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The Stress of Her Regard

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  3,916 ratings  ·  361 reviews
When Michael Crawford discovers his bride brutally murdered in their wedding bed, he is forced to flee not only to prove his innocence, but to avoid the deadly embrace of a vampire who has claimed him as her true bridegroom.

Joining forces with Byron, Keats, and Shelley in a desperate journey that crisscrosses Europe, Crawford desperately seeks his freedom from this vengef
Paperback, 470 pages
Published June 1st 1991 by Ace (first published 1989)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  3,916 ratings  ·  361 reviews

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this will be my goodreads reading challenge goal-meeting book!! unless i change my goal again. but i don't have much time left...

real review:

'twas the week before christmas and all through the apartment, not a creature was stirring except for this varmint.

he jumped onto the bed and slapped me in the face and said - "reading the same book for a week? let's pick up the pace!!"

he continued his abuse, kicking me in the spine, and eventually gave up any pretense of rhyme.

seriously - it took me nearly
Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
”Quaff while thou canst: another race,
When thou and thine, like me, are sped,
May rescue thee from Earth’s embrace,
And rhyme and revel with the dead.
-Lord Byron
“Lines Inscribed upon
a Cup Formed
from a Skull”

Anybody who has spent any time in an English Literature department at a University will find that even though the centennial of Lord Byron’s death is fast approached women still find him fascinating and men still attempt to emulate him.

Lord Byron, those curls made women swoon.

He wa
K.J. Charles
Jul 04, 2017 added it
Shelves: fantasy, dnf
This is a rage review.

I'm at 27% on this book. The premise is that lots of men are victims of lamia, which are sexy female vampires who forcibly "marry" them (or claim them as part of a birth process), and go on to bleed them dry and ruin their lives. But they are so sexy the men just can't help themselves, they just *have* to have sex with them and then they get bled dry as a result. COULD IT BE A METAPHOR IDK WHAT DOES IT MEAN.

So far the only woman with a speaking part who isn't a sexy vampir
Mike (the Paladin)
Odd book this. It's very interesting and very well written. I go only three stars on it because the interest (at least my interest) wains badly at places in the book.

This is in "a way" a vampire story. As is so often the case today the author rewrites the vampire myth tying it in with or more correctly making it hybrid with several other legends from myth, folklore and fiction. This isn't a bad thing.

(view spoiler)
Glen Engel-Cox
Sep 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
If you have yet to discover Powers, what a treat awaits you! For those of you who have read his earlier work, such as The Anubis Gates and On Stranger Tides, I know I'll be preaching to the converted when I say that Powers is one of the most exciting authors writing fantasy today. He is one of the progenitors of the "gonzo" fantasy, a style in which the author uses actual history for the majority of the plot, but inserts fantastic elements that explain actions left mysterious by time and which w ...more
Oct 29, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sff
The one where a hapless doctor accidentally gets himself involved with a race of strange vampirish creatures, which gets him involved with Byron and Shelley.

I liked what this book did with the creatures, combining all different strands of folklore and of science. But I didn't like the book, chiefly because there was no period feel to it at all. It was full of anachronisms: in language ("How the hell much do you expect me to believe?" -- John Keats), in attitudes ("It's a sexual perversion, actua
Sep 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Weighty, sloppy, thought-provoking, ill-disciplined, moving, incredibly-researched, boring, electrifying, intelligent fantasy.

This one very nearly became the first book on my abandoned pile a great many times, it is a novel that demands work from you in exchange for the most meagre of rewards for roughly 60% of it's length. When you're writing double-spaced, large-font airport trash that's one thing, but when you've penned a granitic ~500 page tome you've really got to have your pacing and prose
I’ve always heard amazing things about Tim Powers’ work, but I’ve tried The Stress of Her Regard before, and didn’t really get on with it. I didn’t do much better this time, although I persisted and read the whole thing. I feel like if I knew the life stories of Byron, Shelley, Polidori and Keats, I’d understand exactly what was going on better. It spends so much time on those characters, who from my point of view act erratically and often unpleasantly. (Dead child marionette. I won’t say more, ...more
Jul 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, horror, e-books
It took a long time to get through this book. I downloaded it as an ebook from a really good independent because it wasn't available for my Nook from Barnes & Noble. The formatting of the ebook made it really hard to read and the material, like most of Tim Powers work, is very dense.

That said, The Stress of Her Regard was very enjoyable, especially for anyone who loves English Romantic literature. Some of the main characters include Lord Byron, John Keats, and Percy & Mary Shelley. I did move t
Jan 05, 2012 rated it liked it
I like reading Tim Powers. But once you read more than one or two of his stories, you realize they're very, very formulaic. And they all share more or less the same flaws to varying degrees. I'm pretty sure there's marriage at the end of every last one of his stories, for instance. And the heroine may or may not I don't know have any lines that aren't shouting for rescue.

