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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well written of evil amidst good and good amidst evil
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...
Published on Aug. 22 2004 by bookworm

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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. There is a lot of detail here that almost certainly will be lost in the movie.
Initially, there is the complexity that is Oskar Schindler himself. It is fascinating to follow his development from a war profiteer and a major operator in the black market to a man...
Published on July 6 2004 by Andrew W. Johns


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4.0 out of 5 stars THIS WAS A DANG GOOD BOOK, April 29 2003
By 
Matt McVey (Arvada, Colorado U.S.A) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Schindler's List (Paperback)
This is the story about Oscar Schindler, a German, who had a factory with Jewish slave workers in Poland during the 2nd World War. Schindler is corrupt, a heavy drinker and loves women. A powerful and provoking book about Holocaust and the Nazism. But Schindler wasn't a Nazi, and most of the Jews, that worked for him, survived Hitler. Over 6 million Jews were killed, mostly in concentration camps, and Schindler stands as a symbol to those who survived because of him. He managed to do justice when no one else seemed to care.
This story was set in the early 1900's in Germany when Hitler was still in power and killing off the Jews.
The genre of this book I think is historical non-fiction.
The author of this book did a good job with dramatic scenes in this book and also the details and such in this book.
Schindler's list does a very good job at the descriptions in the book and they did a good job with the problem. The problem was that Schindler was trying to protect his men from Hitler because they were Jewish.
I would suggest this book to a audience who like historical novels and people who really love exciting interesting books.
This book reminds me of a lot of other books in the over all picture about discrimination and the fight to survive. The book it reminds of the most and that I would recommend if you liked this book is a One Day in the Life of Ivan Densavich.
The author in this book used a lot of metaphors and language and synonyms that I really didn't understand, but form what I understood I liked.
This book was very tough to read and I recommend reading it over a long period of time and in short intervals each time you read.
Schindler's List brought me to the edge of my seat every time I picked it up and it was hard for me to put it down when I started. The only reason that I would is because of lack of understanding but don't let that scare you from reading this book because it is a compelling and great story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thomas Keneally at his best, March 31 2003
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This review is from: Schindler's List (Paperback)
Schindler's list is a great book written by Thomas Keneally about Oskar Schindler, a 'nazi' member who saved thousands of Jews by having them to work for him and by making a lot of bribes and huge efforts to save as many Jews as possible. This is the best book about Holocaust and yet it can not describe not even 1% what the helpless Jews have been through during the Nazi's cowardish empire of horror. It is impossible to read this book and not feel all the terrors and injustice done to Jews. You simply become one of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, Jan. 27 2003
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This review is from: Schindler's List (Paperback)
More than a century after WWII and the Holocaust, almost everyone knows the Nazis as an evil force, and those who know the legend of Oskar Schindler know him to be a larger-than-life, fighting-for-justiec, saver-of-so-many-lives kind of guy. This book helps to chop that image a little more down to size: it portrays Oskar as rather hedonistic, unfaithful to his wife(one girlfriend, an affair with his secretary, the list goes on...). But, being disturbed by his regime's ways, he actually decided to do something about it, namely, set up a haven for Jews, under the disguise of an armaments factory. And it just so happened that he was really rich, so he could pay off all the necessary bribes, and had a lot of connections, or he would have landed in a prison or concentration camp himself long ago. It tells his story from a much more human perspective.
Schindler's List also attempts to delve into the psyches of various people in various positions, from the noble people who sacrificed themselves to the civilians who mocked and hated the Jews. It also zeroes in on specific incidents that are not so important in the big scheme of things, but are crucial in the life of an individual.
Schindler's list also does a good job of exploring the face of evil, and how "All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"---Edmund Burke
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4.0 out of 5 stars My review of a Great Book, Jan. 3 2003
By 
This review is from: Schindler's List (Paperback)
The book Schindler's List is one of the best Holocaust books I have ever read. It gives you real life accounts of prisoners from multiple concentration camps, from guards, and from others who knew Oskar Schindler about what actually took place during all the terror and evil of the time. In this book you can actually feel the terror and fear mothers had for their children. You can hear the cries of the children as their mothers are pulled away from them by Nazi guards. And you can see the sliver of hope offered by this stranger who is setting up a sub camp and wants you to be a resident of it.
