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About the book
  • Published: 2 April 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099541424
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $19.99


Completed shortly before Burgess's death, this novel in verse is extravagantly original

Michael Byrne is an Irish Don Juan - a composer, a charmer, a bigamist and a thug. He moves from country to country, from bed to bed, selling his talents and leaving a trail of children in his wake. His journey takes him from post-Great War London to the centre of Hitler's Third Reich and then he vanishes. His twin sons travel across the troubled face of Europe to pursue their father for one final apocalyptic reckoning.

  • Pub date: 2 April 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099541424
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Anthony Burgess

Anthony Burgess was born in Manchester in 1917. He served in the army from 1940 to 1954 before becoming a colonial education officer. It was while he held this post that doctors told him he would die, and he decided to try to live by writing.

He achieved a worldwide reputation as one of the leading novelists of his day, and one of the most versitile. His writings include criticism, scripts and translations, and a Broadway musical, and he composed three symphonies which have been publicly performed in the USA. His books have been published all over the world and include A Clockwork Orange, The Clockwork Testament, Inside Mr Enderby, Enderby's Dark Lady, Earthly Powers, Abba Abba and The End of the World News.

Anthony Burgess died in 1993.

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Praise for Byrne

“A rumbustious memorial to one of the most unignorable literary presences of our time”

Sunday Times

“Dazzling... A brilliant and surprising conclusion to the career of one of the most intelligent and tireless writers of the century”

Philip Hensher, Mail on Sunday

“A fine book”


“Byrne is full of his characteristic wit, gusto and erudition”

David Lodge, Observer

“A complex dark comedy in fluently rhymed verse. Frequently hilarious and always engaging, this final book simultaneously satisfies the differing demands of prose fiction and narrative verse. Composed mostly in the same ottava rima that Byron used for "Don Juan," Byrne shows Burgess in command of his poetic medium. One might expect an author to experience new spiritual insight on his deathbed, but such a technical breakthrough is highly unusual”

New York Times

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