Heidi Julavits’s The Vanishers is a good novel, but not a feel-good novel. At times it went so far as to make me feel as if I was inhabiting the world of its sickly protagonist: I felt itchy. I felt nauseous. It didn’t help that I read most of the book on a 4 hour train ride north from Manhattan to Vermont, the Lovecraftian landscape providing an appropriately eerie backdrop for this novel of the occult. Like the protagnist, I wondered, had a psychic attack happened to me?