This book is the true story put together by Thomas Keneally based on accounts of the Schindlerjuden, or Schindler's Jews. This man knows the fate of the millions of Jews in Europe. Like other factory owners, Schindler has many Jews who work for him in his factory. After a series of events Oskar Schindler builds his own camp for his workers to stay in. There he provides them with the more food and comfort than any other camp in Europe. He begins to build friendships with his "prisoners", and after the war is looked down upon for his acts of bravery and courage. His homeland becomes his enemy and Israel honors Schindler's actions in many ways.
While this book does get hard to understand at times, it is an excellent book that really blows you away with the actual stories of people who experienced such evil no one should ever have to go through. And through the tough times of Germany shines the hope of one man who was able to save more than 1,000 lives during this reign of terror.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Provoking, Powerful and Memorable!!, Jan. 3 2003
This review is from: Schindler's List (Paperback)
Since I hadn't seen the movie before reading the book, it gave such a powerful impression. An amazing story that have been very well written by Keneally. And even the story behind the book is a story of it's own, which makes the book even more special.
This is the story about Oscar Schindler, a German, who had a factory with Jewish slave workers in Poland during the 2nd World War. Schindler is corrupt, a heavy drinker and loves women. A powerful and provoking book about Holocaust and the Nazism. But Schindler wasn't a Nazi, and most of the Jews, that worked for him, survived Hitler. Over 6 million Jews were killed, mostly in concentration camps, and Schindler stands as a symbol to those to survied because of him. He managed to do justice when no one else seemed to care.
You'll be filled with anger, sadness and other emotions throughout the book, as it's so very provoking and sometimes sad. Highly recommended for anyone and everyone. You will not regret reading this book, and most likely you will read it again, trying to understand...
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Review of Schindfler's List, Jan. 2 2003
By 
Cindi F (madison, wisconsin) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Schindler's List (Paperback)
The book Schindler's List is one of the best Holocaust books I have ever read. It gives you real life accounts of prisoners from multiple concentration camps, from guards, and from others who knew Oskar Schindler about what actually took place during all the terror and evil of the time. In this book you can actually feel the terror and fear mothers had for their children. You can hear the cries of the children as their mothers are pulled away from them by Nazi guards. And you can see the sliver of hope offered by this stranger who is setting up a sub camp and wants you to be a resident of it.
This book is the true story put together by Thomas Keneally based on accounts of the Schindlerjuden, or Schindler's Jews. This man knows the fate of the millions of Jews in Europe. Like other factory owners, Schindler has many Jews who work for him in his factory. After a series of events Oskar Schindler builds his own camp for his workers to stay in. There he provides them with the more food and comfort than any other camp in Europe. He begins to build friendships with his "prisoners", and after the war is looked down upon for his acts of bravery and courage. His homeland becomes his enemy and Israel honors Schindler's actions in many ways.
While this book does get hard to understand at times, it is an excellent book that really blows you away with the actual stories of people who experienced such evil no one should ever have to go through. And through the tough times of Germany shines the hope of one man who was able to save more than 1,000 lives during this reign of terror.
(P.S. Scott says "Squids are our friends! And turtles will rule the earth in 100 million years. Please don't hurt Cindi's grade just because I'm insane.")
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2.0 out of 5 stars Schindler's List, Dec 30 2002
By 
Dana C. (Madison. OH) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Schindler's List (Paperback)
Schindler's List, by Thomas Keneally, while extraordinarily accurate on the events of World War 2, was not a very captivating story. It's about a man, Oskar Schindler, who starts off as a first class industrialist who recruits Jewish workers to work in his labor camp. Oskar, who had many important contacts in the military and government, was able to supply his Jewish workers with more food, clothing, and better living conditions that any of the camps that had been established for the Jews in World War 2. In other words, if you worked for Schindler, you were in paradise. As the mass murders of the Jews in the concentration camps began, and Schindler's labor camp was moved from Moravia to Brinnlitz, Schindler became obsessed with the welfare of the Jews. He concocted a list of 1000+ Jewish prisoners from concentration camps to go and "work" in his labor camp in Brinnlitz, though they didn't do much working. Finally, after a long, hard battle, the Schindler and imprisoned Jews were liberated.
