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The Laughter of Carthage: The Second Volume of the Colonel Pyat Quartet (Pyat Quartet (Between the Wars) #2)

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  176 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Maxim Arturovitch Pyatnitski, or Pyat, that charming but despicable mythomaniac who first appeared in "Byzantium Endures," is back in this second book of the Pyat quartet. Having fled Bolshevik Russia in late 1919, Pyat's progress is a series of leaps from crisis to crisis, as he begins affairs with a baroness and a Greek prostitute while undertaking schemes to build flyin ...more
ebook, 552 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by PM Press (first published December 12th 1984)
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Community Reviews

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Simon Mcleish
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in July 2001.

The second of the Pyat novels - centred around a minor character who originally appeared in the Cornelius Quartet - takes his story from his escape from the collapsing Russia of the civil war which followed the 1917 revolution to a new life in the States. He is as unpleasant a character as ever, definite proof (if any were needed) that the narrators of novels do not have to reflect the views of the author. In this novel, Pyat becomes involved wit
...more
Old-Barbarossa
More uncomfortable reading.
The second of the Pyat books is more of the same: unreliable narrator; unpleasant shit; the seedy underbelly of the early 20th cent; near schizophrenic stylee ramblings from Pyat and dollops of racist paranoia thrown in for good measure.
Pyat's naivety is more to the fore in this book than the 1st as is his more predatory and manipulative/delusional sexual depravity.
Bits are like a very unpleasant version of the movie The Sting.
I'll continue on to the 3rd book...but nee
...more
Michael Battaglia
An interesting fact of perhaps dubious relevance to both the book and the reader is that apparently this novel was written simultaneously with one of the other Von Bek novels "The City in the Autumn Stars", which if nothing else proves that Moorcock knows how to make better use of his time than I do.

Of course, I read that fact on the Internet, which makes it debatable whether it's even true and putting me roughly in the same category as Colonel Pyat, our narrator in the same sense that the drunk
...more
The3rdwall
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book a lot. The whole series is a borne of a legitimately fascinating thematic bent, and really explores these themes in a variety of very clever ways. These clever ways also mean the book is rarely a compelling read. The prose is very well-written, but the deliberate repetition starts to mask this pretty well. I end up with mixed feelings, because the choices make so much sense, but they also make the book a bit of a slog at times. Ultimately it feels worthwhile, I just hope that t ...more
Richard
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second of Michael Moorcock's Pyat Quartet sees our unreliable narrator misadventure through Constantinople, Rome, Paris and across the USA in the early 1920s. Despite Pyat's often repellent beliefs, the richness of Moorcock's writing and his sense of time and place keep you reading to find out just what Pyat will get away with next.
Pavlo Tverdokhlib
The second volume of Colonel Pyat's memoir takes us on a wild journey through constantinople, Europe and America, as Pyat continues to search for his fortune and the salvation of his beloved "Byzantium" (no longer associated with Orthodox Russia, which fell to the Communists). Along the way he continues to indulge his every vice, justifying his racism and misogyny with the popular beliefs of the time, and occasionally launching into a fresh diatribe about the moral decay England in the 60s and 7 ...more
Jim Leckband
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nothing like reading the whole 20th century in one book...In fact, only about 2-4 years (1920-1924)? But it seems a lot longer as the past life and the future life of Maxim Pyativich (or however he spells it) crowd the telling of the story.

Pyat again is the Zelig of wherever he ends up. This time in revolutionary Constantinople (Byzantium), pre-fascist Rome, lost Generation Paris, booming New York, corrupt Washington, Ku Klux Klan country and finally the beginnings of tinseltown LA. Phew!

And aga
...more
Bryn Hammond
From the markets. Seduced by the title. Why don't I find out what Michael Moorcock got up to since his sci fi grew too wierd for the age I was, although I persisted beyond my grasp at the time, intrigued.
Arturo
Sep 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mi colección favorita de Moorcock.
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Michael John Moorcock is an English writer primarily of science fiction and fantasy who has also published a number of literary novels.
Moorcock has mentioned The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Apple Cart by George Bernard Shaw and The Constable of St. Nicholas by Edward Lester Arnold as the first three books which captured his imagination. He became editor of Tarzan Adventures in 1956,
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More about Michael Moorcock...

Other Books in the Series

Pyat Quartet (Between the Wars) (4 books)
  • Byzantium Endures: Pyat Quartet (Between the Wars, #1)
  • Jerusalem Commands: Between the Wars Vol. 3
  • The Vengeance Of Rome

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