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  • ★★★★-4

Review: Come Closer by Sara Gran (Spoiler-Free)

Did a book… manage to scare me? Me?

Now I don't say this often, but this book is terrifying. Not in a gory way, not in an entirely original way either, but in a way that scares me on a highly personal level. There's only one thing in horror that gets to me: the horrific potential of your own mind. Josh Malerman's Daphne and Iain Reid's I'm Thinking of Ending Things execute this concept flawlessly and remain at the top of my list of books that legitimately haunt me. Sara Gran's Come Closer might have just earned itself a spot among them.

The fear whittles down to one thing: control. I need it. But, when you're dealing with your own thoughts, your own motivations and desires, you can't have it. They just are.

And what if they're bad? What if you don't want to have them? What if they're responsible for something monstrous? Are you responsible? Is it your fault if it can't be controlled? Am I shaped by the thoughts I don't want to have? I sure hope not.

While Daphne and I'm Thinking of Ending Things explore this idea through anxiety and depression respectively, Come Closer examines it through demonic possession. I've never found possession stories particularly compelling, but something about the mundanity of this one struck me.

Note: This novel is from 2003 and contains some language choices I don't agree with.


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