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Hemlock Grove: A Novel Paperback – March 27, 2012

289 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“It takes a rare stroke of genius to reconfigure the gothic novel within the postindustrial barrens of steel country, and another entirely to upstage this conceit with a mythic and ambitious story of adolescence and alienation. Like a collaboration between Edgar Allan Poe and J. D. Salinger, this is a real emerging talent.” —Philipp Meyer, author of American Rust
 
"A wonderfully creative and twisted reinvention of classic monster archetypes, wrapped up in a mysterious thriller. I loved it. Brian McGreevy is a welcome new voice in horror literature, but be warned: it's not for the faint of heart, or stomach." —Eli Roth, director of Hostel

“This is . . . horror with a respect for its literary antecedents.” —Yvonne Zipp, The Washington Post

About the Author

Brian McGreevy grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and received his MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. Now a screenwriter who has had two screenplays featured on the best of the year Black List, he is working on an adaptation of Dracula for Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: FSG Originals; Original edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374532915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374532918
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #918,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Moses on May 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book isn't part of one of my usual genres, and I generally wouldn't touch books with it's cover art/Amazon description with a 15 foot pole. It sounds and looks like the setup for some tragic, overly affected take on Twilight.

But it's not. The plot is shockingly not full of holes (though there are some questions left unanswered, they aren't *unanswerable*), the actions of the characters are actually justifiable, and there isn't any awful fixation on the romance elements - which are sparse, as they should be. It's a story that includes vampires and werewolves, and those two concepts are the most sexual metaphors imaginable, and McGreevy seems to recognize that (and even manages to make a bit of self-referential fun of it). The story is good, and good enough to recommend the book based on. I watched the Netflix series, and it was also good - it followed the story (and in some cases the dialogue) closely, and the acting was good, so if you enjoy this book I'd definitely recommend it.

The story is good and manages to hover above cliché, sometimes even lambasting it. This isn't a happy tale, nor does it come to a contenting conclusion. One thing that the story does manage to handle very well is the juxtaposition of technology and magic - a technical challenge that seems inevitable for the genre (though as I said I'm no genre expert). There's "magic" in the story, no doubt about that, but it's exists in a naturalist sense rather than a romantic one. While the characters take the "magic" elements they can see at face value, there's a lot of discussion of other supernatural elements that are clearly taken as metaphor (for those who have read the book, the story Peter tells Letha is a good example). It pays homage to Frankenstein in a fairly neat albeit direct (Shelly?
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63 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Miguel Carvajal on May 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After watching the Netflix TV series I was curious to read this book to see if it would clarify a few points that didn't quite make sense. I don't want to write any spoilers or give specific details, but those unclear points were explained by reading this book quite nicely. Definitely recommended to all fans of good horror and original stories.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Nat Rose on July 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I actually got this book AFTER watching the show on Netflix (which is great, by the way. I think it actually enhances the book.) and wanting more information. The show is great with cinematography and characters, but of course details are left out, so this book was great. Reading it after I saw all the episodes was surprisingly enjoyable. You go in with a general understanding and then get many of your questions answered.
The book moves at a good pace, not dragging out any needless descriptions and Brian McGreevy has a surprisingly broad vocabulary (which I personally loved), so have your dictionaries near by!
There were some differences between the book and the show, as there usually are. I would recommend both.
Also, the word "Upir" is used in the book and never defined, although it is a very important word for the story.
Definition: "Upir" 1. "A type of dragon that feeds off humans but must die by its own hands to awaken its true powers.
(i.e. The upir are the most feared of the supernatural because of their blood thirsty fangs and their ability to hypnotize.)"
2. "Russian vampire that function during daylight hours. Eats children then their parents. Said to be the most vicious vampire."
(Definitions found on UrbanDictionary.com)
There is a third definition, but it's quite inappropriate and irrelevant.

I would definitely recommend this book! I enjoyed it quite a bit!
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By deborah on April 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The prose of the narrator had a rhythm that kept me connected to the story. It answers some questions left open by the Netflix series. I await the sequels of this book.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sheldon Nylander on September 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
All right, let me get one thing out of the way: Yes, I read this book because of the Netflix series. I have a sick compulsion to read books that movies or television shows are based on so I can understand the source material and supposedly have a greater appreciation for the adaptation. Note the use of the word "supposedly."

Now for a second disclosure: I have not finished watching the Netflix series yet. I'm about halfway through it at the time of this writing. While the Netflix show seems relatively faithful to the source material...well, that's not necessarily a good thing. I've delayed writing this review because I've had trouble figuring out a nice way to describe how much I disliked this book. I wouldn't go so far as to simply rewrite Roger Ebert's infamous review of "North," but this book is still pretty bad.

"Hemlock Grove" by Brian McGreevy primarily follows Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy teenager who has recently moved to the town of Hemlock Grove (and the novel's resident werewolf) and meets rich kid Roman Godfrey, who Peter identifies as an upir. While there's no direct explanation what an upir is until the end, it doesn't take much work to figure it out. After some gruesome murders of local teenage girls, the two decide that it's up to them to find out who is responsible. Why them and not the police? Because we wouldn't have much of a story then, would we?

This where things begin to fall apart and fast. These two teenagers are actually stupid enough to think that it's up to them to solve these murders. Aside from the supernatural element that they detect, why them? It doesn't help that these characters are never made out to be smart in any other respect.
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