[ Read Online The Stress of Her Regard ✓ harlequin-teen PDF ] by Tim Powers õ I like reading Tim Powers But once you read than one or two of his stories, you realize they re very, very formulaic And they all share 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 of science fiction, in your book as a key plot character and give her like 5 lines, none with any agency whatsoever Byron, Percy, Keats, even frigg n Polidori are all developed as characters, but not the writer of Frankenstein who s just kind of always standing in the background not saying much even as her children and husband are dying, her point of view isn t ever really shown To me, that s just a criminal misuse of a character.
For all that, I mean it s still a Tim Powers book Awesome fantastical alternate history things happen throughout and its an entertaining read I just also found it deeply frustrating for all its faults.
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 will provide the details of the story K.
W Jeter and James P Blaylock, friends of Powers , have also written stories in this style, and Bruce Sterling and William Gibson are working on one called The Difference Engine But gonzo fantasy is Powers ballgame, and he s still batting 1.
The Stress of Her Regard is set in the time of those three happy go lucky but yet melancholy poets, the Romantics No, not the rock group, but Lord Byron, Percy Shelly, and John Keats Powers has once again picked his time period and historical people well there are few people as full of life and mystery as these three poets Byron, Shelly and Keats were the original Beat writers, travelling the world and putting what they saw into their fiction and poetry long before Jack Keroauc.
The main character isn t a poet, though, but a doctor named Michael Crawford Having already suffered the death of his first wife and his younger brother, the book opens with Crawford s marriage to his second wife and her brutal death beside him in bed on their first night as man and wife Blamed for his wife s death, and laboring under the absence of his own memory of that night, Crawford flees into hiding But Crawford is hunted, not only with guilt for the deaths of those close to him, but also by strangely erotic dreams, and hounded by the sister of his second wife His escape from both of these are interlocked with the poetry and lives of the Romantics You mention fantasy to some people, and they have a hard time not relating it with Tolkien or Dungeons Dragons Powers fiction isn t one style alone The Stress of Her Regard is a perfect example of this Not only does it predispose some knowledge of the work of the three poets, but it also has horrific undertones that threaten to explode into the forefront a la Stephen King.
Powers previous novels have also played fast and loose with historical characters, but those characters have always remained in the background, as if Powers was wary that the real characters would destroy the fabric of his half real fantasy world In The Stress of Her Regard, though, Powers bravely tackles using the historical characters to become major forces of the storyline In fact, the intriguing ambiguous yet always exciting Byron steals the book from Crawford, who seems to be a rudderless boat on a swift moving river And although Byron falls victim to the lamias, his struggle and fall are the stuff that climaxes are built of, rather than Crawford s selfless struggle to rescue his wife s sister.
Not as pyrotechnic as The Anubis Gates, nor as perverse as Dinner at Deviant s Palace, nor as playful as On Stranger Tides , what distinguishes The Stress of Her Regard is the consistent tone of the novel a spiralling descent into the insanity of creative genius, and the redemption of love.
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 vampire, prostitute, lunatic, stock barmaid sexy , or murderer is Mary Shelley She gets to quote several lines of Shakespeare a man Woop That s literally it for women being allowed to speak However, it has been made clear she didn t invent the idea for Frankenstein after all Oh and the protagonist has not one but two wives who unfairly ruined his life by being murdered The inconsiderate cows But at least he didn t love them so, could be worse.
What s making me really angry isn t particularly this book, although it is making me very angry It s that I spent my youth reading books like this and never noticed because it was just standard fantasy, it happened all the time Tim Powers is an excellent author I adored Anubis Gates and Last Call, both of which had female protagonists I don t think this book was intended to be a misogynistic blast against women I don t think the author thought about it at all It s just bog standard for 1980s 90s fantasy, and better than much And I and hundreds of thousands of other teenage girls just soaked it the hell up.
