern classic “with a kick that will stay with the reader for days afterward” (The Dallas Morning News).