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Earthquake Weather [Paperback]

Tim Powers
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 30 2007
A young woman possessed by a ghost has slain the Fisher King of the West, Scott Crane.  Now, temporarily freed from that malevolent spirit, she seeks to restore the King to life.
But Crane's body has been taken to the magically protected home of Pete and Angelica Sullivan, and their adopted son, Koot Hoomie. Kootie is destined to be the next Fisher King, but he is only 13 years old -- too young, his mother thinks, to perform the rituals to assume the Kingship.  But not too young, perhaps, to assist in reuniting Scott Crane's body and spirit, and restoring him to life.

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From Amazon

The Fisher King of the American West, Scott Crane, has been killed, and 14-year-old Koot Hoomie Parganas's perpetually bleeding wound makes him the most likely candidate for a supernatural successor. But the king's body has not yet begun to decay, and as long as there is a chance that he can be restored to the throne, his right-hand man, Archimedes Mavranos, is willing to risk all to revive Crane. But to do that he'll need the help of the woman who killed Crane, plus that of a recently widowed winemaker who has been touched by the god Dionysus, and the cooperation of Parganas's reluctant foster parents. Chances are they'll all die in the process, but unless Crane can be revived they'll probably all die anyway. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Sequel to both of Powers's previous novels, Last Call (1992) with its gambling, serial immortality, and Fisher King, and Expiration Date(1996), with its ghosts, magic, and psychiatry. The current Fisher King of the American West, Scott Crane, has been murdered by Janis Cordelia Plumtree. Either Janis is possessed by several powerful and malevolent ghosts, or--as analyst and pervert Dr. Richard Paul Armentrout of Rosencrans Medical Center would have it--she's a victim of multiple personality disorder that can be treated with electroshock therapy and a magical Tarot deck. But an earthquake allows Janis to escape Armentrout's clutches, and she heads for the ghostproof and magicproof Solville apartment complex, where teenager Kootie Sullivan bears the Fisher King's unhealing wound while he and his adoptive parents guard the lifeless but uncorrupted body of Crane. If Kootie becomes the next Fisher King, his reign will be brief, troubled, and inconsequential. But how might Crane himself be restored to life? Either way, only the true Fisher King can save the land from destruction. What with the clangorous, hypercomplicated backdrop (the foregoing is but a brief outline), even readers of the two prior books will find this one difficult, if not impenetrable, with plenty of labyrinthine twiddling but very little plot. Coagulated and unengaging. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
I picked this up, as a hardcover, thinking, "Hey, I liked Powers, I'll try him again." I didn't realize at the time that it was a sequel. I didn't know, until just recently, that this was the *3rd* book in the loose trilogy that started with "Last Call," which I loved, followed by "Expiration Date." Even having the background of having read "Last Call," I *still* found this book very hard to get into, and hard to follow, at the outset. It wasn't until well into it that things started making more sense. It was worth the wait, sure, but I did get frustrated at the beginning.
On the whole, this focused less on Tarot (part of my initial interest in "Last Call"), and the Las Vegas mythos, having basically diverged into the mystical operations of the need for a new Fisher King. We see many of the same characters from "Last Call," but I'm not sure I like how they've 'grown up,' as this is set about 20 years later, as the cycle continues. I really need to read the 2nd book, I guess, to tie the two together, perhaps that's why I wasn't as thrilled by this book. My advice: READ THEM IN ORDER! Without the story background from the prior tales, I'm not sure how much fun/sense this would make for the first-time reader.
I *did* enjoy the scenery in this tale, as I have with other of his works. From the California vineyards to the Winchester Mystery House, I had a good time thinking about the magic and mystery presented as plausible, and of how an unseen ghost world might continue to be all around us.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Red, Red Wine......... July 26 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Let me preface this by saying that I generally avoid reading fantasy. I've never read Lord Of The Rings and I bet I never will. But some fantasy will entertain my skeptical, scientific, hard-to-shut-off-the-BS-filters mind. Tim Powers' Fisher King trilogy is one such set of fantasy novels. First, there's Last Call, which introduces Scott Crane and future-telling poker hands. Second, there's Expiration Date, where the ghost of Thomas Edison leads Koot Hoomie Parganas through a hellish version of Los Angeles. The final book in this [as described by the author] loose trilogy is Earthquake Weather. What a wild ride! All of the important characters are back from the first two novels [which is why you should read those first - each of the first two can stand alone, but this one reads better if you know the backstory of the first two]. This novel introduces three (if the Janis character only constitutes one character) important new characters: Janis Plumtree, a person with multiple personalities and the murderer of Scott Crane, Fisher King of the American West; Dr. Armentrout, a psychiatrist in desperate need of healing himself and a frequent companion to Long John Beach [Sherman Oaks from Expiration Date]; and Sid 'Scant' Cochran, a recent widower with the mark of Dionysius on his hand. From various locations in southern California, the characters, both old and new, converge on San Francisco and the possible resurrection of Scott Crane. Be ready to hit the reference books; this novel requires knowledge about a wide range of things - all the way from Androcles to Zinfandel. Yes, the story can get confusing, even when you've read the first two novels. If I could give fractional ratings, this novel would rate more than 4 stars, but less than 5 stars. Even though they are not easy reads, Earthquake Weather and the preceding two novels are well worth the effort.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Euripides, The Grail, The Golden Bough, etc., May 14 1998
