Darkness at Noon

Front Cover
Random House, Sep 19, 2019 - Fiction - 304 pages

A brilliant new translation of Koestler's long-lost original manuscript. A chilling and unforgettable 20th century classic.

From a prison cell in an unnamed country run by a totalitarian government Rubashov reflects. Once a powerful player in the regime, mercilessly dispensing with anyone who got in the way of his party’s aims, Rubashov has had the tables turned on him. He has been arrested and he’ll be interrogated, probably tortured and certainly executed.

Darkness at Noon is as gripping as a thriller and a seminal work of twentieth-century literature. Published in Great Britain in 1940, it was feted by George Orwell, went on to be translated into thirty languages and is considered the finest work of pre-eminent European master, Arthur Koestler. And yet the novel’s worldwide reputation has, for over seventy years, been based on the first incomplete and inexpert English translation – Koestler’s original manuscript was lost when he fled the German occupation of Paris in 1940.

In 2016, a student discovered that long-lost manuscript in a Zurich archive. At last, with the publication of this new translation of the rediscovered original, Koestler’s masterpiece can be experienced afresh and in its entirety for the first time.

THE NEW TRANSLATION BY PHILIP BOEHM

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About the author (2019)

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.

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