Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Having finished Tim Powers' DECLARE: it's worth it. The book delivers on its mystery.

There's a fascinating epilog, too. The book creates a whole mythology around the British spy turncoat Kim Philby. It was interesting to read how Powers came up with the story. He was reading biographies of Philby, and kept running across events that suggested a much more interesting story hidden just behind what was written. Why did Philby weep for two days when his pet fox died -- when he had only wept so much for the death of his father? Why did a Saudi sheik give Philby, as a child, a twenty carat diamond? And what was the real meaning between Solomon's offer to split the baby in two?

Powers set himself a rule, as he constructed the story of DECLARE, to abide by all the historical facts, and only conjure up what was behind them.

Fascinating. Worth a read.



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