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Schindler's List Paperback – December 1, 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Michael Adams, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Lib., Madison, N.J.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
While the excellent film of this novel concentrates on the dangers Schindler and "his Jews" faced daily throughout the war, Keneally, well known for his depictions of characters acting under stress, concentrates on the character of Oskar Schindler himself, beginning with his childhood and teen years. As he explores Schindler's transformation from war profiteer and "passive" Nazi to a man willing to use his fortune to ensure the salvation of his factory workers, Keneally reveals a man of enormous courage and derring-do, a man who thrives by living on the edge.
Presenting episodes from the lives of some of the "Schindlerjuden," Keneally highlights their humanity, creating moments of high drama. Characters such as Leopold Pfefferberg and factory manager Itzhak Stern move in and out of the narrative, illustrating graphically the extent to which their lives depend upon Oskar Schindler, while the constant intrusion of sadistic SS commandant Amon Goeth in Schindler's life shows the fragility of their security. Other stories, of people who just missed being saved by Schindler, highlight the arbitrariness of fate--chance--in their (and our) lives.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.
But a novelist's approach also makes it easier to convey meaning, to explore and probe every shadow, each emotion, any nuance. Keneally's gift is to do this well. The highlight of the book is his brilliant study of Oskar and Amon, good with bad, the German bon vivant versus the Dark Prince. Like two heads of the same coin, Keneally shows nobility and evil as uncomfortably close bedfellows. There go I but the grace of God...
Keneally has a well-deserved reputation as one of Australia's greatest writers, but the forces this book has set in train, perhaps, have not been fully acknowledged. Fortunately, for a select group of southern Polish Jews in World War II, a saviour was in their midst. Fortunately, for those that followed, there was a writer who saved the saviour's story for us all.
The Holocaust is a difficult topic to deal with as subject matter for a work of art; its horrors have been explicitly brought to light countless times in several different formats and knowledge of these horrors has pervaded our society such that nearly everyone has been exposed to them in some way or another. In order to tell an effective story about the Holocaust, one must do more than shock the reader with the evils that took place in concentration camps or Jewish ghettos--this has been done once and for all by those who lived through it. In Schindler's List, Thomas Keneally goes beyond such shock value by telling of the profound goodness that emerged--from such unspeakable evil--in the character of prison camp Direktor Oskar Schindler and his Schindlerjuden.
In his telling of the story, Keneally's sure-handed prose adds credibility and its occasional delve into the poetic adds great emotional weight. The effect of such a telling is that of a slow toxin that siezes the reader by the heart and squeezes to the point of anguish, leading to a novel that is both deeply moving and absolutely believable.
As for the story itself, Keneally focuses mostly on the actions and ambitions of Schindler, leaving the horror stories recessed in the background, creeping around the edges. When such evils are brought to the forefront of the tale, they are potent and real, but somehow serve more as chiaroscuro to the divine goodness of Schindler's deeds. Thus it is that much more effective when Schindler spends every bit of his entire life's fortune to literally buy life for as many of the Jews as he possibly can.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tedious to read, but historically awesome documentation! The movie had more impact!!! LEHPublished 25 days ago by Lynn E. Hanus
I loved this book! I have not seen the movie, but as a student of literature and history, read a lot of Holocaust literature, and honestly had little interest in returning to the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Steph S.
This is a well written book telling again a story that needs to be told. It was not an easy book to read, due to the unpardonable acts the Nazi perpetrated on the Jews. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nellcm
Very sad book..but worth reading! Its a history, so we have to know it and remember. The movie is really powerful!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Writing style is difficult, but well presented. Powerful story. This will become a favorite.Published 3 months ago by Philip Neal