The Laughter of Carthage
The Vengeance of Rome
Byzantium Endures, the first of the Pyat series of novels, introduces one of 's most magnificent creations - Maxim Arturovitch Pyatnitski. Born in Kiev on the cusp of the twentieth century, he discovers the pleasures of sex and cocaine and glimpses a sophisticated world beyond his horizons before the storm of the October Revolution breaks. Still a student at St Petersburg, he is deflected into more immediate concerns, caught up[ in the rip-tide of history.
Byzantium Endures. London: Phoenix, 1994.
Having escaped the horrors of the Russian civil war, Maxim Arturovitch Pyat discovers that the hazards of Europe are as nothing to the perils which await him in America. He is almost immediately involved in further scandals, touring the country as a speaker for the Ku Klux Klan. In this second novel of 's acclaimed Pyat series of novels, only the reappearance of Pyat's enduring love, his femme fatale, Mrs Cornelius, offers him a chance of escape.
The Laughter of Carthage. London: Phoenix, 1994.
This was written in tandem with The City in the Autumn Stars. The style of prose, in my opinion, shows this.
"I will admit that I lost my way a little in the twenties and thirties. but I blame no one for what happened then, least of all myself."
Unmistakable, this is the voice of Colonel Pyat, addict, inventor and bizarre Everyman for the twentieth century. In Jerusalem Commands, the third of the Pyat quartet, our hero schemes and fantasises his way from New York to Hollywood, from Cairo to Marrakech, from cult success to the outer limits of sexual degradation, leaving a trail of mechanical and human wreckage in his wake as he crashes towards an inevitable appointment with the worst nightmare this century has to offer.
It is 's extraordinary achievement to convert the life of Maxim Pyatnitski into epic and often hilariously comic adventure. Sustained by his dreams and profligate inventions, his determination to turn his back on the realities of his own origins, Pyat runs from crisis to crisis, every ruse a further link in a chain of deceit, suppression, betrayal. Yet, in his deranged self-deception, his monumentally distorted vision, this thoroughly unreliable narrator becomes a lens for focusing, through the dimensions of wild farce and chilling terror, on an uneasy brand of truth.
Jerusalem Commands. London: Jonathan Cape, 1992.
In preparation - that is, Michael is currently writing the last few chapters, but we still don't expect it until early 2000...