The Laughter Of Carthage
London: Secker & Warburg, 1984 (September 3rd) hardcover;
original price: £9·95;
cover artist: unknown (period photograph [“by courtesy of the BBC Hulton Picture Library”]).
Second volume in Michael Moorcock’s most ambitious and time-consuming project, his coming to terms with the Holocaust via epic and unreliable fictional memoirs of Maxim Arturovitch Pyatnitski (or Colonel Pyat). Byzantium Endures and its three sequels, The Laughter Of Carthage (1984), Jerusalem Commands (1992) and The Vengeance Of Rome (2006) — sometimes referred to as the “Between The Wars” tetralogy — comprise a mammoth and astonishing journey across the first half of the twentieth century, viewed through the eyes of a master charlatan and bigot, tracing the Holocaust’s origins in the past and showing how much of society (on all sides, wittingly or otherwise) conspired in its inevitability. The sequence has been described as an authentic masterpiece of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
N.B. It should be noted that the four books’ titles form (in combination) a single sentence: ‘Byzantium endures the laughter of Carthage; Jerusalem commands the vengeance of Rome’ (q.v.).
(Preceded by Byzantium Endures)
First paperback edition: London: Flamingo trade-sized paperback, 1985 (October 10th);
original price: £4·50;
cover artist: Chris Corr.
London: Jonathan Cape trade-sized paperback, 1992 (July 16th);
original price: £9·99;
cover artist: Andrew Hirniak.
London: Phoenix House trade-sized paperback, 1994 (April 14th);
original price: £6·99;
cover artist: Robin Cracknell.
London: Vintage trade-sized paperback, 2006 (January 5th);
original price: £7·99;
cover artist/designer: Stephen Parker.
First American edition: New York: Random House hardcover, 1985 (January 9th);
dated 1984 on copyright page;
original price: $17·95;
I.S.B.N.: 0-394-52997-9 (394-52997-9 only, on dust-wrapper);
cover artist: John Sposato.
First revised edition: Oakland, CA: PM Press trade-paperback, 2012 (September);
sub-titled “The Second Volume Of The Colonel Pyat Quartet”;
edited by Alan Kausch;
original price: $23·00;
xxvi + 534 pages;
includes ‘Introduction To The Laughter Of Carthage’ by Alan Wall (pp. ix–xiv);
cover artist: Linda Steele (photograph)/John Yates (design).
(Followed by Jerusalem Commands)
The Laughter Of Carthage is also available as an e-book: 9781604867787.