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The Bible Repairman And Other Stories

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  369 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Gathering darkly fantastic short fiction previously available only in limited editions, this collection explores the mysteries of souls—whether they are sacrificed on the pinnacle of Mount Parnassus or lodged in a television cable box. In a Kabbalistic tale of transformation, the executor of an old friend’s will is almost duped into housing his soul. In a tale of time trav ...more
Hardcover, Signed Edition Limited to 500 Numbered copies, 165 pages
Published October 31st 2011 by Subterranean Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Ian Tregillis
For me as a reader, Powers's ideas and his storytelling style seem best suited to something between a novella and a full-on novel. It's fun to indulge in bite-sized chunks of his peculiar vision of the secretly magical world, but I came away from these stories either wishing I could have spent more time within them, or scratching my head and wondering, "So....?"

The eponymous story, "The Bible Repairman," has all that wonderful crunchy Tim Powers goodness (the man knows how ghosts work, I'm convi
May 22, 2014 Banner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Having read two novels and one novella and now a book of short stories by Tim Powers I can say confidently (if not authoritatively) that I enjoy his shorter work better than his longer. These were some of the most imaginative short stories that I've read in awhile.

In short stories you don't have as much time to develop characters and universe. These stories grab you from the start.

I was reading this in Starbucks last night and a friendly fellow patron notices me reading and asked (harmlessly)
Sep 19, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
Powers has an amazing command of the short fiction form. Even if you aren't exactly sure at the start of the story where he's going with a story in the beginning ("The Hour of Babel") if you enjoy a "twist" and a "What THE?!" type of ending to your short fiction, I can't recommend this book highly enough!

Not only that, but his themes of lost opportunities and what really defines the concepts of "family" and "friendship" ("Soul in a Bottle" and "Parallel Lines") that make you realize times in you
Dec 22, 2012 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Davis
Jul 25, 2015 Michael Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always loved Tim Powers' longer works, and these short stories are just as compelling. As so often happens when reading his work (and other stuff like it), a weird synchronicity occurred: I'm rewatching the Firefly series and shortly after reading the title story here I saw some great scenes with River and Shepherd Book where she's trying to "fix" his Bible, "...because parts of it are wrong..." He tries to explain that parts may be wrong, but that people still take it on Faith, and that, " ...more
Debra Leigh Scott
Tim Powers has been called "the master of secret history". This book is just one in a long line of exciting and very interesting books. Powers has been publishing since 1976. I reviewed this collection at the time of its publication. A portion of my review: "Mr. Powers is called alternatively a sci-fi writer, a dark fantasy author, an adult historical fantasy author, and a writer of “secret histories.” In each of these attempts to define Mr. Powers’ writing, there is an acknowledgment that what ...more
Feb 09, 2016 Toastkat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Despite what my reviews seem to say, I'm not a literary snob. For every book I've read, there are ten-thousand I haven't, and 90% of what I read doesn't stick with me later. I wouldn't say that it goes in one ear and out the other, but reading to me is like taking an afternoon tea. You enjoy it while it lasts, it's brief and refreshing, satisfying in its own rights, but it isn't fulfilling enough to be considered a meal. Reading for me is like taking a mini-vacation from the real world, and I do ...more
Benjamin Kahn
I usually like Tim Powers, but I wasn't big on this collection of short stories. Half of them felt like fragments from novels rather than stories in their own right. The other half like mild ghost stories - not the scary ones of M. R. James, but ones that are mildly threatening. The former all seemed to start in the middle of the action, in a world that you don't really understand, and then come to some kind of indefinite conclusion. This was especially true of "The Bible Repairman" and "The Hou ...more
JM Blackie
Feb 20, 2014 JM Blackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find Tim Powers excels in longer fiction while his short stories leave something lacking at times. In this volume, I loved three stories, disliked two stories and the rest were alright. That said, even his "alright" tales are superior to the average short story one picks up today. I never feel this short stories are just failed beginnings of attempts to write a novel - a feeling I sometimes get even with authors as well respected as John Gardner.

