The Economist Best Books of 2022 Selection
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A multi-generational saga with cultural and political depth, drawing on the rich, often troubling recent history of Israel, for fans of A History of Seven Killings or The White Tiger.
How do you build a nation?
It takes statesmen and soldiers, farmers and factory workers, of course. But it also takes thieves, prostitutes and policemen.
Nation-building demands sacrifice. And one man knows exactly where those bodies are buried: Cohen, a man who loves his country. A reasonable man for unreasonable times.
A car bomb in the back streets of Tel Aviv. A diamond robbery in Haifa. Civil war in Lebanon. Rebel fighters in the Colombian jungle. A double murder in Los Angeles.
How do they all connect? Only Cohen knows.
Maror is the story of a war for a country’s soul – a dazzling spread of narrative gunshots across four decades and three continents.
It is a true story. All of these things happened.
‘Some write in ink, others in song, Tidhar writes in fire… Maror is a kaleidoscopic masterpiece, immense in its sympathies, alarming in its irreverences and altogether exhilarating’ Junot Díaz
‘One of the boldest, most visionary writers I’ve ever read creates both a vivid political exploration and a riveting crime epic. It’s like the Jewish Godfather!’ Silvia Moreno-Garcia
“I’ve rarely read such a sustained feat of narrative invention and momentum. The novel’s a masterpiece.” – Tim Pears
“Maror blends the page-turning wit of a hard-boiled detective noir with the stirring intrigue of a multi-national political epic. An ambitious achievement that weaves a tapestry of both story and statement.” – Kevin Jared Hosein
“Maror is a masterpiece of the sacred and the profane … a literary triumph.” – The Guardian
“A bloody beast of a book… Maror is to Israeli history what Tarantino is to American movie culture” – The Daily Mail
“[A] wildly ambitious saga… A caustic alternative history of the dream and development of Israel.” – The Economist
“Amos Oz’s A Tale of Love and Darkness… Fade[s] into oblivion compared with Lavie Tidhar’s magnificent novel Maror, a panoramic look at four decades of the dark, despicable side of Israel, of death, corruption, violence and drugs… It’s a brilliant undertaking.” – The Jewish Chronicle
“Mixing dark humor with bleak violence, Maror is a triumph.” – Hadassah Magazine
“Radiant with all the brutally elegant atmosphere of crime noir, and the richly nuanced complexity and style of Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings, it’s a genre-busting novel that will catch your breath … At once illuminating, thrilling and thought-provoking, this tale of corruption, killings, sacrifice and the souls that make up a nation is a symphonic feat of fiction.” – LoveReading
“Maror is a profane, irreverent, scathing, sometimes blackly humorous and often compassionate fever-dream history of Israel. ..possibly his best yet.” – The NewTown Review of Books
“Who can forget the savage, musical James Ellroy prose circa the L.A. Quartet books? Now we have a successor … Lavie Tidhar, a marvelous multi-genre author who never fails to delight, has now penned his noir opus. Maror is a heady, nonstop brew of terror, violence, and mayhem, while also exuding swathes of coursing humanity.” – ReadListenWatch
“An unforgettably powerful saga … a sweeping portrayal of violence, corruption and chaos threaded through by veins of humanity… It is difficult to do justice to such a monumental work. So many aspects of Maror attract superlatives but they fail to convey the range and breathtaking insight of this epic crime novel. A book for all lovers of great literature.” – Queensland Reviewers Collective