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A Man Lies Dreaming [Kindle Edition]

Lavie Tidhar
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 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.

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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: 1709 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
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #93,580 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly brave and imaginative, powerful novel 4 Nov. 2014
Herr Wolf is an immigrant in 1939 London, one of many Germans driven out from the Fatherland after the fall of fascism in the 1933 German elections. Wolf was once the leader of German fascism but, with his own country caught in the vice of a communist revolution, Wolf, as he now calls himself, makes ends meet as a private detective, living in London's underworld, amongst its gangsters, thugs and prostitutes. Wolf would never choose to work for Jews unless desperate but desperate he is when Isabella Rubinstein walks into his office. Her sister Judith is missing, one of many immigrants smuggled out of Germany and now lost. Isabella knows exactly which buttons to press. Wolf is soon entangled and descends even deeper into the rot in London's poorest streets and its racket clubs, so many of which are run by the men who once, years before, clicked their heels at Wolf.

But none of this is real. Shomer lies dreaming in the hell that the Nazis have created. He is in Auschwitz, his family slashed in two, his wife and children gassed, his own survival unlikely. Before the Holocaust, Shomer was a writer of pulp fiction. Now he survives one day at a time by dreaming an alternate history, one in which Hitler never rose to power but instead has to hide himself in a foreign city under a different name, working for the very people he despises, pitied and repudiated by Britain's own rising fascist faction, and reduced to something less than human by the the lust and hatred that has twisted his soul.

In A Man Lies Dreaming Lavie Tidhar has created an extraordinary vision of a shifted, dark and rotted world. At its heart Shomer lies dreaming and throughout we are given brief and painfully graphic glimpses into his night and day.
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty in Madness 9 Dec. 2014
Lavie Tidhar's A Man Lies Dreaming is a Chinese puzzle box created by a master craftsman. It's made from the highest quality materials, fitted together seamlessly and polished with great care and attention. Opening the box reveals the unexpected and leaves the reader with an exultant sense of wonder as they study the magic of its construction. Yes. I liked this book.

Tidhar's novels somehow ought not to work - Osama: A Novelsets up Osama bin Laden as a fictional vigilante and The Violent Century reinvents WWII with superheroes. Both are exceptional pieces of writing. Challenging, entertaining and thought-provoking. A Man Lies Dreaming continues the trend. It features a novel within a novel; Shomer, a prisoner of war, escapes the brutality of his life in Auschwitz by imagining a story. Before the war Shomer was a writer of pulp fiction. His new story, a tale that exists only in his head, makes Adolf Hitler an exile in London, in 1939, having been ousted from his country by the communists. Europe is in turmoil, standing on the brink of war. 'Wolf' is an almost forgotten footnote of history; a gumshoe, a dick, a detective for hire on the streets of London.

The novel is a wonderful blend of styles, filled with reference and homage. There are obvious comparisons with Chandler and Hammet, but Tidhar borrows from Holocaust literature and modern popular culture too. This is speculative fiction, written from a perspective of a writer looking forward from the past. Tidhar expertly foreshadows trends and attitudes that are current today. Most notably, in his depiction of Oswald Mosley as a viable candidate for prime minister.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Holocaust as Twisted Pulp Fiction
I missed this when it first appeared and can't think how I hadn't heard of it. It's difficult to describe - alternative history/ parable? morality play? revenge story? Read more
Published 1 month ago by M. D. Ripley
4.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative
Shomer is a man who lies dreaming in a concentration camp. He used to be a writer before he came to the camp and as a way of escaping the reality in which he finds himself he... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gloria
4.0 out of 5 stars Graphic and not for the faint-hearted. But addictive and highly...
A Man Lies Dreaming has to be one of the most bizarre and imaginative books I have read about the holocaust, and also one of the most fascinating. Read more
Published 2 months ago by VKG
3.0 out of 5 stars A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar
This is a really interesting holocaust story. I liked how it was about this guy Shomer who is trying to escape the harsh reality of living in a concentration camp by conjuring up... Read more
Published 2 months ago by BluChickenNinja
4.0 out of 5 stars Darkly interesting
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. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Alisha Bookseller
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, provocative fiction
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. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Pablo Cheesecake (The Eloquent Page)
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
After 2013's wonderful The Violent Century, which I loved, I couldn't wait to read Lavie Tidhar's 2014 release A Man Lies Dreaming. Read more
Published 6 months ago by W.M.M. van der Salm-Pallada
4.0 out of 5 stars In dialogue between two realities
In Auschwitz, shund-writer Shomer imagines a final pulp narrative: an alternate late 1930s Britain where the infamous Wolf is a down-on-his-luck PI. Read more
Published 6 months ago by A. D. MacFarlane
5.0 out of 5 stars A Man Lies Dreaming
In January of this year I read a book by Lavie Tidhar, The Violent Century. It was an astonishing book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Keen Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great mixture of realism and fantasy
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
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