Powers' focus remains, I find, centered on souls
Skylar Hatfield
Dec 17, 2013 Skylar Hatfield rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I have a new favorite author. These stories were haunting, frightening, enticing, skin pricking and imaginative. I have never read anything quite like them. The stories were not grotesque. They required thinking and patience, but were worth the effort. Each story left me wanting another. I cannot recommend this book too highly.
May 14, 2014 Eero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tim Powers is always fun. Most of these stories are set in California and involve ghosts, possession and magic. The longest one is set in Greece after Byron's death in Missolonghi and connected to Powers's Nephilim novels The Stress of Her Regard and Hide Me Among the Graves. Yet again it mixes actual historical details with fantasy.


Late addition, and digression: Around the time Declare came out I read some online interviews with Powers and only then learned that not only was he deeply Catho
Stewart Tame
I really wanted to like this more than I did. Don't get me wrong: these are excellent stories. It's just that, somehow, Powers at less than novel-length just isn't as satisfying somehow. We've got the usual eclectic mix of magic, ghosts, and science fiction that Tim Powers fans know and love. The title story, in particular, is quite memorable. Fans of his novel, Stress of Her Regard, will be pleased to note the presence of, "A Time to Cast Away Stones," which serves as a postscript to it, detail ...more
Jaq Greenspon
Jan 05, 2014 Jaq Greenspon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's something wonderfully unique and strange about the imagination of Tim Powers. This collection of stories is not the best introduction to it, however good they might be. Th final story of the book is a companion piece to Powers' novels The Stress of Her Regard and Hide Me Upon The Graves dealing with the Nephalim, romantic poets and non-traditional vampires. It was originally written as a bonus for a limited edition of Regard and really needs a working knowledge of that book to be fully a ...more
Jun 10, 2016 Fredösphere rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally, I finished this. Tim Powers is the living author I admire most. The title story of this collection has all the Poweresque virtues: an eye for exotic cultures and beliefs; a sad-sack protagonist stumbling into redemption; and, above all, a deeply weird cosmology.

The "Bible repairman" refers to a magician following a bizarre Californo-Mexican folk religion who fixes things in the spiritual realm for his customers and great personal cost to himself. That could mean, hilariously, installing
Mar 12, 2012 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Unicorn chasers
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work
The Bible repairman isn't one, really; he's more of a Bible breaker, a (selective) Bible burner. But that's what you should expect from Tim Powers' stories—situations are never straightforward, never as mundane as they might appear at first. Magic, time travel, quirks of physics, unexplainable intrusions of the surreal... these are Powers' stock in trade. The offhand brush of an angel's wing. You can call it urban fantasy, if you want to pigeonhole. Powers likes to explore the niches, those over ...more
Sep 08, 2011 J.A. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to J.A. by: Tachyon Publications
The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers is one of my favorite books, so I was decidedly intrigued when I learned that he had written a postscript novella, A Time to Cast Away Stones. Tachyon Publications has released a new collection of stories by Powers, including the novella, entitled The Bible Repairman and Other Stories. I was tempted to jump straight to the end to read the novella, but I opted to save the best for last. Upon reading I found that the introduction by the author and his comment ...more
Jun 04, 2016 ScoLgo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, reviewed, stories
4.5/5 Stars

Dark & twisted tales with dashes of humor. In this small collection, Powers really shines at the short form. He riffs on many of the same concepts that he has touched on in some of his longer works. The first five stories could all be off-shoots from his 'Fault Lines' trilogy. There are no character or situational overlaps, but they have the same 'feel' as those novels; the warm & sunny Los Angeles of Powers' imagination is inhabited by dark magic, ghosts, and other unexplaina
Ondrej Urban
Talk about wrong time and wrong place - this book, I suspect, did not completely work for me because of the general mood I was in the past couple of days/weeks. Sure - I did try to like it. Author's introduction made me happy with explaining how he likes to have things clear, only to have the stories be a bit too obscure for me to fully enjoy - this seemed to me really a case when you have to pay a hundred per cent of attention to get everything.

Of course there were bright spots. The atmosphere
Josie Boyce
May 22, 2014 Josie Boyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not drawn to short story collections, though i usually enjoy the ones i do read,. And this is Tim Powers, whose novels i read all of at least once. The tales in here are short and fun. The Trelawny one was the weakest for me, though it does make me want to go back and revisit "The Stress Of Her Regard".

