The Violent Century
By Lavie Tidhar
They'd never meant to be heroes.
John le Carré meets Alan Moore's The Watchmen in this stunning novel by one of science fiction's most original voices.
For seventy years they guarded the British Empire. Oblivion and Fogg, inseparable friends, bound together by a shared fate. Until one night in Berlin, in the aftermath of the Second World War, and a secret that tore them apart.
But there must always be an account... and the past has a habit of catching up to the present.
Now, recalled to the Retirement Bureau from which no one can retire, Fogg and Oblivion must face up to a past of terrible war and unacknowledged heroism - a life of dusty corridors and secret rooms, of furtive meetings and blood-stained fields - to answer one last, impossible question: What makes a hero?
'Espionage inhabits a sort of parallel universe. Lavie Tidhar has taken this idea and run with it, creating a sophisticated, moving and gripping take on 20th century conflicts and our capacity for love and hate, honour and betrayal.' Daily Mail
Lavie Tidhar is the World Fantasy Award winning author of Osama, of The Bookman Histories trilogy and many other works. He also won the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, for Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God, and was nominated variously for BSFA, Campbell, Sturgeon, Kitschies and Sidewise awards. He grew up on a kibbutz in Israel and in South Africa and currently resides in London.
Lavie can be found online at http://lavietidhar.wordpress.com or on twitter @lavietidhar.
- Other details
- Publication date:
24 Oct 2013
- Page count:
Hodder & Stoughton
An emerging master." — Locus
Young, ambitious, skilled and original. — Christopher Priest, author of The Prestige.
He is a political writer, an iconoclast and sometimes a provocateur ... Osama is a remarkable and ambitious work. — China Mieville on Osama.
Where do heroes come from? How are friendships made? What makes us human? These are the questions that Lavie Tidhar grapples with, in this story of friendship writ large upon a canvas that stretches from the 1930s to the present day, in a slightly alternate world where superheroes exists, but heroics mean different things to different people. Choices made in the second world war resonate down through a series of brilliantly detailed cold war scenes, ultimately wrestling with the idea of the self. This is a big, ambitious book that manages to deliver. — Glen Mehn, http://glen.mehn.net/2013/08/100-word-review-the-violent-century-by-lavie-tidhar/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=100-word-review-the-violent-century-by-lavie-tidhar
vintage Lavie, and also I think his most fully accomplished novel yet. Nobody rides that fast-rolling wave separating schlocky pulp and serious literary sensibilities so deftly as Tidhar. He manages to make serious points about the benighted twentieth-century and its obsession with 'supermen' without ever letting the narrative slacken or the adventure pale. If Nietzche had written an X-Men storyline whilst high on mescaline, it might have read something like VIOLENT CENTURY. — Adam Roberts, author of Jack Glass, blurb
An alternative history tour-de-force. Epic, intense and authentic. Lavie Tidhar reboots the 20th century with spies and superheroes battling for mastery - and the results are electric. — Tom Harper, author of THE ORPHEUS DESCENT, blurb
Dig it, kats and kittens: THE VIOLENT CENTURY is a brilliantly etched phantasmagoric reconfiguring of that most sizzling of eras - the twilight 20th. Lavie Tidhar lays it out like a dystopian dog!!! This book has it ALL: time travel, political intrigue, hellacious history itself!!! You've got superheroes in the guise of regular humans, you've got World War II!!! Viva Lavie Tidhar - "The Violent Century" is a torrid tour de force!!!!! — James Ellroy
Tidhar has written a fantastic novel... I can't wait to read Osama and anything else of his that I can get my hands on... Definitely recommended. — Civilian Reader
A love story and meditation on heroism, this is an elegiac espionage adventure that demands a second reading. — Metro
Provides an insight into what it takes to be human, and what can happen when we lay that humanity aside. It's a powerful novel, which will no doubt reward rereading. — Sci-Fi bulletin