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A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar

A Man Lies Dreaming (2014)

by Lavie Tidhar

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1508120,582 (3.66)19



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Lardy, sweaty spoilers are soon to appear, be warned.

That big fat oaf Gil Chesterton once said that the criminal is the artist, the detective only the critic....he was wrong. I was an artist, for it is an artist's purpose to make order out of chaos.

A clever aside by Tidhar. One as heavy as his other touches. These are the citations of GKC often used by Žižek . That isn't an accident, nothing in this alternative history is random. By a certain metric that would make A Man Lies Dreaming a success. It didn't work for me -- because the protagonist of pulp narrative is HITLER. The National Socialists lose the 1933 elections in Germany and der presumptive Fuhrer flees the Fatherland and the communists for the foggy alleys of East London and the rise of Oswald Mosley in 1939. There is a numbing need for the author to populate his set pieces with gotcha figures -- from Ian Fleming to Rudolph Hess to all the Mitford sisters: even Hitler is aghast when Mosley selects Eichmann to lead the German government in exile-- who the fuck is that, quips the failed Austrian painter.

Oh shit, I can't go on. Beckett would've groaned at this contrivance. I simply shudder. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
I thought it would be science fiction, and I was disappointed. The book was well written, but I didn't get anything out of it. Yes Adolf Hitler was humiliated, and turned into a jew and that's nice, but it wasn't enough to fill up a full novel. ( )
  krupskaja | May 16, 2018 |
After the disappointment of Martin Amis' Zone of Interest, I vowed not to read any more holocaust novels but I made an exception for this one as it sounded intriguing. Shomer, an inmate of Auschwitz and an ex- pulp fiction novelist, distracts himself from the horrors of the concentration camp by imagining a pulp crime novel in which Adolf Hitler (aka Wolf) has been ousted from power by the communists and fled to London where he becomes a private investigator.
All the familiar tropes of Raymond Chandler novels are skilfully reproduced including frequent violence and depraved sex. All the other leading Nazis make cameo appearances as does Oswald Moseley and the British blackshirts. There's the occasional use of humour and parody e.g. Lenin Riefenstahl, the Nazi documentary maker and actress is involved in a Hollywood film which sounds very like Casablanca.
The problem is that it's hard to seeAdolph Hitler as Philip Marlowe and it seems at times as if we may even be expected to sympathise with him. Wolf's (Hitler's) trajectory in the novel is from being a Jew-hater to accidentally becoming a Jew (including being violently circumcised).
It's a very readable novel but I'm not at all clear what the point of it is. ( )
  stephengoldenberg | Apr 6, 2016 |
This is Speculative Fiction at it's edge - meet Wolf. It's England in the 1930s. And you know Wolf. But it's all a dream. ( )
  eastmad | Feb 14, 2016 |
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In another time and place, a man lies dreaming.
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"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."--… (more)

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