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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional collection of short stories, May 30, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Scrap of Time and Other Stories (Jewish Lives) (Paperback)
A Scrap of Time is a collection of short stories that masterfully presents the Holocaust experience from the perspective of survivors, witnesses, and victims in the villages of occupied Poland. Acts of personal courage, the day to day decisions that meant life or death, personal attempts to carry on with dignity, are all expressed here in powerful language and moving tales that evoke the Holocaust as it is not often told: as an experience that was as personal as each person who lived it. I have read and re-read this book several times. Each time, the stories seem to resound with their original power. Ida Fink, a Polish survivor of the Holocaust, is a master storyteller. With the very first sentence, she has the ability to create scenes of astonishing clarity and suspense. You simply cannot put the book down until you finish the story. With simple, lyrical language, she creates scenes of tremendous emotional impact. I don't believe I will ever look at the Holocaust in quite the same way. No television documentary could ever do justice to the Holocaust experience as these unforgettable stories of the personal lives of human beings in the most impossible of situations.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...an anthology of shards from a broken world..., May 16, 2004
This review is from: A Scrap of Time and Other Stories (Jewish Lives) (Paperback)
Though the concentration camps are never mentioned, these 23 short stories are a haunting collection about life in Poland at the time of the Holocaust. The theme of the anthology is on the excruciating agony of life in a broken world. These are stories of resistance, submission, betrayal, hope, regret and remembering.
Each story is the nightmare of an otherwise quiet ordinary people, previously living a secure and ordered existence. What is most striking is the uniqueness of the tone and style in each short story; and that none of the stories talk of the camps, only the horror before and after.
Perhaps, the author's own words (see below) taken from the first, title story captures why this collection is ultimately crucial to an impression, an understanding of those times. [Recommended for Young Adults/Adults]
[quote]
I want to talk about a certain time not measured in months and years. For so long I have wanted to talk about this time, and not in the way I will talk about it now, not just about this one scrap of time. I wanted to, but I couldn't, I didn't know how. I was afraid, too, that this second time, which is measured in months and years, had buried the other time under a layer of years, that this second time had crushed the first and destroyed it within me. But no. Today, digging around in the ruins of memory, I found it fresh and untouched from forgetfulness. This time was measured not in months but in a word--we no longer said "in the beautiful month of May," but "after the first "action," or the second, or right before the third." We had different measures of time, we different ones, always different, always with that mark of difference that moved some of us to pride and others to humility. We, who because of our difference were condemned once again, as we had been before in our history, we were condemned once again during this time measured not in months nor by the rising and setting of the sun, but by a word--"action," a word signifying movement, a word you would use about a novel or a play.
[/end quote]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most remarkable collections of stories I have ever read, October 26, 2011
This review is from: A Scrap of Time and Other Stories (Jewish Lives) (Paperback)
These masterful small stories written in a poetic, restrained non- sentimental way are extraordinarily powerful. The opening title story 'A Scrap of Time' supplies the locus for a good share of them. The 'scrap of time' is the time of an 'Aktion' in which Jews will be rounded up and killed by Nazis. Here the setting is one small town and what happens to a number of different individuals and families in the town. There are stories about those waiting for the Nazis to come, stories about hiding and evading the Nazis, stories about the aftermath, the return home of a surviving few. Each of the stories is in itself a small work of art, often turning or ending in surprise.
I am reluctant to describe or try to summarize any of these stories because I would not do them justice. Their revelations of horror and cruelty are somehow made more startingly real by being presented in the context of everyday life of ordinary people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fragments of Jewish Life during the Holocaust., May 26, 2013
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This review is from: A Scrap of Time and Other Stories (Jewish Lives) (Paperback)
The author's uncompromising treatment of themes of love, loss and betrayal are presented with a sense of purpose for us to consider the multi-faceted responses to extreme conditions of survival.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, May 12, 2013
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This review is from: A Scrap of Time and Other Stories (Jewish Lives) (Paperback)
There are no words for writing of this order.
One of the most important works to emerge from the Holocaust.
Stories spun of wrenching memory, seemingly effortless scraps
that give eternal life to fleeting glimpses of those who perished.
A very great writer---peerless, actually.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Scrap of Time, December 1, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Scrap of Time and Other Stories (Jewish Lives) (Paperback)
Ida Fink uses vivid langauge and impectable details to bring faces to the Holcaust. She tells haunting stories about Jewish life in Poland before and after World War II. Fink's stories are beutifully told and evoke every emotion; from fear to joy, hatred to pity. The book tells about individuals and gives faces and lives to the often impresonal Holocaust.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a compelling book, December 6, 2008
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This review is from: A Scrap of Time and Other Stories (Jewish Lives) (Paperback)
short, poignant glimpses of the everyday life of Jewish people being absolutely shattered by the Nazis; unforgettable stories
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5.0 out of 5 stars I am amazed at how well her beautiful words and feelings translated ..., September 29, 2014
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This review is from: A Scrap of Time (Hardcover)
This book was written in Polish and the author never saw the English translated version. I am amazed at how well her beautiful words and feelings translated into English. In this day of electronics I do not get and keep many hard copy books. I will keep this and put it with my collection which includes "The Bluest Eye". Good book club book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I was amazed by the artistry of this writer, depicting such a difficult subject., January 21, 2014
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This review is from: A Scrap of Time and Other Stories (Jewish Lives) (Paperback)
Ida Fink's language and descriptions are exquisite. She captures the terror of those times uncannily. Her depictions of the constant fear that people lived in are extraordinary. The beautiful descreptions of nature, the smells of flowers, the blooming of trees, babbling of rivers are juxtaposed with extreme horrors committed by men against men, women and most horribly against children.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, December 15, 2013
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This review is from: A Scrap of Time and Other Stories (Jewish Lives) (Paperback)
Very touching and very interesting. It was one of 10 required readings for a class I took and helped me understand the effects of the Holocaust event..
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A Scrap of Time and Other Stories (Jewish Lives)
A Scrap of Time and Other Stories (Jewish Lives) by Ida Fink (Paperback - June 21, 1995)
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