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The Siege

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,396 ratings  ·  152 reviews
In the early fifteenth century, as winter falls away, the people of Albania know that their fate is sealed. They have refused to negotiate with the Ottoman Empire, and war is now inevitable. Soon enough dust kicked up by Turkish horses is spotted from a citadel. Brightly coloured banners, hastily constructed minarets and tens of thousands of men fill the plain below. From ...more
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published May 15th 2008 by Canongate Books (first published 1970)
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,396 ratings  ·  152 reviews


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Ahmed
Jun 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

أنا لم أسمع بالكاتب قبل ذلك . ولم أكن أعرف حتى جنسيته. كل ما لفت نظرى انه حائز على جائزة البوكر الدوليه . وتجاربى مع هذه الجائزة مبشرة جدا. فأخذت الكتاب لأجد ان المؤلف ألبانى ولم يسبق لى الاطلاع على أدب هذه المنطقه بالذات .
ليكون لى الحظ فى قراءة عمل من أعظم ما يكون على الاطلاق
دائما العمل الروائى الممزوج بتاريخ مرحله معينه يكون امام احتمالين لا ثالث لهما: اما ان يكون العمل عظيم او يكون عمل سئ ولا وسط بينهما
وهذا العمل عظيم بكل ما تحمله الكلمة من معنى.
تحكى عن فترة الفتح العثمانى لألبانيا .
ترجمه
...more
فهد الفهد
الحصار

في كل مرة تقرأ فيها كتاباً تاريخياً يجب أن تنتبه إلى أن المؤلف إذ يلاحق الأحداث والدول والقادة والمعارك ينسى الإنسان، وليس هذا خطئه، فدوره هو في أن يدون المعلومة التاريخية، أو يحققها، أو يحاول استخلاص مغزى أو معنى منها، أما عن الإنسان الذي عاش ومات، عانى، ضحك وبكى، حلم ثم مات فدفن ودفنت أحلامه، بل ربما دفنت مدينته ذاتها من بعده، وصارت أطلالاً موحشة، هذا الإنسان لن يستعيده لنا إلا الروائي، وحده هو من سينقض على ما كتبه المؤرخ، ينبشه، يفككه، يعيد بعثه، ليجعل أبطاله يعيشون هناك، كأنما بعثت تل
...more
أشرف فقيه
Jul 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
هذه رواية عظيمة.. ليس كرواية تاريخية وحسب وليس لأنها تبدع في وصف محض "حصار".. لكن إسماعيل كاداريه وخلال الحملة العثمانية التي اختلقها على قلعة ما في القلب الألباني قد نجح أن ينقل لنا روح ذاك العصر بأسره، متجسدة في فلسفة الامبراطورية، فلسفة التوسع، فلسفة الحصار والإبادة وفلسفة المقاومة. إنه قد نجح في أن يجعلنا نفهم جوهر هويته الألبانية المتنازعة بين استحقاقات ماضيها المسيحي البعيد، والعثماني الأقرب منه، ونجح في أن ينقل لنا كل مبررات اللبس والارتباك والتشتت التي تعتري تلك الهوية خلال فصول روايته. ...more
إيمان


تدور الرواية حول حصار القوات العثمانية لأحد القلاع الألبانية المتخيلة. و لئن أمعن الكاتب في وصف أطوار الحرب الدائرة فانه لم يهمل الجانب الانساني من
... خلال عدة شخصيات من ذلك المؤرخ , الشاعر, الفلكي, الباشا, حريم الباشا و غيرهم
عادة لا أستسيغ الروايات التاريخية التي تسرد وقائع الحروب لكن البناء القصصي هنا كان جيدا و كذلك الأمر بالنسبة الى تركيب الشخصيات و الترجمة التي استطاع من خلالها محمد درويش نقل هذا العمل الأدبي الى القارىء العربي كأحسن ما يكون...
Shane
Sep 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
The author claims that this is not a historical novel, and yet the story is set in the mid 15th century and is a primer on the methods of warfare used at the time. It is also a metaphor for Albania during its Communist rule in the 20th century, for although the invading Ottoman empire circa 1474 is portrayed as the bad guy, the implication and insinuation is that this totalitarian empire is a reflection of later day Albania itself.

