Read Dinner at Deviant's Palace by Tim Powers Online

dinner-at-deviant-s-palace

Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award: In a nuclear-ravaged California, a humble musician sets out on a dangerous quest to rescue his lost love from the clutches of a soul-devouring religious cultIn the twenty-second century, the City of Angels is a tragic shell of its former self, having long ago been ruined and reshaped by nuclear disaster. Before he was in a band in Ellay,Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award: In a nuclear-ravaged California, a humble musician sets out on a dangerous quest to rescue his lost love from the clutches of a soul-devouring religious cultIn the twenty-second century, the City of Angels is a tragic shell of its former self, having long ago been ruined and reshaped by nuclear disaster. Before he was in a band in Ellay, Gregorio Rivas was a redeemer, rescuing lost souls trapped in the Jaybirds cult of the powerful maniac Norton Jaybush. Rivas had hoped those days were behind him, but a desperate entreaty from a powerful official is pulling him back into the game. The rewards will be plentiful if he can wrest Urania, the official’s daughter and Gregorio’s first love, from Jaybush’s sinister clutches. To do so, the redeemer reborn must face blood-sucking hemogoblins and other monstrosities on his way to discovering the ultimate secrets of this neo-Californian civilization.One of the most ingeniously imaginative writers of our time, Tim Powers dazzles in an early work that displays his unique creative genius. Alive with wit, intelligence, and wild invention, Dinner at Deviant’s Palace is a mad adventure across a dystopian future as only Tim Powers could have imagined it....

Title : Dinner at Deviant's Palace
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781892284846
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Dinner at Deviant's Palace Reviews

  • karen
    2018-10-28 09:02

    i'm glad i read the introduction to this book before i started. i don't generally, because they tend to give too much away, but this one was a really nice intro from powers himself, reminiscing about when he wrote this book 20 years ago. see, i thought it was a new book when i clicked it on netgalley, and finding out that it was written in his writer-infancy was good to know going into it.not that this is a bad book, or an immature book at all. in fact, it was cool to see that a lot of what is great about tim powers was there, right at the beginning of his career. i have only read his vampire books, but what i was struck by most in them (besides the quality of his research when writing about byron and shelley etc - a rare thing indeed) was the density of his prose. he makes sentences that matter. he is also very good at his world-building, which is impressive enough when you are layering a veil of supernatural explanation over the actions of real people whose lives are well-known and somehow making it seem plausible and not silly, but with this one he has created a whole post-apocalyptic landscape packed with its own creatures and religion and social hierarchy and music, currency, cults, drugs, thugs - the whole package. and it makes sense! not in the way of, "this is probably what will happen in the future," but "these characters are behaving in a way that is consistent with the world in which they live." it's a kind-of, sort-of retelling of the eurydice/orpheus myth, but with some tim powers twists and turns.rivas is a wonderful creation.he is neither hero nor antihero - he exists in that liminal space where he could be both or nether at any given time. his moral code is all grey. he is holding on to the memory of a love he lost years ago, and for her sake he allows himself to be led back into a life he thought he had left behind, enduring pain and danger to rescue her, but he is not at all the selfless hero. he does change along the way, as any character in a journey-narrative will, but it is a transformation that is a combination of redemptive/practical. very grey all around. but he is likable. and he does go through a lot of shit to get the girl. and it is such a hushpad situation, at the end of it all. (if you get that reference, i love you)so, yes - a very good blast-from-the-past book from tim powers, and it will not be the last i read from him. read the book, read the intro, and tell me it isn't adorable when he is remembering the way he came up with the names and groaning at some of his youthful pretensions.in closing, i love the hemogoblins, and the hemogoblin/tumbleweed scene was a killer. brief, but i loved it!!

