Chronicle in Stone

Front Cover
Text Publishing Company, Feb 4, 2008 - Fiction - 208 pages
4 Reviews

A disturbing mix of tragedy, comedy, politics and sexuality, Chronicle in Stone is a fascinating masterpiece from the winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize.

WWII is about to start, but life for a young boy in small town Albania is still a game. Yet, as the country falls to the Italians, then the Greeks, then eventually to the Nazis, and is mercilessly bombed by the British, the boy grows up.

In a seamless mosaic of dreams and games, Kadare's young narrator both reflects and distorts events as his ancient, magical home town and his own innocence and sense of wonder are lost forever in the madness and brutality of the war.

Ismail Kadare is Albania's best-known poet and novelist. Translations of his novels, which include The Siege, The Successor, Chronicle in Stone and The Accident, have been published in more than forty countries. In 2005 he became the first winner of the Man Booker International Prize.

'A thoroughly enchanting novel-sophisticated and accomplished in its poetic prose and narrative deftness, yet drawing resonance from its roots in one of Europe's most primitive societies.' John Updike, The New Yorker

'Kadare catches brilliantly the heightened sensibilities of the world of childhood...The writing is poetic and vivid and the structure, with a narrative broken by fragments of chronicles and asides, creates a rich and complex picture.' Weekend Herald (NZ)

'Like all great literature, Chronicle in Stone embodies themes that use, but transcend, the particulars of any historical setting. If you haven't sampled Ismail Kadare's remarkable work, Chronicle in Stone is a very good place to start.' West Australian

'Kadare is an accomplished novelist and one relishes the rapidity of his narrative...There is a vivid sense of the spectacular and dramatic city, and of the turbulent war years...The social picture Kadare offers is fascinating. This is a violent, yet intermittently charming, world.' Scotsman

'A triumph...A beguiling conjunction of realism and fantasy.' New York Times Book Review

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BayardUS - LibraryThing

Ismail Kadare is a great writer, and this book explores his childhood. It has some great pieces to it, the opening pages with the raindrops and the cistern is especially beautiful, as are the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Hanneri - LibraryThing

Stunning, both poetic and blatantly raw vision of Albania in the 20th century. Torn between Turks, Austrians, Italians, Greeks, Chinese and eventually Germans a boy speaks about his childhood in a ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Ismail Kadare was born in 1936 in Gjirokaster, in the south of Albania. He studied in Tirana and Moscow, returning to Albania in 1960 after the country broke ties with the Soviet Union. He became a journalist and published poet, and his first novel, The General of the Dead Army, established him as a respected writer. Translations of his novels have since been published in more than forty countries, and in 2005 he became the first winner of the Man Booker International Prize.

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