"The Mirage" by Matt Ruff

A mind-bending novel in which an alternate history of 9/11 and its aftermath uncovers startling truths about America and the Middle East

11/9/2001: Christian fundamentalists hijack four jetliners. They fly two into the Tigris & Euphrates World Trade Towers in Baghdad, and a third into the Arab Defense Ministry in Riyadh. The fourth plane, believed to be bound for Mecca, is brought down by its passengers.

The United Arab States declares a War on Terror. Arabian and Persian troops invade the Eastern Seaboard and establish a Green Zone in Washington, D.C. . . .

Summer, 2009: Arab Homeland Security agent Mustafa al Baghdadi interrogates a captured suicide bomber. The prisoner claims that the world they are living in is a mirage—in the real world, America is a superpower, and the Arab states are just a collection of "backward third-world countries." A search of the bomber's apartment turns up a copy of The New York Times, dated September 12, 2001, that appears to support his claim. Other captured terrorists have been telling the same story. The president wants answers, but Mustafa soon discovers he's not the only interested party.

The gangster Saddam Hussein is conducting his own investigation. And the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee—a war hero named Osama bin Laden—will stop at nothing to hide the truth. As Mustafa and his colleagues venture deeper into the unsettling world of terrorism, politics, and espionage, they are confronted with questions without any rational answers, and the terrifying possibility that their world is not what it seems.

Acclaimed novelist Matt Ruff has created a shadow world that is eerily recognizable but, at the same time, almost unimaginable. Gripping, subversive, and unexpectedly moving, The Mirage probes our deepest convictions and most arresting fears.

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  • Patrick

    That was very fun. It was nice hanging out with you all!

    1 · July 18, 2013

  • mark

    How long do these things usually run for?

    July 17, 2013

    • John F.

      This was only my second meeting, but I have heard there's an unwritten rule that Stephen King must be discussed each month!

      July 18, 2013

    • Peter

      I think we broke a new record though, cause me and Matt were talking about him before the meeting even really started

      July 18, 2013

  • Amanda

    Hello all, I'm a newbie and would love to join this event. I have never been to a book discussion before, so I'm sorry for the novice questions I may have. Where does this meet up happen in the mall?

    July 9, 2013

    • Tae

      By the carousel in the food court area of the mall. Look forward to you joining us

      July 9, 2013

    • Angela F.

      Glad you could join us Amanda. Hope to see you at the next one!

      1 · July 18, 2013

  • Tae

    The world he built was very interesting and the information about the history really interested me. Was not as huge a fan of the actual story and felt some of it was a bit lacking. Would have been happier to see it not be magic based world

    July 18, 2013

  • mark

    I should probably be here

    June 22, 2013

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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