Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon

4.06 (18,710 ratings by Goodreads)
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Originally published in 1941, Arthur Koestler's modern masterpiece, "Darkness At Noon," is a powerful and haunting portrait of a Communist revolutionary caught in the vicious fray of the Moscow show trials of the late 1930s. During Stalin's purges, Nicholas Rubashov, an aging revolutionary, is imprisoned and psychologically tortured by the party he has devoted his life to. Under mounting pressure to confess to crimes he did not commit, Rubashov relives a career that embodies the ironies and betrayals of a revolutionary dictatorship that believes it is an instrument of liberation. A seminal work of twentieth-century literature, "Darkness At Noon" is a penetrating exploration of the moral danger inherent in a system that is willing to enforce its beliefs by any means necessary.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 129.54 x 195.58 x 15.24mm | 90.72g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • 0140181202
  • 9780140181203

Review quote

"A remarkable book. A grimly fascinating interpretation of the logic of the Russian revolution, indeed of all revolutionary dictatorships, and at the same time a tense and subtly intellectualized drama."-- "The Times Literary Supplement" (London)show more

Review Text

The Moscow trials form the pivot around which this interpretation of the spirit and logic of the Russian Revolution is built. As an interpretation it is brilliantly handled; as a novel it is almost motionless; it appeals more as an exercise in revolutionary ratiocination. Koestler, who knew several of the actual figures in the trials, has chosen a fictional Rubashov to embody the characteristics and activities of those involved. Through the period of his prison stay, we see the mentality of the revolutionist in his intellectual self-debates as he approaches a period of doubt, questioning whether the end justifies the means, whether the idea of mankind is more valid than the idea of man. For this breach of faith he is executed. Many serious studies have been made of the trials; this novel comes as near the sense of truth as any of them. The market, however, is limited. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

18,710 ratings
4.06 out of 5 stars
5 37% (6,945)
4 39% (7,219)
3 19% (3,532)
2 4% (771)
1 1% (243)
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