  • Dan Schwent
    2018-11-03 10:17

    Gregorio Rivas used to be the best redemptionist in the business but now he's just a pelican gunner in a band in Ellay. At least, he was until the Distiller of the Treasury shows up and sends him on a mission: to rescue his daughter from the Jaybirds. Is Rivas still up to the task and can he keep from becoming one of Norton Jaybush's followers?Tim Powers' books are always full of crazy ideas but this one takes the taco. Dinner At Deviant's Palace is a post-apocalyptic story with a level of weirdness that only Tim Powers can deliver. Brandy is used as currency. Bloodsucking monsters called hemogoblins are on the loose. The new Messiah is a rotund madman named Norton Jaybush and his crazed followers are the Jaybirds. Jaybush's sacrament is a weird psychic pulse that gradually erodes the mind of the Jaybird who receives it. There's also a street drug called Blood that is mysteriously similar to the sacrament. I said this was weird, right?Gregorio Rivas goes from being a selfish musician to being something of a hero and has his ass repeatedly handed to him in the process. Powers never seems very sympathetic to his leads and Rivas is no exception.Part of the fun of Dinner At Deviant's Palace is trying to decode what landmarks and cities in California Powers was referring to. Ellay is obviously Los Angeles, for instance.I'd recommend this to all Tim Powers fans and also fans of post-apocalyptic fiction. Rivas isn't as tough as Snake Plissken but he gets the job done.

  • Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
    2018-11-02 08:09

    a pretty good post-apocalyptic tale. It had some truly horrific moments, some neat conceits (I especially liked the hemogoblin - a great name for a blood-sucking parasite) and the typical Powers reluctant hero. It felt a little average compared to his other books, though. Perhaps the setting felt a little dated.

  • Annie
    2018-11-16 10:22

    I’ve been a fan of Tim Powers for years, ever since I read Last Call and Declare. There’s no one else quite like him in fiction. His books are strange and original and fantastical. Reading them is an immersive experience where you have to learn what’s going on with a minimum of expository text; you learn everything from context. Dinner at Deviant’s Palace is not a new book. It was originally published back in the 1980s. But because it was set in a future, post-apocalyptic version of Los Angeles, it doesn’t feel dated at all. Even early in his career, Powers’ style is still well developed and masterly...Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley at review consideration.

  • Jim
    2018-10-19 13:06

    Tim Powers became one of my favorite SF writers due to his book,"Anubis Gates." In this and other books of his that I've read, I've enjoyed his mix of SF and history with supernatural elements added in.In this one, it's another post-apocalyptic setting, although a cut above most of them.Set in L.A. after the bombs were dropped ( it was written in 1985, still during the Cold War), it concerns a mysterious cult which takes away people for a mysterious purpose. The hero is a guy known as a "redemptionist," who rescues people and also deprograms them.So it's interesting to find out more about the cult and its leader and what they are up to. I don't think this one was up to the level of other books of Powers' that I've read. but it still gets ****!

  • Ivana
    2018-11-16 11:21

    Reviewed at: Suite101.Dinner at Deviant's Palace is a lavish, lucid, carefully crafted and extremely fun novel, a novel difficult to put aside, a novel you love to come back to, to listen to the wild music again, to fight the hemogoblin and crazy sect members and the Deviant himself, to be the hero rescuing the damsel in distress, and to fall in love again, while running away with nothing but doughnuts.The review: Dinner at Deviant's Palace by Tim Powers.

  • Sanya Weathers
    2018-10-26 06:06

    It started out as a five star. Great concept, great character, great world building without drowning me in either jargon or Fancy Future Wordz. It was recognizably a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles without hitting me over the head with it.I also loved the plot, and the way the author ratcheted up the tension with the hemogoblin (something that could have easily been pure cheese).In fact, the tension build was marvelously executed on multiple levels, and I think that might have been the problem. I'm not sure he knew where to go once he got it all wound up. I don't think the ending worked, either, not wholly.But absolutely worth a read if you're into post-apocalyptic anything.

