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The Ghost Rider

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  904 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
A classic medieval mystery from the winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize, a writer in the class of Atwood, Coetzee, Marquez, and Rushdie
An old woman is awoken in the dead of night by knocks at her front door. The woman opens it to find her daughter, Doruntine, standing there alone in the darkness. She has been brought home from a distant land by a myst
Paperback, revised, with new title, 220 pages
Published May 20th 2010 by Canongate Books (first published 1979)
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Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

3/3.5 stars. The Ghost Rider is a retelling of the dark Kostandin and Doruntine ballad, an ancient Albanian tale : in this legend, Doruntine's brother, Kostandin, raises from the dead in order to bring her back to her mother, as his oath - his besa - demanded him. Due to the animated state it creates in the little town - and the fact that neither Doruntine nor her mother are responding anymore, Captain Stresi is asked to investigate the case.

Pleased Anna - The Ghost Rider was undoubtedly enthr
Araz Goran
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: أدب, روايات

تسألتها أمها : " من أعادك يا دورونتين؟ "
ترد الأبنة قائلة : " إنهُ أخي قسطنطين !! "
- قسطنطين؟! ولكنه مات منذ ثلاث سنوات مع جميع إخوته....

هكذا ضجت البلدة بالشائعات والأقاويل وصارت عودة دورونتين جزءاً لا يتجزأ من حديث أهالي البلدة الطيبين، عادت دورونتين وجلبت معها أكبر لغز من ممكن أن تتحلمه تلك البلدة، بل والأمارة كلها.. عادت لتجلب الشقاء والحيرة لأمها، مع إرث أخيها المتوفى منذ ثلاث سنوات مع جميع إخوانه ، دورونتين التي تدعي أنها سافرت مع أخيها لعدة ليالي بعد القسم الذي أقره قسطنطين في حياته بأن يع
The Ghost Rider was initially published in English under the title Doruntine and it is another case of translation from French, not from the original Albanian. This situation puzzles me and has turned many people off from reading Ismail Kadaré's The Palace of Dreams, which I find a really good novel (but then, I've read the Romanian translation). Is there a serious deficit of translators from Albanian into English? It seems that Kadare’s works were regularly translated into French by his long-st ...more
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stela by: Ema
Ghosts of the Tale

I have always had a fascination for stories built on myths, legends or folkloric tales, for they tend to give another dimension to the nations subconscious that I’ve always believed populated by the latters. And I find it extremely interesting to see how these stories feed at the same time on the old and new, on the local and universal, on the real and the imaginary, how they can gain and lose specific meanings in time without losing beauty and depth.

And here it is, Ismail Ka
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting narration of what could have followed the "Ballad of Doruntine and Constantine" or "Constantine's Besa", an old Albanian legend from the Middle Ages, in this novella. Doruntine, who has married someone in Bohemia, far from Albania, is brought back to her mother by a mysterious horseman. Shortly thereafter, she and her mother both die. Here is the text of the original ballad:

Kadare's story picks up where the ballad leaves off. Captain Stres of
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: albania, balkan
This superb short novel by Ismail Kadare was written in 1979 in Tirana, Albania. At that time, the country was ruled by its oppressive dictator Enver Hoxha. Like most of his ilk, he had no tolerance for dissent. Kadare and his fellow writers had to mind what they said and wrote to keep out of trouble. By setting his novel "Doruntine", which is to some extent about heresy, in the era before the Ottoman invasion of Albania, he was able to disguise his observations of modern Albania to such an exte ...more
فهد الفهد
تنبيه: في السطور التالية كشف لأحداث الرواية.

من أعاد دورنتين؟

هذه هي قراءتي الأولى لعمل من أعمال الروائي الألباني المرشح لنوبل الآداب منذ سنوات (إسماعيل كاداريه) – أو قادريه وهو أصل الاسم إن أصابت ظنوني -.

يقال بأن الأساطير، هي ثيمة كاداريه الدائمة – وأنا هنا لا أملك إلا أن أعتمد على الأقوال، ما دامت رواياته الأخرى تنتظر في مكتبتي ولم أشرع في قراءتها بعد -، هذه الرواية لا تبدأ كالعادة بأسطورة يتم الاتكاء عليها، وإنما تقوم بفعل معاكس، أي إنتاج أسطورة، من أعاد دورونتين؟

هذا هو السؤال الألباني القلق
Jul 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: albanian
I've read the book when I was in high school because of an assignment and as I wasn't much of a fan of Kadare I thought I wouldn't like this book at all.
Well, I was wrong.

The book is based on an old legend and taken from there to become a sort of mystery/yellow story with hints of political and historical discussions. The main line is an investigation and follows the hero struggle to find the truth about the death of Doruntine while trying to keep hold of his own personal problems. The story is
سلمى Selma Mohaimeed
"من أعاد دورونتين " من بلاد زوجها النائية بعد غياب السنوات الثلاث ؟ أحقًا هو من تدعي أخاها " قسطنطين " المتوفى ؟ سؤالٌ قاتل ، ومُحير، يمضي وراءه الملازم " ستريس " رحلة تقصي مضنيه تُبسط وتُفندُ فيها احتمالات كثيرة.

