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August Books 14) Last Call, by Tim Powers

I didn't really get in with this, and almost gave up after the first third: most of the characters too unpleasant and unengaging, too many cultural references that simply sailed past me. I stuck with it in the end, and appreciated as ever Powers' dense description and evocative spookiness, but didn't really feel I grasped what it had all been about or why it mattered at the end.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
sbisson
Aug. 16th, 2011 03:41 pm (UTC)
One thing to note: this is the first third of a trilogy, and needs to be considered as such. Things do get explained more fully in the final part.

rosefox
Aug. 19th, 2011 08:28 am (UTC)
I actually prefer to read it as a book that incidentally has some sequels, but I love Last Call with such passion that I'm not sure I can really discuss it in any analytical way, so I can't explain to you why that works for me. (I also think the third book is the weakest of the three by far.)
sbisson
Aug. 19th, 2011 08:54 am (UTC)
Whereas it's Expiration Date that I love!

I do like the way that Powers seems to grab everyone with a different book.
rosefox
Aug. 19th, 2011 10:07 am (UTC)
I think a lot of it is the characters. I felt like I really understood Scott and Diana (and also all the cultural references were not just things I was familiar with but things I was raised on). Pete and Sukie and Kootie and Angelica, less so (and less so). Until I checked the reviews of Earthquake Weather on Amazon, I'd forgotten its plot and characters entirely.

I'd never thought about how Last Call would read to someone who didn't grow up reading Arthurian legends, giving Tarot readings, studying math, and playing poker. I guess I can see how it would be confusing as hell!

Edited at 2011-08-19 10:09 am (UTC)
sbisson
Aug. 19th, 2011 10:12 am (UTC)
Or the C11/C12 Jersey poet Wace or the history of Las Vegas, which were my routes into it.

So much wrapped up in one author's works!
pgmcc
Aug. 16th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
I read Last Call last month. I enjoyed it but, like yourself, would have been left blank on some of the cultural references.

One of the things I enjoyed about it was that it was a lot better than a book called Stone Junction. I felt Last Call is what Stone Junction could have been. (Of course, given your comments on Last Call that is not a great reference for Stone Junction.)

I started reading Last Call knowing it was the start of the trilogy. My review on LibraryThing starts off with my saying that I don't know where the next two books are going to take things.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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