BookBrowse Reviews The Orientalist by Tom Reiss

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Orientalist

Solving The Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life

by Tom Reiss

The Orientalist by Tom Reiss
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2005, 464 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2006, 480 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A page turner of epic proportions!

Comment: Reiss takes us on an intriguing search to uncover the true identity of the author of the 1930's cult novel, Ali and Nino - Lev Nussimbaum, a Jew who became a Muslim prince, who became a bestselling author in Nazi Germany.  Nussimbaum's life began in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, in 1905.  Baku was once the oil capital of the world - a place 'where Islam and the Orient were filtered through a  multicultural European lens'.  When the Soviet's took over Nussimbaum and his father fled for the Persian deserts, where Nussimbaum lived the live of a nomad and converted to Islam.  In the late 1920s he had become a bestselling author in Germany using the names Essad Bey and Kurban Said, until he was forced to flee for Italy, where he died in 1938.  

So why would you be interested in reading about an obscure author who died aged 33 nearly seventy years ago?  ....

"In the hands of a less adept writer, such complex history might grow opaque and tedious, but Reiss' storytelling flair and the utterly compelling character of Lev Nussimbaum turn this biography into a page-turner of epic proportion." --- Booklist

"I greatly enjoyed Tom Reiss's The Orientalist, for its mingled scholarship and sleuthing, and for so elegantly solving the puzzle of one of the Twentieth Century's most mysterious writers." -- Paul Theroux

As always, you don't have to take anyone else's word for it - read a 10 page excerpt for yourself at BookBrowse.

This review is from the March 20, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.



This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice


Book Discussion
Book Jacket
June
by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

A novel of suspense and passion about a terrible mistake that changed a family forever.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Stars Are Fire
    by Anita Shreve

    An exquisitely suspenseful novel about an extraordinary young woman tested by a catastrophic event.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    No One Is Coming to Save Us
    by Stephanie Powell Watts

    One of Entertainment Weekly, Nylon and Elle's most anticipated books of 2017.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

A book may be compared to your neighbor; if it be good, it cannot last too long; if bad, you cannot get rid of it...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y S M B, I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -