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The Fall of the Stone City Paperback – 22 August 2012
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About the Author
- Publisher : Text Publishing; 1st edition (22 August 2012)
- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1922079286
- ISBN-13 : 978-1922079282
- Dimensions : 13 x 1.4 x 19.9 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 864,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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At every stage all sorts of rumours about the situation and about the fate of the city circulate in it; and indeed under each regime life is so unpredictable that anything could happen. In Parts One and Two there are arbitrary arrests and then equally arbitrary releases. Events are related in a symbolical but bizarre and surrealistic manner, humorous on the surface but of course reflecting an atmosphere that is far from amusing.
Two of the citizens are doctors, unrelated but with the same name: Big Dr Guarameto, who had been trained in Germany, and Little Dr Guarameto, whose training had been in Italy. Big Dr Guarameto’s standing varied with the standing of Germany. When the Germans are in occupation, his position is relatively strong, especially as the German commandant was an old university friend of his, and Dr Guarameto gave a great dinner to him and his staff. When the Germans leave, his position is weakened; but then, when Germany was divided into a capitalist and a communist country, it becomes rather arbitrary with which Germany he is identified.
In Part Three, at the time of the “Doctors’ Plot” in the Soviet Union, both doctors are put under arrest while investigators, trained in Moscow, collect “evidence” that they had killed many of their patients. And that dinner Big Dr Guarameto had given to the German officer in 1943 was used in evidence against him. The interrogation of the doctor is a prolonged part of this section of the book - no longer bizarre now, but grimly representative of the knowledge that the investigators in such cases had accumulated before the questioning. As in the case of the Russian doctors, there was an attempt to link this case with a Zionist conspiracy, and Dr Guarmeto is tortured to make him sign statements which he knew were not true.
In the Soviet Union the death of Stalin led to the release and rehabilitation of the seven surviving Jewish doctors who had been arrested in connection with the “Plot”. Kadare’s novel does not end in a similar way.
I did not find this one of Kadare’s better novels. These often have surrealistic elements, but in this book I found the admixture less successful than in some others, inconsistent and somewhat off-putting.