The world right now is full of superhero stories. In movies and on TV, in comics and graphic novels. But Lavie Tidhar, with his sharp eye for absurdity (and stellar world-building powers), gives his heroes a literary moment, bringing them to the page in a world where American, British, Russian and Nazi supermen fought in World War II and shaped everything we know of 20th and 21st century history. It begins like a classic John le Carré story, with an old, retired hero called Fogg being brought in to discuss an old case file. But where it ends up is like nothing that anyone but Tidhar could imagine.
CHRONOPHLOGISTON offers similar sentiments.
Mr. Tidhar has a staccato, stream-of-consciousness style of writing (at least in this book) that reminded me of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. It takes some getting used to, but soon enough feels natural and makes for a brisk and engrossing read. Mr. Tidhar creates a grim and atmospheric world; the European post-war scenes evoked for me the imagery of Carol Reed’s The Third Man.