Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life
Format: Trade Paperback, 496 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
ISBN: 978-0-8129-7276-4 (0-8129-7276-7)
Pub Date: March 14, 2006
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A thrilling page-turner of epic proportions, Tom Reiss’s panoramic bestseller tells the true story of a Jew who transformed himself into a Muslim prince in Nazi Germany. Lev Nussimbaum escaped the Russian Revolution in a camel caravan and, as “Essad Bey,” became a celebrated author with the enduring novel Ali and Nino as well as an adventurer, a real-life Indiana Jones with a fatal secret. Reiss pursued Lev’s story across ten countries and found himself caught up in encounters as dramatic and surreal–and sometimes as heartbreaking–as his subject’s life.
FINALIST 2006 - Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction
“Spellbinding history . . . part detective yarn, part author biography, part travel saga . . . The Orientalist is completely fascinating.”
–The Dallas Morning News
“Rarely in the literary annals of identity confusion has there been a tale as gripping. . . . A captivating and disquieting parable of the mystery of identity . . . truly page-turning.”
–The Miami Herald
“Sympathetic, elegant, and extraordinarily affecting . . . Reiss’s storytelling panache [is] spellbinding.”
–Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Thrilling, novelistic and rich with the personal and political madness of early-twentieth-century Europe.”
“A brainy, nimble, remarkable book.”
“A wondrous tale, beautifully told . . . mesmerizing, poignant, and almost incredible. Reiss, caught up in the spell of Essad Bey, has turned around and worked some magic of his own.”
–The New York Times
“For sheer reading pleasure . . . this book cannot be bettered.”
–The New York Sun
Tom Reiss has written about politics and culture for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. He lives with his wife and daughters in New York City.
From the Hardcover edition.
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