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The Drawing of the Dark Paperback – Nov 16 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1 Reprint edition (Nov. 16 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345430816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345430816
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #340,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Del Rey's Impact line introduces a list of titles that have "slipped through the cracks and become buried treasure." The re-release of Tim Powers's The Drawing of the Dark (first published in 1979) is indeed worthy of the imprint. It was his third novel and first foray into the fantasy genre.

It is the year 1529 and Brian Duffy, a soldier of fortune, finds himself in Venice. A late-night confrontation with three brothers over a matter of honor convinces Brian to find greener pastures. After a chance meeting with an old monk named Aurelainus, Brian finds himself hired on to be the bouncer at the famous Herzwesten brewery and inn (formerly a monastery) located in Vienna. During Brian's voyage from Venice to Vienna, he crosses the Dolomite Mountains, only to meet assassins who attack him. Dwarves and creatures Brian knew only from mythology assist him in vanquishing his attackers.

The mythical Fisher King is a central character in The Drawing of the Dark, and cameos by the Roman god Bacchus, the Lady of the Lake, reincarnations of King Arthur and Sigmund from Norse mythology, Merlin, and hosts of soldiers, including Vikings and Swiss mercenaries, add to the otherworldly feel. The legendary heroes are allied against legions of soldiers from the Turkish Ottoman Empire under Suleiman and his wizard Ibrahim, who try to repeat the successes of their 1521 and 1526 invasions of eastern Europe by laying siege to Vienna. But just what is their objective? The city or the beer?

Tim Powers does a great job of tying the historical invasion of eastern Europe by the Turks to a rollicking, fun-filled fantasy, which offers its own reasons for the invasion and a wonderful cast of heroes that ultimately repel the invaders. This is a must-read for Tim Powers fans and for readers who have yet to delve into his rich, wonderful worlds. --Robert Gately

Review

"The Drawing of the Dark is not only one of my favorite Tim Powers novels, it's simply one of my favorite novels. The seamless and seemingly effortless blend of action and humor, the wonderful characters, the rich settings, the brilliant plot--all of it is perfect."
--JAMES P. BLAYLOCK

"Tim Powers does it right! Combining the best of mythology and real history, he takes you on a rollicking magical adventure that is both tense and hilarious. You won't read a more plausible explanation for Western Civilization, or one that's half so much fun. So raise your glass to The Drawing of the Dark."
--DAVID BRIN

"I stand in awe of Tim Powers's recent work, but I must confess my secret love for The Drawing of the Dark.  Powers was one of the first to put fantasy back in the city where it belongs! If you're sick of endless quests through murky woods and lonely mountains, this is the place to start."
--ELLEN KUSHNER
   Author of Swordspoint

"Tim Powers is like no other. Tim Powers is granite where others are shale. Tim Powers chuckles like a river at night. Tim Powers is like a butterfly hovering at the pin, ruminating, eyebrow cocked, over the dancing angels. Tim Powers is not like any other, now and far into tomorrow."
--ALGIS BUDRYS
   Editor of Tomorrow

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Here's an unheralded classic, returned to print after a decade on the shelf, which is simply one of the more marvelous fantasies out there. I was simply spellbound by this book.
A brief description of this novel tends to emphasize what's not important about this novel. There are several important things here that make this a delight.
First, simply, are the characters. Brightly drawn and lovable, be they knaves or heroes. The texture and dialog do not (as many fantasy novels do) evoke modern Americans, even though there is no dialect used.
Second is the feel for medieval Europe, history, and realism (in what is a rather fanciful novel). Although this novel features such things as dwarves, dervishes, King Arthur, Merlin, Excaliber, the Fisher King, Norse gods, etc., the sheer realism of the novel never is pierced.
Third is the delight that infuses the whole work. Why the title alone is at least triple entendre, if not quadruple. I mean: how can you dislike a work who's central premise is that Western civilization is based in no small part on quality beer?
So by now it is obvious that I love this book. If you like books such as Silverlock or Brunner's Traveller in Black, I think you'll be enchanted by this gem.
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Format: Paperback
Tim Powers has a magical way of finding an odd piece of historical trivia with a little bit of mystery shrouding it, and weaving a fantastic story of mystical forces and occult arts around it.
The story revolves around one Brian Duffy, and brings to the surface such mythological characters as the Irish hero Finn Mac Cool, Sigmund, King Arthur, and Dionysus. Powers seems to love the myth of the Fisher King, and this has been a recurring theme through many of his novels.
It is obvious that this is one of his earlier works, a lack of depth can be felt in the historical details as well as the writing style. But the plot is an engaging one - this author is wildly creative. The Drawing of the Dark is an easier read than some of his other works, and quite entertaining.
If you love what he does with the Fisher King storyline, read Last Call, Expiration Date, and Earthquake Weather. If you enjoy his habit of weaving an occult story around historical fact, make sure you read Declare.
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Format: Paperback
This book offered a wonderful mix of history, fantasy, allegory, mythological creatures, and a middle-aged, drunken, grumpy hero. What's not to like?
Okay, if I had to pick something to criticize, I'd say that I found the plot a little slow at times. Also, the ending seemed a little rushed to me, and it didn't give me that sense of closure I was hoping for.
However, the writing style was gorgeous. Very atmospheric, beautifully detailed, mixed with just the right amount of humor. A perfect blend.
The characterization was also spectacular. Aurelianus / Merlin was my favorite character... but then again, that might just be my thing for cute old wizards again. I liked Duffy also. His grumpy attitude made him more endearing than any swash-bucking hero attitude he might have had. I also liked Bluto. Then again, I have a thing for hunch-backs too. ;)
And last but not least, I was utterly stunned when I finally realized where the title comes from! I won't give it away though... needless to say, it's very clever!
I'm looking forward to reading more Tim Powers novels. This was a very promising start, and I hear it only getts better from here! :)
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Format: Paperback
Brian Duffy is just your average work-a-day soldier for hire when he is pulled into a plot involving forgotten heroes, strange magic, and bizarre creatures. Encountering monsters straight out of legend and meeting up with some guy named The Fisher King, Duffy slowly learns that his past stretches much further back than he realizes.
In typical Tim Powers style, the plot of this late Renaissance fantasy begins with threads of story weaving in all directions, and resolves at last by the end of the book. Powers works in the invading armies of Islam, King Arthur, a mystical brewery in Vienna, Vikings, and more in this fantastic yarn.
I enjoyed this book overall, but it wasn't Mr. Powers's best (which can be forgiven, seeing as it was his first book). The plot moved a bit slowly at times, and the ending seemed a tad rushed. But overall, this was an enjoyable read and very funny. Great for taking a break between other, more "serious" fantasies.
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Format: Paperback
Tim Powers is a genius, and this is the book that started him off. Snake-smoking sorcerers, marsh-gas-bag vampires, voudoun pirates seeking the fountain of eternal youth... Powers' imagination is unique. He takes old tales, tales of Arthur and Blackbeard and Edison, and remakes them with the skewed perspective of an LSD addict. Who else would put warrior demons from the deepest pits of hell in high heels and broadswords? Of course, creative as he is, only a genius could make it work. The situation we find these high-heel-clad sword-wielding demons in is such that we do not disbelieve it for a moment. The hero does, and because he does, and because of his reasons for disbelief, we accept the situation, as ludicrous as it might be.
_Drawing Of The Dark_ is a classic that well deserves to be back in print. Tim Powers' small but devoted following began with this book, and became a large then enormous following years later, slowly and surely, for good reason.
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