  • Sam Reader
    2018-11-13 11:09

    "They can't stand the bitter rain, so they run underneath one of the two awnings--religion or dissipation-- and guess who's waiting for them, under both awnings at once..." - Sevatividam           I freaking love Tim Powers. I'd like to just get that out of the way. The man flings ideas into the air and then makes them collide at high speeds, he helped invent the steampunk genre, and more than that, he tends to write books that unfold at equally high speeds with a lot of substance. Whether it's the Las Vegas sleaze hiding a soul-trading game in Last Call or the drug addiction novel centered around ghost-huffing that is Expiration Date, he manages to deliver. And while his book On Stranger Tides is getting made into a movie in the most terrible and sad way possible, it's still getting made into a movie, and that's kinda cool. Also, due to Tides, every time you see pirates and voodoo together in a movie (or a video game *coughcough* Monkey Island*coughcough*), it's officially Tim Powers' fault.           I first uncovered Dinner at Deviant's Palace in a Bookman's. It had no cover and no plot synopsis, just a simple yellow book in the sci-fi section. Granted, this didn't exactly endear me to it, as I kinda need some kind of synopsis to get an idea of what I'm getting into. Too many books titled things like The Vampires of Venice or things like that only to be about a bunch of war atrocities when I'm not in the mood for them. However, on a train last week, I found a copy of the paperback and dove right in. By three AM the next morning, I was done with the book. I finished it within a day, almost, and I have to say: It's one of the best freaking books I've read. And entirely unexpected as to the central ideas.            The book begins in post-nuke California with Gregorio Rivas, a musician, or "gunner", getting an odd request. One of the richest people in LA, Barrows, has lost a loved one to a religious cult called the Jaybirds. He pays Rivas five thousand "fifths" (playing cards used to represent brandy, the currency of this new world) to infiltrate the cult and bring her back home. You see, Rivas used to be a member of the cult who found out how sinister it actually was and ran away. He's also got a shady past as a "redemptionist", a combination of a cult deprogrammer and bounty hunter who tries to rescue wayward cultists and bring them back to their families by pretending to be cultists. And all of this has to do with his target: Barrows' daughter, Urania-- the former love of Rivas' life and what set him off on such a strange path on the first place. After much internal conflict, Rivas takes the job, infiltrates the Jaybirds to kidnap her back, and battles threats both external and internal in his quest, leading him to the titular event.                           And to top it all off, it's a western about a man doing what has to be done, to save himself and to save others.                        What I liked most about the book is the setting. While it becomes obvious that it's a post-apocalyptic setting where they use Brandy as currency and drive horse-drawn carriages made out of classic cars, it's very well-realized. Venice is presented as a sleazy den of sin with Deviant's Palace rising over it like some insane, nightmarish castle. The Holy City of Irvine is bright and clean from the outside, but filled with poverty and trash on the inside, with everyone being welded into leg-irons and forced to work. It's a world with its own slang, mannerisms, and rules of reality. Powers spent a lot of time on this for a book clocking in at under three hundred pages, and every bit of it shows. Despite the book being a slim, quick read, every page has a new facet of the world, be it the playing card-obsessed "Aces" who ruled the wasteland until an explosion went off and killed the Sixth, the alien intelligence known as Sevatividam, the history of Jaybird leader Norton Jaybush, and so on.               The problem, though, with Deviant's Palace is that it vanishes too far inside its character's own head. WAY too far sometimes. It's fine that we have a great sense of internal conflict, of Rivas fighting that impulse inside of him to join back up with the Jaybirds and let it consume him, but to have him living in his own head breaks immersion a little, like the scenes where he has flashbacks and can't tell past from present. While this sort of thing was merely disorienting and added to hallucinatory qualities in a book such as Private Midnight, it sometimes stops the book dead here, as the action is suddenly interrupted.                In fact, Private Midnight has a lot of similarities with Deviant's Palace. Both are books involving a rather driven man with a curious and dark past encountering a charismatic person who hints at being an otherworldly intelligence. But where one is a hallucinatory and strange tale of identity and how people can change, Deviant's is a book about being unable to run from who you are and knowing that icky, repugnant thing may not be pleasant to look at, but it's a part of you.                 The other problem, and it's not really a problem, is the fantasy elements. It starts out as a post-apocalyptic western about a man fighting a cult, sort of like The Searchers if it was just John Wayne and he had to pretend to be an Apache for half the movie. But then you get the floating thing known as a Hemogoblin that claims to be a part of Rivas, the weirdness behind the "Sacrament", the restorative powers of "Peter and the Wolf" (which just makes me think of Peter Lorre in M), and a climax involving an alien psychic vampire. Or perhaps just some kind of mutant. And while the book should have ended there, you get a strange two-chapter epilogue just to tie up loose ends that didn't really need to be tied up. While the fantasy elements were still cool, and led to a fantastic setpiece, they didn't tie correctly into the book as well as they should have. Also, there's that stupid epilogue.                    But you must read this book. It's a fast, brilliant ride, and while it's ugly and insane in places, it's all part of the charm. Besides, it rips a few satirical targets a good one, and is possibly the best post-apocalyptic and single-character book I've ever read. Rivas, despite starting out as a money-grubbing bastard, turns into a stone-cold badass by the end of the first section, and by the end he's a completely changed man, willing to throw himself in the way if it gets the job done, because his sanity-- and the sanity of his world-- are riding on the consequences. You feel every twist, every turn, and every triumph, and while the epilogue shoehorns a vague romance and tries to end things on a more ambiguous note, it's more than worth a read. 

