FREEDOM OR DEATH by Nikos Kazantzakis

FREEDOM OR DEATH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Zorba The Greek (1953) and The Greek Passion (1954) brought Kazantzakis critical attention and this new translation proves him to be among the major writers. Piecemeal, inconsecutive and effortless as life itself, it is filled with passion and the enduring stuff of human personality. The scene is Crete, about a century ago but there is no sense of remoteness or foreignness in the story of the bitter division of Greek Orthodox and Moslem, of honor and courage, treachery and death, and of the many actors who play their parts. The central conflict lies between Michaeles, a Greek leader, and his blood brother, Nuri Bey, whose mistress would possess Michaeles. An insult to the Moslem populace causes him to kill Michaeles' brother. Pitying Nuri Bey, who has lost his manhood in the fight, Michaeles cannot take vengance, a humiliation which drives Nuri Bey to suicide. Violence continues; there is an abortive Greek revolt against Turkish rule; Michaeles deserts his post to rescue Nuri Bey's mistress, is seduced by her and, horrified by his disloyalty, kills her and returns for a last-ditch battle: Soldiers, farmers, servants, fishermen, doctors, and others stream forth, all with their own unmistakable individuality, longings, absurdities and domestic tragedies in a work which offers many good parallels to For Whom The Bell Tolls and which can lay claim to being an important, beautiful, thunderously alive novel.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster