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Search tags: Lavie-Tidhar
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review 2018-08-07 09:48
Unholy Land - Lavie Tidhar
Unholy Land - Lavie Tidhar

Not really sure where to begin with my review for Unholy Land, which I picked up as an uncorrected proof on Netgalley - as a result, knowing little about the book and also missing the fact it was labelled as 'literary fiction' (a category which really does very little for me), I wondered if the things that didn't quite mesh together right at the beginning were just errors on the part of the author, only to discover later they were probably stylistic choices. 

 

Anyway, on to the plot. Initially, Unholy Land is alternate history - in this case, a history where instead of settling in Israel, Jews fleeing from Europe settled an area of central Africa and made for themselves a land called Palestina. For anyone who knows something of the current situation in the Middle East, there's something a little ironic about the fact that, as a result, the Jewish community in this scenario call themselves Palestinians. Anyway, our main character is a writer of pulp detective stories called Lior who is returning to Palestina after living in Germany, having recently suffered a terrible loss. 

 

However, as we discover throughout the book, there is more going on here than initially meets the eye and Lior himself begins to have trouble sorting out his own memories from what everyone else seems to think has happened. Landing in Palestina, where the inhabitants are busy building a massive wall to secure their ownership of the land, Lior finds himself involved in the murder of an old friend and that's just the beginning of the difficulties he faces.The spaces between the different realities are wearing thin. 

 

This isn't the easiest novel to read and half the time I'm pretty sure I had little idea exactly what was going on, not helped by the number of points of view that get used along the way. I was also a little thrown by how autobiographical it is - having read some of the author's comments before the story itself, I could see where his experience was cropping up as Lior's, though it's quite possible given the nature of the story that this was again a deliberate choice. It's just a little too much work to keep track of what's going on and I'm left feeling glad that I picked this up where and how I did, as it's not something I'll want to read again. 

 

 

I received this book as an uncorrected proof from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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review 2017-03-29 18:31
Navel Gazing Novel: “Central Station” by Lavie Tidhar
Central Station - Lavie Tidhar

"The Shambleau called Carmel came to Central Station in spring, when the smell in the air truly is intoxicating. It is a smell of the sea, and of the sweat of so many bodies, their heat and their warmth, and it is the smell of humanity’s spices and the cool scent of its many machines."

 

In “Central Station” by Lavie Tidhar

 

This is a navel gazing novel; a friend of mine would say it's a novel about the human condition. Back in the day, this was the stuff that interested me less. But they say SF at its best is allegorical and because contemporary versions are all about we live in navel gazing times, this one was much up my alley. Quoting from “Blade Runner”, in one of the most wonderful Roy Batty lines, just so you know how geeky I am: "I've felt wind in my hair, riding test boats off the black galaxies and seen an attack fleet burn like a match and disappear. I've seen it...felt it!", one can sense what makes us human even in a SF milieu. This existential part is what makes the genre so appealing to me. I wonder when they will do a film based on Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars stuff? It has to be high-quality to do justice, casting & special effects both, so it’s going cost a bunch, also there are some themes they might not want to show the masses at this stage, perhaps that is some factor why, surprisingly, they haven't tried a film yet... big bucks to be made though if they do it well! How will you cram, what, 1500 pages of well-crafted prose into 90 minutes of Hollywood glitz? We all remember what happened to e.g. "Dune" when they tried that.

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

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review 2017-01-15 00:00
Central Station
Central Station - Lavie Tidhar I finished this earlier today and not really sure what to think about this. It has some interesting stories within the novel but not really sure what the point of the overall book was.

3 Stars for a novel I am not sure what I fell about it.
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text 2016-11-01 14:56
Jews vs Zombies
Jews vs Omnibus: Jews vs Aliens and Jews vs Zombies - Naomi Alderman,Daniel Polansky,Sarah Lotz,Shimon Adaf,Rachel Swirsky,Eric Kaplan,Rebecca Levene,Lavie Tidhar,Sarah Anne Langton

So that happened! 

 

For whatever reason, I ending up being assigned a bunch of Jewish science fiction (or science fiction written by Jewish writers, if you prefer) by my editor, which ended up being a fun mini-class. I picked this up as it's edited by the fabulous Lavie Tidhar. His A Man Lies Dreaming is one of those most bananas alt-history pulp meltdowns; it must be seen to be believed. 

 

I only read Jews vs Zombies, but BL doesn't have anything but the omnibus listed. Like most short story collections, it's a mix of better and worse. "Zayinim" by Adam Roberts is a standout, a sly alt-history that could easily keep going to novel length, given the richness of the detail. "The Scapegoat Factory" is funny, which one does not expect from zombie fiction, as is "the Friday People", but there the humor is black as pitch. The real Talmudic ones didn't work for me, too abstruse, but they may work for others. Definitely a better collection than the silly name implies. 

 

Ta da!

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review 2016-08-23 04:24
The Bookman, by Lavie Tidhar
The Bookman - Lavie Tidhar

Lavie Tidhar’s The Bookman introduces us to a bold alternate world flavored by Western literature. I lost count of all the literary references in this tale about an orphan (called Orphan, for clarity) who suddenly becomes very interesting to the government and several revolutionary groups. On top of the literary references, there are giant, sentient lizards; automatons; pirated; and aliens. This book has everything...

 

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.

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