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Expiration Dateby Tim Powers
Synopses & Reviews
Los Angeles is filled with ghosts and half-ghosts, and ghost hunters, and ghost junkies chasing each other in a mad quest for immortality. As a series of disasters strikes Los Angeles, a young boy inhales the last breath of Thomas Edison, and becomes a precious prize in a deadly hunt for the elusive vital spark. Brimming with the wild imagination and heart-stopping escapades that won Tim Powers the World Fantasy Award, Expiration Date is an exuberant and inventive tale from one of fantasys most original talents.
A Publishers Weekly Selection, Best Books of 1996
A Locus Award Winner, Best Horror Novel
A Nebula Award Nominee, Best Novel
Los Angeles is filled with ghostsand half-ghosts, and ghost hunters, and ghost junkieschasing each other in a mad quest for immortality. As a series of disasters strikes Los Angeles, a young boy inhales the last breath of Thomas Edison, and becomes a precious prize in a deadly hunt for the elusive vital spark. Brimming with the wild imagination and heart-stopping escapades that won Tim Powers the World Fantasy Award, Expiration Date is an exuberant and inventive tale from one of fantasys most original talents.
"There is much humor in the book, some exciting chase scenes, and some beautifully descriptive writing by the author."VOYA
"A young boy accidentally unleashes the ghost of Thomas Edison on an unsuspecting contemporary Los Angeles."Library Journal
"The playful spirit of Lewis Carroll's Alice books,-"the Old and New Testament for ghosts," as one character in this screwball supernatural comedy puts it-live on in World Fantasy Award-winning Powers's latest dazzler (after Last Call). The ghosts here aren't malevolent specters but lingering essences of the dead that are snorted and ingested by spirit junkies for the rush of memories they yield. When 11-year-old Koot Hoomie Parganas becomes possessed by the ghost of Thomas Alva Edison, a feeding frenzy begins among West Coast ghost eaters eager to absorb the great inventor's genius. Kootie's efforts to elude his pursuers eventually dovetail with electrical engineer Pete Sullivan's quest to prevent his evil stepmother from eating the ghost of his father and thus covering up her complicity in his death. Powers builds this world on a wacky foundation of physics and metaphysics, and he peoples it with eccentrics like Sherman Oaks, a one-armed ghost hunter who detects his quarry with his phantom limb, and Nicky Bradfield, a deceased teen celebrity who subsists entirely on cinnamon candy . . . [The] novel is a minefield of exploding surprises that will have readers convinced that the author has tapped into a more magical reality behind everyday life."Publishers Weekly
"Powers' brand of magic realism has a following of critics and readers who almost universally praised his Last Call. His new novel conjures the gritty underworld of a select group of Southern California addicts. The unusual wrinkle in their addiction is that their drugs of choice are ghosts. In Powers' scenario, the lives of disembodied spirits can be extended indefinitely when they are inhaled, and such spirits are prized collector's items for LA hobo and sometime spirit dealer Sherman Oaks. When runaway preteen Kootie Parganas accidentally sniffs an uncorked test tube found inside a bust of Dante, he not only finds himself haunted by memories of another life, but discovers that his parents have been brutally murdered and their killerOaksis now out after him. Fortunately for Kootie, the spirit he has inhaled is that of Thomas Edison, who, even as a spook, still has plenty of brainstorms left in his arsenal. Powers' quirky vision may baffle fans of more conventional fantasy, but his colorful characters and delightful sense of the absurd should continue to attract new readers."Carl Hays, Booklist
"Expiration Date is fascinating ... Itll have you turning pages as much for his sheer inventiveness as for the plot ... for the remarkable frisson that sparks from the page, the playfulness of the language."Charles de Lint, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
"Expiration Date is Tim Powerss darkest book to date, in both its characters and settings, resulting in a complex, fascinating series of potential disasters. But it is also Kooties story, where terror alternates with sheer nuttiness and even (dare we say it?) hope."Locus
"Expiration Date is a work of fiction so wickedly rooted in real people, places and events that a lot of readers probably will be hitting the history books and biographies to check out the ‘facts in the novel....This is a must-read book for fans of Powers or anyone looking for a truly different work of fantasy."The Orlando Sentinel
A reissue in trade paperback of the 1996 Tor novel.
Growing up in the L.A. of the 1990s, all young Koot Parganas wants is to be normal, but his weird parents won't allow it. They venerate the spirits of dead Mahatmas. Feeling he has no alternative, Koot disobeys his parents and breaks into a bust of Dante and steals a small glass vial that was concealed inside the bust. The vial contains the preserved ghost of Thomas Edison. Now, aided by allies as strange as his enemies, Koot is pursued through the dark underside of the city.
Los Angeles is filled with ghosts--and half-ghosts, and ghost hunters, and ghost junkies--chasing each other in a mad quest for immortality. As a series of disasters strikes Los Angeles, a young boy inhales the last breath of Thomas Edison, and becomes a precious prize in a deadly hunt for the elusive vitalspark. Brimming with the wild imagination and heart-stopping escapades that won Tim powers the World Fantasy Award, Expiration Date is an exuberant and inventive tale from one of fantasy's most original talents.
About the Author
Tim Powers is the astonishingly popular author of The Anubis Gates (winner of the Philip K. Dick Award), On Stranger Tides, The Stress of Her Regard, Last Call, which won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, Earthquake Weather, and Declare. Powers lives in Muscoy, California.
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