  • Jacob
    2018-10-30 07:19

    "To sing?" he demanded, his voice shrill with incredulous scorn. "You'd stop saving lives--souls!--to sit in a bar and sing? Oh, but you only did it while you needed the money, isn't that right? And now that you can fiddle for it, everybody else can... can be gutted and skinned, and it won't disturb your self-satisfaction even as much as a wrinkle in your precious costume would, huh? It must be nice to be the only person worthy of your concern."Rivas was a redeemer: someone who was hired to find girls kidnapped by a religious cult and bring them back. But those days are in the rearview; now he earns his dime playing music at the local bar. 31, perpetually drunk, and a bit of sourpuss to boot. He's not interested in getting back into redeeming. But every man has a price, and in Rivas's case, the victim is a girl he loved long ago.Dinner at Deviant's Palace is in dire need of rediscovery. While easily shelved as dystopian, it feels much more like a fantasy with some light steampunk undertones. (If you're as allergic to steampunk as I am, that may sound like a bad thing, but here it works really well--feels organic to the world.)While at its core, it's a simple save-the-princess story, but the world Tim Powers crafts--and the society that inhabits it--is awesome. For much of the book Powers is able to convey an ongoing dread thanks to his primary antagonist (the Jaybirds, a hypnotic religion no one can stop, and its leader, Jaybush) and Rivas himself (a former hot shot redeemer who now feels all too fallible). I don't know that Rivas starts off likable, per se, but he's an engaging presence. And then he becomes likable.Mix all of that with some really snappy prose. It's funny, while also shining light on human nature in a way that's really appealing. Consider:I like the way, thought Rivas in almost honest puzzlement as he settled his knife back in its sleeve sheath and walked on, that every person in the world thinks his or her friendship is worth something.or,"You... damned... idiot.""Aw, Jesus, brother, all I--""Shut up! Say Jaybush if you want to swear!"or,"You need me more than I need you, Rivas. I can--""Then you don't need me at all."I think perhaps Dinner at Deviant's Palace befell the curse of having been released in the wrong decade. Dress it up in a modern cover (and maybe give it a title that doesn't scream Silence of the Lambs ripoff) and it might just start catching some eyes. Because, boy howdy, it deserves more eyes.

  • Jerry
    2018-10-27 12:10

    He leaned back and looked out the window at the sunlit but still damp landscape. To the west he could see a green band that was the edge of the south farms, but to the south was nothing but the spread of tumbled, empty buildings, a scene lost somewhere between cityscape and landscape, animated by rolling tumbleweeds and, once in a while, the ragged figure of a scavenger too weak to venture very far from the Harbor.After some unspecified event or events, California (and most likely the rest of the world) is a collection of semi-city-states; technological knowledge has fallen so far that even making bullets is beyond the ken. People use firearms, telephones, and other technological advancements as mystical props or as primitive clubs. Though turning antique firearms into spring-propelled-dart throwers is a new trend.In this post-apocalyptic milieu we find Gregorio Rivas, a retired Redeemer who now makes a living off of his reputation and by playing the pelican—I think a form of violin—using a gun style like Yngwie Malmsteen.He’s a gunslinger in a very strange world.The reason this world has Redeemers is because of a cult of fanatical Jaybirds run by the mysterious messiah Norton Jaybush. Redeemers are what we would call cult deprogrammers, but the job’s a little more dangerous in Rivas’s world. Before he can start deprogramming a cult victim, he first needs to extract them from Jaybush’s very dangerous minions.The danger is why he retired, and why he refuses to take any new jobs, regardless of the price.Tim Powers has written a very exciting and compelling story around this basic idea. He mirrors our California in his atrophied California, from Los Angeles to Irvine, very well. Gregorio Rivas is a flawed hero; his flaws outnumber his qualities, if he even has any. But he’s also an interesting character in an interesting situation arising in a deranged mirror of a world.

