The Successor, by Ismail Kadare
A new novel from the master storyteller and winner of the inaugural Man International Booker Prize 2005 Guaranteed massive review and media coverage. Set in Albania at an unnamed time, "The Successor" charts the repercussions of the death of the regime leader's designated successor; did he kill himself, or was he murdered? Speculation is slow to start, but once doubt is raised, rumours begin to gather. Confusion and mounting tension build and the aftermath is narrated through a series of interweaving voices: the architect of the Successor's home, the minister of the interior and the Successor's bereaved daughter - all influenced by the outwardly benevolent but increasingly sinister Guide, the country's leader. The novel charts the escalating tension, distrust and anxiety of a regime that is collapsing in upon itself. "The Successor" is simultaneously a historical novel - based on actual events, and reinforced by the author's private conversations with the son of Mehmet Shehu, upon whom the central character is based - and a dreamlike psychological thriller.In a style reminiscent of Kafka, Gogol and Orwell, it asks questions of the human character's resolve when faced with the iniquities of tyranny: blending dream and reality, and confronting legendary past with contemporary history.
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