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Arrow in the Blue Hardcover – Import, January 1, 1952


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Hardcover, Import, January 1, 1952
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 307 pages
  • Publisher: The Macmillan Company; y First edition edition (1952)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0000CIE9M
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,423,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Budapest in 1905, educated in Vienna, Arthur Koestler immersed himself in the major ideological and social conflicts of his time. A communist during the 1930s, and visitor for a time in the Soviet Union, he became disillusioned with the Party and left it in 1938. Later that year in Spain, he was captured by the Fascist forces under Franco, and sentenced to death. Released through the last-minute intervention of the British government, he went to France where, the following year, he again was arrested for his political views. Released in 1940, he went to England, where he made his home. His novels, reportage, autobiographical works, and political and cultural writings established him as an important commentator on the dilemmas of the 20th century. He died in 1983.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael on July 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
It is a mystery to me why this book doesn't have as many fans as it ought to, although considering Koestler's other works it is up against a lot of competition. Seldom have I been as captivated by an autobiography as I was with this one, what with the fascinating stories of Arthur's life interspersed with his unique perspectives on many questions of politics, psychology, religion, philosophy and more. An account of his life from 1905-31 in 415 pages, fans of Koestler's earlier works (pre 1952) will recognize a lot of material here though, as he often quotes from his own books where he obviously feels he's described something best. The accounts of his student life in the duelling fraternities of 1920s Vienna, attempted settlement in Palestine, experiences as a journalist in pre-Hitler Berlin, interviews with men of the stature of Einstein and Freud, travels in the Soviet Union in the early thirties, even a trip to the North Pole in the Graf Zeppelin are all equally absorbing. But it would just be another well-written autobiography if it wasn't for the unique wisdom and insight of Koestler, which shines through these pages, resulting in a book which is a must-read for both Koestler fans and the casual reader. It will no doubt leave you thirsting for part 2, The Invisible Writing (which covers 1932-40 in 526 pages), a more run-of-the-mill autobiography without as much of the philosophizing of part 1, but still enjoyable in its own right.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rania E on January 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I got this book immediately after reading "Darkness at Noon", my first experience with Koestler. His autobiography is equally fascinating. As in his novel, Koestler really, almost physically, takes you to the places he writes about. You will find yourself in Budapest, in intense, ritualistic fraternity meetings in a Vienna basement, on a collective farm in Jerusalem, in pre-war Parisian "Maisons", and even on the north pole. And all along he offers you so much to think about. A little too much self-analysis was irritating at times, the way Koestler won't just share an experience but will immediately explain, psychotherapy style, how it impacted his life and shaped his personality. But this love for small details and the faith that they are somehow significant is a hallmark in his writing and his attitude to personal history (e.g. in "The Sleepwalkers"). And even though you might not like Koestler, from the Zionist to the promiscuous misogynist to the egocentric romantic, his company is always worth the time. Especially interesting to me as an Arab was reading about his experiences as a settler in Palestine and as first secretary to Jabotinsky, the father of revisionist Zionism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rick Skwiot on March 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A vivid, frank, substantive and perceptive accounting of Koestler's youth and early manhood (1905-1931) in Budapest, Vienna, Palestine and Berlin, told with wit, style and humor. He takes us into the center of economic, political and social upheavals that marked and marred the early 20th century and continue to affect the 21st. His telling of his conversion to communism, which he later rejected, while necessarily less entertaining than his childhood anecdotes does give firsthand insight into how people turn to closed systems and absolutism when they find the complex real world lacking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Izalco Sardenberg Neto on October 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is wonderful, the author is wonderful. Arrow in the Blue is the first of an autobiographical number of books by Koestler. Just to know all the he did in his life is enough to loose the breath. Try this trip!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A classic book- excellent and sobering- which helped us prepare for a trip to Budapest. Mr. Koestler is an excellent writer, and this helped us begin to understand some of the complicated history.
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