Declare Mm Mass Market Paperback – May 16 2002
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
This supernatural suspense thriller crosses several genres--espionage, geopolitics, religion, fantasy. But like the chicken crossing the road, it takes quite a while to get to the other side. En route, Tim Powers covers a lot of territory: Turkey, Armenia, the Saudi Arabian desert, Beirut, London, Paris, Berlin, and Moscow. Andrew Hale, an Oxford lecturer who first entered Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service as an 18-year-old schoolboy, is called back to finish a job that culminated in a deadly mission on Mount Ararat after the end of World War II. Now it's 1963, and cold war politics are behind the decision to activate Hale for another attempt to complete Operation Declare and bring down the Communist government before Moscow can harness the powerful, other-worldly forces concentrated on the summit of the mountain, supposed site of the landing of Noah's ark. James Theodora is the über-spymaster whose internecine rivalry with other branches of the Secret Intelligence Service traps Hale between a rock and a hard place, literally and figuratively. There's plenty of mountain and desert survival stuff here, a plethora of geopolitical and theological history, and a big serving of A Thousand and One Nights, which is Hale's guide to the meteorites, drogue stones, and amonon plant, which figure in this complicated tale. There's a love story, too, and a bizarre twist on the Kim Philby legend that posits both Philby and Hale as the only humans who can tame the powers of the djinns who populate Mount Ararat.
This is an easy book to get lost in, and Powers's many fans will have a field day with it. The rest of us may have a harder time. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Powers (The Anubis Gates, etc.), known hitherto as an expert fantasy writer, has created a mind-bending mix of genres here, placing his gifts for extreme speculative fiction in service of a fantastical spy story involving rivalries between no fewer than four intelligence services: British, French, Russian and American. In 1963, Andrew Hale is summoned to reenter the secret service. He has a past embracing anti-Nazi activities in Occupied ParisAwhere he fell in love with Elena, a Spanish-born Communist operativeAand a spectacularly unsuccessful mission on Mount Ararat in 1948, the purpose of which only gradually becomes clear. Powers posits that the mountain, as the speculative last home of Noah's Ark, is also the dwelling place of many djinns, supernatural beings that often take the form of rocks in the Arabian deserts. The father of British spy Kim Philby, a noted Arabist, had been a keen observer of these phenomena and taught his son about them. Now it seems that a supernatural power, manifesting itself as an old woman, is safeguarding the Soviet Union, and if fragments of a destroyed djinn can be introduced into Moscow, they could destroy her protection and make the Soviet Union susceptible to normal human laws. This is Hale's mission. In 1948 it failed, and most of his commando force was destroyed. On his return 15 years later, with Philby, Hale succeeds in shooting fragments of djinn into Philby, who then returns to Moscow. Upon Philby's death many years later, the Soviet Union duly collapses. The styles of spy fiction, with dense counterplotting and extremes of caution, and the spectacular supernatural scenes simply do not blend. It's all offbeat and daringly imaginative, but ultimately rather foolish entertainment. (Jan. 9) Forecast: This original novel, despite its strengths, is unlikely to satisfy fully fans of either spycraft or fantasyAand such is the pitfall of genre-bending. A 6-city author tour plus vigorous promotion online and off could give the book some turbo power, though.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Declare is one of Powers's history-bound fantasies, in which Powers challenges himself to create a fantasy in a known historical subject without contradicting any of the historically estalbished facts. However, he avoids many of the pitfalls into which he has stumbled in his prior forays down this road. Rather than wearing his readers down with true biographical details the only real significance of which is how cleverly Powers works them into his own story, he seems to select details for their objective value as points of interest for the reader. Here, we are immersed in details drawn from the world of international espionage from World War II to the middle of the Cold War. Instead of seeing how Powers can work the fact that two historical figures stayed at hotels ten miles away from each other on a certain day into a story, we get to see his protagonist using interesting espionage techniques -- telegraphing information to headquarters from radios hidden in occupied Paris, forming groups of Bedouin nomads for spying missions. This keeps the story moving.
