Alif the Unseen

Alif the Unseen

3.84 (15,504 ratings by Goodreads)
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'I will tell you a story, but it comes with a warning; when you hear it, you will become someone else.'

He calls himself Alif - few people know his real name - a young man born in a Middle Eastern city that straddles the ancient and modern worlds. When Alif meets the aristocratic Intisar, he believes he has found love. But their relationship has no future - Intisar is promised to another man and her family's honour must be satisfied. As a remembrance, Intisar sends the heartbroken Alif a mysterious book. Entitled The Thousand and One Days, Alif discovers that this parting gift is a door to another world - a world from a very different time, when old magic was in the ascendant and the djinn walked amongst us...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 112 x 176 x 32mm | 240g
  • Corvus
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Open Market Edition
  • 1782391479
  • 9781782391470
  • 179,240

Review quote

Alif the Unseen is a kinetic, China Mieville-style splicing of science fantasy, Sufi mysticism and political dystopia... A dazzling novel * Metro * Improbably charming... A bookload of wizardry and glee * New York Times * Marvelous... Intoxicating... Hugely entertaining. It doesn't take magical powers to predict it will be one of the year's best-loved books. * Washington Post * charming and original * Sunday Telegraph * exhilarating techno-thriller... it's increasingly rare these days to find fantasy that isn't grounded in the familiar western myths, but Wilson refreshingly, and without condescension, uses Islamic folklore to tell a story of state oppression, resistance and hope. * Guardian * ...brilliant... a first novel that is witty, imaginative and unorthodox in all senses * Observer *, imaginative... a book that defies easy categorisation. For those who view American fiction as provincial, or dominated by competent but safe work, Wilson's novel offers a resounding, heterodox alternative. * The Scotsman *
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About G. Willow Wilson

G. Willow Wilson was born in New Jersey in 1982. After graduating with a degree in History and coursework in Arabic language and literature, she moved to Cairo, where she became a contributor to the Egyptian opposition weekly Cairo Magazine until it closed in 2005. She has written for politics and culture blogs across the political spectrum, and has previously written a graphic novel, Cairo, illustrated by M. K. Perker, and a series of comics based on her own experiences, for D.C. Comics.
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Rating details

15,504 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 26% (4,083)
4 42% (6,472)
3 24% (3,659)
2 6% (966)
1 2% (324)
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