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Osama (English Edition) [Versión Kindle]

Lavie Tidhar

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Descripción del producto

Lavie Tidhar was in Dar-es-Salaam during the American embassy bombings in 1998, and stayed in the same hotel as the Al Qaeda operatives in Nairobi. Since then he and his now-wife have narrowly avoided both the 2005 King’s Cross and 2004 Sinai attacks—experiences that led first to his memorable short story “My Travels with Al-Qaeda” and later to the creation of Osama.

“In a world without global terrorism Joe, a private detective, is hired by a mysterious woman to find a man: the obscure author of pulp fiction novels featuring one Osama Bin Laden: Vigilante...”

Detalles del producto

  • Formato: Versión Kindle
  • Tamaño del archivo: 566 KB
  • Longitud de impresión: 276
  • Uso simultáneo de dispositivos: Sin límite
  • Editor: PS Publishing Ltd (21 de septiembre de 2011)
  • Vendido por: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Idioma: Inglés
  • ASIN: B005OSXJO2
  • Texto a voz: Activado
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Activado
  • Tipografía mejorada: Activado
  • Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: n°274.477 Pagados en Tienda Kindle (Ver el Top 100 de pago en Tienda Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 3.8 de un máximo de 5 estrellas  15 opiniones
7 de 8 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Truly Haunting 10 de octubre de 2012
Por James Mowry - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Versión Kindle
Tidhar, an Israeli writer, has written a beautiful and haunting book--but to try to describe it without revealing too much of its mysterious heart is quite a task. So let me start by saying it is extremely well-written and brilliantly evokes each of the places it takes place: Vientiane, Laos; Paris; New York; and finally, Kabul. Ostensibly, it is the story of a detective (in the Raymond Chandler mode) hired by a mysterious woman to track down a writer named Mike Longshott, who has written a series of books about Osama Bin Laden, Vigilante. It soon becomes clear, however, that in the detective's world, Osama Bin Laden, the events of 9/11, and a few significant chunks of history don't exist. But to pigeonhole this book as just an alternate history or science fiction would be missing the point. Osama isn't as neat and tidy as such fictions tend to be. Tidhar blends the real and the unreal together in such a way that truth and fiction blur into a marvelous new synthesis that tells us something about both. It succeeds, where other attempts such as China Mieville's THE CITY AND THE CITY largely fail, because of the depth of feeling at the book's center and because the detective is so well-drawn and interesting, even when stumbling blindly in search of his next clue. OSAMA achieves the near-impossible--serious escapist fiction, or maybe vice-versa? Just read it.
3 de 3 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
4.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas A noirish mind trip 3 de enero de 2013
Por Ryan - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa dura
Meet Joe, an archetypal low-rent private detective living in Southeast Asia. Except, in Joe's world, 9-11 and other terrorist attacks never took place. Instead, they're just plot elements in a semi-popular series of pulp novels called "Osama bin Laden, Vigilante", which even has a yearly fan convention devoted to it.

This matters to Joe because a mysterious woman appears at his office and hires him to track down the author of those same novels. Soon, as he travels the world, he finds himself running into people who don't quite seem to belong. Then he meets people who don't want him investigating further. And then things start to get odd. Philip K. Dick comparisons seem apt, though I was also reminded of China Mieville's City and the City and the mind-bending story in the computer game Braid.

This is, without question, a novel whose meaning hides in its obliqueness and blurring of reality. Who is Joe, exactly? Who are the ghostlike "refugees"? What is the connection between his world and ours? Tidhar offers hints, but no certain answers. I thought it was a stroke of brilliance that Osama bin Laden himself becomes an anti-presence in the story. Made imaginary in Joe's world, he becomes more visible as what he really is in ours: a omnipresent icon that haunts without having any real definition or connection to what the actual bin Laden was. The symbolism is open to interpretation, but, to me, it expressed the ultimate elusiveness of either escape or understanding in the endless feedback of the human response to terrorism.

Of course, open-ended, strange-loopy novels aren't the sort of thing that speaks to every reader (at least, not without chemical enhancement), but this one hit most of the right notes with me. I liked the audacity of Tidhar's vision and the tight, noir-ish, slightly hallucinatory writing. And it's not a long book.
14 de 19 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
2.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Smoke, mirrors, and shades of gray 29 de octubre de 2012
Por DJA - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa dura
It seems that this book has received a considerable number of accolades from non-Amazon reviewers. For me, reading Tidhar's work was like plodding through a fog-enshrouded swamp without a compass. I would have rated it a "one star," except for the final 75 pages, which finally "picked up the pace." Like most of the novel itself, I wasn't sure if the preface, listing two pages of supposed praise for this "provocative and fast-moving tale," were real or imagined.

