Hide Me Among the Graves: A Novel

Hide Me Among the Graves: A Novel

3.6 10
by Tim Powers
     
 

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London, winter of 1862, Adelaide McKee, a former prostitute, arrives on the doorstep of veterinarian John Crawford, a man she met once seven years earlier. Their brief meeting produced a child who, until now, had been presumed dead. McKee has learned that the girl lives—but that her life and soul are in mortal peril from a vampiric ghost. But this is no

Overview

London, winter of 1862, Adelaide McKee, a former prostitute, arrives on the doorstep of veterinarian John Crawford, a man she met once seven years earlier. Their brief meeting produced a child who, until now, had been presumed dead. McKee has learned that the girl lives—but that her life and soul are in mortal peril from a vampiric ghost. But this is no ordinary spirit; the bloodthirsty wraith is none other than John Polidori, the onetime physician to the mad, bad, and dangerous Romantic poet Lord Byron. Both McKee and Crawford have mysterious histories with creatures like Polidori, and their child is a prize the malevolent spirit covets dearly.

Polidori is also the late uncle and supernatural muse to the poet Christina Rossetti and her brother, the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. When she was just fourteen years old, Christina unwittingly brought Polidori's curse upon her family. But the curse bestowed unexpected blessings as well, inspiring Christina's poetry and Gabriel's paintings. But when Polidori resurrects Dante's dead wife—turning her into a horrifying vampire—and threatens other family members, Christina and Dante agree that they must destroy their monstrous uncle and break the spell, even if it means the end of their creative powers.

Determined to save their daughter, McKee and Crawford join forces with the Rossettis, and soon these wildly mismatched allies are plunged into a supernatural London underworld whose existence goes beyond their wildest imaginings. Ultimately, each of these disparate individuals—the sensitive poet, the tortured painter, the straitlaced animal doctor, the reformed prostitute, and even their Artful Dodger–like young daughter—must choose between the banality and constraints of human life and the unholy immortality that Polidori offers.

