March 15, 2016
Lavie’s top two (plus one more)
by Lavie Tidhar
To mark the launch of his novel A Man Lies Dreaming, we asked the author, Lavie Tidhar, to tell us about the top two books that influenced and inspired him as he was planning and writing the novel.
The Buenos Aires Quintet, by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán
If anyone showed me how crime fiction can also be great literature, and how vital it can be, it was Montalbán, and this is arguably his greatest novel, a searing examination of culture, history and violence. I read a lot of crime fiction for fun, but I love it when—like Ellroy in America, or Montalbán in Spain or what James McClure did for Apartheid South Africa back in the day with his Kramer & Zondi novels—they turn into something more, something profound. I try to aim high—I’d rather fail ambitiously, I think, than succeed by not saying anything important.
[And you just happen to be in the right place—The Buenos Aires Quintet is available from Melville House here.]
Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow, by Peter Høeg
I loved this book from the moment I first laid eyes on it in the shop, many years ago now. From the extraordinary opening paragraph onwards, this packs so much, so beautifully—an early example for me on how to combine multiple genres and do it in a literary, haunting way. It’s helped shape my own approach to writing, that sense that stories can take unexpected turns. There is a little bit of Smilla, I hope, some ghostly trait, in everything I write.
The Dumas Club, by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Metafiction, missing books, a rumpled detective, the occult and… The Three Musketeers? Another European novel that’s had a huge influence on me in how effortlessly it combines genres like they don’t even exist—and it’s a lot of fun, too! Certainly what I love is the use of the detective trope which then goes off in completely unexpected directions, and of course I can’t resist books within books, the sense of a novel itself as an artefact, which is certainly also in A Man Lies Dreaming, I think.
Lavie Tidhar‘s A Man Lies Dreaming is on sale today. You can buy your copy here or at your neighborhood independent bookstore.
Lavie Tidhar is the World Fantasy Award winning author of The Violent Century, Osama, and many other works. He won the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella and was nominated for the BSFA, Campbell, Sturgeon, Kitschie Red Tentacle, and Sidewise awards. He grew up on a kibbutz in Israel and in South Africa but currently resides in London.