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The Anubis Gates [Paperback]

Tim Powers
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 11 2002 Ace Science Fiction
Ace Books is proud to present this classic novel of time travel in a beautiful new trade edition. It took the fantasy world by storm a decade ago, and now fans can savor this Philip K. Dick Award-winner for the first time all over again. Only the dazzling imagination of Tim Powers could have assembled such an insane cast of characters: an ancient Egyptian sorcerer, a modern millionaire, a body-switching werewolf, a hideously deformed clown, a young woman disguised as a boy, a brainwashed Lord Byron, and finally, our hero, Professor Brendan Doyle.

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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Tim Powers was born in 1952; the son of an attorney. He graduated from California State University in 1976 and since then has written more than a dozen highly acclaimed and award-winning novels, including the Fantasy Masterwork THE DRAWING OF THE DARK. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
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-they moved a little hastily, for it was a good six miles back to London, and the red sun was already silhouetting the branches of the trees along the River Brent, two miles to the west. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of a kind April 29 2004
Few novels combine popular storytelling technique with artistry as well as The Anubis Gates. I enjoyed this novel because it is intelligent without becoming pretentious. A fast paced, yet twisting, plot keeps the reader guessing by tossing a somewhat broken Everyman 200 years in the past where he is beset by characters both vividly grotesque and charmingly romantic. Ironically, the time traveler's smug assurance of his superiority as a human from an advanced civilization is turned on its head when he immediately finds himself an alien in a world he can't relate to and persecuted by powers he doesn't understand. The characters and settings were depicted so well that I felt like a set director as I imagined each scene in my head. The only drawback to the book is that there are no others like it. If you want exciting storytelling that still maintains high literary standards, this book is for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars How to write a time-travel story Jan. 19 2004
It's hard to define "The Anubis gates" genre. Science-fiction? Historical fiction? Techno-fantasy-science-historical fiction? It doesn't matter. Tim Powers has created a story that's so amazing and different that the only comparison I can make is with Neal Stephenson's books.
Brendan Doyle is the Coleridge specialist that's invited to a time travel experience that will change his life. And I mean really change. Trapped in the early XIX century, Doyle will have to overcome a band of gipsies connected with egyptian magicians, street mugglers and beggars governed by a clown that makes experiences with human bodies, and a dog-faced murderer with the hability to... well I don't want to spoil the eventual reader's fun, because a large part of this fun is to disclose the many implications between the unusual characters in the story. At times, it is confusing, and this book clearly requires a commiment from the reader; otherwise the story is filled with such crazyness that the unnatentive reader may loose interest in the book. But, believe me, there's order and method in this crazyness.
Tim Powers seems to me an author blessed with an immense immagination to create different and fantastic stories, and this book is one good example. I was amazed by the size of this adventure. And I'm not talking about physical size, but mental and enjoyment size.
Grade 9.0/10
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5.0 out of 5 stars What an extraordinary ride!!!! May 7 2003
Excellent!! This book and George R.R. Martin saga of "The Song of Ice and Fire" I think are the best science fiction novels I have ever read. "The Anubis Gates" delivers a phenomenal and unique story from start to finish. What I most love of the novel was the author originality in establishing the plot of the story and the constant turns and surprises the story delivers. There is no point in this novel where the story gets boring or too 'slow paced', on the contrary, the more you read, the more intriguing. I hope you decide to add this book to your collection, enjoy the ride!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read Dec 16 2002
By A Customer
This is one book where (my) words aren't adequate to describe how wonderful it is to read. Although the story the complex, reading it is effortless - it's a great adventure which, more surely than many other books, transports you to the world constructed by the author.
I was actually hungry to carry on reading and find out what happens next in the story - get, and enjoy this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling work Oct. 24 2002
By A Customer
Tim Powers is one of the most original writers around. I had been meaning to read The Anubis Gates for some time, and was not disappointed when I finally did. The pace is feverish, the story is fascinating, and as other reviewers have mentioned, Powers avoids all the cliches of time travel. The story never fails in its logic, even when dealing with myriad wonders. An unforgettable, literate, fun book.
James Stoddard
Author of "The High House"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Deliriously Delightful Oct. 22 2002
If Charles Dickens had ever taken it into his head to write a science fiction novel about time travel he might have come up with something along the lines of Tim Powers THE ANUBIS GATE. In an at times delightfully delirious manner he blends the gods of Ancient Egypt, the worlds of 1983 and the 17th Century(briefly), early 19th Century London and Egypt (the bulk of the book), dancing ape mania, London's underworld, gypsies, a derranged clown thief lord named Horrigan, things bumping about in the dark in the sewers of London, the English poets Coleridge and Byron, the eggshell fleet
and holding it all together a literature professor. I might add that is but a short list and Powers amazingly manages for the most part to hold it together. It is a grand time that you really don't want to end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beware Sept. 20 2002
If you start reading this book you will probably end up wanting to buy and read everything else Tim Powers has ever written. If you have not yet read his stuff you have a treat ahead. Enough said.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of action and a bit of fun. Aug. 19 2002
By Sailoil
Being harsh on this one I have to say that it is more in the realms of fantasy or occult than Science Fiction. There is a distinct avoidance by the author of any logical explanations for what happens. We have people swapping bodies, magical gates opening through time, magical "hooks" to bring you back, and lots of macabre cripples and characters in the sewers of London. Really the stuff of horror and occult books.
But all that said - it is a good read. The pace is blistering and you have to keep up to remember who is in which body today. The story rips around the globe like an Indiana Jones movie, with the added attraction of leaping through time.
I don't want to give too much away, but I really felt it was a bit rich to have the main character give away all his good clothes upon his entry to old London, and accept rags - thereby sealing his fate at the bottom of the food chain. Had he been robbed it would have been more plausible.
As for Horrobins "Mistakes" - a bit of explanation would have been useful. What exactly was he trying to make? Beats me!
I think Powers would have done better to put a bit more logical motive into his story, to hold it together. I liked Horrobins character, and Dog-Face Joe. The description of the "Master" could have been filled in a bit more.
As I say, a fun book - but a bit uneven in places.
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