LoveReading Expert Review of

There have been many alternate histories with a crime setting  before but this new novel by a young Israeli author writing in English is one of the most challenging and rewarding. It's 1939 in London and the Nazis never came to power, having been brushed aside by the Communists and Hitler is now an exile in London scraping a living as a low grade private eye. He still hates the Jews and remains a most despicable character, when he is engaged to find a missing girl (and sister...). The following story obeys all the rules of pulp writing in a noir and atmospheric tradition, full of violence, wit and irony. But what you are actually reading is the dream of a poor pulp writer imprisoned in Auschwitz. A fascinating walk along a literary tightrope that never rings a wrong note, this is outstanding and moving stuff, whether you are seeking crime, SF or just a great novel!


Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A fascinating book of which you cannot predict where it is going.  Shomer is a worker Jew in Auschwitz and to retain his sanity he imagines an alternative history where Hitler did not come to power.  He fled to London, became known as the Wolf and started a seedy private detective agency.  He is approached by a wealthy Jewess to find her sister.  What is most interesting about the extraordinary story is that in imagining “what if” here it takes us down an equally horrific path.  The communists rule in Europe.  The Americans hate and fear them.  The English hate the Germans, the Nazis hate the English and everyone hates the Jews so there is hatred, prejudice and extreme violence everywhere.  There are no real heroes, except maybe Shomer.  There are villains and victims and no winners.  Brilliant.

Maxim Jakubowski


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 former dictator now known only as Wolf ekes out a miserable existence as a low-rent PI in London's grimiest streets. An extraordinary story of revenge and redemption, A Man Lies Dreaming is the unforgettable testament to the power of imagination.

About This Edition

Publication date: 1st January 1970
Author: Lavie Tidhar
Primary Genre Thriller and Suspense
Other Genres:
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Closing date: 10/07/2022

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Lavie Tidhar Press Reviews

'An emerging master.'



'Young, ambitious, skilled and original.'

-Christopher Priest, author of The Prestige.


'He is a political writer, an iconoclast and sometimes a provocateur ... Osama is a remarkable and ambitious work.'

-China Mieville on Osama.

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781444762945
Publication date: 12/03/2015
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781444762921
Publication date: 23/10/2014
Format: Hardback

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About Lavie Tidhar

Lavie Tidhar was born just ten miles from Armageddon and grew up on a kibbutz in northern Israel. He has since made his home in London, where he is currently a Visiting Professor and Writerin Residence at Richmond University. He won the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize for Best British Fiction, was twice longlisted forthe International Dublin Literary Award and was shortlisted forthe CWA Dagger Award and the Rome Prize. He co-wrote Art and War: Poetry, Pulp and Politics in Israeli Fiction, and is a columnist forthe Washington Post.  

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