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Three Days to Never

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  1,680 ratings  ·  195 reviews
Book by Powers, Tim
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published July 27th 2006 by William Morrow (first published 2006)
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The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerOutlander by Diana GabaldonThe Time Machine by H.G. WellsTimeline by Michael CrichtonSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Best Time Travel Fiction
151st out of 979 books — 3,131 voters
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienWatership Down by Richard AdamsThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
Highbrow Fantasy Books
190th out of 299 books — 431 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,802)
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Kemper
So this is one of those books that I really wanted to love but to my great disappointment ended up being just OK. It’s got Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, time travel, ghosts, psychic links, astral projection, Israeli spies and a secret evil organization. So what’s not to love?

In its defense I’ll admit that I probably wasn’t in a good frame of mind for something like this. I’ve been distracted by a couple of things, and it’s that glorious time of year where for 10 days in the spring and fall I...more
Lightreads
. First I'm going to rave about how shiny awesome this book is, and then I'm going to have a bit of a screaming rant and kick it repeatedly until it stops whimpering. Okay? Okay.

So this book is awesome! It's a whacky weird skiffy thriller about a father and daughter, and family secrets, and time travel, and Einstein, and ESP, and Israel, and just, stuff. Wildly creative and totally absorbing, with some funny tucked in around the edges. And it's not perfect – the thematic movement about determini...more
Kim
May 26, 2008 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of thought-provoking science fiction or fantasy
I always find Tim Powers's books brilliant, but I'll confess that I like best the ones concerning time periods or subjects that interest me most. For this reason, his Declare, which immediately preceded Three Days. . .and dealt with Cold War espionage (as well as more arcane matters), interested me less than, for example, The Stress of Her Regard, about the Romantic poets and their muse, not because it was necessarily a worse book. Three Days to Never lacks the mythic resonance of Stress. . ., a...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
I hope that the trade vagaries that resulted in his latest novel being reasonably well distributed in India (this is the first of his novels I have bought here first-hand and within a year of publication - that I then waited an additional two years to read it is another matter) continue to hold good for Tim Powers' future novels. They're just that good. While his earlier novels are more diverse, he's been focusing on fast-paced thrillers that take some chunk of recorded recent history, re-interp...more
Sandi
Tim Powers is not an easy author to read. It took me two tries to get through Declare because it was so densely packed action and ideas. It required way too much brain power the first time I tried to read it. The Anubis Gates was convoluted and required a bit of knowledge about English Literature (thank goodness I majored) and Egyptian mythology (limited, at best). Both were very good, but required a lot of work out of the reader.

With Three Days to Never, Powers manages to make his fantastically...more
Tim
As Tim Powers novels go, "Three Days to Never" is a lackluster effort. For anyone else, this is a pretty entertaining novel.

For me, here Powers mines what these days has become his usual formula -- twists on souls, espionage, alternate history, people using unusual powers, fantastic explanations for ordinary events -- and, well, finds it pretty much tapped out. In "Three Days to Never" EVERYONE has amazing abilities, not everything is adequately explained, and the competing groups (I won't even...more
Alan
Mar 15, 2012 Alan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Time-trippers and people not worried overmuch about the afterlife
Recommended to Alan by: Both previous and subsequent work, superimposed in spacetime
Three Days to Never is about... well, it's complicated. Basically, it starts with Albert Einstein's unacknowledged great-grandchildren, and the time machine in their grandmother's shed. Or something like that. It starts with a rock in the desert that used to bear an inscription, and Charlie Chaplin's handprints in wet concrete. No... it starts with Frank and Daphne Marrity, a widowed father and his daughter living near San Bernardino, and with a VHS copy of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. No, that's no...more
Guy
Tim Powers and James Blaylock are a genre of two... no-other authors I've read are as successful at creating the impression that there are strange depths hidden in, and consistent alternate explanations for, history as we know it. I'm a little at a loss as to how to characterize what they do. Their books have elements of the occult, but they are much more scientific and pragmatic than the typically melodramatic exemplars of that genre. They aren't alternate histories because nothing is changed.....more
Coleman
***Zero Spoilers***

I picked this up because it promised to have a bit of time travel in it. It ended up having a bit of everything in it.

