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Publisher's Summary

Masterful in its simplicity, Chronicle in Stone is a touching coming-of-age story and a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit. Surrounded by the magic of beautiful women and literature, a boy must endure the deprivations of war as he suffers the hardships of growing up. His sleepy country has just thrown off centuries of tyranny, but new waves of domination inundate his city. Through the boy's eyes, we see the terrors of World War II as he witnesses fascist invasions, allied bombings, partisan infighting, and the many faces of human cruelty - as well as the simple pleasures of life. Evacuating to the countryside, he expects to find an ideal world full of extraordinary things, but discovers instead an archaic backwater where a severed arm becomes a talisman and deflowered girls mysteriously vanish. Woven between the chapters of the boy's story are tantalizing fragments of the city's history. As the devastation mounts, the fragments lose coherence, and we perceive firsthand how the violence of war destroys more than just buildings and bridges.

©1971, 2011 Ismail Kadare English-language translation copyright 1987, 2011 by Arshi Pipa Editing and introduction copyright 2007, 2011 by David Bellos (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Chronicle in Stone

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Wonderful

What a wonderful book. What a famous and great writer. I enjoyed very much. It is like a legend and a real life in the same time.
Amazing.
I can’t wait for another book from the same writer.
Thank you!

4 people found this helpful

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Read this book

A sad beautiful powerful coming of age novel set in war torn Albania- all should read this book!

1 person found this helpful

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A child’s stained worldview

Ismail Kadare is indeed a masterful writer and this is a captivating work. However, I felt that two important points were missing or overlooked. The boy, who knows how to read, only refers to school once and doesn’t account for how he has acquired his knowledge. In addition, I missed that in all settings, which are so vivid and descriptive, scent is quite absent.
I appreciate Ismail’s attempt to show how the boy’s insight on the reality of the time is impartial, but the fact that in the boy’s interactions are very limited to only his close family circle which is made of only muslims, most likely who were Turks left over from the Ottoman invasion. The consciousness of the conquerer is deep in the boy’s attitude which is even described in how the boy sees the Greeks who have come during the famine.
The reading is pretty good, but I wish the reader had done his study of the names and the certain native words and pronounced them properly. The mispronunciation takes away from the whole performance.
Overall, this is a very good book.

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dark, deep, and Lasting

this book is haunting and harrowing. the narrator is unreliable but the images he describes are powerful that point yet. I love how the narrator gives magical purpose to the horrors he sees, and how people are the stones that bear the Chronicles.