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"Shomer lies dreaming of a different world while a prisoner in Auschwitz; in it, a Wolf is haunting the streets of London in search of a lost Jewish woman. In this world, the Wolf will make decisions that will go against who he once was. He will root out the source of a dark conspiracy that is too close for comfort, and in the horror of a concentration camp, Shomer's dreaming becomes an escape from his own reality. As these two narratives begin to interweave, we begin to appreciate Tidhar's genius. Wildly smart and at times lushly decadent, this book was controversial in Europe for many obvious reasons, but that does not take away the power of the story and the richness of the characters."
March 2016 Indie Next List
“Tidhar's brilliant novel channels pulp fiction conventions to grapple with the horrors of the Holocaust. In its opening pages, readers are dropped into late 1930s England where Oswald Mosley is about to become prime minister and Hitler, whose Nazi party was defeated by the Communists, is a down-at-the-heels private investigator, a sad and tortured little man. As it turns out, this alternate history is a fever dream of a prisoner at Auschwitz. Who is to say that turning the powerful into the defeated -- even as a fantasy -- isn't an important tool in coping with brutality and dehumanization?”
— Anmiryam Budner (E), Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr, PA
The novel that stunned—and scandalized—Europe comes to America
Wolf, a low-rent private detective, roams London’s gloomy, grimy streets, haunted by dark visions of a future that could have been—and a dangerous present populated by British Fascists and Nazis escaping Germany. Shomer, a pulp fiction writer, lies in a concentration camp, imagining another world. And when Wolf and Shomer's stories converge, we find ourselves drawn into a novel both shocking and profoundly haunting.
At once a perfectly pitched hard-boiled noir thriller (with an utterly shocking twist) and a “Holocaust novel like no other” (The Guardian), A Man Lies Dreaming is a masterful, unforgettable literary experiment from “one of our best and most adventurous writers” (Locus).
About the Author
LAVIE TIDHAR is the World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Violent Century, Osama, and many other books. He won the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella and has been nominated for many other prizes. He grew up on a kibbutz in Israel and in South Africa but currently lives in London.
• Winner of the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize • Shortlisted for the British Fantasy Award • A Guardian Best Science Fiction Book of the Year • A Scotland Herald Best Crime Novel of the Year
“Stunning...very funny...remarkably poignant...[Tidhar] reminds us that even — especially — under the most terrible of circumstances, stories are all we have. And in the right hands, they can be a formidable weapon.” —The Washington Post
“Bold and unnerving…A Man LiesDreaming is a book of big ideas, from the pathological origins of racist ideology to the way humanizing and dehumanizing those we love or loathe are flip sides of the same coin.” —NPR
“It’s caustic. It’s risky. The unexpected thing about the book is this: It’s good. It’s damn good.”—Jewish Book Council
“[A Man Lies Dreaming] blends two venerable genres — alternative history and noir mystery, with Hitler playing the gumshoe. Though this seems like a stretch, Tidhar makes it work. In keeping with the conventions of the genre, his writing is clipped and precise, but colorful enough to reinvigorate familiar tropes.” —The Forward
“A daring work, briskly paced and impossible to set down.”—ALIVE Magazine
“Quite literally took my breath away.” —Cleaver Magazine
“Everything in this genre-bender works; intriguing historical characters are worked into expertly managed plots, and the visceral noir atmosphere is juxtaposed nicely against the drawing-room world of London’s political scene.” —Booklist, starred review
“A wholly original Holocaust story: as outlandish as it is poignant.” —Kirkus, starred review
“Brilliant . . . Shocking . . . A twisted masterpiece . . . A Holocaust novel like no other, Lavie Tidhar’s A Man Lies Dreaming comes crashing through the door of literature like Sam Spade with a .38 in his hand.” —The Guardian
“Theodor Adorno said that to write poetry after Auschwitz was barbaric. To which I would say, yes, but you can still write an excellent novel. A Man Lies Dreaming is that novel.” —Philip Kerr
“Readers may quickly get used to being ashamed of their laughter, but they may find it more unsettling to discover that their compassion feels equally transgressive . . . Weird, upsetting, unmissable.” —Telegraph (★★★★★)
“A sort of Holocaust noir or pulp that is at once as riveting as it is disturbing . . . There is eloquence and gravitas in the sparseness and brevity of noir fiction when it is good, and Tidhar's is quite incredible.” —Tor.com