Last Call Audio CD – Dec 1 2010
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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.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on Dec 1 2010 by Ronald W. Maron
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 morePublished on May 26 2004 by R. Chamberlain
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 morePublished on March 11 2002 by Pauline J. Alama
Last Call is enjoyable, and may forever change the way you play card games. It is not, however, a deep book. Read morePublished on Dec 27 2001 by Kevin Gold
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 morePublished on Nov. 7 2001 by Kate mac Phail
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
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 morePublished on June 10 2001 by frumiousb
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 morePublished on Jan. 15 2001 by Brad Smith
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
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