Osama

By Lavie Tidhar
(Solaris, Paperback, 9781781080757, 304pp.)

Publication Date: October 9, 2012

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"The author of Osama is young, ambitious, skilled and original. Osama is an ingenious inversion of modern history: Osama bin Laden is the central character in a string of pulp novels allegedly written by one Mike Longschott. The terrorist crimes exist, in this novel, in a different realm...excellent, evocative and atmospheric." - Award-winning novelist and author of The Prestige Christopher Priest

In a alternate world without global terrorism Joe, a private detective, is hired by a mysterious woman to find a man: the obscure author of pulp fiction novels featuring one Osama Bin Laden: Vigilante...Chased by unknown assailants, Joe’s identity slowly fragments as he discovers the shadowy world of the refugees, ghostly entities haunting the world in which he lives. Where do they come from? And what do they want?

Lavie Tidhar was in Dar-es-Salaam during the American embassy bombings in 1998, and stayed in the same hotel as the Al Qaeda operatives in Nairobi. Since then he and his now-wife have narrowly avoided both the 2005 London, King’s Cross and 2004 Sinai attacks—experiences that led to the creation of Osama.

In a alternate world without global terrorism Joe, a private detective, is hired by a mysterious woman to find a man: the obscure author of pulp fiction novels featuring one Osama Bin Laden: Vigilante...

Joe’s quest to find the man takes him across the world, from the backwaters of Asia to the European Capitals of Paris and London, and as the mystery deepens around him there is one question he is trying hard not to ask: who is he, really, and how much of the books are fiction? Chased by unknown assailants, Joe’s identity slowly fragments as he discovers the shadowy world of the refugees, ghostly entities haunting the world in which he lives. Where do they come from? And what do they want? Joe knows how the story should end, but even he is not ready for the truths he’ll find in New York and, finally, on top a quiet hill above Kabul—nor for the choice he will at last have to make...

In Osama, Lavie Tidhar brilliantly delves into the post-9/11 global subconscious, mixing together elements of film noir, non-fiction, alternative history and international thriller to create an unsettling—yet utterly compelling—portrayal of our times.

WINNER OF THE 2012 WORLD FANTASY AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL.

"An awesome book, dark, twisty alt-universe terrorist noir" - Lauren Beukes, author of Zoo City

‘Bears comparison with the best of Philip K Dick’s paranoid, alternate-history fantasies. It’s beautifully written and undeniably powerful.’ - The Financial Times

‘A strange, melancholy and moving refl ection, torquing politics with the fantastic, and vice virtuosically versa.’- best selling author China Miéville

‘Not a writer to mess around with half measures…brings to mind Philip K Dick’s seminal science fiction novel The Man in the High Castle.’ - The Guardian

‘The author is young, ambitious, skilled and original. Osama is an ingenious inversion of modern history...excellent, evocative and atmospheric.’- best selling author Christopher Priest




About the Author

Born on a kibbutz in Israel, Lavie Tidhar’s unusual childhood has inspired a life devoted in equal parts to books and to travelling. He has lived and travelled in Southern Africa for years and is a keen player of the ancient game of Bao. He’s since spent nearly a decade living in London before setting off again. He spent a year living in a bamboo shack on a remote island in the South Pacific – “I still miss the volcanoes, sometimes,” he said – and two years in South East Asia, followed by a couple of years back in Israel. He is now back living in London, a city he finds endlessly captivating.

Lavie is a prolific writer, keeping up a steady stream of highly-regarded novels, novellas and short stories. He has been described as an “emerging master” by Locus Magazine, with his work compared to the late, great Philip K. Dick’s in both The Guardian and the Financial Times. His novels include the Bookman Histories trilogy of steampunk novels – comprising The Bookman (2010), Camera Obscura (2011), and The Great Game (2012) – which borrow equally from mythology, classic literature, pulp fiction and noir and kung-fu cinema.

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