Lavie Tidhar

Through a city torn apart by a violence they cannot comprehend, three disparate people—a documentary film-maker, a yeshiva student, and a psychotic fireman—must try to survive, and try to find meaning: even if it means being lost themselves. As Tel Aviv is consumed, a strange mountain rises at the heart of the city, and shows the outline of what may be another, alien world beyond. Can there be redemption there? Can the fevered rumours of a coming messiah be true?

A potent mixture of biblical allusions, Lovecraftian echoes, science fiction and contemporary culture, The Tel Aviv Dossier is part supernatural thriller, part meditation on the nature of belief—an original and involving novel painted on a vast canvas in which, beneath the despair, humour is never absent.

– Lavie Tidhar –




Well there’s almost too much good stuff to illustrate. Crazy-ass mountains appearing, spooky secret papers, Lovecraftian undertones, gods and psychotic firemen. Wow. But this is digital – the book is going to be spending a lot of time being a teeny tiny thumbnail – so something clean and clear with the graphics was required.

The brief was ‘secret dossier, anything you like’ and, if you take a little look, there’s a theme of swirly smoke running across a lot of Lavies’ covers… so swirly smoke. Lots of swirly smoke.

I tried to keep the title and author names really clear and liked the idea of there being a sinister, smoking folder of, well, who knows what weird stuff. Everybody was good with that – thankfully – but Mr Tidhar wanted the dossier to look rather battered about and used. So the picture of the folder got itself ‘photoshop tattered around’ and the idea of adding a tea/coffee stain came up.

Loved the idea and a lot of time has been spent weighing up the virtues of ‘coffee ring version’ vs ‘coffee splodge version’. Splodge won out in the end – huzzah, as I preferred that design – and nobody, erm, apart from me, was seriously going to go with the shocking pink.

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