On the day before my first interview with Arthur Koestler I mentioned his name to a professor of physics at a leading British university with whom I was having lunch. He rose to it with great interest.
Surprisingly, he had not read Darkness at Noon or any of Koestler's other novels or his essays. He was not even aware that many people, including me, consider Darkness at Noon one of the great political novels, indeed one of the great novels, of the century and Koestler's two-part autobiography one of the great autobiographies. And he knew nothing of Koestler's extraordinarily eventful life, save the fact that, like most intelligent people, he was born Hungarian.
But my luncheon, companion had read one of Koestler's nonfiction books, The Sleepwalkers, which touched on his own field, and it was this that aroused his enthusiasm.