The Porcupine

By Julian Barnes,

Book cover of The Porcupine

Book description

The bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending trains his laser-bright prose on the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe.

Stoyo Petkanov, the deposed Party leader, is placed on trial for crimes that range from corruption to political murder. Petkanov's guilt—and the righteousness of his opponents—would seem…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Porcupine as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This short novel is not set in the Soviet Union but in an unnamed post-Communist country that bears a striking resemblance to Bulgaria. The central character is the deposed Communist dictator, on trial for his crimes. The story is seen through his eyes, and he paints himself not as a villain but a misunderstood hero, a man who devoted his life to building socialism and a better life for his people. I know of no other book that is so good at getting into the head of a former dictator.

From Paul's list on life in the Soviet Union.

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