Sweeping from the mansions of London's high society to its grimy slums, the elegant salons of the West End to the pre-Roman catacombs beneath St. Paul's Cathedral, Hide Me Among the Graves blends the historical and the supernatural in a dazzling, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride—a modern horror story with a Victorian twist.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The vampiric specter of John Polidori, who published the first work of vampire fiction in 1819 and died a probable suicide in 1821, haunts 1862 London in Powers’s stellar supernatural thriller, a sequel of sorts to 1989’s The Stress of Her Regard. In particular, Polidori menaces his nephew and niece, pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his poetess sister, Christina, who turn for help to reformed prostitute Adelaide McKee; Adelaide’s veterinarian lover, John Crawford; and Edward John Trelawny, who, like Polidori, was a member of the Byron and Shelley circle. Polidori is plotting with other members of his ancient race, the Nephilim, to victimize not only the families to which they’re attached but the city’s entire populace. Powers works an impressively original variation on the vampire theme, and makes the Rossettis’ crusade extremely poignant through the revelation that they are their most creative only when under the vampire’s malignant influence. The meticulous attention to historical and literary detail grounds the story solidly in its period and enhances its imaginative reach. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Locus
"[A] breathtaking achievement, the complexity of which a review can only begin to capture...[A] powerful work."
Entertainment Weekly
"[I]nternational metaphysical intrigue involving time travel, Jewish mysticism, and Albert Einstein. . . . [I]t all somehow works in Powers’ wily storytelling logic. B+."
Denver Post
"[An] intense, downhill-race of a story . . . the summer sleeper hit of 2006."
San Francisco Chronicle
"[THREE DAYS TO NEVER] contains so many genuine pleasures . . . plenty of action, humor and unexpectedly touching human drama. . . . [a] welcoming entry point to [Powers’s] singular fictional universe."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"A writer of extraordinary imaginative powers."
Booklist
"Almost despite its wonderful weirdness, this thriller moves at a frantic clip . . . [the] very outlandishness [of Powers’s metaphysics] makes the story all the more compelling."
New York Times Book Review
"Endlessly inventive . . . You might finish this overstuffed novel still unsure about the connection between Einstein and astral projection, but if you give in to Powers’s imaginative leaps and relentless pacing you may find that a mere quibble."
San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
"For those who have never read Powers before, THREE DAYS TO NEVER might be a welcoming entry point to his singlular fictional universe."
Rocky Mountain News
"Grade: A . . . Powers never fails to reward readers with fascinating and believable tales that take them just beyond the edges of reality. Combining historical fact, science-fiction and thriller pacing, THREE DAYS TO NEVER is worth the wait. . . . Savor THREE DAYS TO NEVER."
Library Journal
Powers's 1989 novel, The Stress of Her Regard, deals with Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, and an encounter with vampires. This time, it's the Rossettis—poet Christina and her artist brother, Dante Gabriel—who face the vampires. Algernon Charles Swinburne is here, too, but not as a good guy. In winter 1862, the revenant of Christina's uncle, the suicide John Polidori, returns to London to haunt her. Polidori seeks psychic union with an 1800-year-old vampire ghost. If he succeeds, destruction will rain down on London. The Rossettis join forces with an elderly veterinarian, his ex-prostitute wife, and their dauntless daughter to oppose Polidori. VERDICT In the course of this extravagant novel, the good guys confront vampire shape-shifters, a gruesome stillborn child, and the ghost of Dante's dead wife. They hold séances, engage in automatic writing, dig up bodies, and even consult a ghost trapped in the pickled body of a sea worm. The arcana are confusing at times, but the nonstop action of this diverting steampunk thriller will attract many readers.—David Keymer, Modesto, CA
Booklist on HIDE ME AMONG THE GRAVES
“In this fast-paced nail-biter... the breakneck pace and labyrinthine plot pull us through history, mythology, mystery, and horror with [Powers’] signature creative verve. ”
NPR.org on HIDE ME AMONG THE GRAVES
“It would be a serious mistake to dismiss Hide Me Among the Graves as something less than art....It’s a smart, exciting and perfectly constructed novel, and it’s hard as hell to put down.”
boingboing.com on HIDE ME AMONG THE GRAVES
“[A] fine example of the work of a much-beloved author, and a spooky ride through Victorian London to boot....Powers’s work engages with something prerational that is buried deep, deep in our brains, and that won’t be bullied into submission by mere reason. ”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061231544
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/13/2012
Pages:
511
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

Tim Powers is the author of numerous critically acclaimed novels, including Three Days to Never, Declare, Last Call, Expiration Date, Earthquake Weather, and The Anubis Gates. He is a past winner of the World Fantasy Award and lives in San Bernardino, California.

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Hide Me Among the Graves: A Novel 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Irishgypsy88 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book as an escapist read. The character plots jumped around a bit, so I had to really pay attention to make sure I understood who we were talking about and what the situation was, but I felt sympathy for the characters, particularly John Crawford, who seems brought into everything kicking and screaming. I never appreciate it when someone does something for another person's "own good," because it's really themselves they are helping and I saw that in the character of Adelaide McKee. I was also rooting for Johanna and thought she was a strongly writte character. The Rosettis were largely just annoying, as I felt they were responsible for almost everything that happened to them through their own foolish choices. As I said, I did like this book. It's the type I would read in-between more serious novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing! When first starting this book I was a little uncertain about whether I should continue reading. But when I did, I was absolutely hooked. Tim Powers is a great author who really got me interested in the commonness of ghosts and how people deal with that. I did feel a little resentful towards Christina for making such an unwise decision, but my anger was soon lost when the action came in. The storyline was interesting with such a large conflict. The characters all had stories of their own, and I especially loved Trelawny. He was such a rude but clever old man who did lots of bad earlier in his life but did feel remorse for his actions. He was kind to Johanna (somewhat) and Christina. Most of the characters in this book were real people and Tim Powers got all the dates right on their deaths and births. It was an interesting spin on real figures in the past.I also noticed that every major event in the book would happen after a rest period of 7 years. Odd, but still an enthralling and action-packed book. I loved the story and Powers' writing. Do read this book! 
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Gripping
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Stupid