And Powers does a better job integrating the fantastical elements of the story, too.Read more ›
The demons in this story are not your horrorific demons with red horns and fangs. These demons are seen more of as forgotten and lost angels, very complicated as a race, and very real. Throughout the story, we visit the lost city of Wabar (might also be called Sodom and Ghomorrah) Mt. Ararat, and many other places.
This book is stimulating on many levels, and you really get the idea that Powers was trying to make this novel a lot more than just a novel that gets one point across. The story is about secret governemnt cover ups and ancient histories linked to today, but what I thought when i read this book, interestingly enough, is that all of that fantasy aspect was really just a scenerio to run along a love story. Underneath all of the adventure and complication, in the end, this story ends up a simple story about a boy and a girl. It's an adolescent fantasy that takes our main character, Andrew Hale, as a spy at the age of 18, falling in love with another young spy named Elena, who he must partner with. After they are separated for twenty years is when the story of Ararat, and the Djjin really picks up, and by the end of the book, you get the vibe that that was all introductory to what happens at the end.
The climax of the story surrounding the Djjin on Mt.Read more ›
Powers doesn't get around to putting a firm identification of the What behind the mysterious goings-on of Operation Declare until page 160, but by then he has laid a firm groundwork of interesting characters and events of which the reader wants to learn more. Once we learn something in "Declare," however, Powers builds on it, and builds beautifully.
Although "Declare" deals with Andrew Hale and Elena for hundreds of pages, it's actually inspired by (seemingly minor character) Kim Philby, and, in his afterward, Powers states that his intent was to write a novel about Philby which explored his life and work without changing any of the well-known facts of Philby's life. Its the interpretation which Powers puts on the events of Philby's life which make "Declare" mind-bogglingly good. Who, after all, REALLY knows what goes on in the deepest, darkest recesses of the world of espionage? Maybe some of the weirdness of the Looking Glass World really is due to a supernatural element, and if that supernatural element happened to be extremely ancient....
The title "Declare," which hardly compels at first, DOES make sense. Don't miss the reference to Job near the beginning of the book ("Declare, if thous hast understanding...."), and note the reactions of various characters to the word's use, and you won't be surprised yourself when the word turns up with greater frequency in various dialogues.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
"Declare" so intrigued me that I not only re-read it a year later, but, inspired by Powers' epigrams from Kipling's "Kim," went back to read that as well. Read morePublished on April 28 2004
This is my favorite Tim Powers book, and Powers is one of my favorite authors. Other than an aborted attempt to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I had never read a... Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2004
Tim Powers has earned his well-deserved reputation in science fiction. He is well respected in the field (by other authors) and, in my experience, deserves to be more widely known... Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2003 by Mark Horne
Declare is Tim Powers' best novel in years. The book is based around the real activities of Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, and other notable spies and double agents of the World War II... Read morePublished on July 16 2003 by Joel Bartley
Tim Powers' Declare is an amazing novel: it's imaginative, unique and compelling. And, it's probably like nothing you've read before. Read morePublished on June 19 2003 by John Thomson
The most consistently entertaining clever fantasy confections I've read in years! One of, if not the best of Powers. (And no one gets maimed! Read morePublished on April 22 2003 by rash67
I liked the concepts in this book a lot. The writing is also good. But the progression of the plot was far too gradual, and I gave up relatively early on.Published on March 25 2003
I loved this one, and often had trouble putting it down to go to work, for instance. Yes, it's long, yes, it's complex, but what a magnificent puzzle, and what a fabulous use of... Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2003 by Kiwi Carlisle
When a Powers book succeeds, the reader has a sudden feeling of revelation, as in "Oh! THAT explains Las Vegas!! Read morePublished on Nov. 30 2002 by S. Svetitsky