Solid bit of Powers to tide you over. I liked the ghost tales the best, especially Soul in a bottle.
Keith Gapinski
Oct 24, 2015 Keith Gapinski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great, spooky read. I love The whay Powers' handles ghosts, as they have a much more profound effect on real life and echo poetically through the timeline of the character's lives.

I think my favorite story in this collection was "A Soul in a Bottle", because it managed to be kind of creepy and romantic at the same time.
Aug 01, 2014 Dana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book was ok. Not my cup of tea. The stories are well written and decent stories but they just don't stir excitement for me like a really good book does. And I find the explanation of why the story was written and what the writer was thinking takes some of the enjoyment out of reading them.
Steve Sheppard
Feb 04, 2015 Steve Sheppard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge Tim Powers fan...his works are not for the faint of heart or for those not willing to struggle through multiple characters and some tongue twisting nomenclature. A compilation of short stories is hard to rate accurately because this contains some terrific ones and some not so. Still a good read for a fan.
I really wanted to give this 2.5 but that's not permitted.

This was an intriguing collection. All of the stories had very different characters and kinds of magic but Powers kept things consistent with how he told the story. I liked that the magic in them wasn’t always the same. I think the twin story was my favorite.

My big complaint is that, save for the last tale, this was a very California-centric collection. As a born and bred east coaster, I felt like I was missing something because I barely
Pedro Marroquín
Mar 16, 2016 Pedro Marroquín rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Estupenda colección de relatos de este autor, entre los que destacan el de un fantasma que quiere volver a la vida; y el último en el que recupera a un personaje secundario de un libro suyo anterior y en el que regresamos con Keats, Shelley, etc. A leer si te interesa este autor. B+
Jul 05, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice collection of stories with everything you'd expect from Tim Powers: ghosts, possession, magic, and time travel. "A Time to Cast Away Stones" is a welcome return to the universe of "The Stress of Her Regard."
Jan 18, 2016 Audrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The shorter pieces make it easy to identify some of the common motifs at work in Powers' longer novels, and I enjoyed how the longer pieces filled in some gaps in TSohR. Overall, any chance to get back into Powers' worlds is a bonus for me.
Sep 08, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this short story collection much more than I enjoyed the one novel of his that I read, The Stress of Her Regard. Perhaps the short story is where he's strongest.
If you're new to Tim Powers, I'd recommend starting with one of his brilliantly entertaining novels, like The Anubis Gates or Expiration Date. His big, boggling ideas benefit from a larger canvas to spread out on. But if you're already a Powers fan, you will almost certainly enjoy this collection! All six stories are delightful, and all exhibit Powers' wild and gently macabre imagination. It's only by comparison to his novels that they seem in any way inferior, simply because you're always left ...more
David Lutz
Very enjoyable book. The first two stories "The Bible Repairman" and "A Soul in a Bottle" were great. "The Hour of Babel" was interesting and thought provoking. I found "Parallel Lines" to also be interesting. The final two stories in this collection didn't really do much for me
Tyrannosaurus regina
I really loved this. My single overwhelming thought, other than my enjoyment, was that his brain works like my brain works. These are how I think too.
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Timothy Thomas Powers is an American science fiction and fantasy author. Powers has won the World Fantasy Award twice for his critically acclaimed novels Last Call and Declare.

Most of Powers's novels are "secret histories": he uses actual, documented historical events featuring famous people, but shows another view of them in which occult or supernatural factors heavily influence the motivations a
More about Tim Powers...

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“Real life is generally very haphazard in its plotting, and I think a lot of people lament that, and turn to fiction to briefly experience, albeit vicariously, a more satisfying sort of reality. We want to see *sense* -- not necessarily happy endings, but effectual actions and significant outcomes. (Postmodern fiction and metafiction, I gather, aim to call attention to the falsity of these things, which is like selling liquor that perversely makes you more sober).” 3 likes
“Under,” he said in a shaky voice, “normal circumstances, I’d certainly be in love with you.” “Nobody falls in love under normal circumstances,” she said softly, rubbing his finger with her warm thumb. He restrained an impulse to look to see if there was still ink on it. “Love isn’t in the category of normal things. Not any worthwhile kind of love, anyway.” 2 likes
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