HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

DINNER AT DEVIANT'S PALACE by Tim…
Loading...

DINNER AT DEVIANT'S PALACE (original 1985; edition 1985)

by Tim Powers

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6901513,798 (3.54)14
Member:KateSherrod
Title:DINNER AT DEVIANT'S PALACE
Authors:Tim Powers
Info:The Berkley Publishing Group (1985), Edition: BCE, Hardcover, 219 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

Dinner at Deviant's Palace by Tim Powers (1985)

Recently added byJon_Hansen, jomajime, private library, thecurmudgeon, ame9022, wpwhite

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Pretty good tale, this, not one of Powers's best, but a fun read regardless. I was interested to see how Powers would handle what was ostensibly a science fiction story, since he mostly sets his stuff in existing cultures and time periods, albeit warped versions of such. I'm glad to say he pulls it off pretty well. It's clear Powers put a lot of thought into his setting, a post apocalyptic LA and its surrounding environs. Things feel run down but still serviceable. Beer and liquor are the new currency. People with gold teeth are used as mediums due to "voices" they are said to hear. A new cult called the Jaybirds has sprung up in the ruins, seizing people off the streets and turning them into mindless zealots. In response a thriving trade in "redeeming" has appeared, basically freeing the captive before they are wholly taken under the influence of the cultists.

The main protagonist, Gregorio Rivas, is a former redeemer turned musician, whiling his hours away playing to packed out crowds while slowly drinking himself into a stupor. Pretty typical Powers's anti-hero really, though a good bit younger and fresher than Brian Duffy and the like. Needless to say, his former life catches up to him in the form of an old enemy whose daughter, an old flame of Rivas's, has been captured. Much of the rest of the book follows his several abortive attempts to get the man's daughter back (and perhaps pick up from where things left off) during which time he learns the truth about the Jaybirds and its sinister leader, Norton Jaybush.

The story cracks along at a fair old pace, and while it lacks a little of the staggering inventiveness of his better known works, it never quite loses the plot either (something that Powers has been guilty of in the past). Good, fun work. Worth seeking out. ( )
  StuartNorth | Nov 19, 2016 |
Pretty good tale, this, not one of Powers's best, but a fun read regardless. I was interested to see how Powers would handle what was ostensibly a science fiction story, since he mostly sets his stuff in existing cultures and time periods, albeit warped versions of such. I'm glad to say he pulls it off pretty well. It's clear Powers put a lot of thought into his setting, a post apocalyptic LA and its surrounding environs. Things feel run down but still serviceable. Beer and liquor are the new currency. People with gold teeth are used as mediums due to "voices" they are said to hear. A new cult called the Jaybirds has sprung up in the ruins, seizing people off the streets and turning them into mindless zealots. In response a thriving trade in "redeeming" has appeared, basically freeing the captive before they are wholly taken under the influence of the cultists.

The main protagonist, Gregorio Rivas, is a former redeemer turned musician, whiling his hours away playing to packed out crowds while slowly drinking himself into a stupor. Pretty typical Powers's anti-hero really, though a good bit younger and fresher than Brian Duffy and the like. Needless to say, his former life catches up to him in the form of an old enemy whose daughter, an old flame of Rivas's, has been captured. Much of the rest of the book follows his several abortive attempts to get the man's daughter back (and perhaps pick up from where things left off) during which time he learns the truth about the Jaybirds and its sinister leader, Norton Jaybush.

The story cracks along at a fair old pace, and while it lacks a little of the staggering inventiveness of his better known works, it never quite loses the plot either (something that Powers has been guilty of in the past). Good, fun work. Worth seeking out. ( )
  StuartNorth | Nov 19, 2016 |
My favorite of Powers' books, this one taking place in a near-future Los Angeles that is vaguely familiar and yet wonderfully spooky. Set the stage for other authors (like William Gibson and other cyber novelists for example) and offers us a fun look at post-atomic vampires. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Six-word review: Severely weird postapocalyptic fantasy delivers shudders.

Extended review:

In the city of Ellay, where life in some mutated form goes on following a nuclear cataclysm, Gregorio Rivas is twice rare: he's a gifted musician and composer with some unique skills, and he's a redeemer, the best there is.

A charismatic cult leader by the name of Jaybush has been amassing followers, keeping them in thrall with drugs and mass hypnosis. Only the most cunning, resourceful, and daring can get in and bring someone out. Rivas is hired to redeem the daughter of a rich and powerful man--a woman who happens to have been his cherished first love. Everything is on the line for him as he struggles to penetrate the cult without falling under its spell and ultimately confronts the evil at its core.

In the wake of the 1978 tragedy in Guyana I read a number of books on destructive cults, the psychology of cult programming and deprogramming, and Jim Jones and Jonestown in particular. I continue to find the subject fascinating and deeply disturbing, in fictional treatments as well as personal memoirs. As a dystopian novel, this 1985 fantasy by Tim Powers seems dated in a number of ways, but the imaginative quality is nonetheless extraordinary and the writing compelling. The subject matter drew me in and held me. The particularly repugnant aberrations known as hemogoblins, which may owe a little something to Dante, are far more chilling than any conventional fictitious monster.

I haven't had equally high opinions of everything I've read by Tim Powers, but he is a writer I can trust, and that more than anything else made this a timely choice for me. It was a good time for something absorbing, however dark. ( )
  Meredy | May 29, 2014 |
My reaction to reading this novel in 2005.

