I do love Tim Powers’ writing. THREE DAYS TO NEVER marks me catching up completely, and finishing reading all of his novels, and they’ve all been brilliant in their own way. A couple haven’t quite grabbed me as much as others, but this one has time travel, remote sensing, Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin and a great cast of characters tightly bound in an intricate plot. I was hooked from the start.
I’ve been away for two days in Powers’ head, held by his way of taking a weird idea, such as Einstein inventing a time machine, then filtering it through a world view that contains ghosts, ESP and all manner of psychic phenomena. Anybody who has read Powers in recent years knows all his tics and enthusiasms, and they’re here in full, but this is tighter, more controlled than the frenzy of, say, Earthquake Weather, and all the better for it.
There are moments of brilliance here too, in descriptions of how a blind woman can live by seeing through others’ eyes, of swooping travels in the astral planes, and a climactic sequence as tense as any thriller.
But at heart, it’s a story of a broken family, working together for each other against heavy odds, and it’s often rather touching and tender. And funny too, with a comedic touch that’s sometimes absent from Powers’ books.
I’m sorry I took so long getting to this one.
It’s another winner.
And I’m also sorry that there’s no more new Powers books for me to read now. I’ll be waiting impatiently for his next one.