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Publisher's Summary

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 oppressor and oppressed. 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.

©1980 J. M. Coetzee (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Waiting for the Barbarians

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    4 out of 5 stars
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An Interesting Read For The Current Times

Though a difficult read due to the disturbing content at times, I found this book curiously and frighteningly relevant to the current political times in which we are living, especially in the USA. It is a book well worth reading in that it prompts us to look inside ourselves to examine how fear of the unknown can drive us to act as human beings and also to remind us of how resilient we can be in difficult times.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Impressive performance by Andrew Wincott

Andrew Wincott’s performance is well modulated for this evocative novel. He gets everything right: voices, accents, the narrative.

1 person found this helpful

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Read it your self

Great story, has all of life’s struggles, and coming to terms with oneself and those insignificant people with significant power.
I should have read it myself.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Neil R Hargreaves
  • 03-17-21

Fantastic performance of a great book

Story for our time or any time. Stunning the performance is excellent and the story resonates throughout.