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The Anubis Gates
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Group Reads Archive > November Time Travel Group Read: The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers *Spoilers*

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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) (Gatadelafuente) | 3454 comments Mod
Optional Discussion Questions for The Anubis Gates

1. What do you think of Tim Powers' concept of time travel? Has he given it a unique spin for you as a novice or seasoned time travel reader?

2. How do the characters strike you? Fully-fleshed, realistic, vivid?

3. What do you think of the overall storyline?

4. Any take home themes or impressions of this novel?

5. Did this book give your action/adventure-loving soul a good buzz?

6. What about the historical settings in this book? Did they feel authentic?

7. Overall rating out of 1-10 or 1-5 stars?

8. Would you recommend this book to fans of fantasy with time travel or any other readers?

9. What are some books you'd recommend to readers who enjoyed this novel?

Thanks for participating in the discussion!



message 2: by Lisa P (new) - added it

Lisa P | 935 comments Although I love books involving time travel, this is not one I would normally pick up and read. I am looking forward to it. This group has definitely broadened my reading horizons!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) (Gatadelafuente) | 3454 comments Mod
Yeah, I do like how diverse the group read selections are. It's opened up my reading as well. I hope I get the chance to read it this month!


message 4: by Eileen, Always Beautiful (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eileen | 3144 comments Mod
I'll second that (or third)?!

I'm 1/3 of the way into the story so far, it's starting to pick up.


message 5: by Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost, The Prodical Moderator (new)

Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) | 5242 comments Mod
I haven't read this, but the only "Great guns" cover to cover book from Tim Power's I've read was The Drawing of the Dark.

He seems to write with the "Sprint and Drift" theory. Some periods of intense action, then a lot of character development and plot management, then more sprint and drift. It works for him. I've liked all of the Tim Powers books that I've read.


Ctgt | 516 comments I, Curmudgeon wrote: "He seems to write with the "Sprint and Drift" theory."

Yeah, I thought it really bogged down about 2/3 through. For me, the story lost some focus and I had a hard time figuring out where it was going and why. This was my first Tim Powers and it might be my last. It wasn't terrible, but I must say, if I wasn't reading it for the group, I probably would have stopped reading and moved on to something else.


message 7: by Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost, The Prodical Moderator (new)

Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) | 5242 comments Mod
Before you give up on Tim Powers, you might want to try The Drawing of the Dark. That's an oldie, but a goodie, and it keeps the intensity up through the read. (as I remember it).


Ctgt | 516 comments I, Curmudgeon wrote: "Before you give up on Tim Powers, you might want to try The Drawing of the Dark. That's an oldie, but a goodie, and it keeps the intensity up through the read. (as I remember it)."

Only for you, Curmy.


Matthew (Mysterioso) I have found the same with Powers. I've read three of his novels (On Stranger Tides, Declare, and now The Anubis Gates) and found each to be a chore to read. Each book seemed so much like something I'd enjoy and rip through but I just found them to drag.


message 10: by Kevin (last edited Nov 14, 2012 12:34PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kevin (spiralcity) I can understand some of the comments that have been posted about The Anubis Gates. If your looking for straight up action and your not one for great dialogue, plot, character development,and setting then this book may not be for you.

Tim Powers prose are colorful and sometimes even elegant. This book reminds me a bit of Dickens, perhaps it's the setting and mood the author has created. The story is ripe with atmosphere, the authors imagination is at times brilliant and inspiring.

Body swapping, poets, beggars, and werewolf's intermingled with humor.

I found it very hard not to like.


message 11: by Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost, The Prodical Moderator (new)

Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) | 5242 comments Mod
Kevin wrote: "I can understand some of the comments that have been posted about The Anubis Gates. If your looking for straight up action and your not one for great dialogue, plot, character development,and setti..."

You make a good point Kevin. I completely agree about Powers's style. In Declare, one of my favorite Powers reads, the prose was so lyrical and sweet that even during a huge avalanche it still seemed almost more like poetry. I Like that very much about his writing.

To me it seems that he writes in almost a "Classic" style, much like Dickens or Arthur Conan Doyle, maybe John Wyndham.

I understand that there is a reason that this classic lyrical prose isn't as captivating to some as it is others. It's very different from Monster Hunter International, yet both are good, in my opinion.


message 12: by Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost, The Prodical Moderator (new)

Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) | 5242 comments Mod
Ctgt wrote: "Only for you, Curmy. "

Thank you Ctgt. And, I think that this one, possibly Powers first but I'm not sure about that, is more like contemporary action adventure. Cannons, things blowing up, swords fights, magical creatures...and BEER! what could be better?


Matthew (Mysterioso) Quote"If your looking for straight up action and your not one for great dialogue, plot, character development,and setting then this book may not be for you."

I wish I could feel that Powers had these qualities but each time I've read Powers I got to the point where I just wanted the book to end. I don't think that it was the lack of "action". Susanna Clark's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell was not action-packed but did have "great dialogue, plot, character development, and setting" that blended fact with a lot of fiction; the difference was that book was pleasure to read and I was sad to see the characters go whereas I was quite happy to say goodbye to Ashbless and his cohort. I can't exactly put my finger on why Powers does not work for me, maybe too twee, maybe he comes off as too conscious of how clever he is supposed to be, but I doubt I'll be picking up another of his books.