In a nutshell, an Albanian fortress is besieged by an invading Ot
...more
Ivan
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
L’Albania del XV secolo, l’Arbëria al tempo dell’invasione ottomana e dell’eroica resistenza degli arbërorët guidati dal valoroso Skanderbeg, il “Comandante Alessandro” Giorgio Castriota. È l’epopea del popolo albanese, che sarà cantata e ricordata nei secoli anche quando il paese sarà islamizzato e ridotto a provincia ottomana. Ma è anche, in Kadare, la resistenza dell’Albania socialista prima all’Orso russo e poi all’Orsetto jugoslavo di Tito. L’epopea di Skanderbeg e dei suoi arbërorët resta ...more
Eslam Mohammed
لو سألتنى عن أهم ما يميز كتابة كاداريه، سأجيبك بإيجاز السلاسة والعذوبة، البساطة والعمق، السهل الممتنع إجمالا...ف سرده لقصة حصار جيش اﻹمبراطورية العثمانية ﻹحدى القلاع اﻷلبانية، المدخل إلى منطقة البلقان، اتسم كاداريه بأهم مايميز كبار المبدعين، الدقة، الشمول، الحس الجمالى، القيمة اﻹنسانية...جاء تركيز كاداريه على جانب الجيش العثمانى، وصفا، وهو ما أبدع فيه، وتحليلا، وحصرا، وتفسيرا، مع إشارات ضمنية موجزة للجانب اﻷلبانى، وهو ماقد يعد قصورا ف المعالجة من وجهة نظر، وذكاء وإيجازا من وجهة نظر أخرى... رسم ا ...more
Mita
rated it really liked it
Jan 16, 2017
Yazeed AlMogren
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
تسحرك دقة التفاصيل وجمالها في هذه الرواية، نصوص فاخرة واتقان المترجم في ترجمة نصوصها جعلتها رواية تاريخية ممتعة لاتمل منها، تنقلك أحداث الحصار بين ضباط الجيشين المتحاربين لتظهر لك بسالة المدافعين الألبان في صد الهجوم والدفاع عن أرضهم وبين شدة عزم الأتراك والرغبة في إحتلال القلعة المحاصرة.
Fjolla Hoxha
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Romani ndjek luftën tremujore te kampit osman në trojet shqiptare, në përpjekje për ta marrur në pushtim Kështjellën e lavdishme të Kadaresë. Historia fillon mes daulleve dhe muzikës por përfundon mes humbjes, heshtjes dhe baltës. Subjekti i romanit vë në pah qëndresën e paepur shqiptare, që edhe në trajtimet më të ashpra të luftës, nuk dorëzohen. E gjithë kjo bën që romani t'i përngjajë stilit të famshëm e të veçantë të autorit. Me një kënaqësi të madhe, vendimi për t'i lënë këtij romani të pav ...more
Hakushi Hamaoka
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I came to feel like visiting Albania :)

According to the Afterword by the translator, Ismail Kadare's one of the main themes in his novels is the intricate relationships between the obvious other (the influences of the Ottoman Empire) for the Albanians and who the Albanians are. Since Albania was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, people there were affected by its culture, politics, and other social institutions. The Albanian are, however, still Albanians, who are supposed to have rather actively a
...more
Val
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-tour, temp
Ismail Kadaré often used Albanian history and legends as the setting for his novels. This one is about attempts to withstand a siege by Ottoman forces and shows the inhabitants of the beleaguered town. It may be an allegory of modern times, but it is not clear exactly what it might be an allegory of. Albania was a Maoist communist country caught between the powerful Soviet powers and their allies and the capitalist force of Europe and US global trade. Who did Ismail Kadaré see as the aggressive ...more
Michael
Nov 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-translation
This may seem like a straight forward historical novel about a citadel in Albania under seige from the mighty Ottaman Empire, but it is so much more than that.

Written originally in 1970 in Albania just after the Soviets had shattered the Prague uprising in Czechoslovakia, it is one of the best critics of hostile invasion and control you will ever read.