  • Luke Kanies
    2018-10-16 13:06

    Light, fun, and a bit crazyLike so work of Tim Powers's work, this is light, kind of magic, definitely crazy, but downright fun. It got better as the book progressed, and I enjoyed both the dystopian aspects, and the fact that the book really had nothing to do with the dystopian aspects. They were just background.

  • Kieran McAndrew
    2018-11-02 12:01

    Greg Rivas is hired to find and deprogram a rich man's daughter after she joins a dangerous cult. A cult Rivas managed to walk away from years ago.A science fiction wonderland, set in post apocalyptic California, the book pulls readers along at break neck pace as the mystery of the enigmatic Norton Jaybush, cult leader extraordinaire, is exposed.

  • Kevin
    2018-11-05 14:14

    Really enjoyed this one. Going to have to read some more Powers books!

  • Alex
    2018-10-19 11:20

    Pretty solid early Tim Powers, set in Ye Olde Post-Apocalypse. Declare is still by far one of my favorite books.

  • Arsenovic Nikola
    2018-10-18 12:58

    Koliko god se upinjao nisamo mogao dalje od 25 posto knjige. Ovo je tako grozan stil pisanja i pripovedanja da ja jednostavno ne mogu dalje. Preporuka zaobici u sirokom luku

  • Jordi Salazar
    2018-10-30 13:11

    Buen final. Algún problemilla en el world building

  • Kathi
    2018-10-18 09:20

    Post-apocalyptic dystopia from the mid 1980s. Twisted, creative, predictable in some ways and totally unpredictable in others.

  • Thomas
    2018-10-25 08:55

    So, here's an oddity for you: A Tim Powers novel that takes place in the future. I'm so accustomed to Powers using real history to tell a spooky fantasy tale that I was taken by surprise by this book. I mean, I wasn't worried -- Tim Powers is an excellent author to lead you by the hand through his unique imagination -- but my expectations were different.The story here is set in Los Angeles a few hundred years after a nuclear war, where a religion has formed around a mysterious character named Jaybush. The main character, Rivas, is an ex-member of the cult, which puts him in a good position to rescue people from it, and he spent time working as a redeemer, who would go in and retrieve people from the Jaybush cult for the right price. Now, he's a gunner who performs music at bars, but when someone comes in and requests his services as a redeemer to rescue his ex-girlfriend, he finds it hard to say no.Powers uses modern technology in a wasted future to great success. You can see on the cover of the book that one of the characters drives a car led by horses, and at one point in the story, he notes that people still let their vehicles stand, boarded and ready, for a minute or two on cold mornings before flicking the horses' reins to get going. "Toothtalkers" also appear in the novel, as metal-toothed prophets who receive messages from the spirits in their teeth. Our main character, however, tells us that it's been at least ten years since he heard a convincing toothtalker, and even then only on the tops of mountains. He also notes that the amount of metal on modern toothtalkers' teeth is only for show, as the real toothtalkers he remembers only had trace amounts of metal in their teeth. It's a neat riff on what Arthur C. Clarke said: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." These kinds of co-opted technologies set a tone for the novel, where you expect the supernatural elements to somehow tie in to older technologies. As the story progresses, though, it's harder to make that connection, as the pseudo-religious aspects of it defy explanation.Powers' usual straightforward style and characterization is present here, and will be familiar to those who enjoy his books. The plot, though, is a bit substandard. It doesn't feel as tight as his other books I've read, and it seems that Powers relies too much on coincidence to keep the story moving forward. When Rivas finds himself stranded in a big city, he remembers someone he once knew there, and is able to get help from her. She's not mentioned previously in the story, and once she provides assistance, she disappears from the story. This kind of thing happens more than once as the plot gets further and further along, and it didn't sit well with me.The book is a little disappointing, partly because the conclusion seemed a little too ridiculous, and partly because Powers has written some damn fine novels. When Powers releases a mediocre book like this one (especially after the brilliant The Anubis Gates), it becomes one of those "This would have been a great first novel for someone else, but isn't up to the standard Powers has set with his other books" book. On the other hand, I found myself better able to follow what was going on here, which is more than I can say for his well-received The Stress of Her Regard. I can see people wanting to read it, because it's Tim Powers, but I'd save it for last; it's simply not among his best efforts.

