A Man Lies Dreaming
By Lavie Tidhar
Published by Hodder (12 March 2015)
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't grimiest streets.
A Man Lies Dreaming has to be one of the most bizarre and imaginative books I have read about the holocaust, and also one of the most fascinating. Imagine if Adolf Hitler never came to power in Germany and ended up in London instead, living as a low-life private investigator with the dregs of society.
There are two stories here. Firstly, that of Shomer, an inmate suffering cruel hardships and the threat of the gas chamber at Auschwitz. And secondly (taking up most of the book) that of 'Wolf' in London, who exists purely in Shomer's imagination.
The book is dark and completed twisted. The vivid descriptions and subject matter are shocking in places, but I found this to be highly addictive reading. I don't often read the historical notes at the back of a book, but I did so in this case, as I wanted to know more about the background of the story.
This isn't your average holocaust-themed book and is certainly not for the faint-hearted. But this is an ideal read if you don't mind graphic and disturbing fiction, and are looking for something very different and completely original.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher through Bookbridgr, in exchange for an honest review.