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  • Published: 2 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529110777
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $22.99

The Glass Kingdom

A tense, stunningly well-observed heist novel following an American woman on the run in the blazing heat of Bangkok, from 'the bastard child of Graham Greene and Patrica Highsmith' (Metro)

A tense, stunningly well-observed heist novel from 'the bastard child of Graham Greene and Patrica Highsmith' (Metro)

Sarah Talbot Jennings, a young American living in New York, has fled to Bangkok to disappear. Armed with a suitcase full of cash, she takes up residence at the Kingdom, a glittering complex slowly sinking into its own twilight. There, against a backdrop of shadowy gossip and intrigue, she is soon 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, her safe haven begins to feel like a trap.

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

  • Published: 2 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529110777
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Lawrence Osborne

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, The Naked Tourist and The Wet and the Dry. His short story 'Volcano' was selected for Best American Short Stories 2012.

The Forgiven
, starring Ralph Fiennes, Matt Smith and Jessica Chastain, is due to be released in summer 2022; Hunters in the Dark will shoot in Cambodia with Aneurin Barnard, Adam Pettyfer and Tzi Ma; and Beautiful Animals is now in production with Amazon. Osborne lives in Bangkok.


Also by Lawrence Osborne

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Praise for The Glass Kingdom

Showing Osborne at the height of his powers, The Glass Kingdom upends the Western reader's most basic assumptions about the human world . . . stylish and disquieting

John Gray, New Statesman

Lawrence Osborne goes from strength to strength. In The Glass Kingdom he once again displays a feel for the Westerner abroad in an alien culture, where misunderstandings can prove deadly. The author has lived for years in Bangkok, whose seediness runs deeper than the superficially icky red light district most foreign writers take on. Great characters, plenty of suspense, and a killer ending

Lionel Shriver, Evening Standard, Books of the Year

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

Osborne, who specialises in stories about hapless Westerners coming a cropper in foreign lands, has another hit on his hands with this sinister, sensuous and wonderfully evocative tale

Katie Law, Evening Standard

Oozing menace, Osborne's compelling novel is wonderfully atmospheric and deeply macabre

Anthony Gardner, Mail on Sunday


Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Daily Mail

The author's exceptional descriptive skills fuel an overwhelming sense of menace . . . the next day you will still be thinking of Sarah's fate with horror

Louise Doughty, New York Times

An atmospheric, gripping novel . . . a horror-satire of globalised capital in which money might buy you idle time or the semblance of power, but it also makes you a target. The Kingdom's residents are blind to its fragility until it is almost too late: as apt a metaphor for 2020 as a novel could hope to provide

Ed Cumming

Lawrence Osborne did not disappoint in his atmospheric thriller The Glass Kingdom

Lionel Shriver, Observer, *Books of the Year*

Osborne masterfully depicts . . . a Bangkok where an irrational yet intoxicating mix of Buddhism and animism holds sway alongside laissez-faire economics . . . eroding his characters' sense of autonomy through attrition

Max Crosbie-Jones, ArtReview

Osborne's novels are lavishly filmic . . . The setting is luxurious, the lifestyle hedonistic, the climate oppressively hot. Prodigious amounts of alcohol are consumed. As events accelerate towards a violent finale, the reader is kept guessing. How severe will the consequences be for the interloper? Which will prevail, revenge or forgiveness?

Blake Morrison, London Review of Books

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