The Accident

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The Accident

by Ismail Kadare
Translated by David Bellos

Doubleday Canada | February 28, 2012 | Trade Paperback

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The new book from the winner of the inaugural International Man Booker Prize is a modern-day love story of powerful obsession set against the background of dark political intrigue.

On the autobahn in Vienna a taxi leaves the carriageway and strikes the crash barrier, flinging its male and female passengers out of its back doors as it spins through the air. The driver cannot explain why he lost control; he only says that the mysterious couple in the back seat seemed to be about to kiss . . .

Set against the tumultuous backdrop of war and its aftermath in the Balkans, The Accident intimately documents an affair between two people caught in each other''s webs. The investigation into their deaths uncovers a mutually destructive obsession that mirrors the conflicts of the region. A destabilizing mixture of vivid hallucination and cold reality, Ismail Kadare''s new novel is a bold and fascinating departure.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 pages, 7.97 × 4.98 × 0.75 in

Published: February 28, 2012

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385670877

ISBN - 13: 9780385670876

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

The Accident

by Ismail Kadare
Translated by David Bellos

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 pages, 7.97 × 4.98 × 0.75 in

Published: February 28, 2012

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385670877

ISBN - 13: 9780385670876

Read from the Book

1 It seemed the most ordinary kind of incident. A taxi had veered off the airport autobahn at kilometre marker 17. Its two passengers were killed outright, and the driver, seriously injured, was taken to hospital unconscious.   The police recorded the usual facts in such cases: the names of the victims (a man and a young woman, both Albanian citizens), the registration number of the cab, the name of the Austrian driver and the circumstances, or rather their total ignorance of the circumstances, in which the accident had occurred. There were no signs that the taxi had braked or been hit from any direction. The moving car had slid to the side of the road and somersaulted into a gully, as if the driver had suddenly lost his sight.   A Dutch couple whose car was behind the taxi reported that for no obvious reason the car had suddenly left the carriageway and struck the crash barrier. The terrified pair, if they were not mistaken, had seen the taxi’s back doors open as it spun through the air, throwing out the two passengers, a man and a woman.   Another witness, the driver of a Euromobil truck, said more or less the same thing.   A second report, compiled one week later in the hospital after the driver had regained consciousness, only confused the story further. The driver admitted that nothing unusual had happened just before the accident, except that perhaps . . . in the rear-view mirror . . . maybe something had distracted him . . . At this point the
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From the Publisher

The new book from the winner of the inaugural International Man Booker Prize is a modern-day love story of powerful obsession set against the background of dark political intrigue.

On the autobahn in Vienna a taxi leaves the carriageway and strikes the crash barrier, flinging its male and female passengers out of its back doors as it spins through the air. The driver cannot explain why he lost control; he only says that the mysterious couple in the back seat seemed to be about to kiss . . .

Set against the tumultuous backdrop of war and its aftermath in the Balkans, The Accident intimately documents an affair between two people caught in each other''s webs. The investigation into their deaths uncovers a mutually destructive obsession that mirrors the conflicts of the region. A destabilizing mixture of vivid hallucination and cold reality, Ismail Kadare''s new novel is a bold and fascinating departure.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

ISMAIL KADARE was born in 1936 in Gjirokastër, in the south of Albania. He studied in Tirana and Moscow, returning to Albania in 1960 after the country broke ties with the Soviet Union. Translations of his novels have since been published in more than forty countries, and in 2005 he became the first winner of the Man Booker International Prize.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

“[A] forceful tale . . . Haunting . . . Lean, calm and footsure, Kadare’s writing keeps you reading . . . With a Milan Kundera-like quality . . . [ The Accident ] is a compelling performance.” ­ — Sunday Times (UK)   “Kadare’s excursions into an eccentric style—meticulous procedural scenes bloom into the surreal, languid eroticism mingles with the banal, dreams are scrutinized as readily as actual events—provide moments both curious and brilliant.” — Publishers Weekly “If only most thriller writers could write with Kadare’s economy and pace . . . Kadare, magician that he is, offers just enough information for his readers to make myriad interpretations. He is the beguiling and teasing of writers who understands that what may not be apparent now may well be in a distant future.” — The Sunday Herald “An author who richly deserves the Nobel Prize.” — The Huffington Post ‘A thriller laden with reflections on the abuse of state power . . . Deftly, Kadare re-creates the shadowy atmosphere of rumor and recrimination in Albania during the dying days of communism in the late 1980s. — The Evening Standard (UK) “[Kadare] has created Kaftaesque fables, nithmarish historical allegories, and his own very distinct mystery.” — The Guardian Review (UK) " The Accident cannot be put aside, but richly teases the reader to try to understand what, exactly, the
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