Salvage and Demolition
by Tim Powers
Cover Artist: J.K. Potter
Review by Gayle Surrette
Subterranean Press Hardcover Trade / Limited ISBN/ITEM#: 9781596065154
Date: 31 January 2013
Richard Blanzac bought a box of possibilities. Well, at first it looked like a box of junk, but as a rare book dealer, Blanzac knows that one man's junk may be another's great find. And there were a couple of rare finds in the box -- and a manuscript. Little did he know that the manuscript would change his life in ways that he never could have imagined.
You never know what you'll get with a Tim Powers story. With some authors that might mean that you can't be sure of the quality. With Tim Powers that means you have no idea what the story will be about no matter how mundane the beginning or where you'll end up at the end. Salvage and Demolition begins as a possible nourishing book-related mystery similar to The Ninth Gate -- after all Powers tends to pull literary and historical events into his work. You do get some historical references, time travel, a nihilistic cult, famous poets, science fiction references, and more.
What you really have is a story that you won't be able to put down once you start because you'll have to know what happens next. I read the advanced reader copy which had some interesting illustrations that added to the mood and tension of the story at the beginning of each chapter.
If you want a taste of Tim Powers style of writing without committing to a novel, this would be a story to start with. If you're already a fan, you'll want to read Salvage and Demolition and add it to your collection of Powers works.