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Last Call by Tim Powers

  (16 ratings)

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Book Information  
AuthorTim Powers
TitleLast Call
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Thomas Sounness 
(May 15, 2007)

I found Tim Powers some years ago, a friend from Russia/Papua New Guinea passed it to me, and so I found the Anubis Gates able to keep me up all night. Strong writing was in this book, and the craft has been well improved upon to bring us his 'Last Call' book. IMHO this is the peak of Tim's writing. Not quite top notch, but very very close.

Another American set novel presents us with a world set near now, with history being slightly re-woven for us to see how a slightly different world exists under the one we all inhabit. A hint of fundamental truth's relating to the power of chance, random occurances and the vast forces behind these powers.

With such a focus on chance, you can't get much more of a city based on this than Las Vegas, so the principle characters start in one place, move to another, and slowly circle their way back to Americas home of the last chance casino ... and so the novel begins.

It's a confusing journy, I had to re-read certain sections a couple of times, and pull out my long forgotten tarrot cards to understand a couple of things, but once that has been done, the novel runs along with a wonderful pace. The anti-hero becomes a hero (of sorts), a third rate few redeemeing characteristsc fellow becomes highly important, a unstoppable formidable bulk becomes inconsequential, and then turns on it's masters with a nice twist, and a twisted litle character that seems to be the broken dregs of an abused childhood comes forward and for the love of a mother never experienced but wanted so very very deeply, performs a magical sacrifice at the end.

It is a 3x read novel, it does settle itself in place quite well, and I do like the golden lilt in the writing at the end as, in most books, the hero and heroine get's their just deserts, the villans (in whichever body they inhabit) appear to pass away, and the world is just that little bit better than it was before.

I enjoyed playing cards with this book in mind. I have still left my Tarot Cards in their box and don't wish to touch them yet - to much to be fearful of. :-)

Enjoy the book.


Submitted by Katran 
(Feb 15, 2006)

This is the first book in a "loose trilogy" that comprises _Last Call_, _Expiration Date_, and _Earthquake Weather_, each of which deals with supernatural phenomena in a city in the western US. The book starts in Los Angeles, where Scott Crane, a professional gambler who is down on his luck, suddenly gets re-involved with some characters he played a poker game with years ago. Teaming up with his foster father and his neighbor, Scott goes to Las Vegas to find his foster sister and try to stop what is happening--the drawing of players from this long-ago game to reap their souls. It's gritty magic realism, with a lot of great details that invoke the settings wonderfully, which is important because the setting plays a large part in the story. Overall, the themes combine tarot and Jungian archetypes and the legend of the Fisher King and the history of gangster Bugsy Siegel.

I would recommend this book to fans of Steven King's Dark Tower series, because of the shared tie-in with T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland".

I think this is the strongest of Powers' books with the loose trilogy, but if you liked this book, you will probably like the others as well. I would give this book 4.5 stars if I could, if only because the plot gets rushed toward the end, but the rest of the book is so engaging that I will round up to a 5.

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