Scott Crane abandoned his career as a professional poker player 20 years ago and hasn’t returned to Las Vegas, or held a hand of cards, in 10 years. But troubling nightmares about a strange poker game he once attended on a houseboat on Lake Mead are drawing him back to the magical city. For the mythic game he believed he won did not end that night in 1969—and the price of his winnings was his soul. Now, a pot far more strange and perilous than he ever could imagine depends on the turning of a card.
Enchantingly dark and compellingly real, this World Fantasy Award–winning novel is a masterpiece of magic realism set in the gritty, dazzling underworld known as Las Vegas..
©1992 Tim Powers (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“A dizzying, stimulating magnum opus.” (USA Today)
“Brilliant! Compelling and satisfying! Tim Powers is one of our best writers, and Last Call is his best book yet.” (Raymond E. Feist)
“Distinctive and commanding…a strikingly inventive novel.” (Publishers Weekly)
The book is fantastic and complex and highly enjoyable. Tense, mystic and modern.
The reader actually got quieter when narrating gunshots and people shouting. That choice made no sense at all and really detracted from the mood.
I love this book and have read it multiple times in the past 20+ years but this is the first time I've listened to it. Bronson Pinchot does a good job overall but there are a couple of characterizations that just don't work for me, where he was too far off the sense of the character in my own head. I figure this is the risk when you listen to a well-known and well-beloved book and probably will impact very few other listeners.
I am a huge Bronson Pinchot fan, which is why I gave this a listen. He does not disappoint, and the writing is good. But the story is very dark and felt incomplete, as though I were missing some background that would have made it less of a struggle to follow.
In the story, there is some great cosmic reality that touches on anything involved with games of chance, particularly those involving cards. A periodic super-game of poker determines the flavor of the world that follows, depending on who wins. The anti-hero and the villain, the winner from the last game, are vying for that spot even before the game takes place, giving us a moderately action-packed lead-in to the climax. Between disappointed hopes of personal connections and unexpected losses, though, it felt a bit flat.
Still may be worthwhile for dedicated Pinchot listeners. May you get it better than I did.
Characters were interesting and narration was good however the episodes just dragged out too long. For me it was like watching a 3 star movie on the edge of my seat waiting for something to happen. I gave up 3/4 of the way in. I may try again later.
Having read the print version twice, I would recommend it over the audio version.
The final show-down on Lake Mead was both thrilling and made very visual. The image of the fool (Dondi) dancing on the "tower" while the water bubbled and hell was breaking loose was amazing. The last scene of Crane and his father was actually quite moving.
Every time Pinchot whispered, I wanted to throttle him. I had to hit the rewind and jack the sound up as loud as it would go in order to hear, then of course, immediately turn the sound back down when he was done. His female voices are, literally, weak, as he delivers his feminine voices with reedy, light tones that make them sound slow-witted.
No; it is too much to absorb. It is such an original book that I prefer to let in sink in more slowly.
Nothing could lift this to that level.
The lack of any association with credibility. Characters that are supposed to be crazy strive to be so crazy that they aren't believable in any sense. This feels more like an plot outline strung together by stream of consciousness verbiage than a cohesive story. It seeks to be be intellectually entertaining but just keeps being weird, outlandish and unbelievable. He never develops the story, the history or the "magic" enough for you to buy into the things that he has happen to the protagonists. Feels like a bunch of dungeons and dragons guys sat around saying "what if next everything is ....." and tried to weave it into a plot.
The main character seemed accessible and engenders empathy.
Tim Powers Makes Poker games into engaging action scenes.
The magic in the book is mysterious, ever-present, used very well. The whole world is a part of the system, like they belong together.
The book is great, but I was dieing for it to end. It does drag a bit. However, I blame that on the narrator. You need a powerful reader voice to drive you through a 20+ hour book.
Read the book, not the audio - if you can. This Book is so good. WORTH IT.
Say something about yourself!
I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn't finish it. So many reviewers were crazy about this author and I hadn't "read" one of his before. I found the book because I love the narrator and was searching for more books that he read. I like weird. I can read fantasy, magic, and sci-fi, but for some reason this didn't work for me. There is a lot of action going on and you mustn't let your mind wander for a minute! There is so much information in there that is delivered so fast that I couldn't keep up and then, eventually, gave up. I found myself confused for the whole first section.
It seems to be a decent story... the reader is not the best and that always makes it hard to get thru a book... The story has many twists and turns and not all of them come clear (at least to me)... very interesting take on cards and I would never have thought of it.. so very interesting wish the reader was better... decent book
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