“The General of the Dead Army” is a novel by Ismail Kadare about an Italian general named Angelo who is sent to Albania to exhume and repatriate the bodies of fallen Albanian soldiers from World War II. As Angelo travels through the country, he becomes increasingly obsessed with the task at hand, and begins to see the dead soldiers as a metaphor for the general futility and meaninglessness of war.
As Angelo goes about his work, he is accompanied by a young Albanian interpreter named Niko, who serves as a guide and translator. Through their interactions, we learn about the complex and often fraught relationship between Albania and Italy, as well as the devastating impact that war has had on both countries.
As the novel progresses, Angelo becomes more and more isolated and disconnected from the world around him, consumed by his own grief and guilt. In the end, he is forced to confront the truth about his own role in the war, and to come to terms with the senselessness of the violence that he has witnessed. Overall, “The General of the Dead Army” is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that explores the theme of war and its consequences.