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The General of the Dead Army

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  1,720 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
This is the story of an Italian general, accompanied by his chaplain, charged with the mission of scouring Albania in search of the bones of their fallen countrymen, killed twenty years earlier during World War II.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by New Amsterdam Books (first published 1963)
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Lorenzo Berardi
Jul 08, 2012 Lorenzo Berardi rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, albanian
As stated in the last page of the book, it took Ismail Kadaré five years to write this novel between 1962 and 1966 when he was in Tirana.
One can wonder whether "The General od the Dead Army" was nail-biting business involving many stopovers for the Albanian author or if Kadaré himself was tied-up with other things in those days.

The idea behind the book is an excellent one: a general and a priest (both left nameless) from the Italian army going to Albania in the 1960s in order to dig out the bod
Amanda Lila
Sep 23, 2013 Amanda Lila rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I have read by Ismail Kadare so far. I loved the symbolism.
Dec 02, 2009 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Albania is an often forgotten country. The paranoia of the Enver Hoxha era led them to fall out with the major players on both sides of the Iron Curtain and since the fall of Communism, only the disastrous pyramid selling scheme and events in neighbouring Kosovo have attracted headlines.

Yet it's that very sense of the mysterious that makes it such a fascinating country. Ismail Kadare is the country's most celebrated novelist and winner of the first man Booker International Prize. he seems nailed
Mar 10, 2012 Tony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii, albanian
Looking at the author's picture on the inside back cover, I am reminded of what a cruel time the 1970s were. There are, in fact, a few pictures of me floating around the Internet which I wish would disappear. But enough about me. Call him Ismail.

It is 20 years after World War II. Twenty years after Italian troops overran Albania. The Albanians flashed up pockets of resistance, leaving many Italian soldiers in makeshift graves. An Italian general (no name) returns after negotiations between the
Joana Doko
Jan 26, 2015 Joana Doko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 amazing stars. I loved the first 200 pages, but the ending wasn't the best I could imagine. I love Ismail Kadare, he really represents the best part of Albania. What really surprises me, is that even though I'm Albanian, when I read Kadare's books I feel like I'm foreigner. He always sees what the others don't bother to pay attention, that makes him a great writer. I think he totally deserves to win a NOBEL.
Paolo Gianoglio
Jan 21, 2013 Paolo Gianoglio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quanti modi ci sarebbero per leggere questo libro? Innanzitutto è un libro che parla di quelle pieghe sconosciute della nostra storia, con una prospettiva che fa venire le vertigini: scritto da un albanese ha come protagonista un generale italiano. E dopo un po' non riesci più a capire se osservi con l'occhio dell'invasore o dell'occupato.
Ma poi è anche un libro sulla commedia dei ruoli, in alcuni momenti sembra di leggere Beckett o Ionesco, anche se lo stile è sempre leggero e molto semplice.
Apr 07, 2010 Gillies rated it it was amazing

I loved this, the whole mood of it. It's an utterly brilliant idea for a book, possibly one of the most profound and unique of modern times.
A General sent to reclaim the bodies of soldiers who died and were buried on battlefields in a foreign country. The combination of the weariness of digging, stultifying bureaucracy and the horror of decomposed bodies gives the whole book an unforgettable atmosphere, unlike anything else.
Sorin Hadârcă
Jul 28, 2011 Sorin Hadârcă rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe it's the next big thing after Kafka's Castle. Maybe. I didn't figure this out for sure. But it teaches a great deal about life... in an environment filled with death. And the most human character is a deserter. The general is a person who is almost there making the change. Alas! Great stuff.
Jan 19, 2012 Vincent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
C'est un premier roman qui a fait grand bruit lors de sa publication. L'histoire, assez macabre, est celle d'un général italien qui 20 ans après la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale se rend en Albanie pour ramener au pays les restes des soldats morts.

