Lawrence Osborne

The Glass Kingdom
  • The Glass Kingdom

  • 'Bangkok is the star of this accomplished novel. Its denizens are aliens to themselves, glittering on the horizon of their own lives, moving - restless and rootless and afraid - though a cityscape that has more stories than they know' HILARY MANTEL

    Sarah Talbot Jennings, a young American living in New York, has fled to Bangkok to disappear. Arriving with a suitcase containing $200,000, she rents an apartment at the Kingdom, a glittering high-end complex slowly sinking into its own twilight - and run by conveniently discreet staff.

    In Bangkok's simmering heat Sarah meets the beguiling Mali, a half-Thai tenant who's strangely determined to bring the quiet American out of her shell. An invitation to Mali's poker nights soon follows, where - fuelled by shots of yadong, gossip of shady dealings in the city and the hit of marijuana - Sarah is drawn into the orbit of the Kingdom's glamorous ex-pat women.

    But when political chaos and a frenzied uprising wrack the streets below, and Sarah witnesses something unspeakable through one of the Kingdom's windows, her safe haven begins to feel like a trap.

    From a master of atmosphere and suspense, The Glass Kingdom is a brilliantly unsettling story of cruelty and psychological unrest, and an enthralling glimpse into the shadowy crossroads of karma and human greed.

    A New York Times Notable Book of 2020

    'Osborne handles surface and depth with immense skill, as only great writers can do' Deborah Levy, Financial Times

    'Osborne writes mercilessly, savagely well. He excavates his characters . . . with a pathologist's precision' Daily Mail

    'If the purpose of a novel is to take you away from the everyday and show you something different, then Osborne is succeeding, and handsomely' Lee Child

    'The bastard child of Graham Greene and Patricia Highsmith' Metro

    'An exhilarating talent . . . one of our finest writers' Sunday Times


    'An heir to Graham Greene' New York Times Book Review

Born in England, Lawrence Osborne is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The Forgiven, The Ballad of a Small Player, Hunters in the Dark, Beautiful Animals, Only to Sleep: A Philip Marlowe novel (commissioned by the Raymond Chandler estate) and The Glass Kingdom. His non-fiction ranges from memoir through travelogue to essays, including Bangkok Days, Paris Dreambook and The Wet and the Dry. His short story 'Volcano' was selected for Best American Short Stories 2012. The Forgiven is currently being filmed in Morocco, starring Ralph Fiennes, Matt Smith and Jessica Chastain, and is due for release in 2021; Hunters in the Dark will shoot in Cambodia in 2021 with Aneurin Barnard, Adam Pettyfer and Tzi Ma; and Beautiful Animals is now in production with Amazon. Osborne lives in Bangkok. www.lawrenceosborne.net

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