Novels written by dictators

By definition, dictators can do anything they like, so why wouldn’t the mad, bad and crazy men at the top of tinpot regimes want to write novels?

“Some recent examples have been Saddam Husseins’s last publication, Be Gone Demons!, sales of which suffered due to bomb damage, despite the author’s previous million-selling form; and Radovan Karadžić’s The Miraculous Chronicle of the Night, written while on the run from the UN’s War Crimes trials yet still nominated for Serbia’s highest literary prize, the Golden Sunflower. Neither, unfortunately, are available from Amazon.”

Thomas Keneally (author of Schindler’s List) wrote a novel about the literary ambitions of a dictator, called The Tyrant’s Novel, which I read in 2006. It’s worth a look, but I remember it being a little restrained and dry.

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