When I spotted the familiar late ’60s/early’70s Bantam paperback edition of Arthur Koestler’s ‘Darkness at Noon’ at the Salvation Army Thrift store in Camden, SC for 50 cents, I decided it was time to finally read this acknowledged classic having put it off for decades. I remember some of my peers during High School reading this same book but for some reason I never ventured beyond George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’.
How long has it been since the collapse of Communism and the Soviet Union? Fifteen years maybe? Since I already know how that ideological exercise turned out why was I so bothered by Koestler’s work? I actually got really pissed and felt anger, even rage to the point of fantasizing violence against the Party members for the tactics and rhetoric they used to condemn and destroy Rubashov.
Afterward I wondered if I had read the book at age 16 or 17 would have felt anything close to what I experienced reading it at age 50.