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Hemlock Grove

or, The Wise Wolf
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
Categories: Fiction, Horror
4 out of 5 stars (347 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A charismatic young writer reinvents the gothic novel, bringing a fresh energy to our darkest myths and deepest horrors in an expectation-defying tale of adolescent deception, ravenous violence, and rumors of werewolves.

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, where some suspect that 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, sexy control-freak of a mother, Olivia.

As the crime goes unsolved and the police seem more and more willing to believe any outlandish rumor, Peter and Roman decide the only way to save their own skins is to find the killer themselves. Along the way they uncover local secrets and designs that are much bigger than some small-town murder.

Hemlock Grove is an exhilarating reinvention of the gothic novel, inspired by the iconic characters of our greatest myths and nightmares. At once a riveting mystery and a fascinating revelation of the grotesque and darkness within, 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.

Brian McGreevy grew up near Pittsburgh 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.

©2012 Brian McGreevy (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“A rare stroke of genius…. Like a collaboration between Edgar Allan Poe and J. D. Salinger, this is a real emerging talent.” (Philipp Meyer)
“McGreevy cleverly contemporizes the gothic novel, underlining the isolations of modern-day technology and adolescence.” ( Publishers Weekly)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very similar to the TV show

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I enjoyed it, though I can see why it wouldn't appeal to some. I got the book because I had watched the show and was hoping that the book would clarify some things from the show; it did, but not the ones I was hoping for.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I don't really have a favorite character. Of them all, I dislike Shelly and Destiny the least.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Not really. The narration was probably the worst thing about this audiobook. Runnette just sounded bored most of the time.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

It's already a tv show, and I have seen it. It follows the book probably 90% of the time.

Any additional comments?

I would describe this book as hipster urban fantasy. I don't know if we're supposed to take it at face value or if it's a commentary on books and tv shows like Twilight and The Vampire Diaries.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Mostly fun, entertaining, not bad

Would you try another book from Brian McGreevy and/or Sean Runnette?

Sure. I think McGreevy's got this one laid out read for sequels. I'll probably give (at least one of) them a try, especially if the Netflix series is any good.

What about Sean Runnette’s performance did you like?

Even paced. Nothing glaring about it. The best performances enhance the book. This one didn't quite do that, but it didn't distract from it either. It was a pleasurable listen.

Do you think Hemlock Grove needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, probably doesn't need it. But I think it's primed for one.

Any additional comments?

Do we need another variation on the werewolf story? (As well as other plot lines the reader/listener will find familiar that I won't spoil here.) McGreevy does try to be clever by throwing in everything including the kitchen sink into this horror/gothic/occult story, and I'm not sure he completely succeeds. But it was fun and probably a good thing that it was a brief.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 05-11-15

Better than the Netflix Series

Would you consider the audio edition of Hemlock Grove to be better than the print version?

I think I found the Audio version easier to follow than the print version.

What about Sean Runnette’s performance did you like?

He brought full life to all of his characters and gave both Roman and Peter their own distinctive voices.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The interaction between Shelly and Dr. Price.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great listen.

I especially liked the narrator and have purchased other titles he has read. The story was good and entertaining. It goes along almost verbatim with the Netflix series of the same name. This title did not disappoint.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

good story, meh narration

the story is good....excited to watch the netflix show now. although I felt like the voice work was a little monotonous.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

loved it!

I loved this story although I'm not usually a fan of werewolf stuff. at times, especially when Shelly's talking, the writing is so pretty and old fashioned. I loved that very much. I will definitely continue to book 2 when it comes out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Hillary
  • Little Rock, AR,USA
  • 09-09-13

Just not what I thought it was going to be

I got this audiobook cause I want to listen to story before I watched Hemlock Grove on Netflex. The narrator is really good but the story was so- so to me. Some parts were good and some part seem like they were going on and on to me. I didn't like how it took to get to the end. I might not watch Hemlock Grove on Netflex now. :(

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not worth it!

I had high hopes for this book and decided to listen to it with the intention of watching the Netfilx show after. However, the writing and story development of this book is terrible. The author spends a majority of the time coming up with elaborate ways to describe mundane details and not enough time developing the story line and characters. When something important does happen it is buried under a mountain of useless words that leaving you guessing what is actually going on and more importantly, not caring because it is not interesting anyways. The performance of the book also leaves a lot to be desired. The reader has as a very distracting "shh" sound with the way he pronounces words.

My suggestion is to pass on this book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Thrilling and well-developed!

I saw the show first, and I was pleasantly surprised at how closely it followed the book. For the most part, it was very spot on. I’m still reeling a bit; I usually have a lot of complaints when I’ve read the book and seen the movie/tv show, and I have none.

This was everything I hoped it would be. Thrilling, well-developed, with outrageous characters you can’t help fall in love with and be repulsed by. It’s an absolute must-read for all supernatural/horror fans out there. The only thing I didn’t dig was some of Peter’s vulgarity. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind swearing, and I’m usually all about the shocking and obscene, but some of his dialog was jarring because of it. Like you could tell it was there for shock value and wasn’t organic. It pulled me right out of this fascinating read, and I didn’t appreciate it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Phenomenal!

I watched the show before listening to this. Olivia was my favorite character, and I was told the book spoke more in depth about her character. I was absolutely not disappointed. As a whole, these characters- and this story, captivated me from the very beginning! The author did such a beautiful job of setting the tone, and the scene. The narrator was absolutely perfect too!