Adam's Reviews > The Accident

The Accident by Ismail Kadare
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Jul 19, 2012

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bookshelves: balkan

I found this book confusing and, at times, difficult to follow. But, maybe the author intended this.


The story is set long after the end of Communist rule in Albania.


It concerns the extremely thorough investigation of an automobile accident that occurred 17 Km outside of Vienna. The car, a taxi containing two passengers and its driver, is thrown off the road. No other vehicles are involved. The driver survives. So far, this much is a certainty in this novel by Albania's leading novelist Ismail Kadaré. The rest is far from certain.

For much of the book, it appears as if the two passengers, who are found dead by the roadside, are Besfort Y and his lady friend Rovena St. As Besfort Y is of importance to the Albanians, an Albanian investigator doggedly tries to reconstruct the events leading up to the accident.

With a series of unreliable witnesses, including the taxi driver, he descends into a black hole of confusion and confounding. This does not make for easy reading, but I suspect it gives the reader a good insight into the tortuous thought processes that were needed to survive the oppressive regime that was inspired by Albania's long serving dictator Enver Hoxha. In doing this, the novel is extremely successful, but it certainly addled my brain, especially late at night when I read most of it!


This is a book and should appeal to those who enjoy philosophy.
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Reading Progress

July 19, 2012 – Started Reading
July 19, 2012 – Shelved
July 21, 2012 –
page 28
10.65% "Exciting use of concise prose to build up the suspense."
July 22, 2012 –
page 74
28.14%
July 23, 2012 –
page 162
61.6% "I'm no longer so sure how much I am enjoying this, but I won't give up!"
July 24, 2012 – Shelved as: balkan
July 24, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by René (new)

René Did the unreliable accounts of witnesses remind you of Rashomon?


Aurora It looks like the post-communist contition is the background of the whole story.


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