One and a half acts into this book I had no idea what was going on. I didn't like it. There was just too much happening for me to follow. That, plus with so many supernatural things spinning about, I had a hard time understanding the ground on which the book stood. I considered giving up numerous times but something told me to wait and that it was all about to...more
Christy
Tim Powers' Three Days to Never is a fantasy/sci-fi novel set in California in 1987, at the time of the Harmonic Convergence. It's a tale of time travel, conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and secrets--secret inventions, secret family relations, secret government and religious groups.

The novel opens with the mysterious death of Lisa Marrity on Mount Shasta. Just before her death, she calls her grandson Frank Marrity and tells him she has burned down the shed behind her house. Worried, Frank...more
Sarah
Tim Powers has written some of my very favorite books, but this is not one of them. The last several of his books that I have read feel to me as if he is trying to parody his own better works. All of his hallmarks are here: time travel, proximity to historical characters, places or items imbued with power, strange and useful rituals, and cheap beer. Most of them are used in a clever way, but cleverness for its own sake doesn't really do anything for me. The whole thing feels impersonal and clutt...more
Mike (the Paladin)
It's got to be an awfully big gold nugget to make trudging through 500 miles of mud, crud, and quick sand worth it. I didn't find this one worth it. The writer seems to find his stride somewhere around the middle of the book. By then I just didn't care. I skimmed my way on. I didn't care how much gold Grammar had left under what bricks or who couldn't see if you didn't look at them.

This is another one where I see high ratings and thrilled reviews, that's why I looked this book up. I found a long...more
Noah M.
Jul 02, 2009 Noah M. marked it as abandoned-for-sucking
My wife's coworker's husband, a chemist and supposed fan of hard science fiction, loaned me this book...for some reason. Unprovoked book loaning. Well, alright, I'll give it the old college try, I guess. I'm between books. May as well.

OK. I gave this book 80 pages, which is close to my standard 100pg cutoff point.

There's stuff about psychics that is sort of interesting, and it's all wound up in a Jewish conspiracy that involves kabbalah and Israeli intelligence agencies...but it just didn't grab...more
Mark
Dec 05, 2007 Mark rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
Frank receives a strange phone call from his grandmother in Pasadena. An hour later she is found 600 miles away. Dead. Frank and his daughter want to know how and why. So does Israeli intelligence. So does an ancient cult. And how does Charlie Chaplin fit into the picture? Oh, and did I mention time travel?

This book combines supernatural, science fiction, and spy genres. I thought the combination was deftly handled, but the book might be a bit too densely packed for some readers.

The main charact...more
thefourthvine
Tim Powers returns to the wacked-out time travel fold, which he so memorably explored in The Anubis Gates, but this time he's thrown in alternate universes, paradoxes, the Mossad, a shady mystery cult, psychic powers, Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, supernatural forces, and - look, if you want it, it's probably in here.

Powers also manages a fairly complex and intertwined action plot with a lot of skill. He even deftly copes with two very different characters who have the same name, something anyone...more
Guy
Apr 22, 2008 Guy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: hebrew, own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen
I finished it to make sure that Charlotte, Frank, and Daphne came out okay, but overall it was freaking confusing. I'm not sure what the movie had to do with anything (Chaplin seemed only tangentially related in the end, and Matt didn't signify at all), I couldn't keep the characters straight, new bad guy characters showed up in the last 100 or so pages... Where did Canino come from?

I wouldn't be surprised if the interconnectedness of it all was more profound than I could absorb. By three-fourt...more
Jay
While it took me a little while to get into this book (I found it a little confusing to keep track of all the characters), I really enjoyed reading it. The twisted thinking that results from devices and powers featured in this book really exercised my brain as I tried to think ahead (and back) to logical ramifications of different plans and thoughts. This book will give me a lot to think about... not just because of the scientific thoughts, but because I think I could make a case for a lot of th...more
David
I've read quite a few of Tim Powers' books recently, so it's possible I'm just Powered out and his recurring motifs (primarily his chain-smoking, alcoholic, flawed characters) have started to grate. But, even ignoring my dislike for his standard characters, I'm not very happy with his "Three Days to Never." First, and most importantly, I think he wrote the wrong book. Someplace around the 80% point, he summarizes the Einstein events that lead to what's happening in this story. Now, THAT's what t...more
Sally
Ever read a book that you're quite certain you may just be too stupid or too interested to understand? Three Days to Never was, possibly, the most confusing, involved, and strange book I've ever read.

