Nie chcieli zostać bohaterami.
Bronili Imperium Brytyjskiego przez siedemdziesiąt lat. Oblivion i Fogg, nierozłączni przyjaciele powiązani wspólnym przeznaczeniem. Aż do pewnej nocy w Berlinie, kiedy rozdzieliła ich wojna i tajemnica.
Jednakże przeszłość potrafi dogonić każdego.
Wezwani ponownie do Biura Spraw Przestarzałych – instytucji, dla której żadna sprawa nie staje się przestarzała – Fogg i Oblivion muszą stawić czoło pamięci o straszliwej wojnie, nieupamiętnionych aktach heroizmu oraz życiu w dusznych korytarzach i zamkniętych pokojach, gdzie odbywają się potajemne spotkania. Muszą się z tym wszystkim zmierzyć, by znaleźć odpowiedź na pytanie ostateczne:
Co czyni bohatera?
THE VIOLENT CENTURY is published in the UK by Hodder. Here’s the English-language synopsis…
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?
Here’s just a selection from the aforementioned critical acclaim the novel has received…
‘A brilliantly etched phantasmagoric reconfiguring of that most sizzling of eras – the twilight 20th… This book has it all: time travel, political intrigue, hellacious history… You’ve got superheroes in the guise of regular humans, you’ve got World War II … THE VIOLENT CENTURY is a torrid tour de force!’ — James Ellroy
‘THE VIOLENT CENTURY… may be his best yet: a blistering alt-historical retelling of a 20th century lousy with superheroes.’ — The Guardian, Best SFF of 2013
‘While perhaps not as politically loaded as OSAMA, Tidhar’s THE VIOLENT CENTURY… is no less powerful. He imagines a world where superheroes are real. But while the Americans go for the brash costumes and public displays of power, Tidhar’s British heroes – primarily Oblivion and Fog – operate in the shadows, and bear witness to the major events of the 20th century in what is quite simply a stunning masterpiece.’ — The Independent
‘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 THE VIOLENT CENTURY.’ — Adam Roberts, author of Jack Glass
‘Something like John le Carré, not as a matter of slavish imitation so much, but rather as an evocation of darkness, idealism turning to exhaustion, and moral ambiguity… It’s hard, but not impossible as Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Mike Carey and others have shown, to create a morally complex, artistically ambitious story based on characters whose origins are not that far removed from the simplicity of Superman, Spiderman, and their ilk. Tidhar has succeeded brilliantly in this task. THE VIOLENT CENTURY is a masterful example of alternate universe science fiction and can only add to its author’s rapidly growing reputation.’ — Los Angeles Review of Books
‘The level of detail with which Tidhar fills his novel ensures that the events he is using as his setting feel convincing. Like Le Carre’s best novels, the world of espionage isn’t glamorous or exciting; it’s a grim, cold and lonely place. The author does a lot with a relatively minimalist style, and he envelops us in Transylvanian forests with Count Dracula’s transformed descendant and the frozen battleground of Minsk without ever slowing down… it’s impressive how much ground Tidhar covers. At the centre of this is the question, ‘What makes a hero?’ The supermen of Tidhar’s novel are forced to commit terrible acts in the name of the greater good, and stand by and watch as terrible acts are committed for the same reason. As well as being a wonderfully drawn and detailed historical espionage tale, THE VIOLENT CENTURY is ultimately a very human story. It’s gripping, imaginative and, finally, moving.’ — SciFi Now
MAG have also published Lavie’s World Fantasy Award-winning OSAMA.