A bold experiment has mutated a small fraction of humanity. Nations race to harness the gifted, putting them to increasingly dark ends. At the dawn of global war, flashy American superheroes square off against sinister Germans and dissolute Russians. Increasingly depraved scientists conduct despicable research in the name of victory
British agents Fogg and Oblivion, recalled to the Retirement Bureau, have kept a treacherous secret for over forty years. But all heroes must choose when to join the fray, and to whom their allegiance is owed—even for just one perfect summer’s day.
From the World Fantasy and Campbell award-winning author of Central Station comes a sweeping novel of history, adventure, and what it means to be a hero.
Tachyon Publications has also published Lavie’s acclaimed, award-winning CENTRAL STATION and UNHOLY LAND.
THE VIOLENT CENTURY is published in the UK by Hodder, who also publishes Lavie’s award-winning A MAN LIES DREAMING.
Here are just a few of the great reviews THE VIOLENT CENTURY has received…
‘Like Watchmen on crack’ — io9
‘THE VIOLENT CENTURY, Tidhar’s latest book, is even darker than OSAMA. Think John le Carré dark… 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. The Old Man, Oblivion, Fogg, these are men who have been fighting in the shadows for far too long and whatever sense of right and wrong they started out with is now dangerously suspect… But this is also a novel of alternate history and the world these characters live in is not exactly ours. In fact it may have almost as much in common with the seedy world of Alan Moore’s Watchmen for all of the characters mentioned so far are actually superhuman… 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
‘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
‘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
‘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