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Three Days to Never Mass Market Paperback – November 27, 2007

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (November 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380798379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380798377
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,715,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Powers (Declare) delivers another top-notch supernatural spy thriller. When Frank Marrity's grandmother dies unexpectedly during 1987's New Age Harmonic Convergence, his 12-year-old daughter, Daphne, steals a videotape from the old woman's Pasadena house that turns out to be a Chaplin film long believed lost. Before Daphne can finish watching the film, its powerful symbolism awakens a latent pyrokinetic ability in her that burns the tape. Frank later discovers letters that prove his grandmother was Albert Einstein's illegitimate daughter. This comes to the attention of a special branch of the Mossad specializing in the Kabbalah as well as a shadowy Gnostic sect interested in a potential weapon discovered by Einstein that he didn't offer to FDR during WWII—a weapon more terrible in its way than the atomic bomb. In typical Powers fashion, his characters' spiritual need to undo past sins or mistakes propels the ingenious plot, which manages to be intricate without becoming convoluted, to its highly satisfying conclusion. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Tim Powers's fiction has consistently defied description for three decades. Three Days to Never is no exception, with its "off-the-wall-yet-vaguely-plausible scenario" (San Francisco Chronicle). Powers, whose previous novels include Declare (2000), The Anubis Gates (1983), and a trilogy exploring the Fisher King myth, combines fantasy, thriller, and historical fiction in a novel that will win new fans for the author, even if Powers disciples will recognize some of the material and tricks from earlier books. Still, most critics agree with the sentiment of The Denver Post, which deems Powers's latest effort "the summer sleeper hit of 2006."

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It's a great thriller, a great ride.
Michael Devereaux
It's almost as if he had ideas for three different books and found them all too slight to develop on their own, so he mashed them all into a single story.
Reluctant Consumer
The story is absolutely gripping, of the can't-put-it-down variety, and it is interwoven with parallels and references to Shakespeare's _The Tempest_.
Atara Stein

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By J. Brian Watkins VINE VOICE on September 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I find nothing quite so thought provoking as a good time-travel story and Three Days to Never ranks among the best I've encountered. It is presented in a mystery/thriller format but with the intriguing twist that paranormal phenomena have been as well developed as more recognizable physics; such as relativity. Instead of Men in Black running around hiding alien technology we have shadowy secret agents using psychics the way the NSA uses computers. A nice wrinkle.

My pet peeve with mysteries is that an author is often either so cryptic that you never really figure out what was going on or presents a story so transparent that you have it figured out half way through. Powers succeeds at bringing the reader forward at just the right pace and at building a solid and satisfying moral conclusion that makes you think after you have finished the story.

What happens when the past can be changed? Should the past be tampered with? This story presents a classic time-travel theme; a causality violation, which is the fancy term (I think) for what happens if you go back in time and shoot yourself or a direct ancestor--thereby making your own existence impossible. Powers takes an interesting angle on the problem; drawing from Einstein and following recent scientific speculation he simply adds a dimension to our current understanding.

But perhaps the best aspect of this story is its treatment of the question of free will--can we ever make up for poor choices? Ends justify the means? Is it ever possible to remove someone from the world completely? Do private choices have public effects? If you could go back and talk to your younger self and know that bad choices will have a terrible effect on a future you is it wise to try?

Having just finished this book, I'm still sorting out the ideas presented, but regardless--it was well written and I look forward to reading more of Mr. Powers work.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on September 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
But in Three Days to Never, men will try. (Modest spoilers here.)

It is near lunacy, or at least a sure road to regret, to attempt to review a Tim Powers book too soon after reading it, but here goes anyway. Fortunately, with Amazon, one doesn't need a time machine -- just the edit button. I cannot quite say why I liked Declare and Last Call much more than I liked Earthquake Weather or Expiration Date. Nor can I exactly put my finger on why I thought Three Days is more like the latter and not like the former. I suppose it's the superficial similarities to the last two installments of the Last Call Trilogy -- freaky astral projecting weirdos with crazy artifacts and devices chasing the good guys through SoCal to capture the essence of long-dead luminaries.

Digging more deeply, I think what I loved about Declare was that Powers perfectly balanced his story with his attempt to fit historical events into a new puzzle. And similarly, the supernatural elements seemed in Declare (as in Last Call) to compliment the rest of the goings on, not overwhelm them. I think I think that neither is true in Three Days. The attempt to bend the story around the true details of Einstein's existence (and some unexplained Charlie Chaplin events) seems almost forced and not natural. And the supernatural crazies become overwhelming by the end.

I believe that those with a good working knowledge of Shakespear's the Tempest or the biographical details of Einstein's life will appreciate this novel a bit more than I did. Then again, I knew very little about the Wasteland or Kim Philby's life, but still adored, respectively, Last Call and Declare. The book also suffers from one of the problems that I think no time-travel novel can avoid.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Theo Logos on September 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Tim Powers is the only living writer of speculative fiction who regularly excites my interest, so I had been eagerly anticipating reading his latest effort, `Three Days To Never'. While I agree with others who have stated that it is not among his strongest work, it still looms far above most of what currently passes for speculative fiction, and did not disappoint me. I consumed the book in a day, and it was a most satisfying experience.

Powers does a couple of things better than anyone else I know of working in his genre. The first is to accurately portray human character across its full range of possibilities. His protagonists are almost always flawed, sometimes deeply, and his villains sometimes show discomforting traces of goodness. While he strongly hints that there are absolutes of good and evil in his universe, his human characters always have a certain amount of moral ambiguity, and you sense that his heroes are never too far from crossing the line and falling to the estate of his most monstrous bad guys. In `Three Days To Never', Powers illustrates this more starkly than ever before by using the possibilities of a time travel plot to double one of his characters and use him as both hero and villain - showing the extremes of both nobility and depravity that can exist in all of us.

The other feat at which Powers excels is in creating a fascinating and consistent universe that encompasses nearly all of his writing. The world he writes of is a world we recognize as our own, yet tilted oddly askew - refocused through an eldritch lens and given an arcane, funhouse feel.
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