Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler

Rubashov is an ex-Commissar of the People in a thinly disguised world of Moscow Show Trials (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_Show_Trials) in this 1940 novel from Arthur Koestler. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Koestler)

This is pretty hard-to-read stuff as we are taken deeper and deeper into the solitary agonies of Rubashov in prison, and as he is being ‘interrogated’ (i.e. psychologically tortured and beaten) by former colleagues. Through the debates and Rubashov’s recovered memories of a life serving the Party, Koestler conveys the horrors and perversity of a totalitarian regime. Finely observed detail on prison life intensifies the horror of this account. Strong meat indeed.

A brief account of Koestler’s life is given here by Robert McCrum The double life of Arthur Koestler, intellectual and sexual adventurer | Arthur Koestler | The Guardian

Arthur Koestler

224 pages in Vintage Classics paperback edition.

ISBN 978-0099424918

Scroll to Top