This book, while a very imaginative take on the vampire thing, kind of fell flat for me. You can't have Mary Shelley, mother o
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 stars.

While certainly not nearly as good as the classic "The Anubis Gate", this was a decent read: it held ny interest throughout, and Tin Powers can definitely tell a story.

But at the same time it was also a somewhat -uncomfortable- read, as the book (IMO) gave off mixed messages in it's depiction of women overall, even though I'm not sure that's the intent.

I think this book WANTS to be just a straightforeward alt-history/fantasy romp, but given the premise, it seems to have turned into a b
Melissa McShane
Read 1/15/16: The line of reasoning with myself was thus:
"Tim Powers has a new book coming out on Tuesday."
"I feel like re-reading one of his books."
"I've only read Hide Me Among the Graves once."
"Dummy, that's because it goes best with The Stress of Her Regard, and you really regretted not reading that with it last time."
"I should re-read The Stress of Her Regard."

So I did. (Though Hide Me Among the Graves still isn't grabbing me the second time around.) This was the very first Tim Powers book
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Rereading this in preparation for the new book. Very disappointed in both Powers and myself as a young reader. While I enjoyed the fantastic elements well enough, I found a lot of things very problematic. The book heavily relies on the monstrous female without any examination as to how these tropes are harmful to women. The author and his male characters have nothing but contempt for the women characters. Women are irrational, uncreative, weak, hysterical, prone to mysterious ailments. Even the ...more
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
There's lots to like in this book. The way in which it interweaves known points in the lives of some of the Romantic poets into its own plot of vampiric possession and uses their own writings to very good effect in the epigraphs to the chapters is all very clever. There are sympathetic and well-drawn (up to a point) characters. The conception of the vampires is original and interesting.

Yet for all these virtues, I did not love this book. It took me a long time (over half of a quite long book) r
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2017
I liked this one cause it has the most unusual cesarean delivery in the history of fictional medicine ever.

It was a brilliant idea and kept my interest, plus it reinforced that early learned edict that vampires are just plan BAD.

Tho garlics could be an issue really and now I need to go to Venice and test some coin throwing for my own mental comfort, I am sure Mr. Booge will be on board with that.

(However I am taking extra aerosol hairspray and a lighter.)
Jun 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Fantasy. This is a vampire story that includes all the classic vampire myths (Likes: blood, having people under thrall, invitations, their native soil; Dislikes: garlic, sunlight, running water, mirrors, wood), but with a twist. Powers blends vampires with succubi, trolls, the Muses, and Frankenstein's monster, and comes up with a unique creature that feeds off men while allowing them almost eternal life and a flair for poetry. Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelly, Mary Shelley, and John Keats are al ...more
A secret history involving the romantic poets, children of Lillith(Lillim or Nephelhim), the Hapsburgs, and vampire legends. The way the story is interwoven with the literature of the poets (Keats, Byron, and Shelley) and their hangers on and relatives (especially Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Polidori’s Vampyr) and with their history(and the political strife in Europe) is terrific. Great atmosphere and an air of creepiness and dread through out and the attitude towards the poets by the prot ...more
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
One of my favorite Powers books, and that's saying something, this ranks up there with THE ANUBIS GATES and LAST CALL in the pantheon of greatness.

Again, it's a simple enough idea -- what if the muses of the great Romantic poets were actual supernatural beings, a kind of psychic vampire? From that Powers imagination takes flight and we get Nephilim, Byron, Shelley, Keats and all manner of innocent bystanders pulled under the influence of ancient creatures, Lamia, trying to find a foothold again
So at times I felt a little angry with this book, mostly because of the Mary Shelley character. However, I love the amount of research that Powers put into it and found myself respecting what he did in terms of two of the characters.

And the vampires had bite.
[Name Redacted]
Of lamias and muses, gorgons and graeae, vampires and leanhaun side, Romantics and religion. Rich. Satisfying. Exquisite.

And now, over 20 years later, he has published a sequel!
Ian Tregillis
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tim Powers.

Lord Byron. Percy Shelley. John Keats.

Muses. Lamiae. Vampires.

Jamie Collins
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, victorian
During the first several chapters I was afraid I wasn’t going to like this. It’s quite well written, but it’s weird and macabre, with more self-mutilation and blood consumption than I generally care to read about. The story grew on me, though, and I really enjoyed the last half of the book, and particularly the final scenes with Lord Byron battling monsters, by proxy, in Venice.

