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After the success of When we Cease to Understand the World, now comes The Maniac, Benjamín Labatut’s highly expected second novel. Ranging from the first decades of the twentieth century to the early 2000s, the book is about Johnny von Neumann, but also the Manhattan project, Hungarian-American mathematicians (the Martians), and nuclear power—or maybe it's mainly about the loss of humanity in a world that's being overcome by another kind of intelligence. A triptych, a coral novel, a little-known account of the origins of computers, the atomic bomb, weather predictions, and the game of Go, The Maniac is proof not only that Labatut’s talents go far beyond a one-hit wonder, but also that his idiosyncratic approach to fiction writing and storytelling are both particular and diversified enough as to create a second novel that is at the same time recognizably his and excitingly rare.


"Labatut penetrates the heart of a reality that few have seen before him and that no one has described in this way"

— Wolfram Eilenberg, author of Time of the Magicians

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the maniac

"The prodigy of Benjamin Labatut’s writing lies in his ability to access domains of enormous complexity"

— José Mario Silva, Expresso

RigHts sold
  • English (UK, Aus, and Nz): Pushkin Press

  • English (US and Canada): Penguin Press

  • Danish (World): Politiken / C&K

  • Dutch (World): Meridiaa Uitgevers

  • French (World): Grasset

  • German (World): Suhrkamp

  • Hungarian (World): Open Books

  • Italian (World): Adelphi Edizioni

  • Korean (World): Munhakdongne

  • Portuguese (Brazil): Editora Todavia

  • Portuguese (Portugal): Relógio D'Água

  • Spanish (World): Anagrama

  • Swedish (World): Nirstedt/litteratur

  • Simple Chinese (Mainland China): Shanghai 99

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