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Schindler's List [Paperback]

Thomas Keneally
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 2003 Penguin Joint Venture Readers
Oskar Schindler risks his life to save more than 1,000 Jews from certain death in the concentration camps of World War II. Based on a true story, the book was adapted by Steven Spielberg into one of the most important and powerful war films of all time.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A mesmerizing novel based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German industralist who saved and succored more than 1000 Jews from the Nazis at enormous financial and emotional expense.

Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

How the German Oskar Schindler came to save more than one thousand Polish Jews during the Holocaust is one of the most fascinating stories of the century. Although millions are now learning about Schindler through Steven Spielberg's recent Academy AwardR-winning film, his achievement first gained prominence with Keneally's 1982 "facticious" novel (which is also the basis for the film). Keneally's account is less melodramatic than the motion picture, and although he does not fully explain how a hedonistic German could have been so altered by the plight of the Jewish workers in his factory, he does make Schindler less enigmatic than the big-screen version. Ben Kingsley, one of the film's stars, reads in a calculatedly matter-of-fact tone, letting the story's power alone convey its complicated emotions. Highly recommended.
Michael Adams, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Lib., Madison, N.J.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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First Sentence
GENERAL SIGMUND LIST'S armored divisions, driving north from the Sudetenland, had taken the sweet south Polish jewel of Cracow from both flanks on September 6, 1939. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A breath taking story May 19 2004
By J.Lynch
Schindler's List is an extremely well written novel. It truly grasps your attention and makes you feel as if you're part of the story. Adults may have an easier time reading this book rather than children younger then the age of twelve. What makes it so difficult to understand, are some of the gruesome details and the very straight forward way of writing. If you are interested in chronicles about war and history, and aren't bothered by some mind blowing facts, this is a very appealing book.
It is about Oscar Schindler, a heavy drinker that loves women, and cares mostly about himself. Not until he realizes how horrible the Jewish people are being treated in the concentration camps, is it when he takes action. Schindler was able to save over one thousand jews. He saved them from having the same fate as millions of other Jews.
This novel is one of the best i have read in along time. Though very heart-breaking and deppressing, it truly lets you see what it was like for the Jewish people in that area of time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
One of my favorite books. Thomas Keneally writes about a good german who saves the most number of jews during the holocaust. Though the movie portraits only the good side of Schindler, the book gives a more clear picture of Schindler's character. The first chapter itself puts you right into the ww2 picture. From there, Keneally tries to portray the unspeakable horror done to Jews by the Nazis. I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in knowing about what happened to jews during the ww2.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book, one of best of the 80s May 17 2004
The Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally is one of his best achievements. Thomas Keneally is an outstanding author, but this was his crowning achievement. He presents the story of a person who is selfish and petty. The movie is good, but is nowhere as good as the book. Oscar Schindler was a lot like his father, who did not spend time with his mother, but he hated his father for it. Though all of his relatives knew it, he himself did not. All the human aspects of the person did not come out in the movie, but were brought out beautifully in the book. It shows him from his youth to adulthood, when he starts making money of the Jews and then starts changing gradually, to his old age.
His old age is shown in the book, but not in the movie. That is sad, as he is not treated well in Germany (he was called a "Jew kisser") but was treated like a beloved child in Israel. Whenever he went there, he used to eat at a Romanian restaurant of one of his children who used to make sure that he did not drink too much. When he died he was buried in the Protestant cemetary in Jerusalem, which was ironical as he was a person who was least into religion. The book is also balanced in bringing out how the Jews who made money of the others like Goldberg escaped to South America after the war. It is ironical that Amon Goeth expected the Jews to come and help him out after the war during his trial. After reading the book, one wonders if the movie did justice to the character of Oscar Schindler in the book, he was too complex. The book is put together wonderfully, there is scarcely a word out of place. It is a classic and is one of the best Booker winners.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "He who saves a life saves the world entire...." March 19 2004
