The Rise and Fall of Comrade Zylo

The Rise and Fall of Comrade Zylo (Albanian: Shkëlqimi dhe Rënja e Shokut Zylo) is an Albanian satiric novel written by Dritëro Agolli in 1972. It is Dritëro Agolli's most famous and critically acclaimed novel. The book was written during the communist regime in Albania, a time during which freedom of speech was very limited to non-existent.[1] The composition of the whole book is similar to that of a report, record or official biography. Originally published in the satirical magazine Hosteni ("The Goad"), it first appeared in book form in 1973.

The Rise and Fall of Comrade Zylo
Cover of the 1999 edition of the book, published by Dritëro Publishing House
AuthorDritëro Agolli
GenreSatire, Fiction
Publication date


The main story revolves around the optimistic main protagonist Zylo Kamberi, who is an incompetent apparatchik. Zylo in the book is referred to as comrade Zylo, which was common during the Communist regime. His pathetic vanity, his quixotic fervour, his grotesque public behaviour, in short his rise and fall, are all recorded in ironic detail by his hard-working and more astute subordinate and friend Demkë who serves as a neutral observer.[2] Demkë before being assigned the post as Zylo's assistant used to be a bright individualistic person who gave up on his own ideals to substitute them with the "ideals of the greater good", which in the novel is an euphemism for his superiors’ will.[3]


The events of The Rise and Fall of Comrade Zylo are set during the time of Communist Albania in the Albanian capital of Tirana.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Allen Bosque: The other Albanian for “Le Figaro”, dated 26 July 1990
  2. ^ Ralf Schuler: The wriggling nature of the socialist machinery From the German journal “Neue Zeit”, 22 September 1994
  3. ^ Francois Nourissier review for “Figaro Journal” dated 30 June 1990
  4. ^ Letersia- Shkëlqimi dhe Rënja e Shokut Zylo