Schindler's List Paperback – Oct 2003
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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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Top Customer Reviews
Of course, the story of over 1000 Jews being saved from death by German industrialist Oskar Schindler is gripping.
The problem lies with the poor writing which does not succeed in bringing coherently together the multiple pieces of research that were made. The chronology of events is at times shaky as is the characters’ psychology. The sources used are not explicitly identified and the reader often ends up confused.
Overall, it appears better to stick to the cinematic masterwork.
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.Read more ›
(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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on July 14 2004 by Gary Selikow
I have wanted to see Spielberg's movie for quite some time, and I think I'm glad I read the book first. Read morePublished on July 6 2004 by Andrew W. Johns
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 morePublished on June 17 2004
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. Read morePublished on May 19 2004 by J.Lynch
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 morePublished on May 1 2004 by -_Tim_-
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