The Bleeds

Original title: Les Bleed

Publication Date:

September 2018



Original language and publisher

English | La Peuplade


Crime & Thrillers

The Bleeds

Original title: Les Bleed

  • 2 Seas Represents: Dutch and Nordic Countries rights.
  • Rights sold: World English (Vehicule Press)


The Bleeds isn’t a mere burlesque of a dictatorship, but is instead a fierce political satire with real teeth.” -Jeff Miller, Montreal Review of Books

“Nasrallah invites readers to imagine themselves imbedded in power structures—not for the purpose of humanizing dictators, but as a means of jarring us out of our own polarized ideologies.” -Shenaz Kermalli, Quill & Quire

“Nasrallah’s construction of the book shows how multifaceted revolutions can be, and how the ideal of an information-and-citizenry-propelled deposition of corrupt leadership is often a total illusion…. The Bleeds delivers a damning vision of freedom as merely a useful concept to discuss loudly while quietly seizing absolute power.” -Naben Ruthnum, Literary Review of Canada

“Nasrallah’s biggest coup comes out of his biggest risk … He represents both Mustafa and Vadim in the first-person, alternating their voices to increasingly dramatic effect and universalizing both his protagonists to the point where you can forget for pages at a time that this particular father and son happen to control a nation’s fate.” Ian McGillis, Montreal Gazette

Power, intrigue and father-son rivalry.

From the author of the widely acclaimed Niko comes a fresh take on the political thriller, an allegory of power and privilege resurrected from the thwarted ideals of the Arab Spring. In The Bleeds, Nasrallah overturns the conventions of the political novel to focus on the corroded luxury and power structures framing the lives of those most affected by war and insurrection.

For half a century, the Bleeds have ruled with an iron fist. Once hailed as the founders of an independence movement, they’ve long since cemented into corrupt autocrats upheld by the foreign investors who manage their region’s uranium trade. The aging Mustafa Bleed orchestrated the election of his son, Vadim, but Vadim’s first term has proven he’s more interested in the casinos of Monaco than his new role as leader. Now that an election has set the stage for revolt, opposition leaders, foreign diplomats, and journalists are fomenting a revolution against the Bleeds. All the while, father and son grapple with bonds of love, loyalty, betrayal, and paranoia.

Dimitri Nasrallah’s second novel, Niko, was nominated for CBC’s Canada Reads and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and has been published in four languages. His debut, Blackbodying, won the McAuslan First Book Prize. He lives in Montreal, where he teaches creative writing at Concordia University.