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The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
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The Anubis Gates (1983)

by Tim Powers

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Anubis Gates (1)

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2,963921,934 (3.98)1 / 279
Recently added byfrog009, DoddSue, ScottDDanielson, Aneris, private library, Martyne, cadolph, Jon_Hansen
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Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
The first thing to be aware is that the main character is not really special. He is not a capable romantic hero, nor is he an anti-hero type. Considering some of the things that happen in this book, I wouldn’t be surprised that this was a plan all along. He isn't supposed to be special at all. Now, if I haven't turned you back from reading this, great.

Although Brendan Doyle is just moving from one situation to the next, from one person to the next, hardly ever doing anything on his own, the rest of the story is great. The things just happen to him. There was just one instance when he took charge and that was near the end of the book.
I was annoyed with Doyle at first, but that has to do more with the type of main characters I like to read about than him. I didn't think that a chubby, balding literature professor would work as a character in this type of book. I was wrong. So many things happen, so many wonderful and interesting characters appear, some with greater role than others, that even if Doyle is the type to whom things happen, this still ends up as a great story.

The Anubis Gate is a great blend of historical fiction, time travel, fantasy, horror and humour. The basis of the whole story is in the explanation of a powerful and rich man who called Doyle to offer him a job. “Time,” he said solemnly, “is comparable to a river flowing under a layer of ice. It stretches us out like water weeds, from root to tip, from birth to death, curled around whatever rocks or snags happen to lie in our path; and no one can get out of the river because of the ice roof, and no one can turn back against the current for an instant.”He offered an opportunity to stand outside that river. What follows is a wonderfully written time travel adventure with patriotic crazy Egyptian magicians, shape-switching monster, a few famous XIX century poets, a lot of beggars, a very brave young woman and one very reluctant hero.
Humour jumps at you when you least expect it and at the most inappropriate times (people dying, someone is tortured and so on). A magician is summoning fire elementals: "London? You asked us to do this once before." "The time is 1666, yes." Romany nodded. "But it wasn't me asking you then." ... "It was a pair of shoes. How should we distinguish?" Or a couple of thugs' conversation after they were told that they caused a pandemonium. “What’s a pandemonium?” whispered one of the men in the rear.
“It’s like a calliope,” answered a companion. “I heard one played at the Harmony Fair last summer, when I went there to see my sister’s boy play his organ.”
“His what?”
“His organ.”
“Lord. People pay money to see things like that?” The XIX century London and Cairo come alive in this book. There is something for everyone. Even a bit of romance. ( )
  Aneris | Apr 22, 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.
( )
  JackMassa | Nov 23, 2016 |
This was quite a good book, though maybe not as awesome as I'd hoped it would be. It mixed horror, adventure, and time travel. Two things really bothered me while reading it, though. I found it idiotic that the main character guy (by whatever name) took so freakin' long to figure out that Jacky was a Jacqueline. Surely he should have clued in to that at some point... or maybe he was just too drunk all the time. The other thing I noticed, especially at the beginning of the book, was that he drinks constantly.

Still, a clever and lively adventure. If it's a bit confused towards the end, I presume that's by design. ( )
  Amelia_Smith | Aug 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
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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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Haiku summary
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)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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

» see all 3 descriptions

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Prufrock Press

An edition of this book was published by Prufrock Press.

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