Hide Me Among the Graves, by Tim Powers
Poetry, vampires, ghosts, prostitutes, Boadicea, Italians, Christians, and love: these are just a few of the things that make up the bizarre hodge-podge that is "Hide Me Among the Graves." The writing isn't bad, per se, in fact it's pretty good. I just can't figure out how on earth Powers thought up the story. The two main characters among a larger cast of protagonists are Edwardian poet Christina Rosetti and veterinarian surgeon John Crawford. The vampires aren't familiar to us at all, beyond their aversion to sunlight and garlic, and they are horrifying creatures that the director of Pan's Labyrinth would probably be jealous of. The book is probably twice as long as it should be - the day is saved and then lost about three or four times each - and the oddness of it is just so overwhelming that it distracts from the writing talents of Powers. At one point, someone is bitten, turns into a vampire, drowns himself, and then is saved by the ghosts of several cats. WHAT?! I've read a lot of strange books, given my proclivity towards science fiction, but this one takes the cake. It's too much, and too long, and does no justice to its author. What a shame.