Considering the original was Albanian and it was updated in french in the mid 90s a big congratulations to all the translators involved.
Dr. Cristina Bettencourt
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book by this author. He seems to be able to recreate the mentality and the perspective people may have had in those times. He makes me "feel" with them regardless of the fact that I am submerged in my zeitgeist, and in principle a bad neutral observer. This combined with a compelling writing style.
James
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, history
A real treat, an Albanian authors account of a Turkish siege has it all. Good history, great writing, dread, historical detail wrapped into a subtle political scream of anger.
Thomas Hübner
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
http://www.mytwostotinki.com/?p=434

Albania in the middle of the 15th century. Gjergj Kastrioti, called Skanderbeg, is resisting the advance of the Ottoman armies and is fighting a kind of hit-and-run guerrilla war from his fortresses in the Accursed Mountains. This is the historical backdrop of the novel The Siege by the Albanian author Ismail Kadare, a permanent candidate for the Novel Prize and Winner of the Man Booker International Prize.

A huge force of the Ottoman army is advancing to this r
...more
LeAnn
Mar 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of literary historical fiction
In The Siege, Ismail Kadare succeeds in telling a story that is at once a fictionalized piece of history, a believable what-if about the Ottoman invasion of 15th-century Albania, and a subtle commentary on modern politics and war.

As with other armies throughout history, the Turks led military campaigns from late spring to early fall. The Siege begins as the Catholic Albanians, having sent the Ottomon envoys packing, prepare for the coming of the invading force. The tale is told in two perspecti
...more
Tony
Oct 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
Feb 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read Kadare’s The Palace of Dreams in 2005, and thought it was an excellent book, but this is even better. At face value, it’s the rivetting story of a C15th siege – the Christian Albanians in the besieged citadel and the Ottomans camped outside. The chapters alternate between these two POV but the Ottomans tell most of the story in what appears to be a straightforward 3rd person narrative. However, there are deliberate anachronisms such as show trials and biological warfare which jolt the rea ...more
Gumble's Yard
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Story of the siege by the Ottoman army of the first castle they encounter on invading Albania – the story which describes the horrors of siege warfare in detail is written mainly from an Ottoman viewpoint with a variety of characters mainly non-directly military but seen from the view point of the confused official Chronicler. There are interim shorter chapters written more as a chronicle by the defending Christians and which provide good summaries of what has actually happened.

Main characters
...more
Fatima Alammar
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
رواية محشوّة بالأفكار والأسئلة، لاهبة بحمم الحرب ودوّي الطبول والمدافع، مصاغة بنَفَس شاعريّ لافت، تنفذ عميقا في أوردة وشرايين الشخصيات المبتلاة بالمشاركة في حصار طويل، ممضّ، وقاسي:
تلفتك شخصية مؤرخ الحملة، بكل حساسيته وقلقه وخجله وارتباكه ومثابرته وانشغاله الذهنيّ وتساؤلاته. المهندس جياور (نموذج رجل العلم والتخصص) بوجهه الجامد، الخالي من التعابير، وبكلامه الذي تُبتر فيه الألفاظ "يصفّها صفا بلا أدنى مسافة أو فاصلة وينطقها بإيقاع موحّد لا يتبدّل، إن في حديثه الرتيب المرهق شيئا من الصحراء". ضابط ال
...more
Abeer alkhalil

لم تتخللها لغة تنسيني وحشية تفاصيلها الموضوع الحرب والحصار وضياع
قيمة الإنسانية .. ربما وكوني فتاة لم تصلني حروفها لليوم احتقر كل من يبجل الحروب وأن كانت بضرورة كما
يزعمون !