رواية جميلة ، ومثيرة لكنها ليست على شاكلة الروايات التي أهوى.

May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, read-2018
I admit that I read this and went a little like huh? How did the ending shift from a simple mystery novel to a monologue about what Albania is, or should be? And that the people listened and nothing changed in reaction (i.e. people getting married far away) - that sounded rather cynical.

Then I read this amazing review that broke down the different elements:

I don't have anything further to add.
Dec 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Based on the legend of "The Ballad of Constantine and Doruntine", the story is a detective mystery in the Middle Ages to discover the identity of the horseman who carried Doruntine from Bohemia to her dowager mother's home in Albania. When she and her old mother die soon after she claims Konstantin, a brother dead three years, brought her through one long, starry night, an explanation is called for. Was D's saying K brought her a coverup for a romantic escapade from her marriage in a distant cou ...more
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could choose any living author to write an episode of Game of Thrones, I would choose Ismail Kadare (Yes, I watched the last episode of Season 6 the night before finishing this book). Kadare's ability to write stories bring to life the past (or alternative pasts) well-grounded in mythology, legend, and history but imbued with the perspective, confidence, and cynicism of modernism (low, high, and post-) is among the greatest. Keep in mind this is after one, often two, translations to bring i ...more
Nov 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
On the surface the most obvious comparisons to The Ghost Rider would be The Name of the Rose and The Brother Cadfael Mysteries since both features a character that might be considered the precursor of today’s police detective. Unlike the Franciscan friar, William of Baskerville, or the Benedictine monk, Brother Cadfael, Ismail Kadare’s Captain Stres is, a servant of the state who strives to remain neutral on the issue of religion. The problem is he has to solve the mystery of how a dead man coul ...more
Antonio Babliku
This book was one that I loved while reading it, but I had mixed feelings about it after I finished. I devoured the book in one day, because I love a good mystery. How beautiful and interesting to have a mystery around an old Albanian folk tale. However, all the build-up went for nothing in the end. I respect the decision to pay tribute to the original tale, but you feel a bit like it was "much ado about nothing", in that you don't get a resolution to all the story that built up.
Although, I lov
Mar 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I think I've had Broken April on my to-read list for more than 5 years and for about the same amount of time I've had it on my bookshelves. Maybe it was for this reason that I was expecting to really like both the book and it's author, but it wasn't exactly my cup of tea. It felt wrong to dismiss Kadare after one short book though, especially since it's little likely that I'll read another Albanian classic anytime soon (or ever). Seeing Doruntine is a retelling of an old legend, I thought it wou ...more
Anu Korpinen
Aaveratsastajan tarina on levinnyt ympäri Eurooppaa, ja on tuttu myös suomalaisessa kansanperinteessä. Kuollut sulhanen tulee noutamaan morsiantaan, ja vasta matkan päättyessä hautausmaalle, tyttö ymmärtää matkanneensa vainajan kanssa. Albanialaisessa versiossa tytön noutaja on tämän veli, ja määränpäänä on kaukainen koti, ja siellä odottava perhe.

Ghost Riderissa tarina on kerrottu paikallisen viranomaisen näkökulmasta, ja melkein dekkarimaisesti aletaan selvittää kotikyläänsä yllättäen ilmaantu
وأخيرآ ترجمة تحترم القارئ، اللغة المستعملة فيها سهلة وغنية وبعض التشبيهات كانت جميلة. ولا ننسى الفضل للكاتب الذي استحضر قصة دورنتين. القصة في عنوان الكتاب، معظها كانت إعادة السؤال أكثر من إعطاء جواب لها مما جعلها مملة بعض الشي، لكن لو حدث العكس لانتهت القصة قبل بدايتها. في الوهلة الأولى تعتقد القصة مجرد قصة تحقيق عن من آعاد دورنتين، إلا أنها أعمق من ذلك، ففيها الأحداث تلتمس مبادئ مذاهب الكنائس المتنازعة في وقتها ، و تحيي أسئلة تجاه أهلية القوانين الحاكمة في ألبانيا أنذاك وغيرها. رواية لطيفة صراح ...more
صوتٌ أبيض
Sep 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
من أعاد دورنتين؟
ليس مجرد تساؤل عادي
إذ احتشدت الرواية كلها في محاولة للإجابة عليه

هذه الرواية للكاتب الألباني يحاول أن يوصل للقارئ رسالة

في هذه الرواية تتداخل الأسطورة مع الأحداث اليومية في الرواية

لعل الكتب أراد أن يتحدث عن ثورة الشعوب ضد ما هو سائد عن يقضتهم وقيامهم حتى لو بعد مدة ليعيدوا الأمور إلى نصابها خاصة أن الكاتب كتب هذه الرواية في فترة صعبة كانت تمر بها بلاده.

