The Successor: A Novel

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Arcade Pub., 2005 - Fiction - 207 pages
6 Reviews
"This, Ismail Kadare's most recent novel, is a fictional inquiry into the still-unexplained death of Mehmet Shehu, the man who for decades was the designated Number Two political figure in Communist dictator Enver Hoxha's ironfisted and increasingly paranoid regime." "On the night of December 13, 1981, the so-called Successor was shot dead, sometime between midnight and early morning. Did he commit suicide or was he murdered? This is the burning question. There are a number of potential murderers: the architect in charge of renovating the Successor's new quarters, who knew of the secret underground passage to his home; a rising political figure, Adrian Hasobeu, who if the current successor were to disappear would surely be named Number Two; the dictator himself - known to his countrymen as the Guide - now ailing and almost blind, unable to countenance even the idea of being replaced; and, incredibly, the Successor's wife." "The Successor combines a tantalizing mystery with a historical novel (Who killed Mehmet Shehu?), a psychological examination (How do you live in a world where nothing is sure?), and an analysis of a dictatorship so repressive that its followers treat it as a religious faith, where love, and indeed all personal relations, are subject to the whims and demands of the state."--BOOK JACKET.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Leonard_Seet - LibraryThing

A whodunit about the death of the successor to Albania’s ruler. But also a political novel about the madness of a dictatorship. Fear, envy, suspicion, and whim disguise as loyalty to motivate ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - richard_carpenter - LibraryThing

Like the other reviewers I found this gripping and fascinating, with multiple layers of meaning. I don't think, however, that readers need to know much about its relation to actual historical events ... Read full review

Contents

ONE A Death in December
1
TWO The Autopsy
29
THREE Fond Memories
69
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Ismail Kadare is the most prominent of contemporary Albanian writers. He has written poetry, short stories, literary criticism, and seven novels. His works have been translated and published in more than two dozen countries. An internationally known figure, he has visited and lectured in many countries. He was also a representative to Albania's People's Assembly. In 1990 Kadare left Albania for Paris where he became openly dissident.

Bellos is professor of French at Princeton University, won the Prix Goncourt de la Biographie for his life of Georges Perec. He is also the award-winning translator of Perec's Life: A User's Manual and other novels.

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