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Hemlock Grove: A Novel by Brian McGreevy
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Hemlock Grove: A Novel

by Brian McGreevy

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Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy is the story of Peter Rumancek, Roman Godfrey and the terrible events that take place in the small fictional town of Hemlock Groves, Pennsylvania. It all begins when a young girl is found dead in a park. She has been murdered in the most gruesome way and no one really knows if the monster that did it is human or animal. Peter and Roman two completely different people, one a gypsy and the other an heir to a family fortune, come together to make sense of what is going on. Setting their differences aside they set out to find the murderer and clear Peters name in the process.


First of all, let me start by saying this novel is not for everyone. It has its moments. If you do not like gory and detailed scenes then look away: because Hemlock Grove has them all. From the start of the book I was hooked. I was pulled in by the dark humor and style of this novel. The writing style was simple yet shockingly mystifying. It draws the reader in with its dark and horrific imagination. I will never forget this one scene where Peter is turning into a wolf. It is something that you read and it stays with you long after you are done with it. It is clear that the TV series is a faithful adaptation. If you were like me who discovered the book after watching the series, you will see the action playing In your mind just like the series. But it might get a little boring as you already know what will happen. I can only imagine what it would have been like to read the book first and experience the magic for the first time. If you have read the book only, let me tell you now, the show is an amazingly good adaptation. After reading the book I’ve seen that the show took those words and just transplanted them onto the screen. The characters are simply wonderful. They had a lot of depth and conflict in them. They were so terribly human even when they were at their worst and they let their monsters show. I would say that Roman is my favorite character from Hemlock Grove. There is just something so sad about him. I can’t help but be attracted to his personality. I loved the dynamic between Roman and Peter. They looked past their monsters, or well better yet their monsters came together and made a great team. This book is simply amazing. I recommend this novel for fans of the show and of horror and supernatural genres.

Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars. ( )
  miss_booklion | Nov 6, 2016 |
Probably a 3.5. I liked this book. There were times where I got a bit lost (probably too many for me to ignore, thus 3.5 instead of 4 stars) but the writing was pretty quirky and strange, and I'm all about that. ( )
  s.pando | Nov 4, 2016 |
Probably a 3.5. I liked this book. There were times where I got a bit lost (probably too many for me to ignore, thus 3.5 instead of 4 stars) but the writing was pretty quirky and strange, and I'm all about that. ( )
  s.pando | Nov 4, 2016 |
From Amazon:

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.

My Thoughts:

This isn't a happy tale, nor does it come to a contenting conclusion. There are certainly some flaws in the book, plot-wise. 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. Just too "quirky" for lack of a better word. Overall it was a fun read and those that have seen the Netflix TV series will find that the book answers some of the questions they have said were not answered in the show. A word of warning...the author has said their will not be another book in Hemlock Grove as he has decided to devote all his talents to the Netflix TV series...so the book may leave you with more questions. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
This is not the genre I normally prefer to read, but my teenage son asked me to buy this for him to read. He finished it in two days and was singing its praises for weeks. I decided to see for myself and was pleasantly surprised. Brian McGreevy weaves a tale of intrigue and suspense while bringing the reader into the unknown.

Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, was a town in transition. Godfrey Steel Mill, founded in 1873, built the town manufacturing steel. But toward the end of the 20th century, manufacturing was falling out of favor in the United States. The Godfrey family transitioned from steel to health care and biotechnology. This also brought about a new type of worker - moving from braun to brain.

So the story starts amid this back drop in October, right after the harvest moon. A mutilated girl was found in Kilderry Park. The police suspect a wild animal, maybe a bear. But Christina Wendell believes it was Peter Rumancek, 17 year old gypsy who had recently moved to Hemlock Grove with his mother. You see, Peter had told Christina he was a werewolf. But is this possible? Werewolves don't really exist. They are creatures of legend, just like vampires. Clearly this was simply a case of a young man boasting to a girl. The rumor spreads through the High School at any rate, casting doubt over Peter.

Enter Roman Godfrey, heir to the Godfrey fortune and class mate of Peter. He approaches Peter, asks if he is the killer, and after receiving a negative response forms an alliance to capture or kill the culprit. This is the essence of the mystery. Mcgreevy also introduces several other compelling characters that also play their part in the story and mystery: Olivia Godfrey, Roman's mother; Shelley Godfrey, Roman's 7 1/2 foot tall sister wearing crates on her feet full of potting soil; Norman Godfrey, Roman's uncle and Olivia's secret lover; Destiny Rumancek, Peter's cousin who is skilled in the ways of gypsy lore and witchcraft; Dr. Pryce, brilliant researcher working for the Godfreys and specializing in regeneration; and the federal agent sent to investigate the murders who was smarter than anyone gave her credit for.

All in all, I thought the book told a very interesting tale. The mystery, the characters, and the paranormal element made this a very interesting read. ( )
  NPJacobsen | Jan 28, 2016 |
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Epigraph
Too much of the animal disfigures the civilized human being, too much culture makes a sick animal. -- C.G. Jung
Hemlock growth is usually accompanied by a "black run." This is a stream of unusual darkness in color caused by the slow decay of hemlock needles and other plant material. Periodically, high water will flush these streams and the darkening process will begin again. -- Pennsylvania Department of Conservation
Dedication
To Mom and to Domenica: the perennial dichotomy
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The lone wolf howls to rejoin the pack from which he is separated.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374532915, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:32 -0400)

"An epic, original reinvention of the Gothic novel, taking the characters of our greatest novels, myths, and nightmares - the werewolf, the vampire, Frankenstein - and reimagining them for our time"--

» see all 2 descriptions

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