The Stress of Her Regard

  • by Tim Powers
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • 16 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When Michael Crawford discovers his bride brutally murdered in their wedding bed, he is forced to flee, not only to prove his innocence but to avoid the deadly embrace of a vampire who has claimed him as her true bridegroom. Joining forces with Byron, Keats, and Shelley in a desperate journey that crisscrosses Europe, Crawford desperately seeks his freedom from this vengeful lover who haunts his dreams and will not rest until she destroys all that he cherishes.
Told in the guise of a secret history, this tale of passion and terror brilliantly evokes the 19th century. The chilling horror and adventure blend to create a riveting romantic fantasy.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Terrifying - A New Benchmark for Vampires Stories

There's a tense scene early on in Tim Powers' "The Stress of Her Regard" where Michael Crawford, a 19th century surgeon, is trapped inside an abandoned coach, and he likens the frayed fabric pressing against him to a growling dog's bristling hackles. That sense of impending dread - that disturbing discomfort is woven through every chapter of the novel, and it doesn't relent until the story comes to an end.

This is without a doubt one of the most terrifying and disturbing book I've read or listened to, and the vampires are only part of what makes it so scary. Yes, I said this book has vampires, and if you're one of those people who's wondered over the last few years why vampires aren't scary anymore, look no further. There is no sparkling here. They are more alien and monstrous as any vampires I've read or seen cinematically, and yet, through the characters eyes, we see the gravity of their allure, their intoxicating yet violent, jealous, sexuality.

More than vampires, this is a novel about vampirism and writing, and Powers features 19th century writers and poets like Percy Byshe Shelley, Mary Wolstonecraft Shelley, John Keats, and Lord Byron are just a few of the historical figures who play pivotal roles in this book. Byron is especially fun to see here, but Powers' portrayal of Percy Shelley is particularly gut-wrenching. I was shocked by how much empathy I felt for him.

Simon Vance is the gold standard of narrators, and his reading here is proof why. It would be easy to make the famous characters that populate this book feel either over-the-top or out of reach, but reading Powers prose, Vance caused the characters continue to feel larger than life, while being grounded and human.

The Stress of Her Regard is a terrifying and sensual novel about vampirism, muses, desire, regret, loss, and love. It's my new benchmark for scary vampire stories, and maybe just scary stories in general.

If you like your fantasy incredibly dark and challenging, don't miss out on it.

(I was thrilled to learn that Powers has "Hide Me Among the Graves" another book set in this world coming out early this year. I hope it comes to audio.)
Read full review

- Dave

Terrifying - A New Benchmark for Vampires Stories

There's a tense scene early on in Tim Powers' "The Stress of Her Regard" where Michael Crawford, a 19th century surgeon, is trapped inside an abandoned coach, and he likens the frayed fabric pressing against him to a growling dog's bristling hackles. That sense of impending dread - that disturbing discomfort is woven through every chapter of the novel, and it doesn't relent until the story comes to an end.

This is without a doubt one of the most terrifying and disturbing book I've read or listened to, and the vampires are only part of what makes it so scary. Yes, I said this book has vampires, and if you're one of those people who's wondered over the last few years why vampires aren't scary anymore, look no further. There is no sparkling here. They are more alien and monstrous as any vampires I've read or seen cinematically, and yet, through the characters eyes, we see the gravity of their allure, their intoxicating yet violent, jealous, sexuality.

More than vampires, this is a novel about vampirism and writing, and Powers features 19th century writers and poets like Percy Byshe Shelley, Mary Wolstonecraft Shelley, John Keats, and Lord Byron are just a few of the historical figures who play pivotal roles in this book. Byron is especially fun to see here, but Powers' portrayal of Percy Shelley is particularly gut-wrenching. I was shocked by how much empathy I felt for him.

Simon Vance is the gold standard of narrators, and his reading here is proof why. It would be easy to make the famous characters that populate this book feel either over-the-top or out of reach, but reading Powers prose, Vance caused the characters continue to feel larger than life, while being grounded and human.

The Stress of Her Regard is a terrifying and sensual novel about vampirism, muses, desire, regret, loss, and love. It's my new benchmark for scary vampire stories, and maybe just scary stories in general.

If you like your fantasy incredibly dark and challenging, don't miss out on it.

(I was thrilled to learn that Powers has "Hide Me Among the Graves" another book set in this world coming out early this year. I hope it comes to audio.)
Read full review

- Dave

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-21-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.