Shafeeq Valanchery's Reviews > The Successor

The Successor by Ismail Kadare
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's review
Oct 01, 2011

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When death follows death in familiar-yet-hushed pattern as an inevitable insurmountable fact of a totalitarian state, the pall of doom is so heavy that words attain a resigned tone. Though a less developed model of shifting narrators so beautifully employed by Pamuk in My Name is Red, the narrative style of The Successor is so aloof that one gets the feeling of reading under a feverish light (well that half-dimmed light mixed with a slight uneasiness when our eyes accidentally fall on a CFL lamp at the onset of a fever).

Each chapter is assigned to one homodiegetic narrator. But Ismail Kadare is not good at a political thriller, as he is at more profound issues of time, history and memory. I wish he had attempted a satire than a semi-whodunit. But the blurb, which describes it to be a thriller we won’t keep down is misleading. Kadare would not have meant it to be a thriller; the narration after the first quarter of the book does not chase clues to the perpetrator to the Albanian communist dictator’s death. It is rather an exposition of the hierarchies of a communist state. The last chapter is a fascinating end to this rather clouded hazy dark drama of power in a powerless forgotten nation.

For more read :"The Successor : A Review"

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