By A Customer
Dionysus, the mask that death wears in Last Call, returns, this time in full Euripidean Splendor, right out of The Bacchae, and embellished with the symbollism of The Golden Bough. Powers' books, like the works of P.K. Dick, trancends the Sci/Fi fantasy genre, and his sublime grasp of the sympathetic magic of words is almost Borroughsian. Like so many other great 20th century american writers the author is concerned with a modern day approach to the grail motif, on top of that he takes a fresh look at Charles Dickens' Tale of Two Cities (his best and strangest book). But Power's greatest strength, however, is his ability to divine an obscure, kabbalistic history out of the mundane (in Last Call it was how he revealed Las Vegas and the Flamingo hotel). Here he retells the California Wine Country and explains the Winchester Mystery House. Indeed, the book is like that Escheresque house, with crazy staircases, doors that lead nowhere, etc., Even the much debated by siesmologist general concept of Earthquake Weather, gives further food for thought. Powers' insight has not diminshed since the pinnacle of Last Call, it has simply become more esoteric. If you're the kind of person who took Eliot's advice in his notes for The Wasteland and went back and read From Ritual to Romance and the Golden Bough, then, this is your kind of book. Of course it is the third work in a trilogy and those earlier works must be read first for a thorough comprehension.
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2.0 out of 5 stars "Earthquake Weather" No Great Shakes Oct. 16 1997
By A Customer
I am a huge Tim Powers fan. I own multiple copies of all his books and have met him at book signings every chance I get. However, being a fan does not blind me to his deficiencies as a plotter (note I did not say writer - as a writer, he is unparalleled). A common problem with Powers is his inability to reign himself. He has a wonderfully wicked mind that is constantly working, so he comes up with an enormous number of ideas. But he doesn't know when to stop. It is a truism of a Powers book that the first third will be flawless, the second third will lose focus and the final third will unravel like a sweater on a nail. Imagine my pleasure and shock, then, when I first read "Last Call" - it was flawless, a stunning and beautiful piece of writing. It's followup, "Expiration Date", was chock full of great ideas that didn't pan out. What the heck happened? It wasn't until I read "Earthquake Weather" that it all made sense - this was a trilogy. Firts third, flawless, second third unfocused, final third a total mess. Perhaps I'm being harsh because I am such a big fan. I expect so much more from a Powers book. Granted, a mediocre Powers book is better than 90% of the books out there - perhaps that is why other people are raving about this one. But let's be straight about this one - Powers tried way too hard on this one. The characters are unrealized, the plot is slim in places and non-existent in others. You WILL NOT get it if you have not read the other two, and if you have read the other two, you'll wonder why you stayed with it this long. Do yourself a favor. Read "Last Call", read "On Stranger Tides", read "The Stress of Her Regard". "Earthquake Weather" is only for the most rabid of fans.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars good - but I expected more....
I loved his previous two books -- Last Call and Expiration Date -- but found Earthquake Weather, where the ghost gobbling and Fisher King storylines have been merged, heavy going... Read more
Published on April 12 2003 by G W
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I should have been drunk to read this
If you haven't read the first 2 novels in the series, don't even begin to attempt this one.
"Last Call" and "Expiration Date" were all time classic novels,... Read more
Published on Dec 3 2001 by Gavin Hughes
1.0 out of 5 stars Impenetrable
There ought to be a law against publishing a book and not telling you that it is a sequel. This story cannot possibly be read on its own...Don't try. Read more
Published on July 20 2001 by "p_trabaris"
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read
Earthquake Weather is the final book in Powers Fisher King trilogy, which begins with Last Call and continues in Expiration Date. Read more
Published on Dec 22 2000 by Atara Stein
5.0 out of 5 stars Powers does it again
The first book I read of his was the equally masterful Expiration Date, which was a fascinating urban fantasy thats very unique story is continued here. Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2000 by "m_peror07"
3.0 out of 5 stars Powers should avoid series
Tim Powers is a masterful novelist. He shares an immortality obsession with the late Roger Zelazny, but with diverse and interesting historical context. Read more
Published on Oct. 21 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Powers Delivers Again
Tim Power's unique characters and great story concepts shine through in this fun to read adventure. The characters from two of his previous works Last Call and Expiration Date... Read more
Published on July 18 1999 by
3.0 out of 5 stars A strong narrative
Though Powers is always interesting, he has a tendency to get so lost in his own ideas that he wanders aimlessly around in them without keeping the story moving. Read more
Published on June 6 1999 by Daniel H. Bigelow
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
"Anubis Gates" is on of my favourite books, and I love the way Powers can weave a myriad of obscure (and not so obscure references) to create bizarre stories that somehow... Read more
Published on June 3 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars Does Tim Powers have an editor?
Earthquake weather can best be described as a "sequel" to the author's previous Last Call and Expiration Date; particularly in the sense that one should not even bother... Read more
Published on May 21 1999
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