Sunday, September 09, 2012

The Bible Repairman and Other Stories

When I heard from Larry that Tim Powers had a new short story collection out (The Bible Repairman and Other Stories), I picked it up on the Kindle during a trip after searching the local library catalog.

The title story sucked me in through the sample. Now, you have to be in the right mood to read a Tim Powers story, so you can't just plow them through and chew them up like candy. But that's not a bad thing. It means that you can keep the book on your Kindle, munching on one story as you get into the mood. All the last stories have at least one used book dealer or writer as one of the characters. While writers probably will never go out of business as long as there are stories to be told, the used book dealer or rare book collector is probably the last of a dying breed, and I wonder if these stories will make sense 50 years in the future.

The big surprise was that the last story in the book is in some sense a sequel to The Stress of Her Regard, one of Power's best but least known work. (Hardcover editions are selling for over $100 on Amazon) It's a long, satisfying story and well worth the cost of the book alone, but wouldn't be as good if you hadn't read the aforementioned novel. In any case, reading the story made me want to run out and buy the novel so I can read it again.

Recommended.
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