Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Plus plan is $7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Unholy Land  By  cover art

Unholy Land

By: Lavie Tidhar
Narrated by: Andrew Fallaize
Try for $0.00

$7.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $24.47

Buy for $24.47

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The author of the critically acclaimed, Campbell Award-winning Central Station returns with a subversive new novel evoking The Yiddish Policemen's Union and The City and the City.

When pulp-fiction writer Lior Tirosh returns to his homeland in East Africa, much has changed. Palestina - a Jewish state established in the early 20th century - is constructing a massive border wall to keep out African refugees. Unrest in the capital, Ararat, is at fever pitch.

While searching for his missing niece, Tirosh begins to act as though he is a detective from one of his own novels. He is pursued by ruthless members of the state's security apparatus while unearthing deadly conspiracies and impossible realities. For if it is possible for more than one Palestina to exist, the barriers between the worlds are beginning to break.

©2018 Lavie Tidhar (P)2018 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Unholy Land

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Which reality is real?

Lavie Tidhar's Unholy Land seems a tale built on quicksand. A German writer returns to his homeland, Palestina in east Africa. He is treated as someone under observation by the government. While there, he learns that his niece is missing and assumes the role of one of his fictional detectives to track her down. What ensues is an almost comical series of actions against him that can only be explained by the existence of parallel universes that some can sometimes be consciously traveled between, while other the transitions are unrecognized. Evil intentions are afoot and the writer seems a central figure.

Tidhar's seemingly seamless transitions are reminiscent of Mieville's City and the City as this fictional Israeli homeland, physically distinct from present day creates a sense of disconnectedness. The constantly shifting multiple perspectives contributes to the off balance feel. At the same time, the writer seems to drift into fugue states that makes it hard to discern the reality of the situation versus some ongoing mental breakdown or simply ennui.

The narration is adequate with reasonable character distinction and good pacing.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

1-dimensional allegory in which Jews caused WWII

also included: all Jews are evil, stupid, or cowardly, all palestinians (or their allegorical representations) are wise or noble, Nazis aren't so bad (in an alternate timeline where Jews left Europe, that Hitler guy just got assassinated, and evidently he was the only bad Nazi, so then there was peace and now the Nazis are humanitarian good guys. Note: the author makes it rather clear that they see this timeline where Jews escaped genocide by fleeing Europe as a BAD timeline).

oh, and by the way there is dimensional/time travel! but it all revolves around Palestinians, who are evidently the wise master race of the "good" universe (the one where there is world peace because some loosely defined act of god evidently wiped out the jews? oh YAY!)

and this author thinks he's so smart, he puts in a little tidbit where a shrieking, vapid art critic insults the main character (who is clearly the author writing himself into the story) by calling him a "self-hating Jew". (see! the author said it, so clearly he wins that argument, right?)

At the end of the day, regardless of what you think about Israel/Palestine, this book fails because it is simply because it is a sci-fi book that lacks creativity. It is such a blunt instrument of 1-sided political allegory, with 1-dimensional characters illustrating the authors' political stance. If it came down on the other side, it would be just as sloppy, and just as insulting to the reader's intelligence. It's like Ayn Rand was a leftist sci-fi author.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

You need to pay attention when listening to this

The story switches between realities and you need to be paying attention or this thing will get confusing fast!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

could not finish

While I enjoyed the story, the production made it very difficult to follow. There are three (more?) first person perspectives and there is no way of knowing when the author changes from perspective to perspective by the way it is presented. Disappointing

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Loved it

Beautiful prose. Fun, pulpy plot with strong underlying themes. Just really enjoyable. Though I will say, it feels like the antagonist’s motivations got a bit muddy at the end. Great listen overall though.