The Glass Kingdom: Book summary and reviews of The Glass Kingdom by Lawrence Osborne

The Glass Kingdom

by Lawrence Osborne

The Glass Kingdom by Lawrence Osborne X
The Glass Kingdom by Lawrence Osborne
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2020
    304 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

A tense, stunningly well-observed novel of a young American on the run, from Lawrence Osborne, "an heir to Graham Greene" (the New York Times Book Review).

Escaping New York for the anonymity of Bangkok, Sarah Mullins arrives in Thailand on the lam with nothing more than a suitcase of purloined money. Her plan is to lie low and map out her next move in a high-end apartment complex called the Kingdom, whose glass-fronted façade boasts views of the bustling city and glimpses into the vast honeycomb of lives within.

It is not long before she meets the alluring Mali doing laps in the apartment pool, a fellow tenant determined to bring the quiet American out of her shell. An invitation to Mali's weekly poker nights follows, and—fueled by shots of yadong, good food, and gossip—Sarah soon falls in with the Kingdom's glamorous circle of ex-pat women.

But as political chaos erupts on the streets below and attempted uprisings wrack the city, tensions tighten within the gilded compound. When the violence outside begins to invade the Kingdom in a series of strange disappearances, the residents are thrown into suspicion: both of the world beyond their windows and of one another. And under the constant surveillance of the building's watchful inhabitants, Sarah's safe haven begins to feel like a snare.

From a master of atmosphere and mood, The Glass Kingdom is a brilliantly unsettling story of civil and psychological unrest, and an enthralling study of karma and human greed.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[T]he Bangkok-based Osborne...tilts toward Robert Stone and Graham Greene with his languorous portrayal of an ugly American—a farang, as the locals call White people—getting schooled in a foreign culture. It′s a masterfully drawn, mesmerizing novel...A seductive, darkly atmospheric thriller with a spine-tingling climax." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Osborne evokes the exciting, tawdry, thrumming danger of Bangkok in this riveting tale...There's an ominous sense of foreboding from the first page, and the tension ratchets up to a terrifying pitch before the horrifying and brutal conclusion. A gripping read." - Booklist (starred review)

"Osborne is among the finest pure writers at work today." - CrimeReads, "Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2020"

"Bangkok is the star of this accomplished novel. Its denizens are aliens to themselves, glittering on the horizon of their own lives, moving—restless and rootless and afraid—though a cityscape that has more stories than they know." - Hilary Mantel, Booker Prize–winning author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies

This information about The Glass Kingdom shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Lawrence Osborne Author Biography

Photo: Ine Gundersveen

Lawrence Osborne was born in England and today lives in Bangkok. A widely published and widely traveled journalist, he is the author most recently of Only to Sleep, Beautiful Animals and Hunters in the Dark. He has lived a nomadic life in Mexico, Italy, France, Morocco, Cambodia and Thailand, places that he draws on in his fiction and non-fiction. The Forgiven from 2012 is set in Morocco and his 2014 novel The Ballad of Small Player in the casinos of Macau. His short stories have appeared in magazines such as Tin House, Bidoun and Fiction, and his story "Volcano" was included in Best American Short Stories of 2012. All four of his recent novels are currently in production as feature films.

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  • The Ballad of a Small Player jacket

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