The plot of the story was itself amazing, but the way it was written wasn't as extraordinary. Thomas Keneally used many German words in his writing that made it hard to understand what he was talking about. Also, at some points of the story, he would be telling them very well but then would stray from the subject. It is very easy to get confused while reading this book. He would sometimes go into far too much detail, making the story too much for what it should have been. The structuring of the sentences was also quite extravagant, sometimes too extravagant to understand. So in conclusion, the book Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally was a very good story, but simply not very well written.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Schindler's List, Dec 30 2002
By 
Dana C. (Madison. OH) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Schindler's List (Paperback)
Schindler's List, by Thomas Keneally, while extraordinarily accurate on the events of World War 2, was not a very captivating story. It's about a man, Oskar Schindler, who starts off as a first class industrialist who recruits Jewish workers to work in his labor camp. Oskar, who had many important contacts in the military and government, was able to supply his Jewish workers with more food, clothing, and better living conditions that any of the camps that had been established for the Jews in World War 2. In other words, if you worked for Schindler, you were in paradise. As the mass murders of the Jews in the concentration camps began, and Schindler's labor camp was moved from Moravia to Brinnlitz, Schindler became obsessed with the welfare of the Jews. He concocted a list of 1000+ Jewish prisoners from concentration camps to go and "work" in his labor camp in Brinnlitz, though they didn't do much working. Finally, after a long, hard battle, the Schindler and imprisoned Jews were liberated.
The plot of the story was itself amazing, but the way it was written wasn't as extraordinary. Thomas Keneally used many German words in his writing that made it hard to understand what he was talking about. Also, at some points of the story, he would be telling them very well but then would stray from the subject. It is very easy to get confused while reading this book. He would sometimes go into far too much detail, making the story too much for what it should have been. The structuring of the sentences was also quite extravagant, sometimes too extravagant to understand. So in conclusion, the book Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally was a very good story, but simply not very well written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Schindler's List, Dec 17 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Schindler's List (Paperback)
This book is one of the best I have ever read. In the beginning of story it was really uneventful, but near the end it got really interesting. I especially like it when Oskar Schindler goes to jail and meets the army man in there for going awol. The best parts of the story are at the end like when Oskar's heart kept going out of pure stubbornness. I recommend that you read this great book and if you don't read it you will be missing out on a great book to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars History Becomes Mythology, Oct. 5 2002
By 
Tony C "Tony C" (Los Angeles, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Schindler's List (Hardcover)
Given the awards lauded upon this biographical novel, the acclaimed film it inspired and the subject matter of the story itself, I had expected SCHINDLER'S LIST to be a compelling portrait of an extraordinary man and the extraordinary times in which he lived. After the first couple chapters, however, it is also a gripping page-turner, and an involving read.
Thomas Keneally's intelligent account of the industrialist Oskar Schindler and the 1300 Jews who survived with his help is more than a morality play about one good man surrounded by incomprehensible evil. Despite Keneally's matter-of-fact journalistic style, Oskar Schindler is mythologized in the novel, as he was mythologized by the "Schindlerjuden" themselves. He is compared to King Arthur, Robin Hood, Zeus. His moral complexities and ambiguities are left intact. He is charismatic yet flawed, larger than life yet tragically human.
Perhaps it is inevitable that Oskar Schindler would take on such an aura. The Holocaust is a mythical era. The human mind cannot wrap itself around an evil so all-consuming and horrors so staggering, so they are simplified. Hitler and the Nazis become a shorthand for evil men; the Holocaust becomes a shorthand for death -- thrown around as weightily yet lightly as Satan, monsters, and Hell. For one to accomplish what Schindler did would require an equally supernatural force.
Even when he is not directly involved, miracles happen: A man with whom he is associated is saved from an execution when not one, but two guns jam. Two women separated from the others on his list and exiled to a camp of certain death somehow find their way back into the group to survive the war. After the German surrender, two German shells hit his factory but cause only one woman superficial wounds.
A similar mythologizing happens to Amon Goeth, the dreaded Kommandant of the camp at Cracow and (in Keneally's words) Schindler's "dark brother" -- both physically similar and prone to Schindler's excesses. In the minds of the Schindlerjuden and hence Keneally's account drawn from their testimony, Goeth becomes a god of death, oozing evil and brutality, presiding over their nightmares to this day.
To what extent the events in the novel are objective fact and to what extent they are subjective myth is therefore unclear but immaterial. In preserving the life of Oskar Schindler, Keneally has taken to heart the line from the film "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance": "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
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