ANNOUNCEMENT
After a lot of thought, I've decided to take a break from blogging for the foreseeable future. With my little C creeping its way back into my life and possible long term treatment now, I need to take a couple of things off my plate for the time being, and the blog is going to be one of those things. As it is, it felt like it was becoming more of a chore than anything else. I need my reading time to be more enjoyable right now, more of the escape that I really need, and what I don't need is the little voice in the back of my head telling me how many reviews I'm behind and trying to come up with what I need to say about the book.

I simply want to read.

I'll more than likely occasionally post on here what I've been reading, and if there is something that really blows my mind, I'll probably have more to say about it and may write up a proper post, but for right now, things are going to be very quiet around here.

As always, happy reading!
2017 edit
I will continue to blog according to my health and ability, and connecting my posts thru Goodreads, so please be patient if things get quiet around here again this year.


2017 edit #2
I am happy to report that my bone marrow transplant was a success and that I'm feeling more like myself everyday. That said, I'm going to try to start blogging a little more frequently, but please bear with me as I still continue to recover.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers - guest reviewed by beserene

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Title: Hide Me Among the Graves
Author: Tim Powers
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 528
ISBN: 9780061231544
PublisherWilliam Morrow
Author Website: theworksoftimpowers.com
Twitter@WmMorrowBks
Format: Hardcover provided by publisher for review
Rating: 4/5 stars

I read this book, the companion to Powers' The Stress of Her Regard, much more slowly than I expected to. I don't think it was the book's fault, but rather a case of poor timing on my part, but I will say that I was not pulled in to this novel as quickly or as fully as I was with the first. Part of the issue is that any reader who has read the first novel recently (as I have) knows exactly what's going on, which means that this book is much more about characters and interactions than it is about the mystery of the Nephilim, so one doesn't feel as compelled by the sense of wonder and intrigue that characterized the previous experience.

Fortunately, Powers writes great characters. While his characterizations of famous literary figures -- the Rosettis, Swinburne, Trelawney -- are fascinating and genuine, Powers gives us other obscure or fictional characters who really become the focus of the readers' bond in this story. Crawford and McKee are such marvelously ordinary, good but flawed people that one cannot help but feel connected. While the icons of literature are idiosyncratically fun, Crawford -- with his reluctant heroics and authentic reactions -- is a man we could spend time with. Similarly, McKee and Johanna act almost as a bridge between the ordinary and the extraordinary, making the strange twists and supernatural conflicts of the novel seem oddly plausible.

Lest you be discouraged by all this talk of the ordinary, you should be aware that this is still a Tim Powers novel. As is typical, it covers unexpectedly large swathes of time and involves any number of fantastic adventures that occur at a generally unrelenting pace. This novel does not gallivant across the European continent in the way its predecessor did; it has a very strong sense of place, centered on London, and uses the character of the city in wonderful ways. The tone of the novel leans solidly into horror -- there are quite a few adventures into dark places and ending in dark deaths, and the title accurately indicates the ghostly atmosphere -- but there is nothing here that seems gratuitously violent or idly inflammatory. The entire book is tightly planned; Powers even seems to have trimmed some of his tendency toward over-indulgent description, which I sometimes missed. I do love an indulgence.

The overall result is probably one of Powers' most balanced and most marketable books. Thoroughly enjoyable, with rich intellectual and emotional presence, the novel curls and careers down fascinating paths without making the reader feel overwhelmed. While a part of me misses that occasional sense of "WTF?" which characterized other Tim Powers reading experiences, I appreciated the elegant lines of this story. Highly recommended for fans of historical fantasy, historical fiction, dark fantasy or just Very Good Books. 

1 comment:

Dependable Lakeway House Cleaning site info said...

Unlike some other reviewers I think this is one of Powers better books and better than The Stress of Her Regard. I found The Stress of Her Regard to be very slow and it barely held my interest. Because of that experience I almost didn't buy Hide Me Among the Graves. I am glad that I bought and read it. It was more like his other books in pace and suspense.