The Mirage — reviews

“Genre buster Ruff (Bad Monkeys) takes the reader through the looking glass into a world where a union of benevolent Muslim states (the U.A.S.) guards against Christian fundamentalist terrorists trying to spread fear and unrest… [The Mirage is] as traditional in its story as it is unconventional in its premise, with a full cast of characters and narrative arc… This is both entertaining and provocative, exactly what the best popular fiction should be.” — Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)

“The Sept. 11 attacks and the Iraq war have reverberated through science fiction and fantasy for over a decade, giving us plenty of stories of terrorism, wars of occupation and clashes of cultures. But Matt Ruff’s The Mirage… might just be the ideal prism with which to refract your memories of that brutal decade and see them anew. Plus it’s an addictive, fascinating read, which keeps you guessing.” —

“One of the most daring 9/11-inspired novels to emerge after that horrific day more than a decade ago.” — The Seattle Times

“An alternate history of the events surrounding 9/11 creates a unique and compelling read in Matt Ruff’s The Mirage.” — The Associated Press

“Like Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, in which Nazi-sympathizer Charles Lindbergh defeats FDR for president, the premise behind Ruff’s alternate-history novel is chilling.” — The New York Post

“In The Mirage, Matt Ruff has written a Man in the High Castle for the age of global terror.” — Locus, February 2012 issue

“A top-rate war novel, a thoughtful and sly commentary on the war on terror, and a scathing critique of religious partisanship, all at once… This is one of those books that you read while walking down the street and long after your bedtime, a book you stop strangers to tell about.” — Cory Doctorow on

“Ruff is a world-class world builder who, perhaps better than any other writer, can create exotic, mysterious worlds and communicate their unique rules and consistent logics both clearly and concisely… The Mirage isn’t just an object lesson in geopolitics; it’s a secret history, a magic mirror allowing glimpses into the effects of religious fundamentalism of all types on the United States over the last 50 years.” — The Stranger

“It’s bracing to read a novel that generates a fresh look at Our Troubled Times without the exhausted polemics and manipulative sentiments. In fact, The Mirage is a 9/11 novel we’ve been waiting for, audacious, funny and bold.” — The Oregonian

“It’s no easy task to recreate the universe in its own, if slightly distorted, image, yet Ruff has succeeded handily, dizzying and dazzling the reader with a fantastic—and fantastical—story.” — BookPage

The Mirage is a shimmering tour de force—an entertainment, a contemplation, and an indictment, all rolled into one.” — The Kitsap Sun

“A book that will captivate upon an initial surface reading and trouble your certainties long after.” —

“With his latest novel, Matt Ruff shows yet again that he is a master of crafting intricate, complex plots that read as effortless dreams… I am, in a word, amazed.” — Bookslut

“A book so nice we reviewed it twice.” — Rain Taxi Review of Books

The Mirage is a topsy-turvy tour de force, another winner from a truly inventive and unpredictable storyteller.” — The San Francisco Chronicle