  • Sineala
    2018-11-04 07:57

    Tim Powers is an author I have heard a lot of good things about, but I never actually got around to reading anything by him until now. This particular book wasn't one of the ones anyone ever recommended to me, and I'd never heard of it until it went on sale at Amazon. Still, it was on sale, and the sample looked interesting, so I thought I'd give it a try.Dinner at Deviant's Palace is set in a post-apocalyptic (and faintly radioactive) dystopian Los Angeles, but this is not your usual dystopia. I expect, with a setup like that, that the plot of the novel is going to be something that engages directly with the setting in a transformative way -- either the protagonist is going to institute order and bring back prosperity, or they're going to interact with the past and we're going to be treated to Why We Shouldn't Have Bombed Ourselves Into Oblivion. There are more options than those, but you know what I mean, right? We're going to really come to understand and alter the setting.And Dinner at Deviant's Palace... kind of doesn't. The setting is just the setting. You might think this would make it a mediocre book, but I still thought it was really enjoyable, mostly because the setting is so cool. Our hero, Greg Rivas, is a professional musician, though formerly he had a very different career: breaking people out of cults, for money. You see, future LA is in the throes of religious fervor, with many people falling for the siren song of a cult led by a mysterious man named Jaybush whom no one has seen in years. People who enter the cult tend not to come back. Rivas thought he was out of this rescue business, but of course he isn't: he is asked to rescue his ex-girlfriend, and he can't possibly say no to that. Cue a quest across really weird, entertainingly broken southern California, with some even weirder revelations about the nature of the cult along the way.It's two genres that you maybe wouldn't think would work that well together -- the post-apocalyptic travelogue and tales of cult deprogramming -- but they really do, in some kind of strange way. (I gather that most of Powers' work has a similar feel to it.) It's fun. The characters are strong enough to carry the novel, and my complaints are minor: that the epic showdown with the ultimate evil comes off a little unsatisfying in a way I can't quite articulate, and then it feels like the book keeps going for longer than it needs to.I don't think this book is my favorite thing I've ever read, but it was an entertaining way to spend an afternoon, and I'll be on the lookout for more by this author now.

  • Self-propelled
    2018-11-10 07:17

    In this 1985 novel, Powers again displays his talent for conjuring original settings - often skewed versions of our own reality - this time in a wrecked future Los Angeles populated by deluded religious fundamentalists, people traffickers and musicians. Dinner at Deviant's Palace may lack the sinister edge of some of his later books, but its slightly crazed inventiveness is in service to a satisfying quest story.

  • Denis
    2018-10-30 08:16

    I first heard of Tim Powers as being one of the Laser book authors (#28. The Skies Discrowned by Timothy Powers, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72028-9 and #47. Epitaph in Rust by Timothy Powers, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72047-5). It was then I discovered that he was a colleague of Philip K.Dick. This sparked interest. I then heard a recent interview on the CBC radio with Tim Powers and found him to be an intelligent and engaging personality. "Dinner at Deviant's Place" is the first and only Powers novel I've read so far. I did not expect the style to be similar to PKD's and for the most part it was not. In this novel, however, the post-apocalyptic California setting was similar to PKD's non-genre novels and there were bits of true weirdness and elements such as these vampiresque bloodsucking creatures called hemogoblins.However, this novel was hit and miss for me. The overall story is just fine: Gregorio Rivas a musician (song writer and decent pelican player) who had retired from his service of rescuing disciples of a religious cult known as the Jaybirds led by madman Messiah Norton Jaybush (a very Californian idea - as SNL's Drunk Uncle would say in his glass of rye: - "scientologist!") in order to rescue an acquaintance - no, this was actually potential girlfriend of thirteen years before, for a price one could not refuse by her wealthy and powerful father...There are many cool bits and others that were dull and some that made little sense. The treatment of alcohol use, for instance, was utterly bizarre. Not only are fifth of bourbon considered currency, it seems that a stiff drink, of anything at all - beer, tequila... is the cure for every ill including (I think) brainwashing and mental illness. Not since the television show Bewitched (a perhaps the recent Mad Men series) have I seen alcohol treated this way in fiction.Overall, I enjoyed the book and will read more from Tim Powers, though I suspect that this novel is not indicative of his usual or more recent work.

