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Arrow In The Blue [Paperback]

Arthur Koestler
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2005

Arrow in the Blue is the first volume of Arthur Koestler's autobiography. It covers the first 26 years of his life and ends with his joining the Communist Party in 1931, an event he felt to be second only in importance to his birth in shaping his destiny.

In the years before 1931, Arthur Koestler lived a tumultuous and varied existence. He was a member of the duelling fraternity at the University if Vienna; a collective farm worker in Galilee; a tramp and street vendor in Haifa; the editor of a weekly paper in Cairo; the foreign correspondent of the biggest continental newspaper chain in Paris and the Middle East; a science editor in Berlin; and a member of the North Pole expedition of the Graf Zeppelin.

Written with enormous zest, joie de vivre and frankness, Arrow in the Blue is a fascinating self-portrait of a remarkable young man at the heart of the events that shaped the twentieth century.

The second volume of Arthur Koestler's autobiography is The Invisible Writing.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (1 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099490676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099490678
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 13 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 316,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A brilliant and deeply moving record of a whole generation as well as of an individual" (The Observer)

"The cumulative effect is overwhelming" (New Republic)

"He is a journalist of ideas on a very high level - the kind we lack and need in this country - who functions midway between the realms of art and of society, but whose function is indispensable, if thought is to be part of culture" (Saturday Review)

Book Description

'Perhaps the most remarkable autobiography since the confessions of Rousseau' V. S. Pritchett, New Statesman

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Autobiography as a Work of Art 12 Jan 2010
By Michael
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is a mystery to me why this book doesn't have as many fans as it ought to, although considering Koestler's other works it is up against a lot of competition. Seldom have I been as captivated by an autobiography as I was with this one, what with the fascinating stories of Arthur's life interspersed with his unique perspectives on many questions of politics, psychology, religion, philosophy and more. An account of his life from 1905-31 in 415 pages, fans of Koestler's earlier works (pre 1952) will recognize a lot of material here though, as he often quotes from his own books where he obviously feels he's described something best. The accounts of his student life in the duelling fraternities of 1920s Vienna, his attempted settlement in Palestine, experiences as a journalist in pre-Hitler Berlin, travels in the Soviet Union in the early thirties, even a trip to the North Pole in the Graf Zeppelin are all equally absorbing. But it would just be another well-written autobiography if it wasn't for the unique wisdom and insight of Koestler, which shines through these pages, resulting in a book which is a must-read for both Koestler fans and the casual reader. It will no doubt leave you thirsting for part 2, The Invisible Writing (which covers 1932-40 in 526 pages), a more run-of-the-mill autobiography without as much of the philosophizing of part 1, but still enjoyable in its own right.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Arthur Koestler 23 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I did, but it is an internalist view of Koestler's life from an expert (himself) and does not cover much such as his fascination with sex and his undoubted brutality towrds women.

Charkes Norrie
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Autobiography as a Work of Art 1 July 2007
By Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It is a mystery to me why this book doesn't have as many fans as it ought to, although considering Koestler's other works it is up against a lot of competition. Seldom have I been as captivated by an autobiography as I was with this one, what with the fascinating stories of Arthur's life interspersed with his unique perspectives on many questions of politics, psychology, religion, philosophy and more. An account of his life from 1905-31 in 415 pages, fans of Koestler's earlier works (pre 1952) will recognize a lot of material here though, as he often quotes from his own books where he obviously feels he's described something best. The accounts of his student life in the duelling fraternities of 1920s Vienna, attempted settlement in Palestine, experiences as a journalist in pre-Hitler Berlin, interviews with men of the stature of Einstein and Freud, travels in the Soviet Union in the early thirties, even a trip to the North Pole in the Graf Zeppelin are all equally absorbing. But it would just be another well-written autobiography if it wasn't for the unique wisdom and insight of Koestler, which shines through these pages, resulting in a book which is a must-read for both Koestler fans and the casual reader. It will no doubt leave you thirsting for part 2, The Invisible Writing (which covers 1932-40 in 526 pages), a more run-of-the-mill autobiography without as much of the philosophizing of part 1, but still enjoyable in its own right.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book 2 Jan 2012
By Rania E - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I got this book immediately after reading "Darkness at Noon", my first experience with Koestler. His autobiography is equally fascinating. As in his novel, Koestler really, almost physically, takes you to the places he writes about. You will find yourself in Budapest, in intense, ritualistic fraternity meetings in a Vienna basement, on a collective farm in Jerusalem, in pre-war Parisian "Maisons", and even on the north pole. And all along he offers you so much to think about. A little too much self-analysis was irritating at times, the way Koestler won't just share an experience but will immediately explain, psychotherapy style, how it impacted his life and shaped his personality. But this love for small details and the faith that they are somehow significant is a hallmark in his writing and his attitude to personal history (e.g. in "The Sleepwalkers"). And even though you might not like Koestler, from the Zionist to the promiscuous misogynist to the egocentric romantic, his company is always worth the time. Especially interesting to me as an Arab was reading about his experiences as a settler in Palestine and as first secretary to Jabotinsky, the father of revisionist Zionism.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A intimate and compelling trip to the early 20th century 5 Mar 2013
By Rick Skwiot - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A vivid, frank, substantive and perceptive accounting of Koestler's youth and early manhood (1905-1931) in Budapest, Vienna, Palestine and Berlin, told with wit, style and humor. He takes us into the center of economic, political and social upheavals that marked and marred the early 20th century and continue to affect the 21st. His telling of his conversion to communism, which he later rejected, while necessarily less entertaining than his childhood anecdotes does give firsthand insight into how people turn to closed systems and absolutism when they find the complex real world lacking.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ça va sans dire 21 Oct 2012
By Izalco Sardenberg Neto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is wonderful, the author is wonderful. Arrow in the Blue is the first of an autobiographical number of books by Koestler. Just to know all the he did in his life is enough to loose the breath. Try this trip!
5.0 out of 5 stars Memoir or life in Budapest and beyond 29 Nov 2013
By P. Ungar-Linssen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A classic book- excellent and sobering- which helped us prepare for a trip to Budapest. Mr. Koestler is an excellent writer, and this helped us begin to understand some of the complicated history.
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