Diana Krall's incredible cover of Tom Waits' Temptation is without compare.
Flattery, lies and attraction seem ever present for Guyla Krúdy's ghostly Sindbad, but is this love? This brilliant collection of stories, translated by George Szirtes, is a melancholy time capsule from the fading Habsburg empire.
Sindbad is a centuries old ghost who lives in a crypt. It is not clear how he got there, but he is compelled to visit the women he has loved. These stories don't so much have a plot, they all revolve around Sindbad's fascination with and visitation of his former loves. Instead each short communicates various shades of attraction, desire, vanity, lust and despair. They are as poetry.
I particularly enjoyed the tale of Rozina. One moment she loves and can not imagine life without Sindband, the next brutally throws him out. It teaches him to hate mice.
James P. Blaylock's Knights of the Cornerstone is a light, nostalgic contemporary fantasy steeped in legend. Blaylock is a master of this genre.
Cartoonist Calvin Bryson receives an odd package that causes him to return to his family's home in New Cypress, on the borders of California, Arizona and Nevada. Secrets buried for generations come to the surface as Calvin joins the remnant of the Knights Templar to defeat an occultist, and defend what may be the real shroud of Turin.
This isn't the headiest or heaviest of work by Blaylock, but it is damn fine! I read it in an hour or so and was completely engrossed. Blaylock's work solo, and with Tim Powers, adds incredible fantasy to very familiar landscapes. If you haven't read any of his work, this is a good place to start. Then I suggest moving on to On Pirates, I wish I could find my copy.
Amazing how little some things change.
Tim Powers' novella, Salvage and Demolition, is a film noir love story showing time travel may not be neat and orderly. I read it in one sitting.
Rare book dealer Richard Blanzac receives a several box from the estate of a failed beat poet, Sophie Greenwald. The contents of the books sends him back in time, several times, each trip landing a few hours before the last. Can he solve the mystery, running through time in reverse? Can two people fall in love in a matter of hours? Hours spent out of order?
As always, Powers gives you exactly the right information to make you feel at home in his San Francisco, 1950s or present day. His take on film noir is spot on, not parody. A short story like this leaves me wanting to re-read his other work.