Byzantium Endures

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Byzantium Endures
Byzantium endures.jpg
Dust-jacket from the first edition
Author Michael Moorcock
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Pyat Quartet
Genre Literary fiction
Publisher Secker & Warburg
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 404 pp
ISBN 0-436-28458-8
OCLC 7691573
Followed by The Laughter of Carthage

Byzantium Endures (1981) is a novel by Michael Moorcock. It is the first in the Pyat Quartet tetralogy.

The book is written in the first person from the point of view of unreliable narrator Maxim Arturovitch Pyatnitski, whose posthumous notes Moorcock claims to have transcribed.

Pyat, as he is also known, describes in the novel his adventures in Tsarist then Revolutionary Russia. Born on 1 January 1900 in Kiev, Pyat dreams from early on of becoming a great inventor and engineer.

His widowed mother, lacking any means to support his higher education, sends him at age 16 to a relative in Odessa, where Pyat is introduced to bohemian life, cocaine and sexual adventures.

Making a good impression on his relative, he secures a position at a technical university in St. Petersburg. After having failed to obtain a degree, he returns to Kiev, where he manages to profit from his knowledge of machinery and runs a successful repair enterprise.

The revolutionary and post revolutionary civil war bring him again to Odessa; on the way, he aligns with whatever group is in power. Finally, he manages to escape by ship to western Europe.

Throughout all his wanderings, Pyat will not pass over any opportunity for self-aggrandisement, despite being a genuinely despicable character. The character appears to have been addicted to cocaine and sex. He is also obsessively antisemitic despite multiple hints that his father was Jewish.