I would characterize OSAMA as more of an "alternate reality" essay than an "alternate history." At its conclusion, it leaves many unanswered questions. "Joe" (the protagonist) is often described by the other characters as a "refugee," a "ghost," or a "fuzzy-wuzzy." Has Joe died as a result of a terrorist bombing in our "real" world? Is he now trapped between our world and a reality in which Osama bin Laden is only a persona appearing in under-the-counter pulp fiction? Or is Joe simply immersed in an opium-filled hallucination? (The cover of the book and pages between chapters depict apparent cigarette or pipe smoke.)

On the plus side, Tidhar penned several thought-provoking sections. I particularly liked the scene in which Joe, wandering though a strange house, spots a large picture frame titled TIME'S MAN OF THE YEAR, and sees an image of himself. It turns out that the frame outlines a mirror, and Joe simply gazes into his own reflection.

Unfortunately, the author's constant use of short, choppy sentences and agonizingly poor similes and metaphors makes OSAMA difficult to read. A few examples are listed below:

"The girl closed the book and laid it back down on the desk, carefully, as if handling a valuable object. 'Do you think so?' she said. He didn't know what to answer her. He remained silent. She remained standing. They looked at each other and he wondered what she saw. Her fingers were quite long and thin. Her ears were a little pointy. At last, she said, 'I want you to find him,' and her fingers caressed the book."

"The point of transit was like the epicentre of two opposing forces, like the equilibrium found when an equal pull is exerted on a body from all directions."

Before picking up this novel, be forewarned that it is dark and dismal. It's like an apocalyptic ALICE IN WONDERLAND or ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, except in this case, the rabbit hole and mirror contain far less illumination, and Alice never finds her way out.
4 de 5 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Uncategorisable & brilliant 25 de junio de 2013
Por Jared - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa blanda
With Osama, Lavie Tidhar isn't writing about the moments of horror that make up the connect-the-dots of modern terrorism. He's writing about their reflections.

And noir, with its long history of engaging with questions of violence and culpability, seems an obvious way to try to access, and personalize, a story about terrorism. So it makes sense that Osama is a noir. And not just some run-of-the-mill the-author-just-watched-The-Maltese-Falcon rip-off, either, although Tidhar hits all the right beats: the staccato dialogue, the curling smoke, the steaming coffee, the chases through the chiaroscuro of grimy city streets.

Joe's a consummate everyman, an anonymous PI out of place and happy to be there. Set in a world without terrorism, Osama begins as all good hardboiled novels begin: a beautiful woman walks into Joe's office and offers him a job - find Mike Longshott, the apparently pseudonymous author of the wildly popular, critically derided Osama: Vigilante series of pulp novels. All expenses paid, of course. The chase leads Joe from one end of the world to the other; in his wake he trails confusion and violence, while each clue leads him to question not only his employment, but his own life.

But Osama isn't a straight-up hardboiled novel. It's a noir. And the best noir isn't about the mystery, or the atmosphere - although they're both important components of the whole. At base, noir is about character; that is, a character. A single person, in search of something. Noir requires a complex point-of-view character, someone who's both wholly certain of himself and entirely lost. An shadowy person, in a series of shadowy settings, searching not just for answers to some mystery-for-hire, but for himself. Noir protagonists are not standard hard-boiled detective characters, a la Sam Spade; they're intimately involved in whatever event has set the plot rolling - not as detectives, but as victims or perpetrators. Or both.

If Dashiell Hammett's modern twist to the mystery novel was to "dispose of his victims before the story commences," then Tidhar takes it a step further. His victims are fictional twice over, disposed of not only before the story commences but in stories within that story. Tidhar excerpts the terrorist attacks from Mike Longshott's Osama novels to punctuate Joe's search for Longshott. Except, Tidhar's readers recognize their own reality in those excerpts, those powerful, chillingly accurate depictions of the terrorist attacks on places like London and New York. Joe's search for the pseudonymous Longshott becomes a search for the fictional Osama - but the more Joe engages with his quest to find Longshott, the more the barrier between the fictional and the real begins to dissolve.

These excerpts provide a kind of commentary on the scale and apparent meaninglessness of those deaths - the exploitative nature of pulp writing, where death is presented as entertainment, weighed against the scale and apparent meaninglessness of those same deaths, in our reality. There's death in-between the two, as well; Joe's own reality is likewise punctuated with awful violence - a dead kitten, a murdered contact. The scale is different, but the violence is still apparently without meaning. Except, of course, it's not: this is fiction within fiction: the fictional-fictional world of the Osama novels and Joe's own fictional world (and, unfortunately, our own world, in which we recognize the fictional gloss over very real events).