Il y a finalement assez peu de péripéties dans cette longue errance par monts et par vaux, au coeur de ce pays secret et rude. Mais l'élégance de la langue et de la narration, l'ironie et le sens de l'absurde de Kadharé portent l'histoire et nous ti
Sep 01, 2009 Katie rated it really liked it
Just read this summer 2009. Was recommended to me by a student. Very good and interesting. Unlike anything I've read before.
Oct 07, 2016 Pio rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booker-orange
Tuy giọng văn của tác giả không mấy lôi cuốn, tôi vẫn bị ám ảnh bởi cách ông tả những khung cảnh lạnh lùng và tiêu điều của một đất nước thời hậu chiến, một khuôn mặt gợi lên những dấu chỉ không dễ gì quên được.
Nov 25, 2012 orsodimondo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: albania
I protagonisti sono un torbido prete (avrà avuto una storia con la bella contessa Betti Mirafiore o no?) e un generale stizzoso con improvvisi rigurgiti d’orgoglio nazionalistico.
Kadaré fa poco per renderli gradevoli.
Indossano entrambi una divisa, rappresentano due eserciti, due burocrazie, due mentalità, di cui secondo me il mondo farebbe volentieri a meno.
Vent’anni dopo la guerra, nel 1963, sono incaricati di andare in Albania per riportare a casa i resti dei soldati
Mar 18, 2016 Mikheil rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
გუშინ ვიხსენებდი და ალბანეთიდან დედა ტერეზა, ენვერ ხოჯა და ორი ფეხბურთელი ვიცოდი მხოლოდ. უცბად კი აღმოჩნდა, რომ ჩვენზე უბედურ ერს ერთი აბსოლუტურად გენიალური მწერალი ჰყავთ, რომელიც 40-მდე ენაზეა თარგმნილი.
„მკვდარი არმიის გენერალი“ არის სუპერ წიგნი, უმაღლესი კლასის ლიტერატურა! სიუჟეტი შემდეგნაირია: მეორე მსოფლიო ომიდან ოცი წელია გასული, როდესაც უცხოელი გენერლი (ტექსტიდან გამომდინარე ვხვდებით, რომ იტალიელია) ჩადის ალბანეთში, რათა ომში დაღუპული იტალიელი ჯარისკაცების ნეშტები შეაგროვოს და გადაასვენოს
Michael Vagnetti
Jan 18, 2012 Michael Vagnetti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Remember the funeral march of Beethoven's 3rd symphony? Such music plays in Kadare's Albania, where warfare is a customary aesthetic experience. "The whole story evolves under the sign of slaughter."

A party of Italian military personnel comes to Albania, twenty years after the war, to collect remains. Where are the bones? Who's got the map? Why didn't we do this in the summer? Who is not a foreigner here?

Through the shrouded fog, we go on a psychological tour, now reminding us o
Mar 22, 2012 Brent rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic book. The premise is thought-provoking, the characters are simultaneously nuanced and archetypal, and the prose is piercing. There are scenes in this book that are perfectly worked, and I was astonished to learn that this was Kadare's first novel. I will definitely be reading more of Kadare's work.
Jul 24, 2011 Andrada rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
Kadare’s tale of an Italian general seeking out the remains of his country’s soldiers fallen in Albania during World War II and the mental toll the task takes on him, makes for a haunting image of the futility of war and its grisly aftermath. I think the consequences of war are acknowledged by any country that has survived war within its own borders and are usually quite similar no matter where the wars were fought. While reading The General of the Dead Army, I often found myself thinking of the ...more
Jul 13, 2013 Claudiu rated it liked it
Recommended to Claudiu by: A short moment of curiosity
From time to time I have to wait for people. Everyone has to. The worth of punctuality is lost on many.
So, when such times occur, I read. It's enjoyable, easy to pick up, easy to put down and it passes the minutes.
Sometimes...however...I forget to bring a book for myself and find that I'm stuck in the heat / cold with nothing to do except twiddle my thumbs and watch people go by.
Which will simple NOT DO!
So I walk into the nearest book store, pick up something of reasonable length and start r
În 1963 Ismail Kadare devenea cunoscut datorită unui singur roman, Generalul armatei moarte. Deşi cu un stagiu la Institutul de Literatură „Maxim Gorki” din Moscova, se poate spune că Ismail Kadare, prin stilul său, nu aparţine realismului socialist. El însuşi mărturiseşte, într-un interviu acordat lui Alain Bosquet, că a scris romanul Generalul armatei moarte într-o notă opusă acelui curent literar „realist” implementat de puterea moscovită începând cu a doua jumătate a secolului al XX-lea, în ...more
Apr 22, 2014 Jelena rated it liked it
Shelves: own
This book is amazing. Unnamed general and unnamed priest are collecting bones of the fallen Italian soldiers in the Second world war in Albania. They are especially searching colonel Z. from the notorious battalion who killed even it's own's soldiers.
The book is very well written. We get to see different perspective of war and i really like Kadare's writing. But i don't like the end.
After general finds colonel's bones and after he threw them from the bridge everything falls a part. I didn't lik
May 16, 2011 Ctb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This edition (hardcover) has dozens of typos. Must not have been proofread by someone whose native tongue is English.

Given the subject matter, the premise, the historical basis, this book should have been explosively dark and macabre. It wasn't. I kept reading thinking surely it would improve. It didn't.
Aug 21, 2015 Andreea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
„Daca o sa mor, imi spunea mereu, ingroapa-ma adanc, sa nu ma gaseasca cainii. Iar acum, ca el era mort, scormonind in pamant, vorbeam si eu de unul singur: n-ai grija, te ingrop adanc, foarte adanc.”
Oct 03, 2013 Gabriele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No, non è un romanzo dell'orrore e neanche uno di quei fantasy che vanno ora tanto di moda. Anche se di orrore, in queste pagine di Ismail Kadare, ce n'è, così come è sempre quando si parla di guerra. Lo scrittore albanese, uno dei più noti del suo Paese (ma certo distante, per quanto geograficamente vicino, alle letture solite della nostra penisola), pubblica nel 1963 questo libro, a circa vent'anni da quella seconda guerra mondiale che fa da sfondo alle vicende narrate nel libro stesso.

