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Tim Powers - The Stress of Her Regard (1989)

timpowers_stress.jpg
Readable but overlong fantasy-horror-literary history hybrid featuring lamia/vampires and the cream of Romantic poets--Keats, Shelley, and Byron--interacting a with a fictional character, Michael Crawford, who must also rid himself of the curse and save the twin sister of his murdered wife, Julia/Josephine. Powers' skill is in seamlessly incorporating real details--Shelley's drowning, his funeral pyre, the rescuing of his heart, for one example--into a fictional narrative, and deepening the understanding of both novel and history. In the end this was a narrative I wanted to wrap up 100 pages sooner, coming down to a battle to save Josephine and their baby, who might also be a product of the lamia/vampire. The best moments are the ones that little bearing on the plot--a glimpse of a monstrous thing sharing a cargo hold--the least ones the action machinations of the climax. It did make me purchase a book of Shelley poems to counterbalance my adolescent knowledge of Keats.

(BTW, this cover is terrible and looks like a romance novel!)

Comments

Nice review. I would love to see if we have this in our local bookstores.
Thumbs up for sharing~

Mira from lit pliant 

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