The Siege

The Siege

Book - 2008
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Baker & Taylor
In the Albanian mountains during the fifteenth century, the imperial pasha, the commander-in-chief of the war council, works to get hold of the Christian fortress in hopes of taking control of its people and forever ruining their way of life. Winner of the 2005 Man Booker International Prize.

Perseus Publishing
A Christian citadel in the mountains of Albania is met by the envoys of the Ottoman Army?their message, accept our terms of total submission and avoid the inevitable violence. As the bloody and psychologically crushing fight for control over the citadel unfolds, Kadare’s newest work opens a literary window onto the eternal clash between religions and empires as well as the exhilaration, despair, and immediacy of the battlefield.

The imperial Pasha?an instrument of the vast bureaucracy of the Ottoman Empire?is the commander-in-chief of a war council that debates and decides the strategies and methods meant to grind away at the Albanians’ hold on their citadel and indeed their very way of life. The Pasha’s cabinet embodies the political and strategic impulses that have characterized the mechanics of warfare throughout history: the engineer behind a technologically unprecedented weapon; the embattled leader of the restless foot soldiers and artillerymen; as well as the poet, war chronicler and astrologer who place it all in a larger context. All the while, the Pasha’s harem soothes his greatest fears and insecurities as the siege becomes increasingly oppressive and hopeless ? both for the besiegers and the besieged.


Blackwell North Amer
"Believe me," the general said, "I've taken part in many sieges, but this," he waved towards the castle walls, "is where the most fearful carnage of our times will take place. And you surely know as well as I do that great massacres always give birth to great books."
A Christian citadel in the Albanian mountains is confronted by envoys of the Ottoman Army with a simple message - accept our terms of total submission and avoid the inevitable violence. The Christians balk and begin to prepare to protect their fortress. As the bloody and psychologically crushing fight for control of the citadel unfolds, Ismail Kadare opens a literary window into the eternal clash between religions and empires, as well as the exhilaration, despair, and psychology of the battlefield.
The Siege is portrait of human cunning, battlefield strategy, and the grinding effects of warfare.

Baker
& Taylor

In the Albanian mountains during the fifteenth century, the Ottoman Army works to conquer a Christian fortress in hopes of taking control of its people and ruining their way of life.
The story of the siege of a Christian citadel in the Albanian mountains by the Ottoman Army in the 15th century.

Publisher: New York : Canongate, 2008
ISBN: 9781847671851
1847671853
Branch Call Number: FICTION KADAR...I
Characteristics: 328 pages ; 25 cm

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egdi69
Feb 13, 2015

should be read

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zipread
Dec 22, 2011

The Siege by Ismail Kadare This book has all the makings of an engrossing novel. Set in the days of perhaps the fifteenth century, situated somewhere in the mountainous fastness of what was once Yugoslavia, a fortress, a Christian stronghold, is to be enveloped and then destroyed by moslem invaders from the east. What’s novel about this novel is that the focus is on the besiegers --- we see their camp, we walk the lanes of their encampment, we meet their quartermaster, their engineer, their poet. For ever such short snippets, we are given tales of the thoughts of the Christian defenders: not our usual pointy of vue.
There are a few weaknesses to this book. It moves slowly and at times with the intensity of a shopping mall crowd. The language is oddly wrong when Kadare or his translator use terms end expressions that are quite glaringly anachronistic. He stuffs phrases like “out of the loop” and “a real riot” and “up to date”. I don’t think so.
I didn’t get beyond reading about the encampment and the initial siege of the citadel but the book, so far at least, strikes me as entirely too timid, too genteel. Can you imagine “Come, let’s watch the assault for the commandant”, or “Stay by me --- nobody will object”. Sounds more like something out of “Love Story” rather than “The Siege”.

Harriet_the_Spy Aug 16, 2010

A Christian fortress holds out against the larger and better armed Ottoman army. Modern warfare in the form of ever-larger cannons is deployed alongside soothsayers and astrologers; each failure is followed by a ruthless purge of anyone who might be considered responsible. The Turkish commander rules his troops with an increasingly vicious hand and his troops respond by blaming and attacking each other with increasing ferocity.

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mike_wood
Dec 30, 2014

mike_wood thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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