Brad’s review of The Anubis Gates > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Clouds (new)

Clouds It got on my list because it was namechecked as one of the books that inspired the term Steampunk - but I haven't heard many entirely positive reviews...


message 2: by Robert (new)

Robert I'd take 380 pages and wanting more over 1000s pages and wanting less, much less, please stop! Stop! For pity's sake stop! Oh I give up...as I did with the Baroque Cycle...


message 3: by Clouds (new)

Clouds Noooooooooo!
The Baroque Cycle = my new best friend =D
(I'm currently between books 2 & 3 and loving it)


message 4: by Robert (new)

Robert Each to their own...


message 5: by Terry (new)

Terry I tend to agree with your assessment here in general with Tim Powers. I find him, for me at least, to be much better at coming up with a really awesome idea than at executing it. I may need to re-read this to re-evaluate my opinion, but I remember being pretty underwhelmed by it. So far my favourite Powers book is Declare which I partly found so awesome because it was such a good mimicking of Le Carre with the supernatural mixed in.


message 6: by Brad (last edited Aug 27, 2012 08:56AM) (new)

Brad I love that I wrote this four years ago and only now is there comments. Goodreads is fun and funny that way.

I have permanently stalled between book two and three of the Baroque Cycle. And I am stalling out on Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell too. Something about those endlessly sprawling books, desperately in need of a trim, drives me to distracttion.

I may try out Declare someday, Terry. Looks interesting, and the Le Carre feel would be a big Powers improvement.


message 7: by Robert (new)

Robert I never made it past volume 1 of the Baroque Cycle and vowed never to read anything by Stephenson longer than 450p. Needless to say, I haven't acquired any of his recent work...


message 8: by Terry (new)

Terry Word Robert! I'm with you there.


message 9: by Clouds (new)

Clouds But I love Stephenson's sprawling books!
They remind me of cats.
(I'm grinning even trying to articulate this)
It's that endlessly curious nature.
The 'journey is more important than the destination' ethos.
I'm pretty sure I'll love Stange & Norell when I get to it!
Feel free to send any more of this ilk my way :-)


message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert I recommend War & Peace; much more worthwhile than the Baroque Cycle or Strange & Norrel (which I only made it half way through).


message 11: by Brad (new)

Brad The last book of Stephenson's I really enjoyed was Cryptonomicon, but even that sprawled over the sheets like a Sherpa passed out after a bar binge.


message 12: by Robert (last edited Aug 27, 2012 09:20AM) (new)

Robert Brad wrote: "The last book of Stephenson's I really enjoyed was Cryptonomicon, but even that sprawled over the sheets like a Sherpa passed out after a bar binge."

True of me, too, in terms of chronological order of publication - though it was actually the first I read.

The unsung Zodiac is his best and shortest book, in my view; and I think the two are linked.


message 13: by Leo (last edited Jun 20, 2013 06:37PM) (new)

Leo Walsh Wow. I preferred this book to the Baroque Cycle by a wide margin. In fact, I barely finished the first book of the Baroque. Stephenson gives much back-story, which reads like copy and pasted Wikipedia material In the end, this obscures his main action. Stephenson even does this in books of his that I enjoyed -- "Snowcrash," for instance.

Powers, as you indicated, creates vibrant characters and terse action. He accomplishes this through editing. He removes excess, both actions and words, and all but eliminates adverbs -- tricks which Stephenson needs to learn. Because Powers edits to bring a reader's focus to their story. Stephenson's style, on the other hand, obscures. He has great ideas, but fails in execution.


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