The Dictator’s Last Night by Yasmina Khadra

With the recent release of the movie 13 Hours, focus has been put back on the debacle in Benghazi and the downfall of Gaddafi’s Libya. Yasmina Khadra writes his take on Gaddafi’s final hours in The Dictator’s Last Night.

Khadra successfully attempts to get the reader into the mind of one of the Arab world’s first modern dictators. He focuses on the megalomaniac that is Gaddafi – from his humble origins as a bedouin tribesman to his ascension to dictator of Libya. He captures Gaddafi perfectly.

Here is a great quote from the book that captures Khadra’s portrayal of Gaddafi:

People say I am a megalomaniac. It is not true. I am an exceptional being, providence incarnate, envied by the gods, able to make a faith of his cause.

It is not easy to write about the thoughts and feelings of one of the most divisive leaders in the Arab world. But, Khadra is able to do it with excellent insight.

The most interesting part of the book is Gaddafi’s attempts to flee from capture. Khadra narrates from Gaddafi’s perspective the actions of Gaddafi and his men as their convoy tries to avoid rebel forces. The part climaxes with Gaddafi’s capture in a drainage pipe and his death.

The book provides an excellent window into the black soul of a despot.

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