"A real literary event" —Irving Howe, The New York Times Book Review (front-page review)
"I have known few authors who can evoke such a wilderness in the heart of a man.... Mr. Coetzee knows the elusive terror of Kafka." —Bernard Levin, The Sunday Times (London)
From the Inside Flap
For decades the Magistrate has run the affairs of a tiny frontier settlement, ignoring the impending war between the barbarians and the Empire, whose servant he is. But when the interrogation experts arrive, he is jolted into sympathy with the victims and into a quixotic act of rebellion which lands him in prison, branded as an enemy of the state. Waiting for the Barbarians
is an allegory of oppressor and oppressed. Not just a man living through a crisis of conscience in an obscure place in remote times, the Magistrate is an analogue of all men living in complicity with regimes that ignore justice and decency.
--This text refers to an alternate