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Last Call [Audio CD]

Tim Powers , Bronson Pinchot
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover CDN $82.30  
Paperback, Bargain Price CDN $7.60  
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Audio, CD CDN $34.95  
Audio, CD, Dec 1 2010 --  
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Book Description

Dec 1 2010
Set in the gritty, dazzling underworld known as Las Vegas, this masterpiece of magic realism tells the story of a one-eyed retired professional gambler haunted by a long-ago poker game he believed he had won. Now, he must play for the highest stakes yet as he tries to win back his soul.
--This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In a difficult, but distinctive and commanding novel, Powers posits a world of magic and horror behind the neon flash of contemporary Las Vegas.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Rich, top-flight mythic fantasy based on Jungian archetypes, Tarot symbolism, T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, and the Parsifal legend; by the smartly acclaimed author of On Stranger Tides, 1987, etc. Luck could not flow with more Jungian synchronicity for Powers than his having cast Bugsy Siegel as The Fisher King in this long novel just as Warren Beatty's Bugsy has fixed the nation's eye on the Oscar race, along with Robin Williams's turn as The Fisher King. The scene is Las Vegas, the subject supernatural poker using Tarot cards. Bugsy Siegel is the reigning Fisher King whose new Flamingo Hotel gambling casino is modeled on the Tarot's tower card, with the Flamingo as an inverted tower. Overthrowing Bugsy is Georges Leon, who assassinates Bugsy in his mistress's home in L.A. and prepares to become Fisher King. Leon has two sons, Robert and Scott. He has already spiritually gutted Robert and now can see through Robert's eyes, and is setting up five-year-old Scott for the same treatment while inducting him into playing-card magic. But Leon's wife shoots him in the groin, giving Leon the Fisher King's unhealing wound, and throws Scott onto a yacht that's passing by on a trailer. Scott, who has been blinded in one eye by Leon and become a one-eyed jack, is adopted and raised by the yacht's wizardly owner, Ozzie (who is much smarter than the Wizard of Oz). Scott faces his father in a weird poker game called Assumption, which uses Tarot cards and allows Leon to assume the bodies of losers for his future use, thus assuring him of immortality as long as he has a stable of bodies. When Scott loses to Leon, his objective becomes someday to beat Leon at Assumption and save his own soul by depriving his beastly father of bodies. Scott is aided by the ghost of Bugsy Siegel, which he meets at the bottom of Lake Mead. Knockout poker sequences give the symbolism real sizzle, while the genre is enlivened throughout with great lines from Eliot. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Monument to Imagination May 13 2002
"Last Call" is a book about loss, death, redemption, tarot cards and the Fisher King. It plays out in a vast and mythical Las Vegas that only marginally resembles the one that sits in the Nevada desert.
Scott Crane is a man who loses. As a child, he lost an eye. As a young man, he lost his soul in a card game. As an adult, is wife dies and he loses his will to survive. Until he is drawn to Las Vegas, where the last Fisher King died, and learns his is one of four Jacks vying for the right to assume the King's place.
It sounds wacky and ridiculous and I'm sure it would fall flat in any hands but those of Tim Powers. But Powers is a master of Urban Magic, at finding mystery in the oridinary and in drawing conclusions from history that might only be inferred by a madman. But once he has cast his eye on a subject and explained it to us, it all makes sense. We wonder why we never saw it before.
In typical fashion, Powers has selected Eliot's "The Waste Land" as a sort of working illustration of the story, writing elements that make you stop and think "Oh, ho! Eliot was in on it, too!". Powers uses the poem to good effect, as he has with the Romantic poets in "The Stress of Her Regard" and other works.
