Title: Come Closer
Author: Sara Gran
No. of Pages: 168
First Released: 2003
Synopsis (Courtesy of Powell’s Books): “Amanda is happily married to Ed, works as an architect, and likes her life. But disturbances begin to upset her. Odd noises haunt their apartment. She suffers occasional blackouts, yet there is no medical explanation. She and her husband have petty squabbles; Ed seems less than lovable.
The image of a beautiful woman out of her past invades Amanda’s dreams. Instead of a book she had ordered by mail, she receives Demon Possession Past and Present. Soon after, Amanda accidentally burns her husband with a cigarette. Something seemed to take over. She begins to study the book on possession.
Does everything that has happened have a rational explanation? Are the coincidences that have occurred just that? Or has she been possessed by a female demon known to students of the Kabbalah as Naamah?
Comments and Critique: 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. She has changed everything for her husband and is ultimately not acting in accordance with her true self on a day-to-day basis. Because of her unconscious chafing at her life, the reader has sympathy for Amanda even as her actions and certain events spiral out of control One might argue then that possession is a metaphor for freedom – freedom from her self-imposed restraints she added to her life when she chose to settle down with her husband, freedom to be who she was truly meant to be,
The topic of possession is, in itself, quite interesting. Is it a metaphor for freedom, for insanity, for obsession, for the loss of control, or for all of the above? One could also argue that demonic possession is a real event. Regardless of one’s beliefs, what occurs to Amanda creates some interesting questions. Just how far should loved ones go to saving someone from a downward spiral, for whatever reason? Do we fight it? Do we give up or give in to one’s demands? Do we sit and watch it happened without batting an eye?
I cannot remember who reviewed this book initially that had me list it on my Wish List, but I definitely owe that person a note of thanks! Surprisingly difficult to find, Come Closer is delightfully creepy, engaging, extremely well-written, and surprisingly humorous. One would not think that the descent into madness could be funny, but Ms. Gran confirms that a story can be horrifying and funny at the same time. It is a combination that works well, making Come Closer a quick and compelling read at the same time providing food for thought on relationships and one’s obligations in those relationships. Come Closer works because of these compelling questions and the hint of the macabre. This would make for an excellent read during Halloween!
I am happy to report that this book cost me nothing because I borrowed it from the library!