La seco
The general of the dead army is Kadare’s debut novel (1963). It gives us more than fifty shades of grey. It’s the landscape, it’s the season, it’s the circumstances, it’s the nature of the assignment, it’s the sort of interaction with the local people, it is even the relation between the two main protagonists – a general and a priest – which are all imbued with many meanings of shade and shadiness, mainly in figurative speech, of course. This goes, e.g. for the fact that the general, the priest ...more
Jan 15, 2016 Janelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The Italian general is tasked with going to Albania 20 years after the war to retrieve Italy's fallen soldiers. With him is a colonel who is a translator and priest. He is an arrogant man with no appreciation of what the Albanians endured during the occupation. The sober task before him begins to weigh on him as he works to dig up soldiers in solitary and mass graves while looking for Colonel Z, whose whereabouts were unknown at the end of the war. The general and priest are both morally corrupt ...more
Doğan Sevimbike
Jun 17, 2016 Doğan Sevimbike rated it it was amazing
Ölü Ordunun Generali, savaş romanları arasında özellikle 2.dünya savaşı sonrası yazılan romanlar arasında en belirgin farkı-özelliği; İsmail Kadare'nin "italyan" yada "Alman" kelimelerini kullanmadan günümüz kültür ve kimlik düşmanlığına düşmeden savaşın acı ve trajikomik durumunu mizahi bir dille yansıtabilmiş olmasıdır. Kuşkusuz Balkan Edebiyatının en önemli yazarlarından biridir İsmail Kadare, bir çok kez de Nobel'e aday gösterilmiştir.

Kitap; 2.dünya savaşı sonunda İtalyan işgali sonrası Arn
Jan 12, 2014 Kokeshi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: albania
In the 1960s an Italian general goes to Albania to repatriate fallen soldiers from WWII. The task seems plain, but the enormity of war for both sides becomes apparent and the job becomes a messy and heavy burden to bear.

This is a novel like no other I have read. The subject matter is dark, but very interesting. The writing is outstanding and the emotion that comes off of the page is so real the reader experiences it for herself/himself.

5 stars. Absolutely one of the best books I have ever read.
Apr 20, 2012 Rita rated it really liked it
A wonderful novel. Really makes you think about the way things are in the world. Should fallen soldiers whose bodies have been buried in foreign lands be dug back up and brought home or should the dead be left to rest. This story follows an Italian General through Albanian lands where the Italian fought and many died and where laid to rest in the Albanian lands. Through the story you begin to see the toll this task takes on the general and those entrusted with him to full fill the task given to ...more
Sep 01, 2016 Attila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, society, classics
An Italian general searches for his country's dead soldiers in post-war Albania. He and his aides unearth bones in adverse conditions - and with these, they unearth destinies, tragedies, battles, ghosts. The memory of the wartime atrocities still haunts the lands, and the Albanians do not forget and do not forgive. Yet the general learns nothing from the past and understands nothing from the present - he clings to his prejudices, and dreams about restarting and winning the war. A very sad and po ...more
Nov 10, 2008 Mile rated it liked it
I had high hopes for this book but felt it was written at too quick a pace. Given the subject-matter, there was much more that could have been done. Reminded me (how bizarre) of On The Road--just endless going back and forth with no pause to assess the situation. I am going to read a few more of his books, but I was a bit disappointed in this one after having read the NYT review.
Aug 22, 2011 Sharon rated it did not like it
I did not like this book at all. I generally enjoy this "type" of book-though admittedly this one is darker and more macabre than most. I guess I just didn't get it. It just was-for me nothing really happened. I didn't see that great demise of the general-he seemed rather depressed, moody, and haunted from the start. The thing that I did appreciate was the narrative from the Albanian perspective.
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Ismail Kadare (also spelled Kadaré) is an Albanian novelist and poet. He has been a leading literary figure in Albania since the 1960s. He focused on short stories until the publication of his first novel, The General of the Dead Army. In 1996 he became a lifetime member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences of France. In 1992, he was awarded the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca; in 2005, he wo ...more
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“فى أثناء الحروب يكون من الصعب دائما التفرقة ما بين ما هو تراجيدى و ما هو مثير للضحك، و بين ما هو بطولى و ما هو مثير للحزن و الكآبة” 2 likes
“Divizije, pukovnije, batoljoni, čete, jedinice svih vrsta pomiješat će se u gomili lijesova. Potom će ih ukrcati u veliki brod koji će tromo isploviti iz luke da bi vratio u domovinu ovu armiju svedenu sada na nekoliko tona kalcija i fosfora.” 1 likes
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