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  • [Kadare] chronicled the dark years of dictatorship in masterpieces such as The Pyramid

  • A haunting sense of time moving backwards and forwards like a train at a terminus, an authentic sense of adventure, and an extraordinary facility with metaphor take over… Kadare's new novel is mesmerising.

    Sydney Morning Herald
  • A vast, deep, obsessive parable. Like every parable, its fundamental significance transcends its apparent meaning

  • A masterpiece... A hauntingly beautiful parable woven from the fabric of history yet timeless in its reach

    San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
  • In the end, this book - which does not have (or need) a conventional plot, protagonist or conflict - adds up to a haunting meditation on the matter-of-fact brutality of political despotism, the harshness of life among the humble and powerless, and the vastness, ubiquity and stonelike permanence of death, which treats all humanity as equals.

    New York Times

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