Time Among the Dead
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Time Among the Dead

2.67 of 5 stars 2.67  ·  rating details  ·  30 ratings  ·  18 reviews
William, the Seventh Earl of Upton,
is dying. His grandson, Seabold,
has given him a journal in which the
old man unwillingly at first, but soon
with a strange compulsion begins to
record the last months of his time on
earth. But a daily account of life at
Upton Hall, the decaying estate in which
this late-Victorian lord has spent his
entire life, is quickly overtaken by v...more
Hardcover, 158 pages
Published July 21st 2010 by Permanent Press (NY) (first published 2010)
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Michael
I received this as a Goodreads First Reads award and read it in one sitting. The writing is without merit and the content jejune. Imagine Cold Comfort Farm without the humor or Angels and Insects without the philosophical underpinnings. If you're looking for something with the atmosphere I assume Rayfiel was trying to recreate, try The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, which succeeds magnificently where Time Among the Dead fails miserably. The "Victorian" prose is poorly done, the plot is as mudd...more
Vanessa
Goodreads first reads book. I did enjoy this book, perhaps more than I thought I would. The fact that the Earl is getting older and may be losing his grip on reality is done well, in a first person diary entry, because he could be going mad, experiencing these events for truth, or just getting old.

It lends one to question their reality and perception of things in a way that much modern literature doesn't. I did think that perhaps the decline was a bit rapid and the back story wasn't as fully ex...more
Cindi
Apr 09, 2010 Cindi rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
I won this book from FirstReads. It is the diary of a dying old man in the nineteenth century. The writing style fits the Victorian period but the story and the use of a male narrator departs from the typical Victorian era novel.

It is short and therefore a quick read, which was good because I just couldn't get into the story. The old man's writings include repressed memories of his family's history of incest and his own molestation as a boy (all alluded to with Victorian delicacy and innuendo) a...more
Cindy
William is an English gentleman who is dying. At the request of his grandson he starts writing daily in a journal. The main character often writes of his past which awakens memories which he has forgotten. I found this book to be very engaging, sentimental, and at times humorous. It is a quick read which i thoroughly enjoyed!
Sheila
Time among the Dead is an intriguing 158-page novel published by the Permanent Press. It’s among several books that I’ve received from the publisher to review, all of which I’ve enjoyed.

The cover makes me think of old books on my parents’ bookshelves, gold leaf stamped on aging brown leather and those fine old English letters that I learned to draw in art class. All of which is precise and appropriate, given that the book purports to be a sort of memoir written by the Seventh Earl of Upton in th...more
Dolly
May 07, 2010 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction
Shelves: first-reads, 2010, english
When I signed up to get this book on the Good Reads Giveaway, the book sounded intriguing. I found out I won and received the book rather quickly. I wasn't sure what to expect just from reading the synopsis, but I was pleased with the book overall.

The book takes form as the ramblings of an old man, in the form of a journal. He jumps back and forth from present day (in his time) to his childhood and back again in no particular order. The narrative, though in journal form, serves to tell the stor...more
Elissa
I received this book through Goodreads' First Reads program, as a giveaway.

While a fairly enjoyable read, I think this book suffered somewhat from the chosen structure format of diary entries. I have a bias against that particular format — I feel that generally it tends to detract from the content of the novel rather than enhance it, which I think it did in this case.

A lot of the content was fairly entertaining, and there were quite a few one-line insights which I thought were well written and s...more
Christy
An interesting read, written in Elizabethan style, can be difficult at times to understand the jargon and metaphors of that period. The story is somewhat disconnected due to the impulsive memory of the main character. It is written in a diary style. Entries are made so often beginning with current events or starting as a long lost memory that he is "trying" to relay some moral epiphany from. Hopefully this lonely old man will share some moral insight into any life lessons he has learned... nope,...more
Catherine Siemann
The journal of William, Seventh Earl of Upton, as he draws closer to death. Memories of the past as well as occurrences of the moment shift back and forth. Diction, events, and attitudes are very much of the late-Victorian period in which the novel takes place, while the nature of this very brief tale, focusing on character, on the unraveling of hidden scandal, on suppressed sexuality and so forth, is very much contemporary literary fiction. But while a juxtaposition like this can work well, som...more
Mmyoung
I found this book difficult to "tag" as I placed it in my library. It fits neatly into no clear category save the most general. While a picky reader might point out stylistic, grammatical and other anachronisms (although there were not enough to jar) the entire bent of the story was compelling enough to let the writer take me where he willed. What I found was an existential mediation on life, memory, meaning, relationships and, indeed, reality, carried out in such a light way that it felt like t...more
Marie
Mar 16, 2012 Marie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc, 2010
I wanted to like this book, as I thought the concept was interesting, but the execution left something to be desired. The relationships between the characters felt shaky and undeveloped. When a major turn in the story appeared, I didn't feel unsettled. I felt that the author was trying to throw in the biggest shock factor he could find.

Another thing that annoyed me was that the author intended this to be written by a man living in late Victorian times (according to the book jacket) and yet, I d...more
☮Karen
I won this as a Goodreads First Reads award. As an elderly English Earl is nearing his death, his nephew asks him to start writing about his last days. It turns into a dialog on his day to day thoughts and a memoir of his childhood, all noted in the diary. It takes place in late 18th or early 19th century England, a period I like to read about. As the story contains incest, molestation, and homosexuality, I don't think this would be for everyone, but I enjoyed the old guy's humor and his revelat...more
Linda
I won this book on Goodreads and I have found it to be interesting though a bit difficult to read because of the stilted language. I realize this is the way they spoke then but it still makes the reading tough going. It is not a happy novel but one of reflection of sad events from the past. I would recommend this small tale as an noteworthy read.
Karen Roberts
What a wonderful little snippet of a book. The occasional entry by the writer of the journal to us the reader has some small wise words. The story unfolds nicely and I found myself drawn into the characters.
Ruth
Apr 13, 2010 Ruth marked it as to-read
The premise was good but it is hard reading as it is written in the Olde English style. The first few pages were OK but then it bogged down for me. My husband wasn't crazy about it either.
Lauren
Eh. It had a lot of promise, but didn't really deliver. I thought the ending was disappointing and didn't resolve enough of the story.
Kristina Jo
Mar 26, 2010 Kristina Jo is currently reading it
Shelves: first-reads, own
I'd started to make progress, but then I found my box'o'books in the closet and I've stalled. Whoops. Mail, time, Others.
Dennis Gerwing
A gem! I thoroughly enjoyed this little book.
David Brown
David Brown marked it as to-read
Jun 01, 2014
Kristin
Kristin marked it as to-read
Jan 14, 2014
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Cate Lewis marked it as to-read
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Dec 02, 2012
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