In this post apocalypse tale, Powers reuses elements of earlier stories and some characteristic plot and viewpoint devices to give us a pretty fast moving adventure story which is a reversal on the hardboiled detective plot that probably inspired it.

The setting is a Los Angeles aka Ellay about 100 years after a nuclear war -- a post-apocalypse quasi-Renaissance Los Angeles with scraps of leftover technology is also the setting of Powers' Epitaph in Rust. As in his The Skies Discrowned, the hero is an artist, specifically a musician. Also, as in that novel, he ends up being unable to settle down.

Duffy, the protagonist of Powers' The Drawing of the Dark was also an artist at one time and hopes to rekindle and an affair with an old love, Epiphany, as Gregorio Rivas wants his beloved Urania back. Epiphany dies but Urania lives. However here, Rivas discovers, in a very credible piece of psychology, that he only obsessed about her because he couldn't have her. She proves something of a disappointment, and Rivas discovers that his new self likes Sister Windchime much better.

There are a couple of distinctive Powers elements. One is the maiming of the character (a quite self-conscious plot element of Powers which he rightly thinks raises the stakes involved in his hero's struggles and makes their pain more real). Here Rivas deliberately mutilates his thumb to avoid the full effect of the sacrament. Later on he has to have two infected fingers amputated which may make his career as a musician much harder. The other element is bodyswitching. That isn't done per se here, but a doppleganger of Rivas exists, the vampiric (and wonderfully named) hemogoblin (a pun created by a typo perhaps?-- Powers is quite fond of humor derived from misunderstood words and phrases) created when part of Powers psychic energy is drained by the Jaybush alien. He not only serves as a wonderful way to conclude the climatic struggle with Savatividam at the Deviant's Palace but also as a clever literalized metaphor.

As the hemogoblin feeds on Rivas, he takes not only more of his energy but also more of his personality as he gains in corporeality. This is first and foremost the story of a man who changes from a self-absorbed (his thinking of lyrics based on his experiences while he undergoes various trials seems both very writerly and and self-centered man into someone willing to undergo the submerging of his self, peril to his body, and reconfrontation with the horrors of the Jaybush cult that he knows too well (though, of course, he doesn't know everything about them) to rescue Urania -- never mind that the object of his faithful and heroic sacrifice is not what he thinks. He makes a good faith effort. It is the reversal of the plot where a soft man hardens under adversity. Rivas softens, lets down his zealously guarded borders, and doesn't want to be reabsorbed with the personality elements he has literally left behind with the hemogoblin.

I notice that Powers uses what, for him, is the characteristic style of concentrating almost exclusively on his viewpoint character of Rivas (in other books, like the American Fisher King books, he has several viewpoint characters) but he does have slight interludes from the hemogoblin's point of view, and fellow redeemer (sort of a deprogrammer) Fracas McAn is very briefly a viewpoint character. Powers, even at this point in his career, does a wonderful job with extensive interior monologue which serves well to make Rivas a real character complete with absurd and understandable and realistic reactions to danger. As Powers has noted (after someone else pointed it out to him), this is another book with a climax set on the water -- here at the Deviant's Palace.


A fast moving, post-apocalyse adventure with quite good characterization and a novel reversal of a typical plot. ( )
  RandyStafford | Mar 31, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tim Powersprimary authorall editionscalculated
Berkey, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Achille, GinoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Potter, J. K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walotsky, RonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To the Thursday Night Gang:

Chris Arena, Greg Arena, Bill Bailey, Jim Blaylock, Jenny Bunn, Pete Devries, Phil Dick, Jeff Fontanesi, Don Goudie, Chris Gourlay, Dashiell Hamster, Rick Harding, K. W. Jeter, Tom Kenyon, Dave Lamont, Tim Lamont, Steve Malk, Phil Pace, Brendan Powers, Serena Powers, and Phil Thibodeau...

...and the honorary members: Russ Galen, Dean Koontz, Roy Squires, Joel Stein, Ted Wassard, and Paul Williams...

...and with thanks to Beth Meacham, most perceptive, persuasive and tactful of editors.
First words
Crouched way up at the top of the wall in the rusty bed of the Rocking Truck, Modesto tugged his jacket more tightly across his chest, pushed back his hat and squinted around at the city.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

In a nuclear-ravaged California, a humble musician sets out on a dangerous quest to rescue his lost love from the clutches of a soul-devouring religious cultIn the twenty-second century, the City of Angels is a tragic shell of its former self, having long ago been ruined and reshaped by nuclear disaster. Before he was in a band in Ellay, Gregorio Rivas was a redeemer, rescuing lost souls trapped in the Jaybirds cult of the powerful maniac Norton Jaybush. Rivas had hoped those days were behind him, but a desperate entreaty from a powerful official is pulling him back into the game. The rewards will be plentiful if he can wrest Urania, the official's daughter and Gregorio's first love, from Jaybush's sinister clutches. To do so, the redeemer reborn must face blood-sucking hemogoblins and other monstrosities on his way to discovering the ultimate secrets of this neo-Californian civilization. One of the most ingeniously imaginative writers of our time, Tim Powers dazzles in an early work that displays his unique creative genius. Alive with wit, intelligence, and wild invention, Dinner at Deviant's Palace is a mad adventure across a dystopian future as only Tim Powers could have imagined it.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
12 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.54)
0.5
1 3
1.5
2 6
2.5 4
3 40
3.5 14
4 46
4.5 5
5 12

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 113,888,727 books! | Top bar: Always visible