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The Hidden: A Novel Paperback – October 13, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“The ingenious plot twists of THE HIDDEN are satisfying to follow, and the book’s constant sifting of the present through the past is done with admirable intelligence. But what lingers more than anything are these quick, sure, playfully notational passages. You don’t often see writing as lively as this.” (The Guardian)
“Apart from everything else that this novel is a beautifully paced thriller, a meditation on loss, guilt, obsession...it is also one of the finest novels written so far about this, our age of terror.” (The Observer)
“Hill keeps the tension building to a climax which features the most unpleasant final image I’ve come across in a long time. Quite brilliant.” (The Independent on Sunday)
“[An] elegant, sinister novel…Grippingly good.” (Marie Claire (UK))
“[T]his is a wonderful novel: elegant yet savage, restrained yet full-throttled, illuminated by the sort of brilliance that leaves you short of breath.” (Daily Telegraph (London))
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Top Customer Reviews
Tobias Hill is obviously a very gifted writer. His command of the language is impressive to say the least. The imagery is beautiful, metaphors are effortless. Just a few subtle strokes is all it takes to set the mood for any given scene.
Unfortunately, all the skills in the world could not save this book. Simply put, it's boring. The narration crawls and meanders pointlessly for far too many pages. There are characters that don't serve any purpose in the plot. There is the setting, Sparta, and non-stop mentioning of its culture, traditions and mysteries, which turn out almost completely irrelevant to the actual plot. The excerpts from the PhD thesis written by the novel's protagonist are interspersed throughout the chapters. These also have nothing to do with the story, although ironically, they are one of the most interesting sections of the novel to read. It takes two thirds of the book to finally build up some semblance of suspense, but then comes the anticlimactic ending, and any hopes for a satisfying resolution of the plot come crashing to the ground.
I found the book disappointing. For a long time the plot did not seem to be going anywhere. The story is peppered with inconsequential events and inconsequential conversational exchanges.Read more ›
Another layer refers to ancient Spartan society -- a culture that not only left little evidence of its achievements but actually seems to have enshrined secrecy as a virtue. This background is discussed in chapters throughout the novel entitled "Notes Towards a Thesis," written by the protagonist, Ben Mercer, a graduate student of archaeology at Oxford who volunteers for the dig when it is already in progress. Hill is brilliant at setting out the facts and theories of classical history in a way that is anything but dry. The moment you open the book, you know you are in the presence of real intelligence, whether Ben's or the author's or both. And these historical interludes turn out to be essential underpinnings of the themes of the novel.
When Ben arrives at the dig, the five other non-Greek workers seem to have formed a clique that excludes him. One of them, a German named Eberhard, knew Ben slightly from Oxford, but now he seems disdainful and remote. Jason, the only other Englishman, offers apparent friendship that turns to antagonism.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
How disappointing is The Hidden? Well very. Loved his other books but this is a complete yawn. Why did he bother? Read morePublished on December 15, 2012 by J Darragh
As he mystery unfolds in the archaeological dig, it is hard for anyone familiar with greece not to get sucked further into this work. Read morePublished on October 10, 2010 by Loic A Diels
The identity of "the Hidden" is at the heart of the mystery that unfolds in British author Tobias Hill's fourth novel. Read morePublished on September 29, 2010 by Shroud Magazine's Book Reviews
See also : The Magus
Puzzling, subtle, extremely well documented, an excellent historical thriller, a masterpiece. Gives one much to think and to learn.
This was a random grab off the new fiction shelf at our local city library. I was intrigued by Ben, the Oxford archaeologist running from himself and his own history, having been... Read morePublished on April 22, 2010 by Steven E. Williams
I can't deny that T. Hill writes beautifully. Full of metaphors and tightly wound descriptions that paint a brilliant picture. Read morePublished on February 12, 2010 by Mercedes von Uppity
"The Hidden" has some interesting aspects of intrigue and suspense, but seems to be more of a psychological study of the protagonist's feelings of inadequacy and desire to belong... Read morePublished on February 5, 2010 by Annapolitan
I think this book suffers a bit from being presented as a thriller, because that label suggests the action-heavy plot and obvious themes of airport entertainment. Read morePublished on November 28, 2009 by Laurene