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A Man Lies Dreaming [Kindle Edition]

Lavie Tidhar
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Deep in the heart of history's most infamous concentration camp, a man lies dreaming. His name is Shomer, and before the war he was a pulp fiction author. Now, to escape the brutal reality of life in Auschwitz, Shomer spends his nights imagining another world - a world where a disgraced former dictator now known only as Wolf ekes out a miserable existence as a low-rent PI in London's grimiest streets.

An extraordinary story of revenge and redemption, A Man Lies Dreaming is the unforgettable testament to the power of imagination.

Product Description


An emerging master." (Locus)

Young, ambitious, skilled and original. (Christopher Priest, author of The Prestige.)

He is a political writer, an iconoclast and sometimes a provocateur ... Osama is a remarkable and ambitious work. (China Mieville on Osama.)

Book Description

The next novel from Lavie Tidhar, the award-winning author of THE VIOLENT CENTURY.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1447 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (23 Oct. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #135,607 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Man Lies Dreaming 31 Mar. 2015
By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER
In January 2014 I read a book by Lavie Tidhar, The Violent Century. It was an astonishing book. I was delighted to see another book by the author, A Man Lies Dreaming and rushed to read it. This book is also astonishing; very different to The Violent Century, but just as utterly compelling.

In 1939, a man lies dreaming; the man, Shomer, is, as we slowly discover, a man whose refuge is in dreaming. Before the war he was a writer, and it is in writing, albeit now in his imagination, that he finds some solace from the hell in which he now lives.

Another man is the half-product of his dreaming; this man had lived another life, before The Fall in 1933 reduced him to where he finds himself now.

This book turns on the elections in Germany in 1933, where, in Shomer’s dream National Socialism did not win. Communism has spread itself across Europe, and now in 1939 war is on the way. In England, Wolf is a private investigator. We read excerpts from his diary, and narration of his actions from a third party narrative. The Watcher is also there. And somewhere, Shomer lies dreaming.

This is a book of history, yet also of humanity. How brutal man can be to man is known to us from the narrative we know of the twentieth century; in dreams is reality any different? This is an utterly enthralling read; but it is by no means a jolly cheerful read. Rather, it is in turns brutal, harrowing, heartbreaking, and intriguing. A glimpse into a world that could have been. And still a world where every man seeks their own path, their own redemption, their own dream.

If you read no other book this year, I would recommend you read this. This has to be one of the best books I have ever read, and one that I will most certainly read again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Darkly interesting 15 Mar. 2015
The main narrative of the book is with Wolf in the alternate 1930's London, and it's incredibly chilling and disturbing, with the rise of British Fascists. We still see little glimpses of the camp and Shomer, and it's intertwined fantastically with the main narrative. The book is incredibly well written and has a dark atmosphere that oozes off the page. There's plenty of pulp tropes thrown in. Not to mention the creepy bits with the killer, waaay creepy, who reminded me a bit of Jack the Ripper, but that's probably because of the victims the killer chose.

I enjoyed the book, I could have done without that much knowledge of Hitler's hanky panky but still, it's a very interesting read. It's a book that's going to make you think and you'll still be thinking about it a few weeks from now.

I thought the author's note was a nice addition as well, letting us know what's true in both narratives, and adding more insight in to the story and the times and so on. I'm a sucker for history knowledge to be honest, and I'm always fascinated when reading author's notes and discovering what's actually true and what isn't, I always end up learning something.

This book is a chilling and dark book, graphic and violent with a realistic take on history. Normally my reviews are longer than this, but I really can't think of anything else to say, the book doesn't flinch from the darker parts of this particular historical event, and it's, like I said, fantastically written. I honestly cannot think what else to say about the book, other than give it a try!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, provocative fiction 14 Mar. 2015
I was fascinated by the premise of this novel as soon as I first heard about it. An alternate history, told as a story within another story. I was right to be intrigued. A Man Lies Dreaming is a provocative, mesmerising experience. I finished the book earlier this week and I'm still pondering it now.

The scenes featuring Shomer in Auschwitz are heart breaking. His entire life has been utterly destroyed. His family and friends are gone, and now he only exists in his own personal hell. It feels almost like events occur in a bubble, there is no past or present for Shomer, the camp is in a state of constant now. The only time when he is not controlled is when he is unconscious. Shomer's mind uses these precious moments to take the only revenge a writer can, he eviscerates his enemy in fiction.

Wolf shares much in common with other literary gumshoes. He exists on the very periphery of London society. Downbeat and broken, this once a powerful man, a leader, finds himself surrounded by the dregs of society. In Shomer's dreams of alternate London, Wolf is forced to suffer the ultimate degradation, to work for those who were once his enemies. Instead of completing his rise to power and plunging the world into a war, Wolf failed and is forced to flee his homeland. I like the idea that flipping the outcome of a single event completely rewrites a large chunk of twentieth century history. When writing Wolf's story, Tidhar has used names and faces that you'll recognise but their histories have subtly altered. It is curious to discover just how far reaching these changes are but also how other events have risen up to take their place. Wolf is a curious sight, driven by a sense of law and order.
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