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The Stress of Her Regard Paperback – 12 Jul 1993

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Paperback, 12 Jul 1993
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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; New edition edition (12 July 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586072837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586072837
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.2 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,006,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Tim Powers is a brilliant writer... Wonderfully original'
--William Gibson

'Tim Powers has long been one of my absolutely favourite writers, those whose new books I snatch up as soon as they appear... Narrative sparkle, great dialogue, speculative imagination, and emotional power.'
--Peter Straub

'Philip K. Dick felt that one day Tim Powers would be one of our greatest fantasy writers. Phil was right.'
--Roger Zelazny

'Historical fact, dazzling flights of imagination, and wonderful suspense.'
--Dean Koontz

'Tim Powers is the apostle of gonzo history... [He] promises marvels and horrors, and delivers them all.'
--Orson Scott Card

'Powers' novels are big in every sense: vast in scope, philosophically deep, impeccably wrought.'
--Guardian

'One of the most original and innovative writers of fantasy currently working.'
--Washington Post

Powers' stellar supernatural thriller... Powers works an impressively original variation on the vampire theme... The meticulous attention to historical and literary detail grounds the story solidly in its period and enhances its imaginative reach. --Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Back Cover

THE MORNING AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE

Dr Michael Crawford wakes to a bed soaked by carnage and the impossibly savaged body of his bride. He flees England to escape the hangman's noose. His only hope lies with the most notorious poets of the age: Keats, Shelley and Byron.

Slowly they bring Crawford to a terrible understanding of the force that damns him as surely as it protects him. For Crawford has another, secret, bride who rules the hours of his sleep. She is as beautiful as she is evil. She is an ancient power that threatens to ravage the lives of each of her lovers.

A masterful blend of the poetic and the grotesque, the real and the imagined, this transfixing novel displays Tim Power's mastery of the genre at his most ambitious best.

"The best fantasy writer to appear in decades"
THE GUARDIAN

"Great ambition and intensity . . . a complex and satisfying novel"
INTERZONE

"Good serious fantasy doesn't come much better than 'The Stress of Her Regard'"
OXFORD TIMES

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This highly acclaimed 1989 novel by Tim Powers has been re-released as a "prequel" to the recently published Hide Me Among the Graves. Having read and generally enjoyed "Graves" I was eager to see for myself what the fuss was all about regarding the first book.

It is lengthy at over 500 pages, but, I can happily report, it was well worth it. With the original premise of following the poets Byron, Keats and Shelley and blending their exploits with fiction, Powers has pulled a master-stroke in the genre of horror/fantasy.

This Gothic novel is descriptive, atmospheric, gripping, gory, chilling and utterly compulsive. Unlike its sequel, the characters here are exciting and charismatic. You really feel for the main character of Michael Crawford and the terrible predicament he finds himself in.

A story that has vampires, nephelim, living statues and a supernatural curse as the reasons for literary greatness gets my vote! This is about enjoying talent, but at a great personal cost.

Lyrical, ambitious, sprawling and epic, "The Stress of Her Regard" sees horrific events taking place against the backdrop of some of the most beautiful and picturesque parts of Europe: a neat juxtaposition.
This is about outcasts living in forced exile in Europe, being stalked by ancient mythical creatures. Frantic and fast-paced, the desperation leaps off the page.

Its only faults are some anachronisms: English and Irish 19th century poets would not use American slang and terms of phrase for example, exclaiming "Goddamit!" repeatedly. Also, they would not describe autumn as "the fall."

Nonetheless, this is an excellent novel and fully deserves the plaudits it already has, and it should enjoy new fans and a wider readership this second time around.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The idea behind this book, famous figures from history dealing with supernatural creatures is clever and the creatures themselves are well developed and supported by a range of historical links that make them seem plausible.

Where this book falters is in the execution. The story takes ages to get going and rather dumps the reader in the middle of things without really explaining what's going on or what all the strange terms bandied about mean. The book is further spoiled by the complete unlikeableness of the historic poets (Byron, Shelley & Keats) and the ineffectiveness of the lead character, Michael Crawford, who never really drives the plot, merely tags along behind one or other the poets.

The book does pick up in the final third but still moves at a somewhat glacial pace as Crawford and various poets traipse back and forth across Italy.

If you're into your romantic poets then you might get more of a kick out of this book, but I won't be coming back to this book anytime soon.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an impulse buy, I'd never heard of Tim Powers before, but I will definitely be reading more. I loved this - the whole reframing of Earth history through the magnifying glass of the romantic poets, it was brilliantly done. I love vampire fiction, and I love anything gothic, so it was the perfect book for me - but it was also a treatment of vampirism that I've never seen before. Another thing I loved was how I could easily see parallels between the vampire/human relationship and domestic abuse - how you hate the abuser and want to get away, but at the same time, there is that Stockholm Syndrome yearning for them when you finally do break away. So many sentences spoken by the victims of the vampires that could have come out of my own mouth.

I didn't find it slow-paced at all - I'm a huge fan of Victorian novels, so the pace felt comfortable, and I loved wallowing in the world the author created. Most importantly, the narration was unobtrusive and never once drew me out of the story (once I got the picture of Michael Crawford as Frank Spencer out of my head). The depiction of time and place felt authentic.

This is a very original take on vampire mythology and on the romantic poets, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although I'll never look at statues and stones in quite the same way again.....
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Format: Paperback
"The Stress of Her Regard" is a marvelous and well-researched work of historic fantasy based on the lives of several of the great Romantic poets (Keats, Byron, Shelley). Their muses are real, but they are no kindly Greek goddesses. They are obsessive and jealous supernatural creatures that have co-existed with humans for centuries, inspiring but untimately destroying their lovers/victims. Michael Crawford, the novel's hero, attempts to uncover the history of these vampire-like beings in an effort to find a way to free himself and others from their grasp. "The Stress of Her Regard" is a thrilling work that manages to be both intellectual and action-packed.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A book that seems to use as it's basis that soom of the last centuries darker poetry, was a fanciful version of the truth. Well written, absorbing, but in many ways original, it ties together many legends with great ease. For many pages i felt as confused as the main character, and needed to find the answers. I ended up reading it all in one sitting and at 500+ pages, that took a while. But well worth the time
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