  • Nomadman
    2018-11-14 11:03

    Pretty good tale, this, not one of Powers's best, but a fun read regardless. I was interested to see how Powers would handle what was ostensibly a science fiction story, since he mostly sets his stuff in existing cultures and time periods, albeit warped versions of such. I'm glad to say he pulls it off pretty well. It's clear Powers put a lot of thought into his setting, a post apocalyptic LA and its surrounding environs. Things feel run down but still serviceable. Beer and liquor are the new currency. People with gold teeth are used as mediums due to "voices" they are said to hear. A new cult called the Jaybirds has sprung up in the ruins, seizing people off the streets and turning them into mindless zealots. In response a thriving trade in "redeeming" has appeared, basically freeing the captive before they are wholly taken under the influence of the cultists. The main protagonist, Gregorio Rivas, is a former redeemer turned musician, whiling his hours away playing to packed out crowds while slowly drinking himself into a stupor. Pretty typical Powers's anti-hero really, though a good bit younger and fresher than Brian Duffy and the like. Needless to say, his former life catches up to him in the form of an old enemy whose daughter, an old flame of Rivas's, has been captured. Much of the rest of the book follows his several abortive attempts to get the man's daughter back (and perhaps pick up from where things left off) during which time he learns the truth about the Jaybirds and its sinister leader, Norton Jaybush. The story cracks along at a fair old pace, and while it lacks a little of the staggering inventiveness of his better known works, it never quite loses the plot either (something that Powers has been guilty of in the past). Good, fun work. Worth seeking out.

  • Nicolas
    2018-11-11 07:13

    Le palais du déviant est un roman de Tim Powers dans lequel on suit les aventures d’un ancien héros (oui, enfin bon, son boulot n’importait guère, mais il sauvait des jeunes en détresse et, globalement, était apprécié) qui repart pour le souvenir d’un ancien amour. Pour être clair, c’est sans doute le plus faible des romans de Powers que j’ai lu. Dans ce roman, on retrouve en partie le mélange qui a fait le succès des voies d’Anubis, mais sans beaucoup d’inspiration. En effet, le héros vogue de mésaventure en mésaventure, aussi variées les unes que les autres, mais sans réelle unité. De plus, le décor post-apocalyptique est pour le moins décevant. Hors un résidu de Los Angeles, il n’y a qu’une morne plaine, évidement radioactive, à se mettre sous la main. Et tout ça pour quoi ? Pour aller sortir une donzelle d’une secte (au début) avant de se rendre compte que ce morceau de terre n’est finallement qu’un rêve incarné, bien malgré le rêveur. Bref, j’ai été bien déçu, et je ne recommande pas cette lecture.

  • Jamie Henderson
    2018-10-26 12:56

    This is the second Tim Powers book I've read and I feel like I'm noticing a pattern. The first full 3rd of this book is basically setup. Powers attempts to wrap it in a story but the story drags around a lot because of all the setup points Powers needs to hit before he actually gets to the meat of the story. The main story is a very interesting concept and the world Powers has built is detailed and facinating. Unfortunately, I think the story only makes for about a novella piece of work and Powers should trust his readers more that we don't have to have everything laid out for us so intricately. This and the other book I read (THE ANUBIS GATES) are relatively early works; so, I will probably continue reading Powers to see how he develops. In both books there are a lot of signs of a very interesting author -- interesting characters, fantastic world-building, unusal and intriguing magic/supernatural systems. And these elements are woven together into interesting stories, at their heart. But, it's my opinion that the first 3rd of DINNER AT DEVIANT'S PALACE is so slow going that I'm not sure the pay-off is worth it.

