Medusa's Web
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Medusa's Web

3.58 (862 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

From the award-winning author of Hide Me Among the Graves, Last Call, Declare, and Three Days to Never, a phantasmagoric, thrilling, mind-bending tale of speculative fiction in which one man must uncover occult secrets of 1920s Hollywood to save his family.

In the wake of their Aunt Amity's suicide, Scott and Madeline Madden are summoned to Caveat, the eerie, decaying mansion in the Hollywood hills in which they were raised. But their decadent and reclusive cousins, the malicious wheelchair-bound Claimayne and his sister, Ariel, do not welcome Scott and Madeline's return to the childhood home they once shared. While Scott desperately wants to go back to their shabby South-of-Sunset lives, he cannot pry his sister away from this haunted "House of Usher in the Hollywood Hills" that is a conduit for the supernatural.

Decorated by bits salvaged from old hotels and movie sets, Caveat hides a dark family secret that stretches back to the golden days of Rudolph Valentino and the silent film stars. A collection of hypnotic eight-limbed abstract images inked on paper allows the Maddens to briefly fragment and flatten time--to transport themselves into the past and future in visions that are both puzzling and terrifying. Though their cousins know little about these ancient "spiders" which provoke unpredictable temporal dislocations, Ariel and Claimayne have been using for years--an addiction that has brought Claimayne to the brink of selfish destruction.

As Madeline falls more completely under Caveat's spell, Scott discovers that to protect her, he must use the perilous spiders himself. But will he unravel the mystery of the Madden family's past and finally free them. . . or be pulled deeper into their deadly web?
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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 160 x 234 x 30mm | 499g
  • English
  • 0062262459
  • 9780062262455
  • 770,722

Back cover copy

A phantasmagoric, thrilling, mind-bending tale of speculative fiction in which one man must uncover occult secrets of 1920s Hollywood to save his family

In the wake of their Aunt Amity's suicide, Scott and Madeline Madden are summoned to Caveat, the eerie, decaying mansion in the Hollywood hills in which they were raised. But their decadent and reclusive cousins, the malicious wheelchair-bound Claimayne and beautiful, bitter Ariel, do not welcome Scott and Madeline's return to the childhood home they all once shared. While Scott desperately wants to go back to their south-of-Sunset lives, he cannot pry his sister away from this haunted "House of Usher in the Hollywood Hills" that is a conduit for the supernatural.

Decorated by bits salvaged from old hotels and movie sets, Caveat hides a dark family secret that stretches back to the golden days of Rudolph Valentino and the silent film era. A collection of hypnotic eight-limbed abstract images inked on paper allows the Maddens to briefly fragment and flatten time--to transport themselves into the past and future in visions that are puzzling, terrifying, and mesmerizing. Though their cousins know little about these ancient "spiders" that provoke unpredictable temporal dislocations, Ariel and Claimayne have been using them for years--an addiction that has brought Claimayne to the brink of solipsistic destruction.

As Madeline falls more completely under Caveat's spell, Scott discovers that to protect her, he must use the dangerous spiders himself. But will he unravel the mystery of the Madden family's history and finally free them from the past . . . or be pulled deeper, perhaps permanently, into the deadly web?

Blending real-life historical and fictional characters with the otherworldly, Medusa's Web is a vivid, chilling, fast-paced read that once again demonstrates multiple-award-winning novelist Tim Powers's imaginative brilliance.

Critics Hail Tim Powers

"A writer of extraordinary imaginative powers."--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"[A] fine example of the work of a much-beloved author, and a spooky ride through Victorian London to boot. . . . Powers's work engages with something prerational that is buried deep, deep in our brains, and that won't be bullied into submission by mere reason."--boingboing.com on Hide Me Among the Graves

"A fascinating exploration of the fine line between inspiration and insanity, this horror/historical fiction/adrenaline blend will make your flesh creep and your heart pound."--Library Journal on Hide Me Among the Graves

"A genre-bending thriller . . . endlessly inventive . . . [with] imaginative leaps and relentless pacing."--New York Times Book Review on Three Days to Never

"Brio, bravado and a salutary measure of lunacy. . . . A postmodern work par excellence."--Washington Post Book World on Three Days to Never

"Dazzling . . . a tour de force, a brilliant blend of John le Carré spy fiction with the otherworldly."--Dean Koontz on Declare

"Powers orchestrates reality and fantasy so artfully that the reader is not allowed a moment's doubt throughout this tall tale."--The New Yorker on Declare
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Review quote

"This novel is as weird as anything Powers has written, but he maintains his usual skillful way of making even the most surreal twists compulsively readable."--Library Journal
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Rating details

862 ratings
3.58 out of 5 stars
5 17% (145)
4 39% (335)
3 32% (272)
2 11% (95)
1 2% (15)
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