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5.0 out of 5 stars A great page turner!
Brilliant. Crime, politics, thriller, science fiction...all covered. Great page turner, feels like you are reading something new...like nothing you have read before. Highly recommended.
Published 19 months ago by parry

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars over rated
There are lots of gushing comments from people on the inside of this book about how good it is, comparing the author to philip k dick in particular... maybe people want to say nice things about it because it's an anti war/terrorism novel, but i found it all a little boring to be honest, 300 pages of following a chain smoking semi alcoholic to various bars and pubs while...
Published 21 months ago by Bascule


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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost a classic..., 15 Jun 2013
By 
A. J. Poulter "AP" (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Osama: A Novel (Paperback)
his book pulls you in. Joe, a hard-boiled detective who lives on whisky, black coffee and nicotine, gets a visit from a mysterious young woman who asks him to find one Mike Longshot, an author of pulp fiction novels involving a character called Osama Bin Laden. She gives him a special black credit card as an upfront fee. The only known address for this author is a post-office box in Paris. On his way out of the office later Joe is shot at.

Joe's search for this mysterious author drives things as the action moves from Paris to London, and Joe is pursued and shot at again. Joe uses every trick in the detective's canon to evade those blocking his way, for example penetrating an opium den and later a private members club in Soho, where Longshot might be a member. Having worked in this part of London around the time the novel is set I found the reconstruction excellent.

Joe seems to be in an alternate Osama-free reality, and after one particularly violent incident, he sees a vision of the real London, where digital surveillance technologies bemuse him. One flaw in the novel are the short chapters from our reality which starkly report acts of real terrorism and do not read like excerpts from pulp fiction. An attempted scene set at a Mike Longshot 'fan convention' later in the novel grates because of this.

More seriously, there is an ending problem. This is chiefly due to the power that detective fiction generates towards closure. This novel has various 'closures' none of which really convince although one did strike me as having a superior rationale. As it stands, the novel halts instead of closing, which is a shame
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great page turner!, 1 April 2013
This review is from: Osama: A Novel (Paperback)
Brilliant. Crime, politics, thriller, science fiction...all covered. Great page turner, feels like you are reading something new...like nothing you have read before. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bleeding edge noir, 6 Feb 2013
This review is from: Osama: A Novel (Paperback)
This is not your standard crime noir novel. It is not a standard anything. Lavie Tidhar manages to deliver a book that doesn't just keep you thinking about it whilst you are reading but occupies your thoughts for a while afterwards. There are so many things happening on several levels that it takes a while to digest them all. I'm still not sure I fully understand it now. As cerebral as this story is it is thoroughly enjoyable and easy to read at the same time.

There is probably a rule somewhere that says you should avoid repetition of words. The word cigarette appears more times than I care to count. Rather than being a sign of poor writing it is a clue. Not one that is ever explicitly explained but the inference is there right at the end. This is the kind of thing that you will find throughout this book. It is certainly not the kind of book that explains itself every chapter.

On a simplistic level this is just a detective story. Joe has been tasked with finding Mike Longshott the author of a series of pulp fiction stories. These pulps portray Osama Bin Laden as a vigilante and leave the reader to decide whether he was a terrorist or a freedom fighter in an on-going war.

Joe finds himself crossing the world in search of Mike Longshott at the expense of his mysterious and beautiful client. The ease in which the author transports the reader to the various locations really brings the world to life. The use of opium to tie things together is very clever. Not just in the obvious sense of bringing things back to Afghanistan but you also have to think of the other reasons that opiates are important.

Overall this is a great read but one that you need to think about to really get the most out of it. It takes some chances and does some things that might not work in many books and works them in to a story of real substance (pun intended).
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Powerful Novel, 20 Nov 2012
By 
M. Young "Amuro Ray" (Liverpool UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Osama: A Novel (Paperback)
After being intrigued by the concept of this novel, I decided to dive into the vivid and strange world it creates. I was very glad that I did, as this is one of the most powerful and memorable books I have read in a long time.

The book is a mystery story, in the vein of a noir detective novel. But, very cleverly, there are no absolute answers. What might have been a huge twist is hinted at throughout, letting the reader come to their own conclusions rather than waiting until the end of the novel and then revealing everything.

By creating a world where acts of terrorism are unimaginable, and even in the form of the subject matter for pulp novels are seen as shocking and unacceptable, the book holds up a mirror to the reader. We live in a world where terrorism is a real and, ultimately, accepted part of life. The book forces you to think more deeply about terrorism and the effect it has on its victims and our modern society. Some passages from the 'Osama Bin Laden: Vigilante' books that feature in the story remind you just how horrific real acts of terrorism are. Passages on the experiences of those involved in the attacks moments before their death are so hauntingly powerful that, after reading them, I had to just sit, staring at nothing. In those moments, I reconsidered the way that - having come so used to news reports of bombings and attacks - I have quietly accepted terrorism as part of modern life without truly coming to terms with the sorrow and pain it causes. For a book to make you re-think how you view the world is truly an achievement, and by constructing a fictional world without terrorism Tidman has found an original and intriguing way of doing so.

I have to emphasise, however, that Tidman does not simply provide an attack against terrorists and the extremist Muslims most closely associated with it. Instead, the characters are trying to come to terms with why these acts of violence are happening. As they say numerous times, it is a war they - no one - understands. I think this is the ultimate truth of the book, the to most of us we accept both terrorism and anti-terrorism operations and wars without truly understanding what they are about. The victims of terrorism, therefore, are portrayed as refugees cut out from the world in the most violence fashion without understanding why, or even realising what is happening until their very final moments. In painting this portrait, 'Osama' defines modern warfare - and the military strategies of our own Western governments - and the role of unwitting civilians in it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars over rated, 18 Jan 2013
This review is from: Osama: A Novel (Paperback)
There are lots of gushing comments from people on the inside of this book about how good it is, comparing the author to philip k dick in particular... maybe people want to say nice things about it because it's an anti war/terrorism novel, but i found it all a little boring to be honest, 300 pages of following a chain smoking semi alcoholic to various bars and pubs while he tries (not very convincingly) to find an obscure author. It isn't particularly well written or original, there were quite a lot of cliches rolled out. Apart from the alternate reality angle, the comparisons to PKD are few and far between...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Osama: A Novel (Paperback)
Bought as a gift and was well received
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Osama: A Novel
Osama: A Novel by Lavie Tidhar (Paperback - 11 Oct 2012)
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