Every Matt Ruff book is a unique reading experience, so when I heard The Mirage was an alternate history version of 9/11, I had to know how he pulled it off. Synopsis: A mind-bending novel in which an alternate history of 9/11 and its aftermath uncovers startling truths about America and the Middle East 11/9/2001: […]READ MORE →
Every Matt Ruff book is a unique reading experience, so when I heard The Mirage was an alternate history version of 9/11, I had to know how he pulled it off.
A mind-bending novel in which an alternate history of 9/11 and its aftermath uncovers startling truths about America and the Middle East
11/9/2001: Christian fundamentalists hijack four jetliners. They fly two into the Tigris & Euphrates World Trade Towers in Baghdad, and a third into the Arab Defense Ministry in Riyadh. The fourth plane, believed to be bound for Mecca, is brought down by its passengers.
The United Arab States declares a War on Terror. Arabian and Persian troops invade the Eastern Seaboard and establish a Green Zone in Washington, D.C. . . .
Summer, 2009: Arab Homeland Security agent Mustafa al Baghdadi interrogates a captured suicide bomber. The prisoner claims that the world they are living in is a mirage–in the real world, America is a superpower, and the Arab states are just a collection of “backward third-world countries.” A search of the bomber’s apartment turns up a copy of “The New York Times,” dated September 12, 2001, that appears to support his claim. Other captured terrorists have been telling the same story. The president wants answers, but Mustafa soon discovers he’s not the only interested party.
The gangster Saddam Hussein is conducting his own investigation. And the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee–a war hero named Osama bin Laden–will stop at nothing to hide the truth. As Mustafa and his colleagues venture deeper into the unsettling world of terrorism, politics, and espionage, they are confronted with questions without any rational answers, and the terrifying possibility that their world is not what it seems.
Acclaimed novelist Matt Ruff has created a shadow world that is eerily recognizable but, at the same time, almost unimaginable. Gripping, subversive, and unexpectedly moving, “The Mirage” probes our deepest convictions and most arresting fears.
Why I Love It:
Ruff’s first novel Fool on the Hill is one of my favourite all-time books while his Bad Monkeys is an acid trip of a read. (In a good way.) But I wasn’t sure how The Mirage would land. Well, he did a brilliant job. I love books featuring alternate histories or even just alternate cities. Ruff took the events and major players of 9/11 and created this mirror world version. It’s still the same events and the same major players yet he cleverly and chillingly re-interprets their role and positions in this world.
Our main character Mustafa al Baghdadi is a good cop trying to do the best he can in a post 11/9 world (Yes, you read that right.) He can’t figure out though, why sometimes he seems to suffer from a type of vertigo: a feeling like this world is not quite real. There are his feelings of camaraderie with total strangers and glimpses of a city with Baghdad’s familiar twin towers.
This political thriller is a fascinating look into this tragedy and absolutely part of the hook is seeing where these familiar figures, whether Arab or American, end up in this version. For all the fun of the high-concept, it was really the core characters that made this novel shine for me, because ultimately, it’s the story of people trying to make sense of a horrific event. Trying to understand hate and greed, struggling with oppression–be it religious, sexual, or gender-based, struggling with loss, and figuring out how to live in accordance with their faith and moral codes.
If you like The Man in the High Castle, you’ll really enjoy this.
Very excited to have discovered a new m/m romance author to love in Riley Hart and her sexy and sweet Gone For You. Synopsis: Oliver Hayes wears his heart on his sleeve, and his friends never let him forget it. Every Friday night spent at Wild Side, their favorite West Hollywood bar, Oliver’s lack of […]READ MORE →
It’s two for two on the historical romance front with this week’s pick of When a Marquess Loves a Woman. So why did it make the cut? Synopsis: As a young, penniless gentleman, Maxwell Harwick knew he had little to offer Juliet White—the most beautiful debutante of the season—except his love, and one thoroughly scandalous […]READ MORE →
Sinful Scottish Laird marked the end of my historical romance reading slump and a new book by Julia London. Coincidence? I think not. Synopsis: A young widow puts her sexy suitors to the test in New York Times bestselling author Julia London’s scintillating return to the idyllic Scottish Highlands. Widowed and forced to remarry in three years’ […]READ MORE →
I first heard of Weapons of Math Destruction in a radio interview with the author. She was quite engaging, but how would a book on mathematical modelling stack up? Synopsis: A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on mathematical modeling—a pervasive new force in society that threatens to undermine democracy and widen inequality. We […]READ MORE →
Hello, darlings! I’m delighted to have A.C. Rose here with us today to chat about her wonderful book Arousal and her thoughts and writing process around it. But first, the book description! Sexy, suave, European billionaire and CEO Nicolai Petre meets his match in beautiful, skeptical, New Yorker Allison Monroe, who is running a PR […]READ MORE →
It’s geek love FTW! I’m delighted to be part of this anthology where we geeks get to desire and be desired. It’s available for pre-order now, just in time for it’s Valentine’s release date. Pre-order here. And now a tease from my story “Better Than Chocolate.” What could be better than chocolate, you ask? Well […]READ MORE →
With Feversong, one of my most beloved series comes to an end. So, did it go out with a bang or a whimper? Synopsis: #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning returns with the epic conclusion to her pulse-pounding Fever series, where a world thrown into chaos grows more treacherous at every turn. […]READ MORE →
Etched in Bone completes The Others series with five brilliant books and done. And I, for one, could not have asked for a better ending. Synopsis: After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within […]READ MORE →
For all that I read and write YA, I’ve never featured a book here on Curl up written by a teen. Very happy that that is about to change with today’s offering of Diary of a Tokyo Teen. Synopsis: Born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and an American father in 1997, Christine Mari Inzer […]READ MORE →
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- Saturday Mar 25 - 8:54pm