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A Man Lies Dreaming

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  756 ratings  ·  159 reviews
The next novel from Lavie Tidhar, the award-winning author of THE VIOLENT CENTURY.

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 forme
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 23rd 2014 by Hodder & Stoughton
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  756 ratings  ·  159 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-books, 2016
In the Auschwitz concentration camp, a former pulp writer named Shomer imagines a world where the Nazis never came to power and a certain dictator is a down and out private investigator named Wolf. Wolf is hired to find a woman named Judith Rubinstein, who may have been smuggled out of communist Germany. Can Wolf find Judith and figure out who is pulling the strings of his former allies?

I stumbled upon this book during my brief alternate history binge during what 2.0 called my Summer of Love. S
Paul Sánchez Keighley
I can’t believe I’m giving this book 5 stars, but I’m too much in awe of what Tidhar has pulled off here.

This is an alternate history roman noir starring Hitler, yes, Hitler, as a down-at-heel private investigator. In this universe, the Nazis lost the 1933 elections, and Hitler emigrated to London, where he earns a meagre living as a sleuth. Further, this is the story a Yiddish pulp fiction author composes in his head as a means to escape the brutal reality of day-to-day life in Auschwitz, a chi
Caroline Mersey
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A Man Lies Dreaming is a darkly comic alternate history set in the late 1930s, where Hitler never became Chancellor of Germany and was toppled in a coup. Instead, he fled to London where he now works as a down at heel private investigator. As the novel opens, he's been hired by a rich Jewish heiress to track down her missing sister. But this alternative history exists only in the imagination of a pulp crime writer imprisoned in Auschwitz.

As Lavie Tidhar's extensive historical notes to the novel
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: llegits-2018
Me sorprende la poca repercusión que ha tenido esta excelente novela.
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
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.
***WARNING: I feel the need to swear in this review, so if you are not up for a few expletives, please move on. Nothing to see here. If you don't mind the sweariness, though ... "Willkommen!" ***

Me: So A Man Lies Dreaming is a giant fucking jackboot to the genitals.
You: What the hell do you mean by that?
Me: Besides the quite literal kicks to the balls and vulvas?
You: What?
Me: Seriously. This book is a cornucopia of genital punishment. Knives, boots, hands, knees, other genitals! If you can im
Daniel Polansky
Look, I didn’t want to read anything else by Lavie Tidhar, OK? I felt like I’d sort of done my duty as a very casual friend of by reading A Violent Century a month or two back, but he just kept on and on and fucking on. Read my book about Hitler, he said. I already read it, Lavie. No, he said, a different book about Hitler. And then he called me a bunch of unrepeatable names and then he sent me a review copy of A Man Lies Dreaming.
A Man Lies Dreaming is the story of a writer of Yiddish pulp fic
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lavie Tidhar ha hecho un gran trabajo sobre la materia sobre la cual se establecen las ucronías. Recrea una Europa de 1939 donde los nazis no subieron al poder, el partido comunista se hizo con el gobierno y los fascistas que pudieron escapar malviven en un Reino Unido. Sobre este trasfondo sitúa una narración de género criminal: la investigación de un Adolf Hitler transformado en detective privado, contratado para encontrar a una joven judía que ha desaparecido después de escapar desde Alemania ...more
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is alternate history, imagining Adolf Hitler as an impoverished private investigator - stripped of his power, forced to live on little money in London.

The framing narrative is thus: a Jewish man, dying in a concentration camp, comforts himself by imagining Hitler as the above. We have two layers running side by side: the inhuman brutality of the camp and alternative Hitler (alias Wolf) investigating a missing person case in London. It's a risky, ambitious idea of course - not many writers c
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Novel about an alternate 1930s Germany where Hitler is a private detective. But there's another reality where a Jewish man in a concentration camp uses his imagination to escapes the horrors of World War II. Tidhar displays a great knowledge of history, pulp fiction, genre fiction and language. It's a raw, difficult and brilliant work
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, own
I have no doubt that this will be one of the top books I read in 2014. A man lies dreaming is like no other book I have ever read. That is not a casual statement. It certainly shares traits with, among others, Lavie Tidhar's previous work, as well as Philip K Dick, and dare I say George MacDonald Fraser among a host of others. AMLD is a gutsy book. It shows an author who is willing to take chances, and enjoys more than a healthy dose of irony among other traits. I wish I could come up with some ...more
Miquel Codony
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Uno no puede menos que quitarse el sombrero ante el hallazgo que supone este “A Man Lies Dreaming” de Lavie Tidhar. Sus virtudes son numerosas, la inteligencia que anima a la novela grande y malintencionada y, por si fuera poco, está impregnada de un negrísimo sentido del humor que no hace más que resaltar un trasfondo tanto más valioso en cuanto se trata de un libro sumamente entretenido que ya valdría la pena leer sólo por el buen rato que proporciona. Se trata, además, de una ucronía excepcio ...more
Jan 06, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
COVER ART: Pedro Marques
PAGES A Man Lies Dreaming - 348 / Lust of the Swastika - 88

