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The Anubis Gates (Fantasy Masterworks, Volume 47) (original 1983; edition 2005)

by Tim Powers

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2,755792,130 (3.99)1 / 258
Member:salimbol
Title:The Anubis Gates (Fantasy Masterworks, Volume 47)
Authors:Tim Powers
Info:GOLLANCZ (ORIO) (2005), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Once owned, Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:novels, fantasy, Fantasy Masterworks, 20th century books, male authors, science fiction, time travel, dark fantasy, 2012 reading, historical fantasy, alternate history

Work details

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers (1983)

Recently added byprivate library, gaizkar, NathanielP, James_Patrick_Joyce, Akahira, labrick, jfiles, RobKates, R58
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English (78)  Catalan (1)  All languages (79)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
I've not read a lot of steampunk and I have to say this wasn't what I expected as an archetypal work in that genre. The bulk of the story takes place in 19th century London, so that fits. But it's a time travel story, and a magical one at that. I've since learned that steampunk stories can be fantasy rather than science fiction, but would any time travel tale that dealt with that period be considered steampunk? If not, why not?

I have to give Powers credit for his depiction of London in 1810. I don't know if all his details are accurate, but they feel accurate. The writing is smooth and authoritative and I sense a certain admiration for the literary figures of the day. (Coleridge and Byron appear as characters.) These two fictionalized minor characters, as well as the various fictional major ones, are interesting and well-drawn. The plot is complex and at times confusing - not to say confused. In the end it all more or less makes sense to the reader, though I'm not sure it would have made sense to the surviving characters who didn't have the benefit of being provided so many convenient points of view.

The main character goes through a lot of bad luck before he begins to become an effective player, and It also took a long time for the various threads to begin to converge. Both of those factors diminished my enthusiasm for a while – until things picked up in both respects. There is a romance, though it was mostly left to the reader's imagination, which disappointed the romantic in me. The magic is left largely unexplained, also. Overall, I found it an imaginative and engaging work, if rather an unusual one, and I enjoyed reading it ( )
  Carol_W | Jun 1, 2015 |
There are so many threads in this book--time travel! sorcery! body switching! doppelgangers! the lives of 19th century English poets!--yet Tim Powers in command of them all, weaving then tying them all together. A great romp. ( )
  kvrfan | Apr 25, 2015 |
Barely made it through the prologue. Put it down cuz I was confused and bored, looked at more reviews, couldn't talk myself into picking it up again. Sorry - I don't like roller coaster rides in books or in life. ;)
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Há livros assim: têm tudo para gostarmos deles e depois o amor não acontece. O “The Anubis Gates” prometia uma viagem mirabolante, e assim foi. A melhor forma de o descrever este livro será como um “Alice no País das Maravilhas” mas sem “maravilhas” e cuja “Alice” é um professor académico muito irritante que se torna no nosso herói acidental.
O conceito de “viagem no tempo” é muito interessante e a explicação deste foi provavelmente a única cena de todo o livro que gostei. Tudo o resto é confuso, bizarro e simplesmente maçador.
Ao início não percebi porque é que o livro estava a ser tão chato, só ao fim de umas 100 páginas é que cheguei à conclusão que era a escrita do autor e não as cenas em si que me aborrecia. É muito desgastante estar a meio de uma cena de acção e ter a atenção desviada para a descrição de objectos ou os lugares onde estas ocorrem. Constantemente!
Doyle deve ser, provavelmente, o herói mais chato e desinteressante de sempre. Passei mais de metade do livro a desejar-lhe a morte, para acabar de vez com o meu sofrimento. As restantes personagens são horríveis, muito além do excêntricas ou fisicamente deformadas. Um verdadeiro circo de horrores.
A história deu várias reviravoltas, a grande maioria confusas, principalmente os saltos para cenas com novas personagens em que era difícil ou mesmo impossível compreender as motivações ou qual a finalidade delas para aquele momento da história. Penso que a grande maioria não teve finalidade alguma a não ser aparecer no “circo de horrores”. E, apesar de tantas reviravoltas, acabei por adivinhar o final a muitas páginas antes deste acontecer.
O meu interesse em ler este livro foi que, além de abordar aventuras e viagens no tempo, era também referido constantemente como uma das primeiras obras steampunk. Ora, eu sei que sou novata em relação ao conceito e por isso agradeço desde já que me elucidem qual foi a parte steampunk que me escapou no The Anubis Gates. É uma história de ficção científica (viagens no tempo) com elementos de magia que acontece no séc. XIX. Não há evolução de tecnologia antes do tempo, não há naves voadoras, dirigíveis, carros, comboios ou barcos a motor. Por isso elucidem-me, onde está o Steampunk?? As explicações serão bem-vindas. Até lá irei remeter este livro para a estante de Viagens no Tempo.

