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The Last Hot Time [Hardcover]

John M. Ford
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 1 2000
That woman, it turns out, is important to another party on the scene: Mr. Patrice. Who, in his turn, appears to run a lot of the City. Doc knows he holds some kind of unusual power. Mr. Patrice knows it too. So does the beautiful Ginevra Benci. And so does the sorcerous Whisper-Who-Dares, who offers threats and temptations far beyond anything Doc ever imagined. By turns brutal and delicate, murderous and metaphysical, The Last Hot Time is a fantasy novel unlike any other, a brilliant dance of genres and storylines leading to a thoroughly unusual conclusion.

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From Publishers Weekly

Brilliant is as brilliant does, and Ford's first excursion into enigmatic, offbeat speculative fiction in seven years bids fair to win him yet another World Fantasy Award, as did The Dragon Waiting. In this mesmerizing near-future scenario, most of Earth's technologyDman's "magic"Dhas been destroyed by the immortal Elves who once coexisted with primitive hominids, then vanished back into the parallel universe of Elfland. When the Elves return a generation after JFK's assassination, they witness, horrified, what man has become, and they strike out in panic, blasting most of Chicago. Young paramedic Danny Holman, heading toward Chicago's Elf-gang-ridden heart, saves the life of a young woman wounded severely in a drive-by shooting. The mysterious Mr. Patrise rewards Danny with a new identityD"Doc Hollownight"Dand a job as house medic to Patrise's web of underground nightclubs. Danny also gets involved in Patrise's clandestine operations against Whisper-Who-Dares, the loathsome Elf who fuels his insatiable lust for power by flaying humans alive, feeding off their unspeakable agonies. Whether human, minor Elf nobility (the Ellyon) or Highborn Urthas Elves, Ford's generous cast of characters continually surprises, intrigues and pulses with life, a tribute to his power as a storyteller. Haunting, puzzling, even unsettling and deliberately obscure, this improvisatory jazzlike riff of good and evil in the context of a most unusual growing-up story is bittersweet as first love and loss, a minor-key elegy for the death of youth and innocence. (Jan.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

