Last Call

Last Call

by Tim Powers


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In Last Call, the Locus Fantasy Award and World Fantasy Award winner by Tim Powers, ex-professional gambler Scott Crane hasn't returned to Las Vegas, or held a hand of cards, in ten years. But nightmares about a strange poker game he once attended—a contest he believed he walked away from a big winner—are drawing him back to the magical city.. because the mythic game did not end that night in 1969. And the price of his winnings was his soul.

This edition of Last Call includes a special P.S. section with additional insights from the author, background material, suggestions for further reading, and more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062233271
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/19/2013
Series: Fault Lines Series , #1
Pages: 535
Sales rank: 495,906
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 7.94(h) x 1.36(d)

About the Author

Tim Powers is the author of numerous novels including Hide Me Among the Graves, Three Days to Never, Declare, Last Call, and On Stranger Tides, which inspired the feature film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. He has won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award twice, and the World Fantasy Award three times. He lives in San Bernardino, California.

What People are Saying About This

Tom Robbins

“A novel of the supernatural and occult that is hard boiled, seamy and suspenseful as the best film noir.”

Raymond E. Feist

“Brilliant! Compelling and satisfying! Tim Powers is one of our best writers, and LAST CALL is his best book yet.”

Dean Koontz

Dazzling . . . a tour de force, a brilliant blend of John le Carre spy fiction with the otherworldly.

William Gibson

Tim Powers is a brilliant writer. Declare’s occult subtext for the deeper Cold War is wonderfully original and brilliantly imagined.

Customer Reviews

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Last Call 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters in the story are very well developed, several very normal villians and protagonists, moving through fantastic plots in a very exciting flow. Mr. Powers has done his research. The back story on Tarot cards and the creative license on the early days of Las Vegas makes this tale oddly educational, although I'm not sure where the line between fiction and fact lies... Well done.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ever since reading Tim Powers' book, The Anubis Gates, I have been waiting for Powers to write another up to the high standard he had established with that work. His intervening novels, The Stress of Her Regard, On Stranger Tides, have been, frankly, disappointing. With Last Call Powers finally meets the standard he established with the earlier book. The novel is unique, vast in scope and adventuresome. I rank it only a hair below The Anubis Gates.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tim powell is one of the great under appreciated writerd of our times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love any Tim Powers book and this is one of the best. His weaving of myth and magic and quirky characters and everything in between is masterful. One of the most inventive and talented writers out there.
delphica on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Urban fantasy, set in Las Vegas, where a grittier, American-style version of the Fisher King legend is playing out, driven by the mechanisms of the tarot, which of course is being fueled by the amount of card play going on at any given moment. The whole thing is framed as a poker game, but I confess that I'm bad enough at following normal poker and thus didn't try very hard to parse out the mystical poker so I can't speak to how convincing that aspect is.This is the kind of fantasy book where a goodly number of the characters start off with complete knowledge of all the magic and the rules and have a good grasp of what's going on right out of the gate. I always find something slightly unsatisfying about this, as a fairly pragmatic person myself, it always helps when characters need to be convinced so that I can be convinced by proxy.Lately I've been finding that books written in the early 90s make the oddest impression on me because they seem both modern, and at the same time, positively in the Dark Ages because they're just a little before that technology crest that brought the internet and cell phones to the masses.Grade: BRecommended: This reminded me of things like American Gods and even a little of The Stand (but you know, shorter), and I think it has a similar appeal.
kd9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There are some classic science fiction and fantasy novels that don't hold up when when you read them years later. This is not one of them. Now that I have lived in Las Vegas for four years, the book is actually better since I know the places that are described here. In one sense this novel is the oft told tale of the Fisher King. The old King fails and grows weaker, but tries for one more session on the throne he has stolen from his predecessor. But there are Jacks, possible kings in the making, just waiting for the King to make a mistake and take over the throne themselves. What makes this novel different and deeper is the solid reality of this magical story. The magic is a mixture of cigarette smoke, chaos theory, unlevel glasses, Tarot decks, body substitutions, and the Moon Goddess. Many of the tropes in Tim Powers more recent books are seen here; the Secret History, the power of alcohol and tobacco, the fringes of society that control primal forces. What makes it compelling are the characters of the old King, his son Scott Crane, Scott's foster father, Ozzie, and Scott's adopted sister, Diana.If you only read one Tim Powers book, read this one.
icarusgeoff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of [author: Tim Powers]. He has this strange ability to take bizarre and disparate elements and weave them together into a cohesive and engaging story. This particular example of his work involves (among other things) poker, chaos theory, Jungian archetypes, Tarot, and The Fisher King. These things seem to have little or no relation to each other, but it all works, and it does so brilliantly. The best thing he's written, in my opinion.
tanenbaum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the book that I give friends when I want them to be exposed to Tim Powers, and it hasn't failed me yet. Like most of Powers' work, it posits a "secret" or alternate version of the world, one where poker cards can determine your fate and a Las Vegas mobster can be the Fisher King. But it's also a narrative about family-the wounds of childhood (emotional and physical), the trials of love, and ways the past can haunt you. With compelling and rich characters, an engrossing and intricate mythology, and a fast-paced plot, this is one of my favorite books, re-read regularly.
PamelaDLloyd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It had been many years since I read this book, so all I really remembered going in was that it involved poker, superstitions, and California. Of course, as this is a book by Tim Powers, it was far more complex than that. I love Powers' ability to weave seemingly diverse concepts into a whole, and the way his stories make sense, if one can only bend one's mind into a pretzel. I also love the many literary references, although I'm sure I caught only the top of the iceberg.This book was crazy, wild, anxiety producing, and a whole lot of fun. Go read it.
SaintBrevity on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Exquisite book by Tim Powers that blends together the Tarot, poker, semi-ancient mythology, and Las Vegas in ways that I thought not possible. Highly recommended, and especially recommended for those who think that fantasy is all pointy ears and chainmail bikinis.
pgmcc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first in a series of three books, the others being, "Expiration Date" and "Earthquake Weather". I don't know where the second and third books go, but I will get around to them eventually."Last Call" was entertaining and intriguing enough to keep me interested to the end. It involves poker playing and a magical power struggle that takes place in the contemporary (as of when it was written-1992) world of Las Vegas.Powers created good characters, put them in realistic emotional situations, and portrayed their actions well in those situations, albeit with a backdrop of magical kings, queens and godesses.Much play was made of the magical powers of chance and the concentration of the related forces in Las Vegas where chance is the focus of the towns existence.Apart from the magic and supernatural activities, "Last Call" is an action thriller with poker playing. A bit like Gandalf meets the Cincinati Kid.
heidilove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books ever. A fantastic exploration of the Aurthurian myth translated into modern times, but no knowledge of Arthur required to love and appreciate this work.
ben_a on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is by far the worst Tim Powers I have read. It is Powers, so there are vivid, hard to forget moments (the skinny man trying to get out, the inner dialog of Al Funo, etc). Alas, it is overall something of a mess. 1.15.07
LastCall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my all time favorites and Powers best. There is so much going on in the book that it not only begs but demands to be re-read. One of the great all time fantasy novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Flawed yet heroic characters seem to be Tim Powers' forte. Last Call has a boat load of interesting and weird folks involved in a very complex plot. Definitely not a "quick read". Tarot card history and early Vegas are woven into the plot exceptionally. Just a few moments of late plot development keep this from being 5 stars.
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Great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Great for fans of Gaiman's American Gods.
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