Martine's Reviews > The Anubis Gates

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
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Jan 07, 08

bookshelves: fantasy, science-fiction, historical-fiction, north-american, pseudo-nineteenth-century
Read in January, 2008

Ever wonder what it would be like to travel in time and be able to rewrite parts of history? In The Anubis Gates, Brendan Doyle, a professor of nineteenth-century English literature living in 1983 California, accidentally gets to try his hand at it when he is invited by a mad scientist to attend a lecture given by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1810 London. Needless to say, an accident prevents Doyle from returning to his own time (it always does in these books, doesn't it?), so he is stuck in early-nineteenth-century London, where he gets to deal with gypsies, underground dens of beggars, an unpleasant clown, a body-shifting werewolf, a young woman disguised as a boy, a brain-washed Lord Byron, assassins, homunculi, legendary beasts, life without antibiotics and last but not least, an ancient Egyptian sorceror who seems to want something from him. What ensues is an off-the-wall tale full of outlandish conspiracies, time travel, Doppelgangers and magic, and yes, a bit of poetry. The evocation of nineteenth-century England isn't entirely convincing (there are some glaring historic and linguistic anachronisms), and the narrative gets a bit predictable at times (despite the plot being so insane), but the action is non stop, the story unfolds at a cracking pace and there are enough inventive and amusing links to actual history and literature to make even the harshest critic chuckle. In short, it's a fun read -- not perfect, but perfectly entertaining, with some interesting ideas to ponder afterwards.

I'm now wondering where *I* would go if I could travel in time...
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message 1: by Jalees (new)

Jalees Ur Books have been used for centuries, and undoubtly they performed an important part in person's record. Not only books can carry us primary understanding, such as record, geometry and other technology, but also they show us how to think individually.
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