I know little about the Romantic poets, and I found myself hitting Wikipedia to reconcile this fictional version of Byr
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Stacia by: Steve
The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers is pretty great. It's really intricate & detailed in many of the parts, and entwines lots of historical fact (lives of Keats, Byron, the Shelleys, etc...) with much religious story/myth/folklore (nephilim, Lamia, the Graeae, vampires, etc...). Thought it was a very neat twist on the very tragic lives of the Shelleys & Byron, using the story to explain many of the tragic & terrible events that happened to them. (I'm glad I read a bio of the Shelleys & Byron ...more
John Eich
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
When I read the plotline, a historical fiction of "The Romantic Poets Fight Vampires", I couldn't resist checking it out. C'mon, who could walk past that? Sadly, I wish I had.

I think the author started with some mysterious lines in their poetry, saw some similarities, and made a fun supernatural explanation for it all. Then, they opened up the poets' biographies and started fitting this new explanation to them. They even added another fictional main character to fill in the gaps. But the act of
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
A quick read, and a fun read. If I could, I'd give this 3.5 stars too. I think what really made this enjoyable for me, and not just your basic scary tale, was Powers' clever integration of history and fantasy in telling the reader a story about the lives of the second generation Romantic poets--John Keats, George Gordon Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary Shelley, and even several cameo appearances of John Polidori (the uncle of the Victorian poets Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti). I ...more
Apr 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was like reading someone else's dream. There were moments of haze where you had a feeling about what was happening but it was not very clear; and at other times, things were very bright and clear. When something weird would happen, like someone biting off their own finger, you would think, "that's seems a little off", but no great shocker. I don't mean the plot was difficult to follow; the story was well told, just the style was a little different.

The characters were interesting. Historic
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2016
It’s been quite a while since I enjoyed a book as much as I enjoyed The Stress of her Regard; I in fact think it will become one of my favourites books from on now, despite the endless first interlude and the long second part. And that’s all. My review ends here. I’ve been more than a week thinking about the review of The Stress of her Regard, and now that I’ve finally finished it, I find myself unable to write something decent. What a shame. I think I’ll take advantage of the situation and use ...more
Original Review (Aug 08):
Fans of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (such as myself) sit up and take note: Tachyon Publications has reissued The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers. Originally published in 1989, this is a dark, decadent, Romantic fantasy. That’s Romantic with a capital R, as Byron, Keats, and Shelley are all characters in this immensely imagined and thoroughly researched novel. The protagonist, one Michael Crawford, is carousing the night before his wedding when he places his int
I don't recall if I've read anything of Tim Powers's before; I've known the name forever, though. And Simon Vance narrated, so with the description listed for The Stress of Her Regard seemed like a solid lock.

But it was so very much not.

Vampires, succubi, fairy godmothers, muses – oh, and the Sphinx – all have the same origin and explanation: lamia. Done right, this could be fascinating. Done not-quite-right, and I wanted to hurt every major character in the book, and some of the minor ones. A
Aug 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
The night before his wedding, Michael Crawford loses his wedding ring—and finds himself married to a jealous, powerful, ancient vampire. His journey to understand and break this connection leads him to follow suffers Keats, Byron, and Shelley and on a torturous path across Europe. The Stress of Her Regard is ambitious historical and literary fantasy of mixed success. Pulling from mythology, history, and Romantic literature, it's dense and wide-ranging, a challenging book for both reader and writ ...more
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Timothy Thomas Powers is an American science fiction and fantasy author. Powers has won the World Fantasy Award twice for his critically acclaimed novels Last Call and Declare.

Most of Powers's novels are "secret histories": he uses actual, documented historical events featuring famous people, but shows another view of them in which occult or supernatural factors heavily influence the motivations a

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“Summer lightning made it seem that flickering white-hot wires were turning in the terribly blue sky just above the horizon, and the recent storms had driven in toward shore hundreds of gigantic Portuguese man-o'-wars that now hung below the surface of the water like big malignant pearls.” 3 likes
“Byron had drawn his pistol, and was looking closely at the leaves and dirt around him, as if he'd dropped something. "It's -- do keep calm now -- it's right over your head. I suppose you could look, if you can do it slowly."

Crawford felt drops of sweat run down his ribs under his shirt as he slowly forced the muscles of his neck to tilt his head up; he saw the upper slope, bristling with trees that obstructed a view of the road, and then he saw the outer branches of the tree he was braced against, and finally he gathered his tattered courage and looked straight up.

And it took all of his self-control not to recoil or scream, and he was distantly resentful that he couldn't just die in this instant.”
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