I was going to keep reading because it is well written and Powers can tell a story but actually, you know what, I have Becky Chambers and Kij Johnson and Martha Wells and Nicky Drayden and Lauren Beukes in my TBR so screw this shit DNF, which stands for Die Now in a Fire.
eta I swear to God, if anyone comes on this review to stan for Powers or tell me I had to finish reading this book, I will not be responsible for the consequences.
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 correctly making it hybrid with several other legends from myth, folklore and fiction This isn t a bad thing view spoiler at least he didn t go the route of friendly helpful vampiresI really don t care for that hide spoiler 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 locked down tighter than this.
The Stress of Her Regard is a book that attempts to re contextualise almost everything modern fiction has led us to understand about vampires whilst weaving them into the fabric of our history, the dominant Abrahamic mythology and all the stories that have dogged every human civilization about human like creatures among us that eat the flesh and drink the blood of our friends and neighbours A novel that proudly wears it s Literate badge pinned to it s Poetic Canon chest whilst simultaneously trying to tell a linear genre piece narrative about people attempting to fight vampires with garlic and iron stakes So not a book stymied by lack of ambition.
This fascinated and impressed me initially when I heard it, so I ll share it with you Tim Powers takes documented history of the time and weaves into that a semi plausible backbone of fantasy to account for why the records are contradictory, or in this case why the great poets all seem to suffer from the same ailments and have their thoughts pulled in similar directions did you know Byron s physician Polidori is credited with having written the first English vampire story He intersperses passages from journals and letters at the beginning of chapters in a way that sometimes grates as only quotidian clever cleverness can, but occasionally makes the spine tingle from top to tail.
Powers, for all his many laudable qualities some of which I will laud shortly , is not unfortunately someone who could be accused of consistency I ve never known someone do such unstinting, painstaking research before only to get the feel of the time period he clearly knows better than his own utterly wrong Make no mistake, if you were to give Powers a date he could tell you what Lord Byron ate, how he was disposed towards the world and why In light of this why do Byron, Shelley and Keats and Michael Crawford, our fictional protagonist talk like academically inclined Americans I m not asking to be subjected to Master and Commander or Pride and Prejudice in fact I m asking never to be subjected to either ever again , but people saying I guess and What the hell in the early 19th century is glaring Plus later they seem to be aware of DNA and atomic theory they don t use those names but this is sparse cover for the mistake, especially when the concepts are used as expository wiffle to make tenuous, unnecessary sense of his proposed silicate life forms.
As well as this we re lumbered with an initially inert protagonist who is steadfast in his refusal to ask the obvious, sensible questions of people around him who understand what s going on Then comes the worst of all narrative sins Excessive description.
This can be forgiven if not overlooked in some cases later in this very novel, for example, my annoyance at being told what he was eating for an entire paragraph barely registered because Crawford had a goal he was pursuing and clear motivations as to why but following some useless twerp around the continent while he refuses to take control of the situation is bad enough without being assailed by constant descriptions of what the stuff he was doing looked like and how he felt about it It s enough to know that he shovelled ballast into a boat in order to escape pursuit, telling me that it was a task he quickly took pride in, what the ballast consisted of, how it smelled, that he was worried he wouldn t get paid for his work and how his hands hurt from the shovel are not things that interest normal people.
There are other gaping flaws in the text, as well Such as how immortal timeless hyper monsters with seemingly infinite magical powers manage to be just stupid enough to be repeatedly outwitted by humans with iron sticks, the bizarre way he writes out languages in Latin, French and Italian to show that he can then translates them immediately afterwards either put it in English italics or just be proud of your pretension and refuse to translate for us proles and why the Nephilim seem to need to drink a fluid consisting mainly of salt water with some carbon and nitrogen for sustenance when it s explicitly and repeatedly stated that they existed before men and other carbonate life forms did.
However, once you make it past that 60% breakwater the book comes together with the inevitable satisfaction of a sunset Plot threads twine together, tabs find slots you hadn t realised were even slots, characters start to break free of the dreamlike ennui in which they wandered and things happen because our motley crew of flawed, real people want them to There s also a story of genuine love as a force for redemption and hope that s handled with such touching honesty and tenderness that you d have to have a silicate heart to be unmoved.