When he stops to administer first aid to a gunshot victim, paramedic Danny Holman steps out of his old life and into a bizarre underworld of fast-talking, magic-wielding elves who dub him Doc Hallows and promise him a future beyond his wildest dreams. Ford depicts a modern-day world inhabited by supernatural creatures who enjoy fast cars, hard liquor, and the sound of money even as they keep alive the old traditions of fairy curses and otherworldly magic. By turns violent and funny, the latest novel by the author of The Dragon Waiting delivers a rapid-fire modern fantasy suitable for most libraries.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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First Sentence
The Triumph TR3 was running sweet tonight; Danny Holman had been fiddling with it for a week straight, but he'd tinkered with it near nonstop for the eight months he'd owned it without any really definite results. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Inimitable Oct. 1 2002
Format:Paperback
Leave it to one of the genre's true originals to write an urban "elves-in-civilization" novel four or five years after the trend died and still make it a success. What genre is John M. Ford? Who knows. That's part of what makes him a true original.
This is a fully realized world, although we don't get a full glimpse at every detail. He keeps us just outside, telling us what we need to know for the story and leaving much to mystery. Not because he wants a sequel, I think, but just because, well, how much do we really know about our own world? His characters exposition enough to get us by, each one giving us a hint at the world, making a beautiful tapestry.
At any rate, it's his mastery of character and ability to create magic with dialogue is what pulls you along, not the story. These are some of the most vivid characters this side of Charles Dickens.
My one complaint about the book, the only thing that brings it down to 4 stars, is the somewhat pat and rather forced feeling of the ending. Suffice it to say, I can't say just what bothered me about it, but trust me, it was a bit of a let-down. The rest of the book is more than worth the price of admission, though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written Urban Fantasy Novel Aug. 19 2002
Format:Paperback
A long, long time ago, back when man was still hunting and gathering on the plains, the elves left our world to return to Elfland. About thirty years after JFK was president, they returned. They were horrified to see what humans had been doing in their absence and immediately started to change the world. One of the first things they did was to get rid of television. From there they established themselves throughout the world, making places like the "Levee" in old-Chicago where Elfland's and Earth's borders meet. Danny is a small town Iowa paramedic who has always dreamed of going to see the Levee. One day, he can no longer resist the "call" and hops in his souped up old car and heads out. When he gets near the Levee, he witnesses a drive-by shooting between rival elf gangs and races to help the survivors. He saves Norma Jean's life and enters the employ of Mr. Patrise. Mr. Patrise renames him Doc Hallownight and takes him to the Levee. There he is introduced to the 1920s/30s style of the elves and the humans who live on the border. He learns that magic is real, that everyone has secrets, that love is not always what is seems, and he learns who he really is...
This was a beautifully written novel that will stay in your mind long after you have finished it. The characters are fascinating and very well drawn. Ford does not completely flesh out the characters - he leaves them a little mystery, a little shadow, so that you never really know them, but you think you do, just like real life. Also, I loved Ford's writing style. He creates an almost hazy, blurred vision of this beautiful and ugly world that Doc has chosen to live in. His prose was absolutely gorgeous and a delight to read. I absolutely loved this book and hope that we will hear more about these characters one day.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written Urban Fantasy Novel Aug. 19 2002
Format:Paperback
A long, long time ago, back when man was still hunting and gathering on the plains, the elves left our world to return to Elfland. About thirty years after JFK was president, they returned. They were horrified to see what humans had been doing in their absence and immediately started to change the world. One of the first things they did was to get rid of television. From there they established themselves throughout the world, making places like the "Levee" in old-Chicago where Elfland's and Earth's borders meet. Danny is a small town Iowa paramedic who has always dreamed of going to see the Levee. One day, he can no longer resist the "call" and hops in his souped up old car and heads out. When he gets near the Levee, he witnesses a drive-by shooting between rival elf gangs and races to help the survivors. He saves Norma Jean's life and enters the employ of Mr. Patrise. Mr. Patrise renames him Doc Hallownight and takes him to the Levee. There he is introduced to the 1920s/30s style of the elves and the humans who live on the border. He learns that magic is real, that everyone has secrets, that love is not always what is seems, and learns who he really is...
This was a beautifully written novel that will stay in your mind long after you have finished it. The characters are fascinating and very well drawn. Ford does not completely flesh out the characters - he leaves them a little mystery, a little shadow, so that you never really know them, but you think you do, just like real life. I loved Ford's writing style. He creates an almost hazy, blurred vision of this beautiful and ugly world that Doc has chosen to live in. His prose was absolutely gorgeous and a delight to read. I absolutely loved this book and hope that we will hear more about these characters one day.
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By Alex
Format:Hardcover
"The Last Hot Time" is a resonably excellent book, but I have severe reservations about recommending it outright. The book has a fantastic premise, a large number of unusual, if slightly flat characters, great ambiance, and the power to absorb the reader utterly. On the other hand, there are stretches of dull non-events and moments of such absolute confusion that the reader begins to wonder about the rhetorical "why?".
" 'You'll regret it,' he looked up smiling. 'This isn't a threat. I won't _make_ you regret it.' " This was the line that told me that, at last, I was reading something worthwhile. Something that transcends cliches. Something that is humane and believable. Ford's writing is fresh and clean - any faults are its own, not inherent to the age-old cliche. As in many other books, the young hero isn't an especially good dancer - but where else have you NOT read long scenes of the hero's agonizing embarassment at that fact?
However, I have to agree with the reviewer m-fitz about the fact that the various parts of the book just don't seem to add up. The Levee, tribal and elfin magic, Vamps, Loop Garous, Shadow Cabinet secret police and the Shadow itself are intensely interesting ideas, but Ford barely elaborates on them. The book is mum about its most fascinating aspects just when we want to know more.
"The Last Hot Time" has moments of almost magic realism. While reading about Danny's quarters in Patrise's mansion, I could actually relax in my hard, rigid reading chair. The reader is IMMERSED into the words.
Unfortunately, there are many, many moments where the author loses the reader. The characters are too many, and introduced too quickly, to be remembered as individuals.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars You figure it out
Contemporary fantasy set in a future in which some sort of catastrophe has occurred and elves have returned to the world. Read more
Published on May 26 2003 by divinebluesky
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Read - Connection to Borderlands a Coincidence???
An excellent story, set in the Return of Faerie genre. Immediately upon finishing The Last Hot Time by John M. Read more
Published on July 23 2002 by "lapchance"
4.0 out of 5 stars Obscure, but compelling
This book was not long or densely written, but it nearly wore me out reading it. Ford drops you into the story with no exposition and little explanation, so the reader has to pick... Read more
Published on March 23 2002 by V. A McCoy
3.0 out of 5 stars ... but what's the point?
THE LAST HOT TIME captured my attention from start to finish, mostly because of the easy prose. It's a quick read, the way that most Bradbury tales just kind of breeze across the... Read more
Published on Dec 21 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a disapointment
I am a big fan of urban fantasy by the likes of Emma Bull, Will Shetterby and Charles deLint. I has heard good things about this book and I had looked forward to reading it. Read more
Published on July 6 2001 by Mfitz...
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite a read!
My husband said, "I've never seen your re-read a book right after finishing it." and he's right -- I never have before. This one warranted an immediate re-reading. Read more
Published on April 17 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Hot Time is a hot book
The Last Hot Time is a fascinating tale of young man who leaves his home in the mortal world to live in The Levee, a region inbetween the mortal world & Faerie. Read more
Published on April 3 2001 by Samuel J. Tomaino
4.0 out of 5 stars Coming of Age in a Brave Old World
"The Last Hot Time" is, at heart, a coming of age story. Years after the gates to Faerie have been reopened, Daniel Holman is running: away from his Iowa childhood,... Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2001 by "colinbi"
4.0 out of 5 stars A nearby world--very nice reading
The world has changed with the re-convergence between human andelf dimensions. Magic works, but there is a halfway land between humanand elf--a land that compells many to it. Read more
Published on Jan. 14 2001 by booksforabuck
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