Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon

Book - 2005
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N. S. Rubashov, an old guard Communist, falls victim to an unnamed government. With outstanding psychological insight, Koestler traces his story through arrest, imprisonment and trail in a classic novel which, when first published, famously drew attention to the nature of Stalin's regime.
Publisher: London : Vintage, 2005.
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Characteristics: 211 p. ;,20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Hardy, Daphne
Notes: This ed. originally published: London: Cape, 1940.


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Dec 02, 2020

a revolutionary is called upon to answer to his now corrupted masters, a profound, and grim, introspection follows, a novel for our, equally fraught, times

Mar 09, 2020

I have the same view as the reviewer from 2018 - this is a frighteningly relevant in 2020. No, I am not comparing Trump to Stalin ("No. 1" in the book). Rather, this thinly disguised novel provides an insight on how people (the masses) create, and tolerate, their governments. The author (Koestler), through the protagonist (Rubashov), develops the theory that technological innovation moves at a faster pace that social maturity. When disruptive technology, for example when the industrial revolution overtook agriculture (the book was written in 1941), people gravitated to autocratic governments (fascism, communism). When social maturity catches up, people gravitate to democracies. In the book Rubashov is prevented from developing his theory through historical research. However, I would speculate the American & French revolutions for democracies coincide with the pinnacle of water and horse power before steam power became prevalent. Likewise, the 21st century swing towards autocratic governments coincides with disruptive information technology. "The Age of Illusion" by Andrew Bacevich states that Trump is not the cause, rather the consequence of America's struggle to find its post-Cold War identity. Putin's control of Russia is a consequence of the loss of the social and economic "stability" of the former Soviet Union. When you use Koestler's lens on the relationship between people and their governments, then Joseph de Maistre's (1753-1821) quote rings true, "Every nation gets the government it deserves."

Jul 23, 2018

Just finished reading this and it is frighteningly appropriate for our times. It reminds me so much of the ideology of the Left and their outrageous accusations and name-calling. If they were allowed to continue to grow into a fully formed totalitarian state, it would be a similar illogical, inhumane government that was described in the book. Really scary.

Nov 14, 2013

Hungarian-born Arthur Koestler's "Darkness at Noon" is perhaps the definitive novel of the totalitarian mind and state (with apologies to "1984"). Set during Stalin's purges, it tells of a party member (perhaps based on Trotsky) who is arrested, imprisoned and interrogated. Much of the novel consists of long dialogues, reminiscent of "The Grand Inquisitor" section of Brothers K., and internal monologues. One of Modern Library's top ten novels of the century.

Mar 11, 2012

very interesting story about the darkness ot the Stalinist period.

Very scary times

Nov 07, 2011

The ending makes sick logical sense, but goes against every moral grain in your body. A well-written book deserving of its #8 spot on the Modern Library's Top 100 Novels.

Mar 12, 2011

Excellent book about totalitarianism. Although it is old, it is still relevant today.

If you don't have experience with an all-controlling government, this presents a good idea of the suffering imposed upon people.

Jan 18, 2011

Fanatastic book. A must read.

Jan 08, 2010

a heavy read, deep thought from the main character, narrator about what conditions are needed to have a democracy.
read this book 20 years ago and it really stuck deep into my mind

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