A brilliant new translation, based on Koester's long-lost original manuscript - the chilling, unforgettable portrayal of a Soviet revolutionary who falls foul of the regime to which he has dedicated his life.
Arthur Koestler was born in Budapest in 1905. He attended the University of Vienna before working as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, Berlin and Paris. For six years he was an active member of the Communist Party, and was captured by Franco in the Spanish Civil War. He was detained in prison three times during his life, in three different countries, and was sentenced to death in Spain in 1936 for espionage, though was later released. In 1940 he came to England. He wrote The Gladiators in Hungarian, Darkness at Noon in German, and Arrival and Departure in English. He set up the Arthur Koestler Award (now Koestler Arts) to give prizes for creative achievements to prisoners, detainees and patients in special hospitals. In 1983 Koestler committed suicide along with his wife, having frequently expressed a belief in the right to euthanasia.
Darkness at Noon is the sort of novel that transcends
ordinary limitations...written with such dramatic power, with such
warmth of feeling, and with such persuasive simplicity * New York
Times, 1941 *
A piece of brilliant literature
A remarkable book, a grimly fascinating interpretation of...all revolutionary dictatorships, and at the same time a tense and subtly intellectualised drama of prison psychology * Times Literary Supplement *
[Darkness At Noon] is written from terrible experience. From knowledge of the men whose struggles of mind and body he describes. Apart from its sociological importance, it is written with a subtlety and an economy which class it as great literature. I have read it twice without feeling that I have learned more than half of what it has to offer me- Koestler approaches the problem of ends and means, of love and truth and social organisation, through the thoughts of an old Bolshevik, Rubashov, as he awaits death in a GPU prison * New Statesman *
Along with Animal Farm and 1984, this book formed part of the essential bookshelf of those intellectuals who repudiated their early illusions about the Soviet Union -- Christopher Hitchens * The Week *