This article analyzes the immediate critical reception of Arthur Koestler’s Arrival and Departure. The third novel published in his lifetime, it was the first Koestler wrote in English. Although a commercial success, his biographies disagree on the novel’s critical reception: some claim it was a success, others talk of a reserved or hostile reception. As a part of an ongoing larger project, the present article shows, based on the analysis of sixty reviews published between 1943 and 1946, that the novel had an unqualified critical success. Further, through comparing this reception to that of Thieves in the Night, it pinpoints that Arrival and Departure is both comparatively less obscure than Thieves in the Night, and, unlike in the case of the other novel, the contemporary status of Arrival and Departure is not the result of an uncritical rehashing of old critical remarks. This quantitatively informed treatment is then juxtaposed to a discussion of three specific claims of the early reviews (flat characters, weak plot, and a polemical structure) in terms of their connection to the book’s genre. Finally, the paper emphasizes that regardless of the iconic status of Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler clearly should not be considered as a one-book wonder.

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