Monday, 12 October 2009

When Tyrants and War Criminals Turn to Literature

After yesterday's post featuring the cover of Benito Mussolini's The Cardinal's Mistress, James Bridle of Bookkake (whose beautiful books I talked about here) pointed me in the direction of this article he had written about war criminals and tyrants who have written novels. James has also written a book of alcoholic recipes, Cooking with Booze, under the name George Harvey Bone: if you get the reference to one of my favourite books ever, then you know he must be a man of distinction and culture.

In any case, it prompted me to hunt down the covers of these books by murderous nationalists, zealots and lunatics.

First, Saddam Hussein, romance novelist:

The French certainly do better than the English-speaking people here. Here's the original Arabic edition of his later work, Be Gone Demons!

Then there's this work of science-fiction from Osama bin Laden:

Finally, here's Radovan Karadžić’s novel, The Miraculous Chronicle of the Night. Karadžić spent 10 years of his time as a fugitive posing as an alternative medicine practitioner, so perhaps some New Age self-help book is yet to emerge.


Matthew Adams said...

The presure cooker of being an evil tyrant with the responabilities of ruling a nation with an iron fist must really get the creative juices flowing. Either that, or Uncle Sadam is really just a big soft teddy bear.

JRSM said...

It's weird--a lot of these genocidal maniacs do look like teddy bears. Hussein, Stalin, bin Laden... they look like friendly beardy fellows.

pedromarquesdg said...

The French one does not even dare to name his name ("by its author")... Vee za French arre verry cautious, messieur!

The one where Saddam is pictured in all his bearded, crazy-eyed glory shows a photo taken AFTER his arrest... maybe to say readers' attention would be "arrested" by SH's prose. Damn', that's subtle, mr. publisher!

JRSM said...

Yes, it's not a photo you'd think would work for a romantic novel...

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