Hemlock Grove: Book summary and reviews of Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy

Hemlock Grove

A Novel

By Brian McGreevy

Hemlock Grove
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2012,
    336 pages.

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"McGreevy cleverly contemporizes the gothic novel, underlining the isolations of modern-day technology and adolescence in this engaging, though occasionally affected, literary horror novel." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. At its core, the novel is a juicy soap opera, complete with love affairs, unwanted pregnancies, class warfare, and the occasional grave-robbing or entrail-eating - which helps otherwise align a challenging read on an irresistible Peyton Place trajectory. There hasn't been a town as rotten as Hemlock Grove in a while. Somebody turn this into a TV series, already." - Booklist

"It takes a rare stroke of genius to reconfigure the gothic novel within the postindustrial barrens of steel country, and another entirely to upstage this conceit with a mythic and ambitious story of adolescence and alienation. Like a collaboration between Edgar Allan Poe and J. D. Salinger, this is a real emerging talent." - Philipp Meyer, author of American Rust

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Brian McGreevy grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and received his MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. Now a screenwriter who has had two screenplays featured on the best of the year Black List, he is working on an adaptation of Dracula for Leonardo DiCaprio's production company. He lives in Los Angeles.

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