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Arthur Koestler Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Gladiators (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
Darkness at Noon (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Arrival and Departure (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thieves in the Night (1946)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Age of Longing (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Call-Girls (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Plays

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Spanish Testament (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
Scum of the Earth (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dialogue with Death (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Yogi and the Commissar and Other Essays (1945)Description / Buy at Amazon
Promise and Fulfilment: Palestine 1917-1949 (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
The God That Failed (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
Insight and Outlook (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
Arrow in the Blue (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Trail of the Dinosaur (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Invisible Writing (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Reflections on Hanging (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sleepwalkers (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lotus and the Robot (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Watershed (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hanged by the Neck (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Suicide of a Nation (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Act of Creation (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ghost in the Machine (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Drinkers of Infinity: Essays 1955-1967 (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Case of the Midwife Toad (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Roots of Coincidence (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Beyond Reductionism (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lion and the Ostrich (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Heel of Achilles; Essays 1968-1973 (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Astride the Two Cultures (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Thirteenth Tribe (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Twentieth Century Views (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Janus: A Summing Up (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kaleidoscope (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bricks to Babel (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stranger on the Square (With: Cynthia Koestler) (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Promise and Fulfilment Palestine 1917-1949 (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Arthur Koestler
Author Arthur Koestler was born in Budapest on September 5, 1905 to Jewish parents Adele and Henrik Koestler. He was an only child. His primary school education began at an experimental private kindergarten founded by Laura Striker, whose daughter, Eva Striker, would later become Koestler’s lover, and they stayed friends all of his life.

Apart from his early school years, was educated in Austria, and his early career was in journalism.

In September of 1922, he enrolled in the Vienna Polytechnic University in order to study engineering, and joined a Zionist duelling student frat, ‘Unitas’. When his dad’s latest business flopped, Koestler had to stop attending lectures, and got expelled for non-payment of his fees. In March of 1926, he told his parents in a letter telling them that he was heading to Mandate Palestine for one year to work as an assistant engineer in a factory, in order to gain some experience that would help him get a job in Austria. On April 1, 1926 he left Vienna to go to Palestine.

Koestler lived in a kibbutz for a few weeks after arriving in Palestine, however his application to join the collective got rejected by its members. For the next year he supported himself doing menial jobs in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tel Aviv. Frequently starving and penniless, he depended on friends and acquaintances quite a bit for his survival. Occasionally he would edit or write broadsheets and other publications, mainly in German. He left Palestine early in 1927 and went to Berlin, briefly, where he ran the Secretariat of Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Revisionist Party.

In the year 1931, he joined the Communist Party of Germany however he resigned from it in 1938, having become disillusioned. And in 1940 published a devastating anti-Communist novel, called “Darkness at Noon”, which propelled him to instant international fame.

In the year 1968, he was awarded the prestigious and valuable Sonning Prize “For outstanding contribution to European culture”, and in the year 1972 he was made a “Commander of the British Empire” (CBE).

He was married two times. In the year 1935, he married Dorothy Ascher, who was a fellow Communist activist, and they separated under amicable circumstances in the year 1937. And secondly to Cynthia, his former secretary, whom he married in New York in 1965.

In the year 1939, he met and formed an attachment to Daphne Hardy, a British sculptor. They lived in Paris together, and she translated the manuscript of “Darkness At Noon” from German into English early in the year 1940. She was able to smuggle it out of France as they left just ahead of the German occupation and arranged for it to be published after arriving in London that same year.

As he arrived in the UK without an entry permit, he got imprisoned pending examination of his case. And he was still in prison when Daphne’s English translation of “Darkness at Noon” got published early in 1941.

In the year 1976 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which made writing much more difficult. He cut back on his overseas trips and spent the summer months at a farmhouse in Denston, Suffolk which he had bought in 1971. And then three years later, in 1979, was diagnosed with leukemia in its terminal stages.

He and his wife committed suicide by taking barbiturate Tuinal taken with alcohol on March 1, 1983 in London. They were not found until March 3, by which time they had been deceased for 36 hours. He had stated on more than one occasion that he was more afraid of the process of dying, rather than of being dead. Shortly before his suicide his doctor had found a swelling in the groin area which had indicated a metastasis of his cancer.

“Dialogue with Death” is a non-fiction book that was released in the year 1937. In the year 1937, while the Spanish Civil War was raging, Arthur, a German exile writing for a Brit newspaper, got arrested by Nationalist forces in Malaga. Then he got sentenced to execution and spent each day awaiting death, just to get released some three months later under pressure from the British government. Koestler, out of this experience, wrote “Darkness at Noon”, his most acclaimed work in America, about a guy that gets arrested and executed in a Communist prison.

“Dialogue with Death” is Koestler’s riveting account of the fall of Malage to the rebel forces, his rather surreal arrest, and the three months he spent facing death in a prison cell. Despite the harrowing circumstances, he manages to convey the stress of fear, deprivation of human contact, and uncertainty with the sharp eye of a reporter.

“Darkness at Noon” is a stand alone novel that was released in the year 1940. A novel that stands as an unequal fictional depiction of the nightmare politics of our time. Its hero is an aging revolutionary, imprisoned and then tortured by the same Party that he dedicated his life. While the pressure to confess preposterous crimes increases, he relives a career which embodies all the horrible ironies and human betrayals found in a totalitarian movement masking itself as this instrument of deliverance.

Darkness at Noon is almost unbearably vivid in its portrayal of one man’s solitary agony, and asks some questions about means and ends which have relevance not just for the past but also for the perilous present.

“Scum of the Earth” is a non-fiction book that was released in the year 1941. Koestler, at the start of the Second World War, was living in the south of France working on “Darkness at Noon”. After he retreated to Paris he got imprisoned by the French as an undesirable alien even though he’d been a respected crusader against fascism. His passionate energy and luck were the only things that allowed him to escape the fate of many of the other innocent refugees, who got handed over to the Nazis for torture and often execution.

This book is more than just the story of Koestler’s survival. His shrewd observation of the collapse of the French determination to resist during the summer of 1940 is an illustration of what happens when a nation loses all its pride and its honor.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Arthur Koestler

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