"A MAN LIES DREAMING" including the previously unpublished novella LUST OF THE SWASTIKA plus bonus material.

Limited to 200 numbered Slipcased Jacketed Hardcovers signed by Lavie Tidhar
Antonio Diaz
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Adictiva, genial pero estremecedora. Una novela que no deja indiferente. Pronto reseña en Sense Of Wonder
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Really more like a 4.5, though I have more reservations than that score would typically indicate.

Plenty has been said about the plot, so I won't bother recounting it. Yep, Hitler. Yep, kinda funny! Yep, very uncomfortable at times. But what I didn't expect was how uncomfortable it made me to see Hitler abused, the way he's abused in this book. Of course, that sort of vengeful, smirking abuse is in part justified by the frame story, which implies that this Hitler and his many indignities are drea
Alex MacFarlane
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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. (I’ve got to say, as ‘unexpectedly fucking genius’ ideas go, this is up there...) That narrative is the majority of the book, but Auschwitz is never far, and it is more than a frame. The set-up allows a dialogue between the two realities: the rather obvious notions of ‘revenge fantasy’ and ‘wish-fulfilment’ colour Shomer’s imagined alternate Britain ...more
Tudor Ciocarlie
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
The most disturbing story I've read all year. The Holocaust needs new perspectives in order for its pain and its warning to remain fresh in people's minds, and this novel is probably the most interesting Holocaust story I've read in the last 5 years.
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know how to rate this one? Definitely 4+ but maybe more?
Alternative history with a dark/adult flavour.
It is 1939-ish a writer of Yiddish pulp is in Auschwitz dreaming a 'noir detective' story.
Imagining an alternative reality nearly as dark and twisted as the one he is living.
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
"El hombre que sueña el monstruo para sobrevivirlo"

Escribir ficción especulativa sobre una figura histórica supone asumir el riesgo de alejarse del personaje histórico y serle infiel a la Historia. Eso es precisamente lo que hace Lavie Tidhar en A Man Lies Dreaming: toma el personaje más icónico, conocido y odiado de toda una comunidad religiosa, de buena parte de Occidente, y de una nación relativamente joven, y crea una ficción alrededor de los aspectos de su personalidad anterior a su llegada
Nati Korn
ללביא תדהר היה רעיון מעניין. ספויילרים אינם חביבים עלי ולכן לא אפרט מהו, למרות שהוא ברור למדי כבר למן העמודים הראשונים של ספרו. סביב רעיון זה טווה תדהר את סיפורו. את חוט העלילה הוא מושך כמעט מכל מה שניתן לכנות התרבות הפופולארית ואף הפחות פופולארית העוסקת בספרות, בנאציזם ובשואה. הוא שואב מהכל ומשתמש בהכל. מספרי בלשים אמריקנים ועד סרטי פילם נואר. מביוגרפיות של היטלר ואזכורים של פושעים נאצים ופאשיסטים אחרים ועד לדמויות ציוניות שוליות. מדיון בייצוגי השואה בספרות אצל ק.צטניק, פרימו לוי, זבלוני הסטאלג ...more
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The premise reminds me of an ethics/philosophy exercise we did in middle school: We were asked would you save someone if they were drowning? Then, we were asked what if the man drowning was Hitler? Then another twist, what if the man was Hitler before he did anything, but, somehow, you knew he would in the future do terrible things? There are a lot of ways to argue and answer this exercise, but one of the things that stood out was that Hitler was always this embodiment of evil, the one to measur ...more
Lukáš Palán
Apr 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: israeli
Hitler nevyhrál volby, utekl do Anglie a dělá tam soukromý očko. Vzniknou v této alternativní budoucnosti špagety? Bude Elton John gay? A dostane Jirka Pomeje roli v Rychle a zběsile 9? To se bohužel nedozvíme.