تذكرت كيف إني اقرأ بتحرر من العواطف تاركة التقييم للعقل والفائدة
وهنا لم أستفد والذنب ليس ذنب الكاتب ولكنه ذنب الموضوع حيث تولى الأهمية للسرد التوثيقي
وأنا كإنسانة أنتظر أحداث من بشر تذكرني بماهيتي ولو بلحظات بسيطة ...
تقفز من بين حطام النفس هامسة أو صارخة ندم أو تقرف مما يحدث وليعود بعدها لسرده المتخم
بالآلات والإنتصارات الحربية
...more
Mohd Antar
ملحمه تاريخيه تصف الحصار المروض علي قلعه البانيه بقوات الدوله العثمانيه، وقد ابدع الكاتب في وصف تلك الحرب وهذا الحصار وجعلنا نتعايش مع الجنود وصلابتهم وضعفهم الانساني ،مع القاده وصراعاتهم ،وبحرفيه جيده انتقل من السرد عن معسكر المهاجمين الي السرد عن معسكر المدافعين اللذين يحمون العرض والارض وبالتالي تعايشنا مع كلا الطرفين في معاناتهم واحلامهم وأمالهم.وبحبكه روائيه جيده ابرز الكاتب ان صاحب الحق سوف يحقق النصر في النهايه حتي ولو كان اقل قوه..
تستحق عن جداره جائزه البوكر
Đurđica Bolfek
To što je pročitana u dahu govori dovoljno. Baš volim Kadarea.
Cristian
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: balkans
Kadare scrive, con “I tamburi della pioggia” un romanzo epico. Si tratta, tuttavia, di un’epica molto particolare, e nella quale, spesso fa uso di modalità a mio parere inattese, considerato anche che si tratta di un romanzo di quasi quarant’anni fa.

L’inatteso
Primo elemento inatteso: l’eroe, Scanderbeg, di fatto non compare mai. Si parla di lui per sentito dire, dagli altri. Addirittura, la resistenza di Kruja e l’eroismo di Scanderbeg vengono raccontati prevalentemente dalla punto di vista del
...more
Geoffrey Fox
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
In the summer of 1429 the greatest army ever seen, under command of Tirsun Pasha, attacks the citadel that is the first line of defense of Christian Albania, expecting to conquer it by rapid assault — but every stratagem (repeated assaults, undermining, infestation with diseased rats, and finally discovering and cutting the city’s aqueduct) fails, and when the rains come (saving the city from surrendering to thirst) the remains of the vast army withdraw in disorder from the now half-ruined town. ...more
Adam
This novel by the Albanian author Ismail Kadare is set during the 15th century when Albania was being attacked by the Ottoman Turks, and the heroic Albanian leader Skanderbeg was still actively fighting the attackers. The edition that I have read was originally written between 1969 and 1970 when albania was being ruled by the repressive dictator, and friend of Stalin, Enver Hoxha. The version that I read was modified by the author between 1993 and 1994 when Enver Hoxha's regime was over. The ori ...more
Michelle
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Kadare has depicted a subtle commentary on politics and war through a fictionalised period in history.
Although definitely not my favourite type of story to read, as it is about a siege, as the title states, and the descriptions of the attack on the citadel were long and repetitive, there were a few sections that were truly a pleasure to read. I particularly liked reading the Quartermaster's "heretical" confidences to the chronicler who pushed such thoughts away and insisted on describing the sei
...more
Jocelyn
Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, favorites
Il est le héro nationale de l'Albanie, Skanderbeg a tenu tête à la plus grande machine de guerre de son époque: l'empire Ottoman. Il a pu mener ses troupes à resister contre l'envahisseur. Ce livre relate, de façon romancé, la première tentative Islamiste de saisir la citadelle de l'homme de guerre albanais. Une histoire captivante et qui donne le goût d'en savoir plus sur ce pays trop méconnu.
E.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure about this novel as I began it. The writing of this translation was at first off-putting to me, but either it grew on me or it changed. I ended up deeply immersed in the novel--a fictional story of a fifteenth century Ottoman siege of an Albanian fortress, told mostly from the perspectives of Turkish characters ranging from the commander-in-chief to women in the harem. What soon emerges is that this is more than just a compelling story from the past, but a reflection on the present ...more
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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
“I lodhur nga medyshjet e linte nganjehere veten te binte ne enderrime pa kuptim. Mendonte se sa mire do te ishte sikur pas shtatorit, te vinte jo tetori me nentorin, por korriku me gushtin. Enderronte nje ere te marre qe te mund te ngaterronte muajt e stinet e vitit, ashtu si era e vjeshtes gjethet e thara.” 15 likes
“Ata nuk kishin menduar kurre se ajo mund te qeshte ,dhe sic do gje qe permbys nje mendim te pergjithshem, kjo e qeshur zgjoi tek ata nje fare shqetesimi , gati gati frike” 5 likes
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