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House of Dolls Paperback – 1973


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Paperback, 1973
$93.29 $28.17
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Mayflower Books (1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0583122485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0583122481
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,615,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
An essential & compelling piece Holocaust literature, but not much value for JD/NO fanatics.
This book is hard to find, and is also a hard read. If you have come this far then your search is just beginning. Most booksellers list it as delated or out-of-print. I found a copy at my local library, of all places. But if you persevere, then you will be rewarded with a book that tells you everything you every wanted to know (and probably didn't) about life in a German concentration camp. It recounts the true story of a fourteen year-old Polish Jew schoolgirl who eventually arrived at the infamous "Joy Divsion", which was part of a camp that housed prositutes for the pleasure of German officers.
It ranks alongside "A Clockwork Orange" as one of the two most graphic and haunting books I've ever read. I think some of the imagery will remain with me a long time. There are also many allusions to Orwell's world of "1984", and there are recurrent (and sadly true) references to the Germans' twisted terminology. Even the concept of a barrack of prositutes being a "Joy Division" seems a perfect example of Orwell's "doublespeak".
I had hoped to ascertain a bit more knowledge about Joy Division's influences, but apart from the title, there is little relevance. So by that criteria, there was not much gained by reading the book, but the book became compelling in its own right, and I am glad to have read it, and might read more of his work and the genre. But note, that if your crazy about the band, and don't have the broader interest or think you could stomach this sort of thing, then there might not be much point in reading it in the first place.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Ka-Tzetnik 135633, House of Dolls (Simon and Schuster, 1955)
Ka-Tzetnik 135633, Nazi-assigned pen name of an Auschwitz survivor (oddly, there seems to be some controversy as to who Ka-Tzetnik 135633 was; some say it was Yehiel De-Nir, others Karol Cetynski), here gives an account of life in a Nazi prison camp, but in the most roundabout of ways. This seemingly autobiographical novel (viz. Shvitti: A Vision, where he speaks of his own sister in Daniella's role) deals mostly with the stories of Harry and Daniella, a brother and sister living in the Jewish quarters of an unnamed town on the border of Germany and Poland. Roughly the first half of the book is a simple depiction of trying to get along day to day in the Jewish quarters, told mostly from Daniella's viewpoint. To be blunt, it's slow as molasses. The book picks up (and becomes the highly-recommended-by-the-underground book it is) when Daniella, not long after Harry, is taken to a concentration camp and ends up working in the House of Dolls, a camp brothel. Harry, in the next camp over, has been made the camp medic for no reason anyone can discern. There is little plot to the latter half of the novel; instead, Ka-Tzetnik 135633 infuses the whole mess with a painful sense of irony. Imagine an O.Henry story that runs 250 pages and has a far, far darker cast to it than anything O.Henry ever wrote.
There is much to be gained from reading this book beyond the prurient; don't get me wrong.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brenda S. Dubin on October 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
Probably one of the most painful Holocaust books I've read. Even now years after reading this, my heart thuds remembering. House of Dolls describes a Nazi prostitution camp; where young Jewish women were forced into sexual slavery. The girls and women who weren't chosen as prostitutes were brutalized through arduous, back-breaking physical labor.

I wish no one would have to read a book like this -- but because hate and intolerance still exist no matter what history teaches -- perhaps reading House of Dolls will shock and appall us to stop degrading and destroying each other, and reach higher as human beings.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By new2books on March 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
First and foremost the book is incredibly hard to find.
An addictive read which makes you cry and be appalled by the horrors and utter sadness.
The personal characters make it a more compelling read where you feel as if you are in their position as opposed to simply a recount.
Sensationalised and exaggerated history where there are no other such recounts of certain aspects.

It is interesting to consider the band "Joy Division" took their name from this book.
With their song "No Love Lost" containing a passage.
This double meaning of the word leaves an indelible reminder whenever one hears their songs.

I am happy I read it even though the $50 price I paid was not very welcoming.

He has written other books.

The names can sometimes get a bit confusing and the random references back to past poems and memories require multiple re-reads of those sections.

I will never forget this book and will definitely read it again.
I have recommended it to many.
Not a simple read but still extremely rewarding.
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