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The Bridge Builder's Story Hardcover – Large Print

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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas T Beeler (June 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1863406328
  • ISBN-13: 978-1863406321
  • Shipping Information: View shipping rates and policies
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,597,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Venerable writer Fast (The Immigrants), master of the heart-tugging historical drama, delivers a moving tale of tragedy, inner healing and absolution. Married only 11 days, pacifist American engineering student Scott Waring and his wife, Martha, are arrested by the Gestapo in May 1939, while watching a Nazi rally in Berlin, where Scott is imprudently carrying his grandfather's pistol. The Nazis wrongly suspect them of conspiring to assassinate Hitler, and Scott is forced to gaze through a one-way mirror as SS thugs beat Martha. Told that Martha will be killed unless he confesses, Scott concocts a confession, but, shortly thereafter, the Nazis murder her anyway. Chance gives Scott a chance to escape his captors, and the Jewish madam of a whorehouse facilitates his route to the American embassy, from where he returns to the U.S., devastated. When the narrative jumps forward 1951 and Scott's sessions with his New York psychiatrist, we learn of his guilt over Martha's death, which has left him sexually impotent; of his U.S. army service, in which he blew up German bridges; of his searing trip to Buchenwald after the concentration camp's liberation. Then Scott falls in love with Greenwich Village dancer and waitress Janet Goldman, a Holocaust survivor who had been raped and beaten by the Dachau camp commander. Eventually Scott finds that he is able to love again. Fast is anything but subtle, but he has written a solid, well-constructed novel that is both a forceful meditation on evil and a poignant love story. 50,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Scott Waring and his wife are privileged young Americans, but on their honeymoon trip to Berlin in 1939 they experience deadly Gestapo tactics. Some years later, as an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers, Scott helps to liberate Buchenwald concentration camp, suffering further psychic wounds. Trying to recover from these accumulated traumas, he sees a psychotherapist, undergoes a symbolic circumcision, and searches for more than a decade for someone to love. As an engineer during the war, Scott frequently demolished bridges, but now he labors to build connections among people. Fast (Seven Days in June, LJ 7/94) is a veteran novelist who provides skillful narration. In one key detail, however, his story may test the limits of credibility. That Scott would unthinkingly carry a revolver within yards of Adolf Hitler, casually fondle the gun inside his pocket, and hence be accused of trying to assassinate the Fuhrer may seem implausible, but such events are crucial to Fast's entire plot. Recommended for public libraries.
-?Albert Wilhelm, Tennessee Technological Univ., Cookeville
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Howard Fast (1914-2003) was one of the most prolific American writers of the twentieth century. He was a bestselling author of more than eighty works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenplays. The son of immigrants, Fast grew up in New York City and published his first novel upon finishing high school in 1933. In 1950, his refusal to provide the United States Congress with a list of possible Communist associates earned him a three-month prison sentence. During his incarceration, Fast wrote one of his best-known novels, Spartacus (1951). Throughout his long career, Fast matched his commitment to championing social justice in his writing with a deft, lively storytelling style.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Where have you been all my life, Howard Fast? This is my first experience with his writing and his words flowed into my consciousness like an old friend!
This is a straight-forward tale of youthful innocence lost and a search for peace-of-mind despite past tragedy. When Scott Waring's young wife was brutally murdered by the Gestapo on their 1939 honeymoon in Berlin, he is forced to spend many guilt-ridden and lonely years trying to sort out his life. It was through the important influence of Max Leiberman, his abrasive yet honest psychiatrist, and his newly-found love, Janet Goldman - the young NYC waitress/dancer who survived the atrocities of the Holocaust - that helped Scott overcome the horrors of his past and his own ingrained prejudices.
This is called "The Bridge Builder's Story" for more than one reason. Sure - Waring is an engineer who builds actual bridges ... but he also builds symbolic bridges between past & present as well as bridges of understanding amongst different faiths, nationalities, etc.
A fast-moving, easy-read that would make a great airplane book. I look forward to reading more of Howard Fast's novels.
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By Ralph on March 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book many years ago in French. I was captivating by the story, the way the author narrates the facts. It is a compelling story of man who is looking for redemption, looking for his ability to accept the death of a loved one in order to move forward in his life.
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