Darkness at Noon (German: Sonnenfinsternis) is a novel by the Hungarian-born British novelist Arthur Koestler, first published in 1940. His best known work, it is the tale of Rubashov, an Old Bolshevik who is arrested, imprisoned, and tried fortreason against the government which he had helped to create.
Set in 1938 during the Stalinist Great Purge and Moscow show trials, the novel does not name either Russia or the USSR; the characters have Russian names. Joseph Stalin is alluded to as “Number One”, a menacing dictator. The novel expresses the author’s disillusionment with the Soviet Union’s practice of Communism.
In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Darkness at Noon at number eight on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.