Waiting for the Barbarians: A Novel (Paperback)
For decades the Magistrate has been a loyal servant of the Empire, running the affairs of a tiny frontier settlement and ignoring the impending war with the barbarians. When interrogation experts arrive, however, he witnesses the Empire's cruel and unjust treatment of prisoners of war. Jolted into sympathy for their victims, he commits a quixotic act of rebellion that brands him an enemy of the state.
J. M. Coetzee's prize-winning novel is a startling allegory of the war between opressor and opressed. The Magistrate is not simply a man living through a crisis of conscience in an obscure place in remote times; his situation is that of all men living in unbearable complicity with regimes that ignore justice and decency.
Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall, Bridge of Spies), Ciro Guerra and producer Michael Fitzgerald are teaming up to to bring J.M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians to the big screen.
“J.M. Coetzee’s vison goes to the nerve-center of being. What he finds there is more than most people will ever know about themselves, and he conveys it with a brilliant writer’s mastery of tension and elegance.” —Nadine Gordimer
“A remarkable and original book.” —Graham Greene
“Coetzee, with laconic brilliance, articulates one of the basic problems of our time—how to understand the mentality behind brutality and injustice.” —Anthony Burgess, New York
“A real literary event.” —Irving Howe, The New York Times Book Review
“I have known few authors who can evoke such a wilderness in the heart of a man . . . Coetzee knows the elusive terror of Kafka.” —Bernard Levin, The Sunday Times (London)