The Anome

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The Anome (alternate title: The Faceless Man) is a science fiction novel by American writer Jack Vance, published in 1973; it is the first book in the Durdane series of novels.

Plot summary

It tells the story of a boy growing to manhood in the land of Shant, a society composed of many different, and wildly individual cantons, some of which are run by cults. Each adult wears an explosive torc which can be detonated by remote command, bringing about instant death by decapitation. The torcs are controlled by an anonymous dictator, the Anome, whose identity is literally unknown. Because those whose heads are exploded are selected primarily by the cantonal leaders, for violations of local law, the Anome is able to operate with only a handful of assistants, or 'Benevolences', who themselves do not know his identity.


  • Underwood, Tim; Chuck Miller (1980). Jack Vance. New York: Taplinger Publishing Company. pp. 227. ISBN 0-8008-4295-2. 

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