The Vengeance of Rome: The Fourth Volume of the Colonel Pyat Quartet


Michael Moorcock

Now the quartet is complete. Pyat keeps his appointment with the age’s worst nightmare.


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Byzantium Endures, the first volume of Michael Moorcock’s legendary Pyat Quartet, appeared in 1981. The Laughter of Carthage (1984) and Jerusalem Commands (1992) followed. Now the quartet is complete. Pyat keeps his appointment with the age’s worst nightmare.

Born in Ukraine on the first day of the century, a Jewish antisemite, 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 Führer’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.

This authoritative edition presents this work for the first time in the United States, along with a new introduction by Alan Wall.


  • The Vengeance of Rome comes along to remind us of what we have been missing: the dynamism of a nineteenth-century master operating with all of the darts and shuffles of our electronic, amnesiac, fast-twitch culture.” —Iain Sinclair, The Spectator
  • “Not for Moorcock the painful, infrequent excretion of dry little novels like so many rabbit pellets; his is the grand, messy flux itself, in all its heroic vulgarity, its unquenchable optimism, its enthusiasm for the inexhaustible variousness of things. Posterity will certainly give him that due place in the English literature of the late twentieth century which his more anaemic contemporaries grudge; indeed he is so prolific it will probably look as though he has written most of it anyway.” —Angela Carter, Guardian
  • “A wonderfully vivid evocation of Europe in its darkest hour.” —Mail on Sunday
  • “A final, breath-stopping moment of deeply ironic self-delusion at the end of a grandiose, beautifully modulated quartet.” —Scotland on Sunday
  • “Of Moorcock’s characters…it is Colonel Pyat who is the richest, the deepest, the most complex, and who casts the strongest and most penetrating light on the century we erroneously believe we have left behind.” —Charles Shaar Murray, Independent

About Michael Moorcock:
Born in London in 1939, Michael Moorcock now lives in Texas and Paris, France. A prolific and award-winning writer with more than eighty works of fiction and nonfiction to his name, he is the creator of Elric, Jerry Cornelius, and Colonel Pyat amongst many other memorable characters.

About Alan Wall (Introduction):
Alan Wall is a novelist, short story writer, poet, and essayist. His novels include Bless the Thief, The Lightning Cage, The School of Night, China, and Sylvie’s Riddle. He is currently professor of writing and Literature at the University of Chester.

Product Details:
Author: Michael Moorcock with an introduction by Alan Wall
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-60486-494-6
Published: August 2013
Format: Paperback
Size: 9 by 6
Page count: 608 Pages
Subjects: Fiction

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Weight 751 g