It s a terrible shame he didn t start the novel that way.
S As an irrelevant aside, TSoHR was republished in 2008 to cash in on the vampire craze and this very nearly convinced me to give the book five stars and a fake review because the idea of someone reading the Twilight quadrilogy then picking this up because it s also nominally about interspecies romance makes me laugh like a child.
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, actually John Keats , and in knowledge Byron and Crawford are credited with understanding DNA and the structure of atoms, though in fairness, they don t use the words, just the concepts So if I m reading about people who talk like me, think like me, and know the things I know, what s the point of reading a historical novel at all 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 , just Yeah For the most part, it feels horror than fantasy, albeit a very literary sort that creeping disquiet, at times replaced by utter grotesqueness, and yet sometimes also laced with pity It s essentially about addiction, in a way, which makes it frustrating the characters are always backsliding, always feeling that once won t hurt Of course, it does.
Most of the characters are pretty unpleasant, too There s not much to just like about them and the female characters are mostly hysterical, ineffectual, or killed.
I d chalk it up to just not getting it , but actually, I don t see what people like about it at all I m glad I ve read it now it s out of the way originally posted here.
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 the book from my fantasy shelf to my horror shelf because it seemed to be the appropriate place for it since it dealt with monsters that are kind of a cross between vampires and living statues They re frequently called vampires in the book, but that s only part of what they re like This book has some great action and really gruesome horror However, Powers does a good job of inserting some comedic relief at all the right parts.
Now, I know what you re thinking You re thinking that you re really sick of books about vampires However, these vampires are truly inhuman monsters They re not even as fluffy as Count Dracula They definitely don t sparkle.
He was the quintessential bad boy rebelling against.
well what have you got drinking copious amounts of alcohol sleeping with whoever took his fancymarried, young, old, sister he was athletic renown for his talent for swimming and boxing he was a man untethered by the normal restraints of a man of his generation or for that matter any generation Scandal followed him everywhere he went and finally caught up with him when he paused long enough for rumor to arrive It is so funny to think of those Yale boys in the Skull and Bones club drinking from a skull cup imagining that they are Lord Byron even though all of them lack the imagination or the audacity to ever be as larger than life than the 5 8 club footed Bryon Walking with a limp might have held some men back, but it only added to Byron s mysticIn the wind there is a voiceShall forbid thee to rejoice And to thee shall Night denyAll the quiet of her sky And the day shall have a sun,Which shall make thee wish it done Lord Bryon, Manfred There is a reason why Byron is on the run He is being pursued, hounded, chased from one great city to the next by a race of beings as old as the earth that he refers to as the Nephilim which means to fall or to cause to fall John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley are also fleeing the same creatures One benefit of being under of the spell of the creatures is the whispered words from their lips that put poetry in the minds of the men Because of numerous ailments brought on by a combination of genetics and hard living, Byron traveled with a personal physician named John William Polidori A doctor who dreams of being a poet and believes by being around Byron and his circle of talented writers that some of their talent will rub off on him He was present on that famous evening in 1816 when Byron challenged the group to write ghost stories The most famous document to emerge from that evening was Mary Shelley s book Frankenstein, but Polidori also made a contribution to literature from that challenge publishing the first vampire story published in English The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre Doctor Polidori a man intent on learning the secret of poetry at any cost.
Our story really begins with Dr Michael Crawford, a man on the verge of pulling his life back together He is to be married to the fair Julie and having one disastrous marriage on his resume he is determined to make sure this one is successful The night before the nuptials he is in an inn accompanied by his best man They are flirting with serving wenches and drinking too much as seems to be the practice of many men the day before they get married In the course of helping his friend back inside the inn after a drunken sprawl in the courtyard Crawford places the ring intended for his beloved on the finger of a statue to keep it safe When he returns to retrieve the ring the hand of the statue has closed and despite his best efforts he can not pry the fingers apart to repossess the ring Little does he know that a pact has been made and now he is a target for the same creatures pursuing ByronBut the worm shall revive thee with kisses,Thous shalt change and transmute as a godAs the rod to a serpent that hisses,As the serpent again to a rod.