I don't get excited about many books or many authors, but this is one of the best. Powers is an amazing talent, always satisfying, always fresh and always jaw-droppingly unique.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I don't get it. Jan. 15 1999
By A Customer
After reading the other reviews posted here, I feel like I must have read a different book than the other reviewers. Ridiculous, stereotypical characters; one of the principal "bad guys" eats only raw, recently living food, including, at one point, the carcass of his recently killed doberman. An "ending" composed of the most amazing series of unlikely coincidences that I have ever read. I laughed, I cried (or at least I snickered and groaned), but probably not in the places that the author intended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy noir? June 9 2003
OK, I'll admit that I'm biased. I went to school with Tim: truly! Hey, every celebrity was a kid, once, and went to school and had friends :-) That being said, I've read most of Tim's books, but haven't enjoyed them all. This is one that I *did* like, a lot. It grabbed me almost from the beginning, in much the same way that "On Stranger Tides" did; that's my favorite of Tim's books, BTW. While it definitely helps to know something of the legends of King Arthur and the Fisher King, of Percival/Parsifal and Taliesin, of the Tarot and the Holy Grail, it isn't necessary. This story holds together very well as a modern fantasy-thriller, of something we might call "fantasy noir", perhaps, although not of the same sort that Glen Cook (another favorite author of mine) writes. Still, there is something of a 40s detective story in here: who really *is* the hero, and who the villian? What are their motivations? As with all of Tim's books, though, the layers are much thicker than that, and if you can take the time to re-read some passages, you'll come away with a greater appreciation for how much care he has put into weaving all the threads together. This is *not* a casual "summer read"! If you are not willing or able to take the time to read this book word for word, do yourself a favor and don't buy it! But if you savor well-written stories, whether you like fantasy or not, you should give this, and all of Tim Powers' books, a read; you are not likely to be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Tale June 9 2002
By rzaster
Whenever I read a novel I can tell from the first few sentences whether or not I will enjoy the book by judging the author's writing style. From the first few words of Tim Powers' "Last Call" I was drawn in to this captivating story. Tim Powers is a fantasy author but what makes Mr. Powers' novels different from others is that his fantasy novels take place in our world and seem that what goes on really could happen.
Scott Crane was involved in a dangerous card game called Assumption many years ago and he is dreaming of the game. In this game his soul was stolen by the man that started the game. 20 years from when the game took place Scott decides that he wants to get back into playing Poker and Crane has no clue for what is going to happen to him. Scott is biologically the next Fisher King, the mythological king of the tarot card world. When Scott enter Las Vegas the cards are showing that he is in the city and people want him dead. From Vegas to Los Angeles to the Hoover Dam this novel is a tour de force that will keep you riveted from page one.
Tim Powers is a very different type of fantasy author. His fantasies take place in our world and deal with real people just like you and me. The whole fantasy premise of "Last Call" is based on tarot cards and Powers makes you believe that these cards really have meaning and are much more than bogus. Other myths are also used in this book such as some things from King Arthur.
Powers is an amazing author. From the first page of this novel you are grabbed and you will read and read and read until you have come to the ending. All of the characters are three dimensional people that you will care for and will either love or hate. There was just one thing about this novel that I didn't like.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars A review that is against the norm.....
While I can certainly understand that there is a population of readers who thoroughly will enjoy this book and will feel that I am, at best, a poor reviewer. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2010 by Ronald W. Maron
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
This book is indescribable. I have attempted on many occasions to explain the plot of this book to people, but how can you explain that the main tenet is that luck can be won or... Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by R. Chamberlain
5.0 out of 5 stars Original twist on the Grail legend
Tim Powers' highly inventive novel makes poker a form of numerological magic and Las Vegas the wasteland of the Grail legend, only waiting for the rightful king to make it bloom. Read more
Published on March 11 2002 by Pauline J. Alama
4.0 out of 5 stars Lighter than it sounds
Last Call is enjoyable, and may forever change the way you play card games. It is not, however, a deep book. Read more
Published on Dec 27 2001 by Kevin Gold
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, engaging, and mysterious!
Not sure where I first picked this up; I have the hardcover edition; the illustration of tarot cards on the dust jacket probably caught my eye. Read more
Published on Nov. 7 2001 by Casta Lusoria
5.0 out of 5 stars Tim Powers ROCKS!
If you like Tim Powers read it, if you are interested in luck, occult and tarot read it, and if you are looking for a good book to take you on a trip to weirdness and back READ IT!
Published on July 20 2001 by "omm2"
5.0 out of 5 stars Into something rich and strange
I'm really a T.S. Eliot [fan], and I knew I was going to like this book when the discarded bodies of the evil Fisher King murmured lines from the Wasteland to each other. Read more
Published on June 10 2001 by frumiousb
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow...
When I go to Vegas, I'm definitely going to have to pay attention to the cigarette smoke. Not that I expect things in real life to happen like the events and magic in this book,... Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2001 by Brad Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A very strong novel.
I generally do not read fantasy, but the gambling motif attracted me to this book. I'm glad I read it.
I waited a while before I wrote this review, and I'm glad that I did. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars spectacular...
the loose ends powers ties together to create a lasting story is amazing. definitely check this book out...
Published on Oct. 24 2000 by Amazon Customer
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