THE GENERAL OF THE DEAD ARMY by Ismail Kadare

THE GENERAL OF THE DEAD ARMY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A very good novel, slightly too Kafkaesque in tone, about a general of an unnamed country (Italy) who is sent to Albania to recover the bones of his dead countrymen who were buried there some twenty years before during the war. The strange, rather savage customs of the still-hated (and hating) Albanians and the drudgery of a year-and-a-half of grave-digging in almost unremitting rain have their inevitable effect on the general, who goes slightly insane, culminating in his throwing the bones of the highest ranking dead officer, Colonel Z, former leader of the infamous ""Blue Battalion,"" into a mountain stream in an attempt to rid himself of the evil spell that is surely the objective correlative of his unrecognized war guilt. This sparsely written novel, whose slightly surreal mood arises from the accumulation of detail and rather stylized conversations between the general and the rather distant priest who accompanies him, is more than ably translated (from the French translation of the original) by Derek Coltman, the first Albanian novel ever to be published in this country.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1971
Publisher: Grossman-Orion