The final title in the legendary Pyat Quartet but also a magnificent stand alone book chronicling some of the major events in history with Moorcock's characteristic style and wit.
Born in Ukraine on the first day of the century, a Jewish anti-Semite, Pyat careered through three decades like a runaway train. Bisexual, cocaine-loving engineer/inventor/spy, he enthusiastically embraces Fascism. Hero-worshipping Mussolini, he enters the dictator’s circle, enjoys a close friendship with Mussolini’s wife and is sent by the Duce on a secret mission to Munich, becoming intimate with Ernst Röhm, the homosexual stormtrooper leader. His crucial role in the Nazi Party’s struggle for power has him performing perverted sex acts with ‘Alf’, as the Fuhrer’s friends call him.
Pyat’s extraordinary luck leaves him after he witnesses Hitler’s massacre of Röhm and the SA. At last he is swallowed up in Dachau concentration camp. Thirty years later, having survived the Spanish civil war, he is living in Portobello Road and telling his tale to a writer called Moorcock.
“A final, breath-stopping moment of deeply ironic self-delusion at the end of a grandiose, beautifully modulated quartet”
Scotland on Sunday
“'A wonderfully vivid evocation of Europe in its darkest hour'”
Mail on Sunday
“'Historical picaresque on the grand scale, a vast...chronicle of tall tales, brief encounters and expert twitches on the thread of destiny'”
DJ Taylor, Guardian
“The particular journey into hell that Moorcock gives us in the Pyat Quartet is as terrifying and argumentative as that taken by Dante in 'The Divine Comedy'. And in spite of the fact that 'comedy' means 'story with a happy ending', it is also like Dante in being brilliantly, horribly funny.”