Sasha's Reviews > Hide Me Among the Graves

Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers
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's review
May 14, 2012

really liked it
Read from April 07 to June 01, 2012

This expansive novel by Tim Powers weaves together the stories of several 19th-century Londoners: a veterinary surgeon, an ex-prostitute who deals in ghost-catching songbirds, their savvy young daughter, and four literary siblings all connected by the fact that they are victims of the vampire/ghost who sustains himself through them but offers artistic creativity in return.

Powers does a great job recreating 19th century London, detailing the streets, pubs, and even ancient underground sewer system explored by the characters. The descriptions, particularly of the ghosts--how they look, move, and sound--are richly imaginative and vivid. But the best aspect of this story was that the poets in the book actually existed. Romantic-era writers such as Algernon Swinburne and Edward John Trelawny get in on the action, and the Rossettis are all based on four siblings who produced poetry, literature, and art in the 1800s. Excerpts from their poems open each chapter, adding a cool dimension to the supernatural twist of the story; the way Powers uses the haunting, mysterious qualities of the poems to build a story about the undead is well done, creating a dark yet quirky atmosphere for a phantasmagorical literary read.

*I received a review copy of this novel from William Morrow/Harper Collins.

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