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John Gwynne studied and lectured at Brighton University. He's been in a rock 'n' roll band, playing the double bass, travelled the USA and lived in Canada for a time.
Most of Powers' novels are "secret histories". He uses actual, documented historical events featuring famous people, but shows another view of them in which occult or supernatural factors heavily influence the motivations and actions of the characters.
Typically, Powers strictly adheres to established historical facts. He reads extensively on a given subject, and the plot develops as he notes inconsistencies, gaps and curious data; regarding his 2001 novel Declare, he stated,
I made it an ironclad rule that I could not change or disregard any of the recorded facts, nor rearrange any days of the calendar – and then I tried to figure out what momentous but unrecorded fact could explain them all.
This book is a lot like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, except instead of a ring you have a couch. And instead of hobbits you have a computer programmer who is allergic to wheat, a conman, and a wire bending psychic. And instead of the Shire, you have Portland. Also, not so much with the epic poetry. But other than that...
originally posted by: TerryMcGuire
a reply to: ColoradoJens
I read Dinner straight off the shelf in 86. It was unsettling. Not as unsettling as some of the Lovecraft I had read in that Dinner was not as much the demons of myth but the demons in humanity, stretched into human monsters due to the apocalypse . Of course it likely will have lost it's edge now because post-apocalyptic stuff is common fare.