In every case, death comes at the hands of someone who sincerely believed he was doing the right thing. Terrorism in Joe's world is entertainment, though we find it an awful, painful reminder of our own grim reality. But we're reading Osama for entertainment, ourselves, and the deaths that Joe experiences are there to increase our reading pleasure - to give his character depth, to progress the plot, to contribute thematic heft to the narrative. Tidhar confronts his readers, again and again, with their own engagement with violence, forcing us to question what we read, and why we read it.

[This review first appeared as part of The Kitschies]
4 de 5 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
4.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Missed a few spots, but overall worth the read 3 de diciembre de 2012
Por Matt Smith - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa blanda|Compra verificada
I'm really unsure about this book. I've moved between two and four stars so many times that I'd better just stick with three, but I can't.

This review contains spoilers that may ruin the book for you. After the tl;dr, which is safe to read, continue at your own risk. I won't be using the spoiler tag.

There's no satisfying conclusion, no detailed explanation, and some really overused techniques; it's really hard to grab hold of it and take it seriously. However, the book has a fascinating premise and tries to do home really interesting things with language. It even partially succeeds. The four stars are awarded partially on the strength of the attempt, but mostly on the questions of choice and identity that Tidhar raises, answering only with the least satisfying anti-western conclusion imaginable.

The longer version should begin with an excerpt:

This was the third or fourth bar he's tried, each one dingier than the other, in each subsequent one the music quieter, the lights dimmer, the drinking more intense. There were women there, from Asia and Africa and Europe, a cosmopolitan blend who all wore the same exaggerated makeup, the same too-short skirts, the same look in their eyes that was at once an evaluation and a wariness and an invitation, and deeper than that, a great restless tiredness resembling fear, and the men who came to the bars returned that look with one of their own, a corresponding mix of hunger and reticence and unvarnished need and a little bit of shame: they were a dance, Joe thought, an intricate wavering pattern criss-crossing and hatching like the web of train lines outside of St. Lazare, criss-crossing and hatching, but never quite meeting, and if they ever did it would be fatal.

The book is full of language like that. I can (and did) imagine the narration over a dark, smoky black and white film. I heard Bogart's voice. Later, when elements from Casablanca were recreated, I either rolled my eyes or laughed. I'm not sure which. Maybe both.

Here's the thing - the narration is so stereotypical that it's really hard to take seriously. So is Joe, the protagonist. He has no last name and no identity outside of "detective." He has no motives other than investigation. He likes bad scotch, smokes too much, and drinks too much coffee. I hated him and wondered how a book centered on this character could win any award the author didn't pay for.

I normally give the bad, then the good, but I can't do that here. I can't give the good without giving an overview of the plot, and I hate giving plot overviews. Oh, well.

The novel is set in a universe in which terrorism isn't real. Osama bin Laden is a character in a series of pulp books written by a guy named Mike Longshott. Joe, the bland protagonist, really likes those books. He's in in his office when a woman appears. He doesn't see her come in, she just does. She gives Joe a credit card and tells him to find a guy the author. Without discussing payment, he agrees.

He hops around the world looking first for Medusa Press, then the author. He's harassed by two different groups, one obviously law enforcement, the other some kind of criminal organization. People smoke opium like crazy in order to dream, which Joe can't do. The one time he experiences opium, he dreams - and finds himself in our world, the real world.

In the end, we discover that Joe is one of countless refugees from our more violent world, that he doesn't belong in the world in which he finds himself. These refugees exist in varying states of solidity, sometimes disappearing from existence entirely. When Joe sleeps, he ceases to be. Other characters have entered nonexistence permanently, presumably because they never developed a real identity.

The woman who hired him to find Longshott is a lover or a friend from our world, trying desperately to convince Joe to become who he once was. He has a moment of clarity but refuses to accept the name she gives him. The book ends with Joe at his desk, doing nothing, accepting his life as a literal stereotype.

So at the end, we see all of Tidhar's hamfisted and stereotypical choices actually mean something. The language he uses changes at different points in the book to match the level of awareness Joe seems to have of reality and of himself. It's not so hamfisted after all.

I felt unsatisfied at the end of the book, but I really feel that it was intentional. Despite its obvious flaws, I think this is a really smart story. It could have been executed better, but it was well worth the read.

For a westerner in love with the idea of individuality and agency, Joe's choice might make no sense. It screams "don't take the easy way out" to anyone paying attention. I would hope that I would choose to be myself no matter how difficult it made the world seem. If I'm honest, I can only shake my head as I count the times I allowed myself to be subsumed under something that wasn't real simply because it was the easier path.
Ir a Amazon.com para ver las 15 opiniones existentes 3.8 de un máximo de 5 estrellas

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