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The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

The Anubis Gates (1983)

by Tim Powers

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Anubis Gates (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,962921,935 (3.98)1 / 279
  1. 60
    The Digging Leviathan by James P. Blaylock (Scottneumann, Anonymous user)
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    On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers (Scottneumann)
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    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (Kichererbse)
  5. 00
    The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The Anubis Gates and The Map of Time blur the line between Science Fiction and Fantasy, presenting intricately plotted time travel stories with a hint of Mystery that feature appearances by 19th-century literary figures alongside more fantastical elements.… (more)
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    The Emerald Burrito of Oz by John Skipp (Scottneumann)
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    Job: A Comedy of Justice by Robert A. Heinlein (Kichererbse)
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    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel by Susanna Clarke (LamontCranston)

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Definitely one of the best time travel stories I have ever read, The Anubis Gates mixes SF, magic, literary history, Egyptian mythology and hermetic magic into a tale that is superbly plotted and rollickingly told.

Brendan Doyle, a literature professor and expert on the obscure 19th century poet William Ashbless is recruited by reclusive millionaire J. Cochran Darrow for a secret project, which turns out to be a jaunt back to 1810 to see Samuel Taylor Coleridge give a lecture, where Doyle finds himself stranded and involved in plots from all sides.

This is my first read of Tim Powers, and he writes character and action well and his plotting, as I said before, is top-notch - I'd love to see a timeline of the events laid out, in fact. The interactions between those who travel through time and the events that have already happened - either historical or within the story - mesh perfectly without ever seeming forced. The reader does sometimes see these coming, but not in a way that detracts from the enjoyment of reading.

One oddity is that there are points when you feel that this was a much longer book that has had chunks excised - mostly the jumps are unremarkable, but occasionally there is the feeling that the reader could have done with seeing what happened in the gap, such as when Doyle refers to his embarrassing interview in Fleet Street which happened, as it were, off camera.

Minor niggles aside, this is justifiably a part of the Fantasy Masterworks series. ( )
1 vote Pezski | Jun 8, 2017 |
This came highly recommended, and was quite disappointing. Pinpointing where is hard because there are too many problems. It's like three books in one: a historical novel, a time-travel novel, and a supernatural novel. And I think that's at least one novel too many for Powers. The time travel part was rather inconsequential, so pegging it as such a novel is not quite right. The history was okay, but the supernatural bit could have been left out and a better book would have resulted. I've read other books that didn't take themselves so seriously and pulled off the time travel or fantastic elements better. Adding to the uneven flow (particularly in the last quarter of the book), the characters were thin and I couldn't latch on to any of them. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
The Anubis Gates novel checks off all the genres - time travel - check, magic - check, horror - check, literary tomes - check, historical novel - check, interesting characters - check.

The plot, though, is murky at best, the novel starts slowly, gathers steam, and then around the middle starts moving and jumping around so quickly I have no idea what's going on. Characters are mixed up in my head and it's difficult to track what is going on with whom.

This could easily been 1000 pages instead of 350, a trilogy rather than a single novel. There were a dozen fascinating characters that got a short shrift, introduced, casually played with and then moved on.

Interesting, but ultimately could have been much better.

( )
  bhuesers | Mar 29, 2017 |
an old, rich eccentric discovers certain portals in which it is possible to time jump. Takes a group back, one gets left behind, his story. Ends up fighting a bunch of crazy egyptians who want to change history so that Egypt rises again, while doing this he becomes a little known[in the future] poet. I had read this in highschool, so had a vague rememberance of what was going to happen, but it was still a nice surprise overall. Very enjoyable. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Quirky, imaginative and fabulously unpredictable Grand Guignol science fantasy. I loved the epic scope, the sinister villains, the ingenious blending of tropes: Romantic literary figures, time travel, Egyptian magic, Dickensian underworld Londoners, gypsies, body-snatching. Think Doctor Who meets the Mummy in the age of Jane Austen.

The prose I found less felicitious, with it's tendency toward overly long and complex sentences that were frequently hard to follow--especially in action sequences. A book this frothy should be easier to read.

I learned in college that a work of art can be judged in terms of complexity, intensity and profundity. This one lacks only the former. There is nothing profound either in deep ideas or in deep emotional response to the characters.

Still, two out of three ain't bad.
( )
1 vote JackMassa | Nov 23, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Powers, TimAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bilokur, MarkIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brautigan, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campbell, RamseyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campion, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carr, RichardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caza, PhilippeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keulers, NicoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lebec, GérardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacPherson, DonaldCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McMurray, JacobDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palumbo, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palumbo, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinchot, BronsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Podevin, Jean-FrançoisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Potter, Jeffrey KCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riffel, HannesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stuyer Sj, M. K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my wife, Serena
First words
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


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

An edition of this book was published by Prufrock Press.

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