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The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945 Paperback – September 2, 2000
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“Stunning . . . Filled with unforgettable incidents, images, and people.” ―The Wall Street Journal
“Remarkable . . . a document of lasting historical and human value.” ―The Los Angeles Times
“Historically indispensible.” ―Washington Post Book World
“The Pianist is a great book.” ―The Boston Globe
“Even by the standards set be Holocaust memoirs, this book is a stunner.” ―Seattle Weekly
“A stunning tribute to what one human being can endure, The Pianist is even more--a testimony to the redemptive power of fellow feeling.” ―The Plain Dealer
“Distinguished by [Szpilman's] dazzling clarity . . . Remarkably lucid.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A striking Holocaust memoir that conveys with exceptional immediacy and cool reportage the author's desperate fight for survival.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“The Pianist is a book so fresh and vivid, so heartbreaking, and so simply and beautifully written, that it manages to tell us the story of horrendous events as if for the first time . . . an altogether unforgettable book. ” ―The Daily Telegraph
“Wladyslaw Szpilman's memoir of life in Nazi-occupied Warsaw and the Jewish ghetto has a singular vividness. All is conveyed with an understated intimacy and dailiness that render them painfully close.” ―The Observer
“It is all told with a simple clarity that lodges the story in one's stomach through a mixture of disgust, terror, despair, rage, and guilt that grips the reader almost gently. ” ―The Spectator
“Illuminates vividly the horror that overcame the Polish people. Szpilman's account has an immediacy, vivid and anguished.” ―The Sunday Telegraph
About the Author
Wladyslaw Szpilman was born in 1911. He studied the piano at the Warsaw Conservatory and at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. From 1945 to 1963, he was Director of Music at Polish Radio, and he also pursued a career as a concert pianist and composer for many years. He lives in Warsaw
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This book is better written than "Country of Ash"- however, in Reicher's defense his book was written from memory (his diaries were destroyed ) and was written in Polish, then translated to French, then translated to English. Things can easily get lost or poorly related after that kind of journey !
So, I found Szpilman's book clearer and easier with which to build a picture of the ghetto . Singly, or together with Reicher's book, the story is compelling. I honestly can't figure out how anyone survived that horror. What a treat that we have their words forever available to us.
I believe this book is an amazing historical read and an incredible story of survival in one of the toughest times in history. Szpilman does a great job of incorporating the historical events of the war along with events from his personal life. His purpose was to explain to us the hardships of being a Jew during World War II and he did that brilliantly. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves reading about history, but especially loves reading firsthand accounts of historical events. I feel that the best way to understand what life was like in a certain point in history is to read a personal story so that you can get the full effect. Szpilman does this very well and creates the atmosphere seem very real. Overall, I thought the book was a great emotional and historical story and I recommend it to anyone who loves to read.