Leia o resto no meu blog Ler e Reflectir... ( )
  tchetcha | Jan 15, 2015 |
When millionaire J. Cochran Darrow finds The Anubis Gates that will make time travel possible, he quickly assembles a team to go back to 1801. He hires Professor Brendan Doyle to give advice about the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Soon a band of misfits are assembled and they are off on an early 19th century London adventure and throughout time.

If you think the plot sounds a little weird, then you are not the only one. I spent a lot of time wondering about the logic behind the locations and people within The Anubis Gates. This was the steampunk pick for the Literary Exploration book club and true to the group’s purpose; this book really challenged my reading choices. It was an interesting experience, I had no idea what to expect next and there was no way to predict anything.

The cast of characters was strange; I expected to like the book because Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Lord Byron were featured. Unfortunately they didn’t get enough development and that might be for the best but I was interested in finding out what Tim Powers would do with them. This book also featured an Egyptian wizard, werewolf, crazy clown and so much more.

What I found to be the biggest problem with this novel was the fact that Tim Powers took so many of his good ideas and tried to force it all into one novel. There was a lot going on and it was all over the place. There never was enough time to develop scenes or characters and it just felt like everything was condensed to make room for all his ideas. The concept was great, wacky and fun but the execution did not work for me.

Tim Powers is a well-respected fantasy author; his book On Stranger Tides (1987) was the inspiration behind the Monkey Island video games and also turned into the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film. The Anubis Gates is often considered one of the pioneer sin the steampunk genre (though I am not sure I would class it as steampunk) and also won the Philip K. Dick Award in 1983. Powers seems like an author that you either love or hate. However from my experience, 1980’s science fiction and fantasy are all a bit odd and unusual.

This is such an unusual novel, which makes it extremely difficult to explain and review. I wanted to enjoy this book but for the most part I found myself skimming the pages. There are great concepts and ideas going on in this but the author didn’t want to explore them instead attempting for a fast moving adventure. For me that just made things difficult. I am fascinated by people who love this book, I’d love to know the reasoning. If you love science fiction or fantasy novels, this might work for you; unfortunately it didn’t for me.

This review originally appeared on my blog: http://literary-exploration.com/2014/10/30/the-anubis-gates/ ( )
1 vote knowledge_lost | Nov 27, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Powers, Timprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brautigan, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campion, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carr, RichardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clifton-Dey, RichardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Podevin, Jean-FrançoisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Potter, Jeffrey KCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my wife, Serena
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From between two trees at the crest of the hill a very old man watched, with a nostalgic longing he thought he'd lost all capacity for, as the last group of picnickers packed up their baskets, mounted their horses, and rode away south...
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when literature/
crosses with mad science and/
meets ancient magic

(lachapakhan)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0441004016, Paperback)

Author Tim Powers evokes 17th-century England with a combination of meticulously researched historic detail and imaginative flights in this sci-fi tale of time travel. Winner of the 1984 Philip K. Dick Award for best original science fiction paperback, this 1989 edition of the book that took the fantasy world by storm is the first hardcover version to be published in the United States. In his brief introduction, Ramsey Campbell sets The Anubis Gates in an adventure context, citing Powers's achievement of "extraordinary scenes of underground horror, of comedy both high and grotesque, of bizarre menace, of poetic fantasy."

The colonization of Egypt by western European powers is the launch point for power plays and machinations. Steeping together in this time-warp stew are such characters as an unassuming Coleridge scholar, ancient gods, wizards, the Knights Templar, werewolves, and other quasi-mortals, all wrapped in the organizing fabric of Egyptian mythology. In the best of fantasy traditions, the reluctant heroes fight for survival against an evil that lurks beneath the surface of their everyday lives.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:51 -0400)

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A novel of time travel that combines action and adventure with the surreal and bizarre.

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Prufrock Press

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