Category Archives: Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon Unexpectedly Good

I liked Darkness at Noon,  really liked it.  As I write this post, I am trying to understand why I enjoyed a book about such a oppressive place and time in history.  As I discussed, I did use the time to look into Russia history to determine if this book paralleled any portion of the Bolsveik revolution.  I love learning something new maybe that was it?  No.  Not quite.

Maybe it is growing up in the suburbs of  Washington, DC.  I found this book full of political intrigue. Or as I call it “The Game”. Politics is a game, a brutal game and those that win are in power, the losers analyze The Game and where they mis-stepped. Some would call it the organizational culture and the social norms of your place of employment.  I am telling you it all is The Game. You know what I am talking about – all the unwritten rules to get ahead, who to be aligned with, who to not socialize with – pick a side, like in dodge ball.  Hope you pick the right side.  Yet what do you do when your alliances make you successful, you win The Game, right?  Maybe not… the rules continue to evolve and change.

Darkness at Noon is a book about The Game and how the rules of The Game can change as alliances change. In this story we follow the demise of the idealists as The Game changed.  The new regime was setting the rules and our main character is the last survivor of the old regime.  He played The Game as long as he could yet he questions the rules and the purpose as he knew them.  Were all the horrible things he did really not for the greater good?  I think he tired of politics and keeping up with the ever changing rules choosing instead to convince himself of the idealists view and taking the high moral ground (in his view). Or did he simply convince himself he won and ease his conscience?  Regardless, he gives in to The Game and lets it play out to his last move.  Brilliantly played, brilliantly told!

What do you think?

Grab a book, ANY book and READ!!!


Quotes and Notes on Darkness at Noon

Here are my favorite quotes and thoughts from Darkness at Noon. These are really only about half of what I highlighted for myself. Loved this book! See my more thorough review here. The page and location numbers are from the Kindle edition.

“Above the spy-hole was a card with his name on it, Nicola Salmanovitch Rubashov. They have prepared everything nicely, he thought; the sight of his name on the card made an uncanny impression on him.” (page 11, location 158)

“…he had no objection to dozing straight off into death, there and then, if only one let him remain lying under the warm blanket.” (page 12, location 173)

“Each gave his life into the other’s hands, and neither trusted the other an inch.” (page 31, location 422)

“If the party embodied the will of history, then history itself was defective.” (page 58, location 783)

“We brought you truth, and in our mouth it sounded a lie. We brought you freedom, and it looks in our hands like a whip. We brought you the living life, and where our voice is heard the trees wither and there is a rustling of dry leaves. We brought you the promise of a future, but our tongue stammered and barked.” (page 59, location 752)

“Even for dying there was no etiquette. What was more honorable: to die in silence – or to abase oneself publicly, in order to be able to pursue one’s aims?” (page 128, location 1695)

“Should we sit with idle hands because the consequences of an act are never quite to be foreseen, and hence all action is evil?” (page 164, location 2155)

“  ‘Experience teaches,” said Gletkin, “that the masses must be given for all difficult and complicated processes a simple, easily grasped explanation.’ “ (page 231, location 3025)

“Did there really exist any such goal for this wandering mankind? That was a question to which he would have liked an answer before it was too late.” (page 271, location 3534

Keep reading! Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence is next, and then The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Balance those out with a few romance novels here and there, such as Everglades by Petie McCarthy.