25 Books to Read Before You Die

Recently Viewed clear list

The Powell's Playlist | August 8, 2014

Peter Mendelsund: IMG The Powell's Playlist: Water Music by Peter Mendelsund

We "see" when we read, and we "see" when we listen. There are many ways in which music can create the cross-sensory experience of this seeing...... Continue »
  1. $11.87 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
List price: $17.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Hawthorne Judaism- General

This title in other editions

The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life


The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life Cover

ISBN13: 9780812972764
ISBN10: 0812972767
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $7.95!


What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

srnm, June 1, 2010 (view all comments by srnm)
Very much what I (negatively) consider a standard New York Times Notable Book-- a not particularly well-written meandering tale of an era and a figure not particularly well known or frequently written about. It will serve as a placeholder until something better is written.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
TonyC, January 17, 2010 (view all comments by TonyC)
This is a very well written biography of a fascinating man who is best known as the author of the novel "Ali and Nino". What's really surprising is that he was actually Jewish and assumed a different identity, and his novel was on the best-seller list in Nazi Germany! There's a lot about the history of the time in addition to his bizarre personal story. This is a very interesting book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Margaret Werner, November 12, 2007 (view all comments by Margaret Werner)
This book provides such a wide variety of information in addition to its subject, that I wound up learning a lot of history I was unaware of! It was amazing to realize that someone who was a household name (or nearly enough) wound up a complete unknown in such a short amount of time. Bravo, Tom Reiss, for such a well-researched biography that is a history book as well!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
debaccuardi, March 12, 2007 (view all comments by debaccuardi)
I was so intrigued by this story. I had very little background of the history pre-coldwar of much of the eastern bloc. Baku of the early 1900's sounds amazing. I found Lev Nussbaum's constant flight and constant change to each new situation bizarre, but industrious. I can't wait to read Ali and Nino now that I know the background of the writer "Kurban Said".
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(7 of 15 readers found this comment helpful)
 1-4 of 4

Product Details

Reiss, Tom
Random House Trade
Historical - Holocaust
General Biography
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.17 x 1.06 in 0.75 lb

Other books you might like

  1. Koba the Dread: Laughter and the... Used Trade Paper $9.50
  2. Eve's Apple New Trade Paper $19.00
  3. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir...
    Used Trade Paper $2.95
  4. Piggies New Board Book $5.95
  5. Them: Adventures with Extremists
    Used Trade Paper $8.50
  6. Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and... Used Trade Paper $5.50

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Historical
Biography » Literary
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Religion » Judaism » General
Religion » Judaism » Jewish Biographies
Religion » Judaism » Thought and Culture

The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812972764 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Truth is stranger than fiction in the improbable life of Lev Nussimbaum. The Jewish son of an oil millionaire in Azerbaijan, he escapes one tyranny after another and becomes a bestselling author in Nazi Germany. This fascinating biography reads like a novel.

"Review" by , "The intriguing search for the true identity of a 1930s cult novelist whose obscure working life was based entirely on escapist subterfuge....Marvelously written, and imbued with scholarly thinking on a forgotten tradition of Jewish-Islamic accord."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "Tom Reiss's The Orientalist is a remarkable story of East meeting West, and the fantastic historical figure who stood astride both worlds, during an almost equally fantastic moment in time. This is history and biography that reads like a great novel."
"Review" by , "[A] wondrous tale, beautifully told....[M]esmerizing, poignant and almost incredible. Mr. Reiss, caught up in the spell of Essad Bey, has turned around and worked some magic of his own."
"Review" by , "Mixing memory with desire, this marvelous and original book once more reminds us of ways through which the imagination becomes a refuge from the uncontrollable cruelties of reality."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "[A]n important work that sheds light on the pre-Zionist phenomenon of Jewish Orientalism that led many Jews to embrace Muslim culture."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "A brainy, nimble, remarkable book."
"Synopsis" by , A thrilling page-turner of epic proportions, Tom Reisss 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 Levs story across ten countries and found himself caught up in encounters as dramatic and surreal-and sometimes as heartbreaking-as his subjects life.


  • back to top
Follow us on...

Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.