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The Invisible Writing. [Unknown Binding]

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: 1954 (1954)
  • ASIN: B002MXR3ZS
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Part 2 of Koestler's autobiography 12 Jan 2010
By Michael
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First of all, it's only worth reading this book if you've read Part 1, Arrow in the Blue. If you've already done that, you're probably thirsting for Part 2, but I must frankly admit that you may find Arrow in the Blue runs at a deeper level than The Invisible Writing, which is the account of his life from 1932-40 (giving just a short outline of the experiences already covered in greater detail in Dialogue with Death and Scum of the Earth), without as much philosophical commentary. I've seldom read two parts of a book which were so different in style, but they're equally enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful 28 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I first came to know of Koestler through Orwell's writings. For anyone interested in the politics of pre and post war Europe and especially of the communist system, then this book is a must. Koestler is a fabulous writer and, on a personal level, Meeks
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Part 2 of Koestler's autobiography 6 July 2007
By Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First of all, it's only worth reading this book if you've read Part 1, Arrow in the Blue. If you've already done that, you're probably thirsting for Part 2, but I must frankly admit that you may find Arrow in the Blue runs at a deeper level than The Invisible Writing, which is the account of his life from 1932-40 (giving just a short outline of the experiences already covered in greater detail in Dialogue with Death and Scum of the Earth), without as much philosophical commentary. I've seldom read two parts of a book which were so different in style, but they're equally enjoyable.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a pity so few read Koestler today 6 Jan 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I cannot remember any other book I have recently read which so deeply touched me than this one. Perhaps Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate. It could be so because I myself went trough similar experiences in the USSR in the nineteen seventies Koestler went through in the nineteen thirties. He was there during the peak of the Ukrainian famine 1932-1933 which claimed several million victims, one of the most horrific periods in Soviet history ( brilliantly demonstrated in Grossman's Everything Flows ), so my comparison may seem inappropriate, yet it is his reaction to the reality of everyday Soviet life which reminded me of my own.

The crux of the whole book is Koestler's disappointment with Communism and the agonizingly slow and painful process to change the mindset of a true believer, himself. The incredible counter arguments one comes up with to explain the Soviet excesses and to justify the unjustifiable are so vivid that they can be applied today to the West's attitude towards Islamist terror almost without change. For this reason alone The Invisible Writing should be widely read, and not read only by nostalgic men in their 50s and students of political science, as one critic put it .

Sometimes a paragraph in a book illustrates better what transpired in a certain historical period than all the books on history one reads. Here is Koestler's take on German women, 1932:

During the carnival season Of 1932, Ehrendorf went to a dance and picked up a tall, pretty blonde. She wore a large swastika brooch on her breast, was about nineteen or twenty, gay, uninhibited and brimful of healthy animal spirits-in short, the ideal Hitler-Madchen of the Brave New World. After the dance, Ehrendorf persuaded her to go back with him to his flat, where she met his advances more than half-way. Then, at the climactic moment, the girl raised herself on one elbow, stretched out the other arm in the Roman salute, and breathed in a dying voice a fervent 'Heil Hitler'. Poor Ehrendorf nearly had a stroke. When he had recovered, the blonde sweetie explained to him that she and a bunch of her girl friends had taken a solemn vow, pledging themselves 'to remember the Fuehrer every time at the most sacred moment in a woman's life'.
4.0 out of 5 stars Appreciating Author Koestler 31 July 2010
By Frances Haas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I like reading Koestler. His writing is well-crafted and he deals with interesting topics. This book, "Arrow in the Blue" gives a first-hand account of the Hungarian Revolution and the subsequent Communist takeover. The author brings alive what it is like to live as a child during extraordinary times. After not graduating (his choice) Koestlers travels to Israel to join a Commune. He is not accepted as good Commune material and goes to Tel Aviv where he endures lean times and poverty before a lucky break lands him a newspaper job. It is an excellent first-hand acccount. I recommend it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Koestler at his best, no doubt 20 Jun 2014
By DarknessNoon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are into highly professional journalistic, philosophical and visionary narrative from the first half of the XX century, this is the second half of Arthur Koestler's autobiography - second to none. The former communist, turned anti-communist (to a certain level) comes up with the story of his adventures, both physical and mental, to find a way out of the pressures of two-sided fascism, wrongly understood socialism, nationalism, you name the isms that made the last century one of pain and loss.
And then he goes out and delivers phantasies, ideas and deliriums about the future of society with a hunger, a decisiveness, an anxiety all of his own.
He must have been a real pain in the neck as a human being (just acknowledge all the ladies he made miserable). But he sure is the prince of bitter, playful, ironic and visionary journalism of the last century. Highly recommended.
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