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Customer Review

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest novels of all time?, 26 May 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Darkness at Noon (Mass Market Paperback)
You be the judge. Beautifully written as if Koestler were a pupil of Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, "Darkness at Noon" is one of the most influential books I've ever read. Koestler's use of foreshadowing and symbolism is paralleled only by that of Krzystof Kieslowski's films. The author challenges the reader to constantly think and use their knowledge of post czarist Russian politics to keep up with the clues he leaves for the reader. For example, the author begins each chapter with a passage from Machiavelli, Dostoevsky, or Saint-Just hinting to what the chapter will contain. Koestler also never uses Lenin's name but refers to him as "the old man with the slanting tartar eyes", and refers to Stalin as "No. 1". This book also showcases Koestler's uncanny ability to write dialog between characters. The thought provoking conversations between Rubashov and Ivanov were marvelously written. Even more impressive was the depth given to each character. From Richard, the young German who devoted his life to the movement of the communist party in his country, to Little Loewy, a Dutch dock worker with the same task as Richard, and finally Gletkin, who would succeed Ivanov in becoming Rubashov's tormentor. I highly recommened this book to anyone who loves intelligence and intrigue in their reading. For a truly passionate and realistic view of though Russian politics, read this book.
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