Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Time Among the Dead has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by hippo_books
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good: Cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Time Among the Dead Hardcover – June 1, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$6.99 $2.56

Featured in Literature & Fiction
Small Great Things: A Novel
Small Great Things: A Novel
Small Great Things: A Novel
$26.00 FREE Shipping. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rayfiel's solid latest is the tale of the elderly, dying William, Lord Upton. The cantankerous old man is urged by his grandson, Seabold, to write a journal, and though initially resistant, William comes around and begins writing about violent memories as well as his concerns for the present and the future. He also takes care to meddle—perhaps innocently, likely not—in Seabold's life, and though his stated intentions are to help, he rarely does. William is an intriguing narrator—repugnant at times, deeply sympathetic at others—and as Rayfiel charts his peculiar humanity, the reader becomes the sickly man's co-conspirator, though questions linger: is William's reportage accurate or does he have another, deeper motive for drawing us into his confidence? There are a few spots of narrative muddle regarding the family tree, though they could just as easily be intentional feints. That aside, Rayfiel (Parallel Play) is an intelligent writer, and his latest is cleverly conceived. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

THOMAS RAYFIEL is the author of several novels, including The Eve Trilogy: Colony Girl (a Los Angeles Times Notable Book of the Year), Eve in the City, and Parallel Play.

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Permanent Press (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579622011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579622015
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,449,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Justine W. Mcgovern on June 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Rayfiel's Time Among The Dead was a revelation, not only because it is such a radical departure from his other novels, but also because with its beautiful and clear voice, it forces the reader to travel through time and memory in a state of melancholy infused with good humor. Quite a feat.

Rayfiel's previous novels focused on coming of age stories with young characters working out complicated relationships and discovering themselves in the process. In TIme Among The Dead, the opposite occurs. An old man prepares -- screaming and kicking -- for his demise, and in doing so loses his bearing both mentally and affectively. His relationships become more entangled, his sense of self wavers, and his physical presence is diminished. However, in this process, he becomes more in control of his ultimate destiny. Or does he?

One of the surprises of this novel is that the reader can never feel too smug in his or her understanding of the story. Indeed, what starts off as another example of the diary-of-wise-old-man genre, rapidly becomes an irreverent send up of the prototype. Moreover, the author seems to question what, indeed, qualifies as wisdom. The reader is challenged in the end to forge his/her own path not only through the novel, but in life.

Finally, this reader was particularly happy to be able to sink into Rayfiel's wonderful world, once again. I strongly recommend this and all other Rayfiel novels to any reader interested in imagination, story,and character. These are books that stay with you.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
An enchanter is a writer who invents a whole world which he allows the reader to smell, hear, see and taste. In this slim, beautifully written new novel, TIME AMONG THE DEAD, Thomas Rayfiel proves again that he is a Prospero with words and spells, one of those rare writers born with a gift of style, wit and the freshness of jeux d'esprit. Audacity is the keynote here--both in Rayfiel's conception and masterly execution. It is extraordinary how soon one forgets that the author of this arresting little volume is a citizen of these present-day United States, so completely realized a creation is his alter-ego and narrator, the eighty-six year-old, not-always entirely lucid widower, William, Seventh Earl of Upton and lord of Upton Hall, whose life, what remains of it, is profoundly altered with the arrival of his handsome, charming, impecunious and deeply misunderstood grandson, Seabold.

"The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there." Thus began L.P. Hartley's THE GO BETWEEN, a classic with which Rayfiel's intricately plotted novel has a number of parallels. Both novels begin with the introduction of a diary and are narrated in the first person by an elderly man recalling life-changing events from his past. But Rayfiel `s characters exist in an even more equivocal universe than Hartley's, because for them if the future is unknowable and the past no more than an uncertain guide, the present is generally no bed of roses either. The old man suspects that his grandson is morally debauched, a thief and a "noxious cad." But is he really, or is Lord Upton simply going mad, a diagnosis he gives every indication of meriting. Both books are full of unexpected delights and a virtuosic display of technique, plot, character and rhetoric.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
In his beautiful verse "Difference," the poet Mark Doty writes: "What can words do / but link what we know / to what we don't, / and so form a shape?" And with the next words, the shapes shift -- but the words must be chosen with precision, and deployed with a sure hand, or the shapeshifting becomes simple formlessness. Certain authors, and Thomas Rayfiel is one, build their art around this kind of deft (and risky) conjuring. Time Among the Dead, his newest, is a masterly example.

Michael Adelberg provides a cogent brief description of the main plot elements in his backjacket blurb, so I won't repeat here. Suffice it to say that the main character, William of Upton, is a captivating figure, an anachronistic lord-of-the-manor whose health and estate are deteriorating in parallel, but whose mind is fully (if not always lucidly) active and possessed by a pitiless self-regard that he also applies to those around him. He, like the narrative itself, is by turns acerbic, lyrical, brutal, and not infrequently magical. (See, as one example, the episode with William and Mrs. Ellis in the thunderstorm.) As the story proceeds, William uses journal entries in the same way as an archaeologist wields a forensic scalpel, painstakingly uncovering layers of disquieting, sometimes terrifying secrets about the inhabitants of the seemingly placid English countryside that provides the setting for the novel. The characters are thereby compelled to look at themselves with a depth of honesty that most of us try to avoid at all costs -- and perhaps that, after all, is what Rayfiel is about in his writing.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Time Among the Dead
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Time Among the Dead