I picked it up because I was intrigued by the story line: secret Einstein inventions coveted by opposing sides, occult, ghosts, psychics, time travel, and the ability to change things you've done in your past and be granted and entirely new life. It all sounded like something that would be right up...more
Skylar Hatfield
I should have stopped reading this book at the first "F" word. I was intrigued with the premise of this book, and I loved the collection of short stories I had read by this author. This book disappointed me. The story line became much too complicated and took too long to unwind. The language was pretty foul. As a reader, it is clear to me that Nazi's are pretty bad sorts. I don't need to be insulted by tons of profanity. To me, that is a sure sign of a lazy writer. It detracts from the deeper th...more
Matt
This is one of those thrillers where shadowy groups run around trying to collect and build some sort of object-- in Ben Bova's Green Trap, it was a special bacteria to solve the problem of burning carbon, here it's a time machine that is the product of Einstein and the Kabbalah, but it's not so different.

For me, in this case, there was a little too much going on-- there were the two rival groups, one a long standing secret society named Vespers and the other the Israeli mossad. And as I mentione...more
Jim Mcclanahan
This novel took me back to the enjoyment I had reading the trilogy beginning with Last Call (Faultline series). The characters were engaging although not heroic. The plot was somewhat convoluted, but fun for all that. And the details were wacky and mysterious. Oh, and there were ghosts. I love it when there are ghosts!

As usual, Powers packs lots of detail into the plot; even describing the type of pipe tobacco the main protagonist from 1987 smokes. Sometimes I find that his striving for authenti...more
Donna
Albert Einstein, A little old lady from Pasadena, Charlie Chaplin, and a time machine...intrigued? You should be. The premise: unknown to the rest of the world Einstein did in fact discover the secret to time travel but was horrified by the potential for misuse. Believing it to be even more dangerous than the hydrogen bomb he never publishes this work and entrusts the secret to only one person, a heretofore unknown daughter living in Southern California under an assumed name, with instructions t...more
Kitt
Received this book from Mike Gull, along with a pile of other books (like Thousand Words for Stranger) that he had read and that I just *had* to read. Placing it about 12th in my pile, I finally reached it this past weekend, and started reading.

The first few chapters are difficult to get into, as they jump right into the story, with the characters being as confused about events as the reader is. I'm delighted by this type of storytelling, as I'd much rather the author show us what's going on thr...more
Al Billings
I must admit that I am in a huge Tim Powers fan. I've never read a book by him that I did not greatly enjoy.

"Three Days to Never" continues his common practice of setting novels in the contemporary world that contain fantastic or magical elements. Similar to "Declare", the word of "Three Days to Never" has government agencies and secret societies, behind the scenes, working to secure various magical technologies and artifacts. In this work, these are elements of Mossad, from Israel, and a societ...more
Daniel Cann
Being a Tim Powers novel means Three Days to Never is hugely ambitious in scope. I cannot reveal too much of the plot without spoiling the fun, but let’s just say that readers will enjoy the many twists and surprises here. Fans of parallel world’s, alternate history, science fiction and the paranormal will really enjoy this.

Powers does have a writing style that may take getting used to. Luckily I had already read two of his previous novels, but sometimes you do have to tread carefully to fully u...more
Theo Logos
Tim Powers is the only living writer of speculative fiction who regularly excites my interest, so I had been eagerly anticipating reading his latest effort, `Three Days To Never'. While I agree with others who have stated that it is not among his strongest work, it still looms far above most of what currently passes for speculative fiction, and did not disappoint me. I consumed the book in a day, and it was a most satisfying experience.

Powers does a couple of things better than anyone else I kno...more
Lisa Larkin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pat
Feb 23, 2012 Pat rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: good beach read for the sci-fi set
2-1/2 stars, actually. I am tiring of books that read as if they were written with the film version in mind. This is certainly one of those. It will lure you in with a great premise and opening scenes: a time machine in someone's tool shed that involves Charlie Chaplin's handprint in concrete, a father-daughter team with telepathic skills and a tendency toward poltergeistism (if that isn't a word, it should be), a dead grandma in too many places at once, Albert Einstein, a blind Garbo type who s...more
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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
More about Tim Powers...
The Anubis Gates Last Call (Fault Lines, #1) On Stranger Tides Declare The Drawing of the Dark

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