  • Andy Phillips
    2018-10-31 12:14

    This is essentially an adventure story set in Los Angeles in a time that appears to be a few generations after a nuclear war. The war has left most things relatively intact but there are references to radiation causing mutations, a submarine glowing crater where LAX airport used to be, 'hot' areas around the city and so on. Some modern day technology is still just about it use, but everything is decaying and in ruins. There is a functioning society but there is clearly a problem with bandits, slavery etc.All of this is just a backstory. The main character is a musician and 'redeemer'. This is hard to explain but is basically someone who rescues people from a brainwashing religious cult that has gained significant power. Most of the story follows an attempt to retrieve the hero's first crush from when he was a teenager. What follows always feels self-consistent but features some slightly bizarre goings-on that put the book firmly in the fantasy category. It's an entertaining and well written book.

  • José Miguel
    2018-10-19 13:54

    Un poco de nostalgia de los buenos libros de mi juventud me llevo a abrir esta novela de Tim Powers. O bien tengo idealizada alguna de sus obras de mis tiempos mozos, que lo dudo, (Las puertas de Anubis, En Costas Extrañas y La fuerza de su mirada entre otras), o bien este libro no llega al nivel de los anteriores. Quizás la mezcla de historia con la fantástica imaginación de Tim hace mas increíbles estas otras obras, novelas en las que tiene que jugar con hechos conocidos reales y sus invenciones tan estrambóticas. En este caso, al ser un mundo nuevo, sin el ancla de un marco histórico bien conocido y con un montón de conceptos nuevos, que siguen siendo una genialidad por parte del autor, pero que limitan la obra a eso, una fantasía. De todas formas cuando comparas algo bueno con algo muy bueno siempre sale perdiendo lo primero. He disfrutado de la obra y su lectura, interesante idea, bien desarrollada con unos personajes muy trabajados y un desarrollo correcto.Cena en el palacio de la discordia. Interesante para los amantes de los mundos postapocalípticos.Nota: 7

  • astaliegurec
    2018-11-06 08:17

    Well, Tim Powers' 1985 Philip K. Dick Award winning "Dinner at Deviant's Palace" is certainly different. Not only is it really weirdly interesting, it's even different from most of Powers' other books. In general, his stories are based on actual historical events where he applies twists between the recorded facts. In this book, he's produced a future dystopia novel and added a lot of his kind of twists. It's really well done. A bit of a warning, though: the main character is not exactly a pleasant person. There's a very good reason for this, so bear with it. Also, he tends to suffer a bit of damage, so that's a bit disconcerting, too. Still, I rate the book at a Very Good 4 stars out of 5.

  • Allie
    2018-11-08 10:57

    Dinner at Deviant’s Palace is a strange post-nuclear science fiction novel from a skilled storyteller. The wasteland of California feels well-developed, and increasingly strange details crop up as the plot progresses. Greg Rivas begins on a quest to redeem his long-lost ex-girlfriend from a dangerous cult, but his journey will force him to face some difficult truths about himself and the world he lives in. This story feels a little more dated than some of Powers other novels, but I still enjoyed it thoroughly.Full review on my blog!

  • The
    2018-11-06 10:55

    Great FunThis was very entertaining. I have read and enjoyed quite a few books from this author and though the plot is a lot simpler than some of his other work there is still a lot going on, possibly too much at times!There was plenty of humour and the setting was very well realised and creative. Though the essential plot was fairly linear there were plenty of interesting detours and it wasn’t that predictable. There were some great set piece scenes and everything generally made sense. The protagonist was a fully developed character and some of the more villainous people in the book were fascinating. Essentially this was a very enjoyable and fast paced fun read.

  • Phil Zimmerman
    2018-10-21 09:52

    I have read a lot of Tim Powers this year and most of it has been very good. Dinner at Deviant's Palace was still good but not quite on the same level as Stress of Her Regard or Drawing in the Dark. I think the main reason I was a little disappointed was it lacked the Power's trademark of the alternate/secret history. This story is pure fiction. Granted the places in Ellay are real, but none of the characters seem to be.The story of Greg Rivas trying to rescue Uri from Norton Jaybush is good, and entertaining but since the book was written by Power, I found myself wanting a little more.Worth the read, after you have hit most of Tim Power's high points.