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.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Time Among the Dead Hardcover – June 1, 2010
|New from||Used from|
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
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.
"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 ›
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This novel is the diary of a dying old man in the nineteenth century. The writing style fits the Victorian period but the story and the use of a male narrator departs from the... Read morePublished on October 28, 2010 by Utah Mom
A friend of mine recommend "Time Among The Dead" to me. I had yet found a summer reading, so I took to his suggestion and began reading it this summer. Read morePublished on August 26, 2010 by Krist, Long Island
This short novel is told in the form of a journal, written by the elderly Earl of Upton in late Victorian England. Read morePublished on July 23, 2010 by M. Bailey