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Hemlock Grove: A Novel
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Hemlock Grove: A Novel [Paperback]

Brian McGreevy
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)

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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Book Description

March 27, 2012
An exhilarating reinvention of the gothic novel, inspired by the iconic characters of our greatest myths and nightmares.

The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues—though the authorities aren’t sure if it’s a man they should be looking for.

Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family—their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel—where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he’s a werewolf. Or perhaps it’s Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.
At once a riveting mystery and a fascinating revelation of the grotesque and the darkness in us all, Hemlock Grove has the architecture and energy to become a classic in its own right—and Brian McGreevy the talent and ambition to enthrall us for years to come.

Editorial Reviews


“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.

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 0.9 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Post-modern genius or teen-romance hack? 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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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just like the TV series. 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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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book AND Show! 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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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic goth April 27, 2013
By deborah
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solidly 3.5 read July 3, 2013
I like this book, but I'd be lying if I said that is was a solid 4 star read for me. I feel that this was more of a 3.5, but I'm going to round up since there was more here that I liked than things that I disliked. I won't lie: you will likely either absolutely adore this book or you'll hate it with a passion.

Part of what I liked about this book were some of the things that I also disliked about it. I liked the way the characters spoke and acted, but then at the same time this tended to work against it at times. The characters are just far too precocious and well, "quirky" for their own good. I say quirky because there really isn't that great of an alternate word for the way they act. They're all interesting, but sometimes it just seems like the author tried a little too overly hard to make everyone as interesting and unique as he could make them. It makes for a fun read, but also a frustrating one since you never quite forget that these are all characters in a novel. Of course that isn't to say that you won't find some characters that you'll absolutely adore- I couldn't help but fall in love with Shelley, who is treated like a freak by just about everyone in town but is quite possibly one of the most intelligent people in the book. I was glad that they expanded on her character a little more for the television show. I just really can't get enough of her. Other characters are interesting enough and there wasn't anyone I truly hated, although at times I really just wanted to tell Roman to grow a pair.

Plot-wise, this was decent. The whodunit of the killer is rather well done and not really something that you could completely predict. I'd had the ending spoiled for me by Google searches, so I had the ability to look at some of the little hints dropped here and there.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read
I can not recommend this book highly enough. Dark fascinating characters, and a great turn on the old vampire/werewolf myth.
Published 2 days ago by JGrimm
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange but Good.
A very weird book. Was a major series on Netflix. You have Roman who is the rich kid, Peter who is the poor gypsy. These two begin to have an unexpected friendship. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Joyce Rector
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read!
Really explains more of the Netflix hemlock grove. Good read!
Published 14 days ago by lisa ciccariello
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Meanings in the Character Names
There are all kinds of Vampire reinventions occurring in pop literature, for example the TRUE BLOOD books. Read more
Published 14 days ago by W. T. Hoffman
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME
Loved this book it was so imaginative. Cant wait to Watch season 2 on Netflix . Hope they keep everything just an Illusion of whats going on and not turn it into a tacky full of... Read more
Published 16 days ago by tbailey
5.0 out of 5 stars I would highly recommend this story
This story was captivating with extraordinary characters. The dialogue wa unique and gritty with a richly dark story that helped you expand your mind. Read more
Published 20 days ago by caragon6
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't finish the book
Very disappointed. Advertised as being in the style of classic horror. Turned out to be more like modern horror movies - more sexual than eerie.
Published 25 days ago by Colleen McKnight
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 27 days ago by S. S.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great twisting tale.
Excellent book full of unusual characters. It twists and turns in places you don't see coming. Kept my interest all the way thru. Would love a serious on this. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Belinda O'Donnell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
A really good sci-fi/horror read. Not your typical werewolf/vampire story. Very edgy and a modern take on nightmare-like things. Would highly recommend!
Published 1 month ago by Allison Beddingfield
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