A new novel from the acclaimed winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize for achievement in fiction.
The Successor is a powerful political novel based on the sudden, mysterious death of the man who had been handpicked to succeed the hated Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha. The man who died was Mehmet Shehu, the presumed heir to the ailing dictator. The world was so certain that he was next in line that he was known as The Successor. And then, shortly before he was to assume power, he was found dead. Did he commit suicide or was he murdered?
The Successor is simultaneously a page-turning mystery, a historical novel - based on actual events and buttressed by the author’s private conversations with the son of the real-life Mehmet Shehu - and a psychological challenge to the reader to decide, How does one live when nothing is sure? The Successor seamlessly blends dream and reality, legendary past, and contemporary history, and proves again that Kadare stands alongside Mrquez, Canetti, and Auster.
Ismail Kadare, whose work is rare to find in English, writes from personal experience about the paranoid 1980s in Communist Albania: an era of government purges, propaganda, and secret police. Historical thriller The Successor swirls with theories, mysteries, and conjecture surrounding its unnamed title character's death by gunshot. Bernard Setaro Clark's performance suits Kadare's simple prose while playing off the tragicomedy of its cast's private interior monologues, so often oppressed along with the truth under a state that abuses its power.
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Kadare is simply amazing.