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  • Published: 15 April 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473577091
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

Civilisations




A stunningly ambitious and entertaining novel that gives us a counter-factual history of the modern world, from the author of the international bestseller HHhH.

A stunningly ambitious and entertaining novel that gives us a counter-factual history of the modern world, from the author of the international bestseller HHhH.

Binet's best book yet: the work of a major writer just hitting his stride. A delightful counterfactual novel. ***** - Daily Telegraph

c.1000AD: Erik the Red's daughter heads south from Greenland
1492: Columbus does not discover America
1531: the Incas invade Europe

Freydis is the leader of a band of Viking warriors who get as far as Panama. Nobody knows what became of them...
Five hundred years later, Christopher Columbus is sailing for the Americas, dreaming of gold and conquest. Even when captured by Incas, his faith in his superiority and his mission is unshaken.

Thirty years after that, Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor, arrives in Europe. What does he find? The Spanish Inquisition, the Reformation, capitalism, the miracle of the printing press, endless warmongering between the ruling monarchies, and constant threat from the Turks.

But most of all, downtrodden populations ready for revolution. Fortunately, he has a recent guidebook to acquiring power - Machiavelli's The Prince. It turns out he is very good at it. So, the stage is set for a Europe ruled by Incas and, when the Aztecs arrive on the scene, for a great war that will change history forever.

Civilisations is a wildly entertaining counterfactual story about the modern world, colonisation, empire-building and the eternal human quest for domination. It is an electrifying novel by one of Europe's most exciting writers.


'What if the 1492 'discovery' of America...alerted the Incas to the existence of a land to the east that might be ripe for conquest?' Literary Review

  • Published: 15 April 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473577091
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

About the author

Laurent Binet

Laurent Binet lives and works in France. His first novel, HHhH, was an international bestseller which won the prestigious Prix Goncourt du premier roman, among other prizes.

Also by Laurent Binet

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Praise for Civilisations

Civilisations provides a whole series of what-ifs, concertinaing known facts in new and surprising ways

Literary Review

Binet's best book yet: the work of a major writer just hitting his stride. A delightful counterfactual novel. *****

Tim Smith-Laing, Daily Telegraph

Imagine that Christopher Columbus never made it back to Spain - and that the Incas weren't conquered by Spain but instead invaded Europe, replacing Christianity with sun worship....the distant tone enables some enjoyably tart humour about European mores as seen through Incan eyes

The Times

One of the most successful French writers of his generation... a wild romp of a book that turns history on its head

Guardian

Characteristically ambitious, brilliant...Combining all the pleasure of a period romp with vital questions about our shared origin stories...a triumph

i

Tremendous fun.

Guardian

[A] hugely entertaining counterfactual history of the making of the modern world... Binet has riotous, brainy fun in a rollicking story of the urge to power, which delights in turning received ideas upside down

Guardian, *Summer Reads of 2021*

A bold and thrilling experiment in counter-factual history from a masterful storyteller

Àngel Gurría-Quintana, Financial Times, *Summer Reads of 2021*

Wonderfully inventive

Muriel Zagha, Times Literary Supplement, *Summer Reads of 2021*

A propulsive 'counter-factual' romp...both dizzying and fun

Claire Allfree, Metro, *Summer Reads of 2021*

[A] glorious counterfactual novel... Funny and profound, this is Binet's best novel yet

Daily Telegraph, *Summer Reads of 2021*

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