All that said, I'm glad people are enjoying The Anubis Gates. It was the first Powers book I bought but the last on my TBR pile. Just wanted Ctgt to know he is not the only one who was not keen on Powers.


message 14: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ctgt | 516 comments Kevin wrote: "I can understand some of the comments that have been posted about The Anubis Gates. If your looking for straight up action and your not one for great dialogue, plot, character development,and setting then this book may not be for you. "

As I stated in my earlier post, I wasn't bowled over because, for me, the plot really meandered towards the end. That's my reason for feeling lukewarm about the book, not character development, dialogue or lack of action. I recently read and loved
Tigana, which can in no way be thought of as A/A.


message 15: by Jonathan (new) - added it

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 459 comments Picking up this tomorrow from my library, I'm really looking forward to it as a time travelling fantasy action book! And I don't mean that the book travelled in time...


message 16: by Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost, The Prodical Moderator (new)

Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) | 5242 comments Mod
Matthew wrote: "Quote"If your looking for straight up action and your not one for great dialogue, plot, character development,and setting then this book may not be for you."

I wish I could feel that Powers had th..."


Matthew, I understand and I'm okay with your stance and rating of Anubis gates. Not all books appeal to everybody and, I have noticed that Powers's style has a different cadence than ... most books, it's a little more "old world" sometimes. I like it, but, the last two Powers books I read, when I reviewed them I had to mention that there is a difference between Powers books and most modern era books that some people just aren't going to like.

And, as a long time curmudgeon I appriciate you wanting to let others know that, not everybody liked this book. I think everybody understands the basic idea of one man, one opinion and every one has a right to say what they like and don't for themselves.

If we all agreed on everything, there would be no "Discussion" of a group read and, nobody wold ever learn anything new.


Matthew (Mysterioso) Without steering the conversation too far away from The Anubis Gates, I'm wondering what people have thought of Powers' partner in Ashbless, James Blaylock. A while back I read his Langdon St. Ives books and liked them, even though they often felt like they weren't going anywhere. I think the difference for me is that, unlike Powers, Blaylock seems far more OK with the fantasy aspect of his writing. (One short story by Blaylock about a fairly lonely man who ends up being sucked into an older crowd of Science Fiction appreciators by first sending in a subscription card for magazine that had been published years earlier and then getting the book for the card still sticks with me as a truly well written fantasy piece; though, of course, did not stick with me to the point that I can remember the story's title.)


message 18: by Kevin (last edited Nov 16, 2012 12:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kevin (spiralcity) I respect everyone's opinions, writing is an art form and as with all art it is truly subjective.

I enjoy reading other views on various books, that's why I'm here reading with the group. If we all agreed on every title we read this would become a very boring place to visit.


message 19: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ctgt | 516 comments Kevin wrote: "I respect everyone's opinions, writing is an art form and as with all art it is truly subjective.

I enjoy reading other views on various books, that's why I'm here reading with the group. If we al..."


You're absolutely right. We don't have to like the exact same thing to enjoy each others comments and company.

I hope my last post didn't seem snappish. If so, I apologize.


message 20: by Patricia (last edited Nov 17, 2012 11:33AM) (new)

Patricia (pattipunkin) | 267 comments Ctgt wrote: "Kevin wrote: "I can understand some of the comments that have been posted about The Anubis Gates. If your looking for straight up action and your not one for great dialogue, plot, character develop...
As I stated in my earlier post, I wasn't bowled over because, for me, the plot really meandered towards the end. That's my reason for feeling lukewarm about the book, not character development, dialogue or lack of action. I recently read and loved
Tigana, which can in no way be thought of as A/A."


I love Guy Gavriel Kay's (Tigana) writing. Definitely lyrical, although I swore off of him when he killed off one of his most engaging character in the last book I read.


message 21: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ctgt | 516 comments Patti wrote: "I love Guy Gavriel Kay's (Tigana) writing. Definitely lyrical, although I swore off of him when he killed off one of his most engaging character in the last book I read. "

Which book was that? I have several sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. Wait, don't tell me, I'll just have to figure that out for myself.
I bought Under Heaven for my father and he really enjoyed it, so I bought a box of 5 or 6 of his books and have only read Tigana so far. But I loved that book! Lyrical is a good description.


message 22: by Bev (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bev (Greenginger) | 109 comments Well I started this book and parts have been enjoyable but others not. I put it down and have not yet had the urge to pick it back up. I will update later. If I ever pick it back up.


message 23: by Eileen, Always Beautiful (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eileen | 3144 comments Mod
I've finished the book, my first Tim Powers. Overall I liked it, even though at times I was a little confused in which body Doyle was in.

So I'll asked my question now,(view spoiler)

By the end of the book there were so many name changes and people jumping from one body to the next I wasn't really sure what was going on.

Ok, another question? What happened to Dog Face Joe?


message 24: by Lisa P (new) - added it

Lisa P | 935 comments I gave up on this one for the moment...just not my cup ot tea...might pick it up again at a later date.


Current Theatrics | 1 comments Hi! I've just adapted this novel into a play that's going to be staged in August 2014. I wondered if any fans of the book would be interested in seeing our Dog Face Joe body-switching chart. It's getting out of control. As we rehearse, I just want to hear what other readers have to say about the book. Favourite characters, moments that were memorable, etc. Thanks! *very excited* Ooh--also, what are some ways you saw the tachyon time travel process occurring? We're still blocking that--maybe your way would get into the play!


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Drawing of the Dark (other topics)
Declare (other topics)
Tigana (other topics)
Under Heaven (other topics)
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