Schindler's List, Thomas Keneally's 1982 non-fiction "novel" about Oskar Schindler's transformation from a hedonistic bon vivant German (actually, Sudeten German, born in what is now part of the Czech Republic) war profiteer to savior of over 1,000 Jews during World War II, is one of the most fascinating accounts about the darkest chapter of that global conflict, the Holocaust. It vividly portrays the horrors of the Nazi effort to exterminate the Jewish inhabitants in German-occupied Europe while at the same time proving that one person, no matter how flawed and contradictory in nature he or she is, can rise to the occasion and make a difference.
In his Author's Note, Keneally explains that he uses the oft-used technique of telling a true story in the format of a fictional account, partly because he is primarily a novelist (Confederates, Gossip From the Forest) and "because the novel's techniques seem suited for a character of such ambiguity and magnitude as Oskar." He also acknowledges the persistence of Leopold Pfefferberg, a Los Angeles leather-goods store owner and one of the "Schindlerjuden" -- the handful of mostly Polish Jews saved by Schindler from the SS by Oskar's use of his charm, connections with high Nazi Party officials, and ultimately, the fortune Schindler had gone to make in Krakow after Poland's surrender in the fall of 1939.
Like Steven Spielberg's 1993 Academy Award-winning film it inspired, Schindler's List (published in Europe as Schindler's Ark) describes how Schindler takes over a factory -- formerly owned by Jewish investors -- and makes a fortune selling, among other things, pots and pans to the German Army.
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I saw the movie ten years ago so I thought I knew what to expect from this novel.
(By the way, this is a _fictionalized_ account of a story that is, for the most part, true, and is well-researched by the author)
This novel is very well written, and full of themes that apply today as much as they did during the holocaust. The thing I like about this story is it forces the reader to examine what makes a man good vs. what makes a man evil. Schindler starts the novel as a brilliant but self-serving war profiteer, exploiting his jewish workers in some of the same ways as the Nazi Party starts out doing. However, Schindler sees a few things that start him on the course to becoming a modern-day saviour, the most impressive image being the brutal killing of a little jewish girl whose beautiful red dress he had admired from across the ghetto.
The book is filled with shocking imagery such as this, which make it all the more moving, but not recommended for the faint-of-heart. There were many passages I read, after which I could feel my stomach turning.
Oskar Schindler saw all this first-hand, and you feel as if you do as well when reading this book. Schindler risked his life throughout the entire war to save thousands of jews who were completely dependent on him. The whole time he was also competing with an SS Captain who probably killed, on any whim, ten Jews for every one life that Schindler saved.
I would highly recommend this book, despite the fact that there are thousands of holocaust books on the market. This one transcends the setting.
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This review is dedicated by a Jew and Zionist Until Death, myself! , To the Righteous among the Nations, those Gentiles who have stood by the Jewish Nation in times of travail and... Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by Gary Selikow
3.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a complex man
I have wanted to see Spielberg's movie for quite some time, and I think I'm glad I read the book first. Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by Andrew W. Johns
1.0 out of 5 stars Schindler's List is NOT non-fiction
Unfortunately, in the frenzy of media hype people seem to have picked up the strange impression, probably by liars like Spielberg, that this book is an "amazing true... Read more
Published on June 17 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting Account of Bravery and Struggle
Schindler's List, by Thomas Keneally, is based on the true story of a German industrialist who saved over 1,000 Jews from extermination during the Nazi occupation of Poland. Read more
Published on May 1 2004 by -_Tim_-
5.0 out of 5 stars " Herr Schindler has Come to Save Us"
"Schindler's List" written by Thomas Keneally is a great book that took place in the late 193s. Oscar Schindler is a rich German man who trys to save as many Jews as possible from... Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2004 by cami h.
5.0 out of 5 stars Schindler's List--Takes you back in time
Schindler's List, originally published as Schindler's Ark, is the true story of how Oskar Schindler, an aristocratic German industrialist, heavy drinker, briber, and womaniser, was... Read more
Published on Aug. 16 2003 by "naomi_mangos"
4.0 out of 5 stars Well adapted from the original story.
Schindlers list was a very enthralling read that came across as heavy duty the first time i read it and the second time i had a clear perspective as to what was actually going on. Read more
Published on July 27 2003 by Paul Taylor
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