Ismail Kadare, David Bellos, David Bellos
It is the fifteenth century and war looms. The people of Albania have refused to negotiate with the Ottoman Empire and they know their fate is sealed. As they take refuge in a fortress in the mountains, the army arrives and prepares to lay siege to the Christian citadel.
The Siege is a compelling tale of the savagery and uncertainty of war, and a brilliant historical novel by one of the world's greatest living writers -- Simon Sebag Montefiore Great books, books that last, are shape-shifting books. The Siege is about what it is about - a siege in the fifteenth century. It is also a universal evocation of human violence * * Sunday Times * * A rallying cry to people besieged by the forces of tyranny -- Alice Fordham * * The Times * * The Siege is more relevant and powerful than ever . . . Kadare's early novel is stunning. The full panoply of the Ottoman's multi-ethnic empire is vividly rendered -- Heather McRobie * * Daily Telgraph * * His fiction offers invaluable insights into life under tyranny - his historical allegories point both to the grand themes and small details that make up life in a restrictive environment. He is a great writer, by any nation's standards -- Ben Naparstek * * Financial Times * * A tale steeped in blood, a snapshot of a centuries-long conflict, but at the same time Kadare's realism and lively sense of irony give it a modern twist -- Adam Lively * * Sunday Times * * The urgent gestures towards something that's not quite said somehow make the story linger in the mind long after the regime in which The Siege was written went the way of the empire it dreams back to life -- Christopher Taylor * * Guardian * * It is Kadare's great achievement to create individuals who are at the same time archetypes . . . Powerfully atmospheric . . . Fascinating -- Jane Jakeman * * Times Literary Supplement * * A story that is both stirring at a human level and steeped in historical symbolism . . . A vast and varied cast is expertly marshalled by a writer who is increasingly enjoying a worldwide reputation -- Sally Cousins * * Sunday Telegraph * * Ismail Kadare is one of Europe's most consistently interesting and powerful contemporary novelists, a writer whose stark, memorable prose imprints itself on the reader's consciousness * * Los Angeles Times * *
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