The Anubis Gates

Posted by : atcampbell | On : February 6, 2001

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

Eighteen people showed up for this discussion, which made it our largest crowd ever. One person was a first-time participant. The book discussed, The Anubis Gates, is a complicated fantasy featuring time travel, classical poets, ancient Egypt, werewolves, body swapping, and Beatles music. Although it was originally published in 1983, this novel had been out of print for several years until recently, making it a new book to many of us. Our attendees included several folks who read the book when it first came out, and we also had a person who was born the year the book was published.

Every one of us finished the book, and we found a lot of different things to like about it. Many people liked the complex, involving story with its many plot threads. One person empathized with the protagonist, a college English professor, so much that she reported jumping up and down and yelling at him to “watch out” at particularly tense moments. Many of us liked the cool Medieval and Egyptian magic, and we were pleased when a member of our group who’d studied magic extensively said that the research in the book was “impeccable.” We thought the writing style of this book was very involving, and we liked the way Powers handled foreshadowing. When it was mentioned that Tim Powers had a master’s degree in romantic poetry, several of us felt that this book was an excellent use of an advanced degree.

No one had anything bad to say about this book. We all thought The Anubis Gates was a compulsively readable book full of interesting ideas, clever writing, and enjoyable characters.

–A. T. Campbell, III