Waiting for the Barbarians by J M Coetzee

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.

The 465th greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 84th on The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time: The List (The Observer)
  2. - 92nd on 20th Century's Greatest Hits: 100 English-Language Books of Fiction (Larry McCaffery)
  3. - From Zero to Well-Read in 100 Books (Jeff O'Neal at Bookriot.com)
  4. - 48 Good Books (University of Buffalo)
  5. - The 100 Best Books in the World (AbeBooks.de (in German))
  6. - 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (The Book)