Místo těchto slibných nápadů totiž autor sleduje Hitlera, kterej se snaží objasnit vraždy, vyřešit únos a odvrátit smrt anglickýho nácka Mosleyho. Čekal jsem brak a dostal jsem ho čistokrevnej, plnej semene, krve, kurev a blbejch hlášek. Přesně jak se patří. Ale nějak to nefungovalo. Že hl
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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. Luckily I was in London the week after it was released, so I got to pick up a copy soon after release. And I’m glad I sprung for the hardback version as it’s a beautiful book, physically speaking. The cover is deceptively simple yet very powerful and evocative and is not a dust cover, but has laminated boards, in other words it’s printed directly on the boards. Th ...more
David Harris
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In this book, as with his earlier Osama, Tidhar plays games with an alternate version of a real monster. This brilliant, haunting book raises many questions about guilt, evil and redemption but gives few answers, instead, it leaves the reader to ponder.

In another time and place, it is November 1939. Down-at-heel German émigré Wolf is a Chandleresque private eye living in squalid Soho among prostitutes and posturing Blackshirts. In this reality, The Nazis never came to power in Germany, but fled
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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. A Man Lies Dreaming is a provocative, mesmerising experience. I finished the book earlier this week and I’m still pondering it now.

The scenes featuring Shomer in Auschwitz are heart breaking. His entire life has been utterly destroyed. His family and friends are gone, and now he only exists in his own personal hell. It feels alm
Zuzana Schedová
Muž leží a sní se odehrává v alternativním Londýně 30. let 19. Století. Politická situace je tu ale úplně jiná než o jaké jsme se učili na hodinách dějepisu. Lavie Tidhair svůj příběh umístnil do alternativního Londýna s temnou noir atmosférou a děj se odehrává po té, co se v roce 1933 místo fašistů dostali v Německu k moci komunisti – a tím se změnilo úplně všechno. Na fašisty a jejich přívržence byla vyhlášená honba. Trestaneckým táborům se tak vyhnuli jedině uprchnutím z Německa. Londýn se ta ...more
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Is it even possible to write a WW2 alternate history without someone, somewhere, reviewing it as "the new Man in the High Castle"? This isn't the new Man in the High Castle. Lavie Tidhar can do PKD-esque very well, as demonstrated in Osama, but - this is a different flavour. And the protagonist is a private eye in London, a man who came from Germany and used to have a thin mustache.

Audiobook note: This took me a loong time to get through, because, while the mostly-aggressive "German accent" is
Renita D'Silva
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Clever, brilliantly researched, subversive and intelligent. Loved this extremely sharp, insightful and imaginative read.
Melanie  (Perpetually Reading)
I haven't had a chance to read many stories with an alternate history plot, but A Man Lies Dreaming had me scrambling for more in this genre.

The story starts with Wolf, an anti-Semitic down-and-out detective, who accepts a job from a well-to-do Jewish girl to find her sister. The twist in this world is that the Nazis (and therefore Hitler) never came to power in Germany, and was beaten in the elections by the Communists. As we navigate this topsy-turvy world with Wolf, the story also cuts to th
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Thoughts & Questions About A Man Lies Dreaming 2 10 May 19, 2017 08:36AM  
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Lavie Tidhar was raised on a kibbutz in Israel. He has travelled extensively since he was a teenager, living in South Africa, the UK, Laos, and the small island nation of Vanuatu.

Tidhar began publishing with a poetry collection in Hebrew in 1998, but soon moved to fiction, becoming a prolific author of short stories early in the 21st century.

Temporal Spiders, Spatial Webs won the 2003 Clarke-Bradb
“What is a man! What is a man but mended cloth, hastily worn and discarded? ... What makes a man? What makes a hero, Shomer? Is it simply to live when there is nothing left to live for, when all you knew and loved is gone? Is it, simply, to survive? For like the threads of an intricate shawl, we have been pulled at and torn, Shomer. We have been unravelled.” 2 likes
“ is a truth universally acknowledged, that once a detective acquires two concurrent cases, the two must be in some way related.
I call it Wolf's Law.”
More quotes…