بقي عقلي مشغولا من أول صفحة إلى آخر صفحة، بل إلى ما بعد ذلك
في محاولة مني لفهم ما توحي به الشخصيات الأسطورية واسقاطاتها على الحياة ا
Corina Romonti
Nov 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: are-you-kidding
In my humble opinion there are 2 possibilities here:
1. This is a really poor translation of the book. The narrator can`t make up his mind if he`s stuck in medieval times or he`s traveled into the future, losing his identity. He seems a bit schizophrenic. The usage of the words seems a bit sloppy as well.
2. Ismail Kadare isn`t such a brilliant writer...or maybe this isn`t one of his good books.
I really hope it`s the first one.
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book did not convince me, maybe because it had a kind of spooky/ horror subject. The whole story of Kadare's novel turns around the following question: Did the deceased brother of Doruntine bring back his sister as he promised to his mother?
Fatima Alammar
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
هذه المرة الثانية التي أقرأ فيها لـ إسماعيل كاداريه، وأعثر على ذات الخصائص التي تميّز أسلوبه في الكتابة، "ثقل" المحتوى بالأفكار- مُصاغة في قالب ذكي، شيّق، مثير، ودون التخلّي عن نسمات الشاعرية بين الحين والآخر.
May 11, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wasn't a waste of time because it was short...fortunately!!

there was never any real interest in this novel for me. Perhaps a little background historical info on albania would have helped, but I doubt it!!

Anyway, it's done!!
راضي النماصي
روعة روعة روعة، على الرغم من الترجمة العادية والنهاية المستفزة جدًا.

من منا لا يحب الخلود في التاريخ؟
الكل قد جرب ذلك هنا.
Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
Oh boy... That was a few evenings of reading that I'll never get back. Albania folklore or Political Satire... I didn't like it. Perhaps something was lost in translation.
Jan 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Kadare is a great writer with real range and a unique perspective, and those qualities alone are enough to make his works worth reading, but an additional benefit to making your way through his works is that they build upon each other, gradually familiarizing you with the history, society, and mythology of Albania. The foundation of The Ghost Rider is an Albanian folktale of a dead son rising from the grave to fulfill a solemn vow he made to his mother. If I hadn't read any Kadare before, I woul ...more
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: balkans
La storia narrata da Kadare nel romanzo Chi ha riportato Doruntina (CHRD, originale: Kush e solli Doruntinen?, 1980), lungi dal soffermarsi sull’interessantissima vicenda della Besa, si cui tra poco parliamo, è in realtà un concentrato di allegorie e di richiami più o meno riconoscibili alla nostra contemporaneità.
Scritto, o almeno, pubblicato nel 1980, rappresenta una delle tante prove magistrali dell’autore di Argirocastro, tanto che il testo viene studiato nelle scuole superiori, non solo in
Bob Newman
Are myth, illusion, and dream greater than the State ?

Doruntine, who married in far off Bohemia, suddenly appears at her mother's deathbed. She says she was brought by her brother. Only thing is, he's been dead for 3 years. This is a challenge to the Church, all powerful in that era, which seems to be Norman-ruled Albania of the middle age, where Catholic and Orthodox doctrines competed. So far, only Jesus Christ had risen from his grave. A 'policeman' Stres, is assigned to make sense of the inc
Jose Carlos
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
¿Quién trajo a Doruntina? Esa es la pregunta que asedia al lector, y el título original de la novela, traducida al español como El viaje nupcial, una interrogante sobre la persona que fue a buscar a una mujer a otro país y la trajo de retorno a Albania, en un trayecto nocturno y casi onírico, entre barro, rocío y estrellas.

Kadaré, primero, parte de la leyenda: Doruntina, casada con un extranjero de las tierras de Centroeuropa, abandona el hogar materno. Sin embargo, uno de los hermanos jura que,
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
What defines a country?

One the one hand this book is a ghost story, but one in which an investigation has to be initiated to understand how a bride is returned to her mother by her dead brother. This being set in mediaeval times, the fact the brother was dead leads to tension between the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Byzantine Church, and thus a clash of powers between the church and the state too. Stuck between them is Captain Stres who is charged with the detective work.
And thus runs not
Felice Picano
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'd heard of the author but never read a word. The Ghost Rider is a short novel and it partakes of the classic European novella tradition: something supernatural occurs, and a group of characters are involved. Kadare does something more: he takes this timeless (and actually undateable) story and he presents us with a rational, intelligent and diligent investigator, a government man who has merely done his job before, but who for the first time becomes totally immersed and enmeshed in solving thi ...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
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“Who in the world has not yearned for a loved one, has never said, If only he or she could come back just once, just one more time...? Despite the fact that it can never happen, never ever. Surely this is the saddest thing about our mortal world, and its sadness will go on shrouding human life like a blanket of fog until its final extinction.” 31 likes
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