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Darkness at Noon (Penguin Modern Classics) (original 1940; edition 1973)

by Arthur Koestler

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,576621,476 (4.02)148
Member:DuneSherban
Title:Darkness at Noon (Penguin Modern Classics)
Authors:Arthur Koestler
Info:Penguin Books in association w/ Jonathan Cape (1973), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:European literature

Work details

Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (1940)

  1. 70
    1984 by George Orwell (ivan.frade)
    ivan.frade: Both books talk about revolution and the people, individual rights vs. common wellness. "darkness at noon" is pretty similar to 1984, without the especulation/science-fiction ingredient.
  2. 40
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (chrisharpe)
  3. 30
    Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman (chrisharpe)
  4. 30
    Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell (br77rino)
    br77rino: Much of Orwell's impetus for writing "1984" came from his experience in the Spanish Civil War, which he writes about in this.
  5. 31
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (chrisharpe)
  6. 31
    The Trial by Franz Kafka (chrisharpe)
  7. 20
    The Anti-Communist Manifestos: Four Books That Shaped the Cold War by John V. Fleming (prosfilaes)
    prosfilaes: Fleming describes the context of Koestler's book, including how it compared, was affected by and affected other anti-Communist books.
  8. 10
    A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924 by Orlando Figes (GabrielF)
    GabrielF: Written in 1940, Darkness at Noon really takes you into the minds of the revolutionary generation during Stalin's purges. A People's Tragedy is a very readable, thorough and fascinating history of the revolution.
  9. 00
    Dialogue With Death by Arthur Koestler (longway)
  10. 12
    The Case of Comrade Tulayev by Victor Serge (thatguyzero)
  11. 01
    Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada (chrisharpe)
  12. 03
    We the Living by Ayn Rand (br77rino)
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» See also 148 mentions

English (55)  Dutch (4)  French (2)  Hebrew (1)  All (62)
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
Not a happy book, but so fascinating. Similar to 1984 but only in superficial ways. Koestler focuses on chains of logic which can lead to the belief that horrible means might be justified if you assume beautiful ends. Its not even so much that the characters have to be absolved of their sins, the bad deeds aren't even bad, if you are assuming that they are necessary for the "greater good." ( )
  PaulGodfread | Sep 23, 2016 |
Not a happy book, but so fascinating. Similar to 1984 but only in superficial ways. Koestler focuses on chains of logic which can lead to the belief that horrible means might be justified if you assume beautiful ends. Its not even so much that the characters have to be absolved of their sins, the bad deeds aren't even bad, if you are assuming that they are necessary for the "greater good." ( )
  PaulGodfread | Sep 23, 2016 |
Not a fun read, obviously. Short on plot, but in a tradition of fiction that exposes the evils of Stalinism, fascism and totalitarianism that followed the Russian revolution (along with other similar movements). Grim story of the brief imprisonment of an erstwhile ruthless leader of the Revolution who is now forced to confront his past from the other side. I much prefer Orwell's 1984, but I understand this book helped inspire him in its creation. ( )
  kishields | Apr 22, 2016 |
Decided to read it because it was on a list of dystopian novels brought home from school by my daughter. It reminded me a lot of "Invitation to a Beheading" by Nabokov. Lots to think about, but certainly not in the vein of current "dystopian" fiction. Not science fiction, but political and social commentary. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
A little slow going read, but the message about the way of politics resonates even now. ( )
  VictoriaNH | Nov 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (48 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Koestler, Arthurprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hardy, DaphneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walter, Hans-AlbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
He who establishes a dictatorship and does not kill Brutus, or he who founds a republic and does not kill the sons of Brutus, will only reign a short time.
Machiavelli, Discorsi

Man, man, one cannot live without pity.
Dostoyevsky, Crime and punishment
Dedication
The characters in this book are fictitious.  The historical circumstances which determined their actions are real.  The life of the man N.S. Rubashov is a synthesis of the lives of a number of men who were victims of the so-called Moscow Trials.  Several of them were personally known to the author.  This book is dedicated to their memory. - Paris, October 1938 - April, 1940
First words
The cell door slammed behind Rubashov.
Quotations
How can one change the world if one identifies oneself with everybody?
How else can one change it?
He who understands and forgives - where would he find a motive to act?
Where would he not?
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Fictional portrayal of the nightmare politics of our time. Its hero is an aging revolutionary, imprisoned and psychologically tortured by the Party to which he has dedicated his life. As the pressure to confess preposterous crimes increases, he re-lives a career that embodies the terrible ironies and human betrayals of a totalitarian movement masking itself as an instrument of deliverance.… (more)

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