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Darkness at Noon ()

Modern Library Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century (8)

This one is deservedly Top 10 (although it is a translation from the German).  It is the story of Rubashov, an aging revolutionary in an unnamed Revolutionary State (obviously the Soviet Union).  He is arrested & repeatedly interrogated, until he finally admits to a series of crimes against the State, which it is obvious to us and to his interrogators that he could not possibly have committed.

Koestler, a former Communist, examines how dedicated Communists were brought to the point where they confessed ridiculous crimes in Stalin's Show Trials of the 1930's.  In so doing, he also demonstrates that once you convince youself that the ends justify the means, you should not be surprised when those means are turned against you.


Grade: (A+)


Arthur Koestler Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Arthur Koestler
    -ESSAY: We the Screamers: The Nightmare That Is a Reality (Arthur Koestler, January 9, 1944)
    -ESSAY: The Spy Who Found His Conscience: Authors Le Carré and Koestler saw through the moral justifications of 20th-century communism. They understood that tallying up lives saved and lost is a bad way to do business, particularly when the “lives saved” column is skewed by those in power. (Will Collins, 1/20/23, European Conservative)

Book-related and General Links:
-Arthur Koestler Project
    -REVIEW: of Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind by David Cesarani The 'Casanova of Causes'  (JOHN LEONARD, The Nation)
    -REVIEW: of ARTHUR KOESTLER The Homeless Mind By David Cesarani Arthur Koestler, the West's Most Famous Anti-Communist Intellectual (Thomas W. Simons Jr., SF Gate)
    -REVIEW: of  ARTHUR KOESTLER The Homeless Mind; By David Cesarani Like a Rolling Stone (JOHN LUKACS, LA Times)
    -REVIEW: of STRANGER ON THE SQUARE By Arthur and Cynthia Koestler. Edited and introduced by Harold Harris (Hilton Kramer, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of ARTHUR KOESTLER: The Homeless Mind, by David Cesarani. (Jacob Heilbrunn, Wilson Quarterly)

If you liked Darkness at Noon, try:

Chambers, Whittaker
    -Witness (Read Orrin's review; Grade : A+)

Clavell, James
    -The Children's Story

Min, Anchee
    -Red Azalea

Orwell, George
    -Homage to Catalonia
    -Animal Farm

Pipes, Richard
    -The Russian Revolution

Seymour, Gerald

Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr
    -One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
    -The Gulag Archipelago