They life shall not cease though thou doff it Thou shalt live until evil be slain,And good shall die first, said they prophet,Our Lady of Pain A C Swinburne, Dolores So what do these creatures look likeTonight she seemed to come in as a mist between the casements, but she was in her human form by the time he looked fully at her She was naked, as always before, and he was so dazzled by the sight of her that he hardly noticed her arm snake out and turn his shaving mirror to face the wall When her white fingers reached out and unbuttoned his shirt, and his lungs seemed to clog full with ice when her cold nipples pressed against his chest He fell backwards onto the bed and she followed and straddled him Now she went down to give him a passionate kiss her hair fell in coils around his ears, and he abandoned himself to her Her flesh warmed around him as the hours were achingly chiselled away, and when at last she rose from the bed she was actually glowing faintly, like the bricks lining a smithy s stove.
She leaned down and took his limp hand as if to kiss it, but when she lifted it to her lips it was only to bite the stump of his missing finger The blood spurted rackingly into her mouth, and the strained bed joints squealed as he convulsed into unconsciousness.
AndThe thing was clinging upside down to the trunk, its projecting snout only a few feet above his face It had no eyes, nor even eye sockets, and its corrugated gray hide and anvil shaped face were anything but mobile, but he could tell that he had excited its profoundest attention a mouth opened under the snout, exposing teeth like petrified plates of tree fungus, and the creature began to stretch its neck downward They can also become a winged serpentIt curled heavily in the air, its metallic looking scales glittering in the torchlight Its long snout opened, showing a white brush of teeth.
Polidori despondent about his inability to be a great poet, beset with debts and depression commits suicide giving himself over to the Nephilim They can assume any form to inspire fear or lust in the individuals they are pursuing The resurrected Polidori, a form now favored by the Nephilim, is intent not only in controlling the poets, but also killing their wives, sisters, children removing any obstacles from complete devotion from their subjects They are almost impossible to kill and Byron, Crawford, Shelley, and Keats find themselves in a desperate battle to break their connection with the creatures before everyone they love is destroyed Crawford was holding the jar of Byron s blood in one hand and Shelley s charred, paper wrapped heart in the other The poets return, he thought nervously Tim Powers is so imaginative and always pushes the boundaries with soaring ideas and brain warping strange concoctions of speculative prose He took the tragic lives of these romantic poets and plausibly creates a world where an ancient race of vampires are the source of their talent, and how the strength of this stalwart band of poets to resist these necrophiliac muses leads to their premature deaths If their poetry seems otherworldly you might come away believing some of this tale to be true Tim PowersTim Powers is the only writer I know that signs his books upside down He must be different in all things he does Tim Powers signed this book for me and even sketched a face because he is just that damn cool If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at World Fantasy Award Winner Michael Crawford Is Forced To Flee When Discovers His Bride Brutally Murdered In Their Wedding Bed Yet It Is Not The Revengeful Townspeople He Fears But The Deadly Embrace Of The Malignant Spirit That Is Claiming Him As Her BridegroomCrawford Will Not Travel Alone Soon He Is Aided By His Fellow Victims, The Greatest Poets Of His Day Byron, Keats, And Shelley Together They Embark Upon A Desperate Journey, Crisscrossing Europe And Battling The Vampiric Fiend Who Seeks Her Ultimate Pleasure In Their Ravaged Bodies And Imperiled SoulsTelling A Secret History Of Passion And Terror, Tim Powers The Anubis Gates, Declare, Three Days To Never Masterfully Recasts The Tragic Lives Of The Romantics Into A Uniquely Frightening Tale Back In Print For The First Time Since , This Newly Revised Edition Of The Stress of Her Regard Will Thrill Both Powers Fans And Newcomers To This Gripping Gothic Tour De Force