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Arrival and Departure based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
This is the last book in a trilogy (of which Darkness at Noon is the second) whose theme is the conflict between morality and expediency. The story is about a young disillusioned former revolutionary who has escaped to a neutral country (unimaginatively named Neutralia). Back in his homeland, he was from an elite intellectual class who has joined the ranks of workers and revolutionaries. He is caught one day and goes through a series of interrogation. He does not confess even at the point of death, and for this he is considered a hero in his country. Once in Neutralia, he suffers a nervous breakdown and undergoes psychonanalysis. The gist of the story is that in the course of this process, it is revealed that his revolutionary zeal was not founded on a conviction of its historical necessity or social justification, but out of a guilt complex from his childhood and imaginary "moral" obligations. While there are thought-provoking parts of the story, especially where he is in a discussion with a Party member who is trying to win him to their side, i found the story much weaker than Darkness at Noon. The main character does not convince. Throughout the novel, one senses his identity crisis, weakness, hesitation and confusion. Even as he decides what he eventually decided to do (at which the novel ends), I wasn't sure if it was even what he wanted. But it did make me ask whether to be effective at something, only "pure" motives suffice. Now i'm interested to read the first of the trilogy, called The Gladiators, to round out Koestler's take on this theme.