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.
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.
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!!!!!
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.
He is a political writer, an iconoclast and sometimes a provocateur ... Osama is a remarkable and ambitious work.
A love story and meditation on heroism, this is an elegiac espionage adventure that demands a second reading.
An emerging master."
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.
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.
Young, ambitious, skilled and original.