The General of the Dead Army

A moving and timely meditation on war and its consequences.

Country: Albania

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.

Get others to read with you

Suscribe to OVID letter

Read deeper

Get a curated selection of best book news and recommendations in your inbox.

More from OVID

Have some more of OVID’s takes.

A few more books OVID says you should read

Affiliate Disclosure
When you buy something through one of the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Latest from OVID .

Jon Fosse wins the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable

The Norwegian writer and a favorite of OVID Jon Fosse has won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable.”

Among many of Fosse’s works, we at OVIDBLOGS love his A New Name: Septology VI-VII and recommed this hypnotic prose to readers over the world.

Get more from OVID.

Let OVID send you a curated selection of news on American literature directly to your inbox.