- Series: Movie Tie-in Editions
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Movie Tie-in edition (February 7, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393354253
- ISBN-13: 978-0393354256
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,916 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story (Movie Tie-in) (Movie Tie-in Editions) Movie Tie-in Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.
If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you increase your sales. We invite you to learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon .
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“Here is a true story―of human empathy and its opposite―that is simultaneously grave and exuberant, wise and playful. Ackerman has a wonderful tale to tell, and she tells it wonderfully.”
- Washington Post Book World
“Poignant…This is an absorbing book.”
- New York Times Book Review
“I can’t imagine a better story or storyteller. The Zookeeper’s Wife will touch every nerve you have.”
- Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything is Illuminated
“It is no stretch to say that this is the book Ackerman was meant to write.”
- Los Angeles Times
“Diane Ackerman has surpassed even herself in her latest book, which is alternatingly funny, moving, and terrifying. This powerful thriller would be a great novel―except that it is true.”
- Jared Diamond
About the Author
Diane Ackerman has been the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction in addition to many other awards and recognitions for her work, which include the best-selling The Zookeeper's Wife and A Natural History of the Senses. She lives in Ithaca, New York.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Nonetheless, the awful times in Poland and Warsaw come crashing through Ackerman's writing anyway. One wonders how any people at all survived German barbarity. The story of the Warsaw ghetto and its brave and tortured souls is vividly rendered, although not in a coherent fashion, as one has to dance from one chapter to the next to get a real sense of its nightmarish horror. The Zabinskis, particularly Jan, risked the lives of their son and daughter to harbor utterly wretched Jews ("Guests") in the labyrinthine zoo quarters. Bold young Polish Jews sabatoging the Germans would find a harbor there, even for short periods of time until they could be moved again to another safe harbor in the active Polish underground. It's a terrifying and remarkable story which made me think what I would have done in similar circumstances as a free person, knowing the crass injustices, blatant torture, and outright murder going on around me.
This book also tells of a mother's overpowering love for her son. At every turn, Antonina protected Rys as best she could, with varying degrees of success. We aren't sure of Rys's age, but I guess he was between 8 and 12 during the most awful events. Ackerman constantly returns to this mother/son relationship as a recurring theme, as it must have figured prominently in Antonina's diary.
I wished this story had been handled by another writer, but it hasn't been. It's still worth reading, as the events and tales of rescue and survival are so stirring that even bad prose can't detract from them. So I recommend this book, even if you cringe at the rhetorical nonsense it sometimes contains.
The zookeeper and his wife and the other good people who helped save Jews in Warsaw were rare exceptions in the general Polish population. This book neglects to mention that the overwhelming majority of Poles were deeply anti-Semitic and only too glad that Hitler was ridding them of the Jews. In fact, they often helped him in that task even though they were otherwise anti-German. Those fortunate Jews who managed to find safe shelter were hiding not only from the Germans but also from the Poles, most of whom were willing and often eager to denounce them to the Gestapo. Even members of the Polish Underground (and of partisan units in the countryside) were not immune to Jew hatred and anti-Jewish violence. I think the book uses the word "denounce" only once and the word "anti-Semitism" not at all, thereby distorting the historical picture for the average reader.
Because of the widespread anti-Semitism, many of the pitifully few Polish Jews who survived the war continued to pose as Christians after it was over in order to avoid being killed by their Polish neighbors in post-war pogroms such as the one in Kielce in 1946. Moreover, some of the Christians who had sheltered Jews were afraid their fellow Poles would find that out even after the war and asked the Jews they had saved not to ever reveal who had hidden them. None of this sad reality comes across in the book.
The historical inaccuracy is exacerbated by the author's unwillingness to give proper space to the Warsaw Ghetto and its uprising (while devoting far too many pages to boring lists of insects, animal sounds, etc.). Her "excuse" for this failure appears in a footnote to Chapter 9 at the end of the book: "So many excellent books have been written about daily life in the Ghetto, the Jew roundups, and the horrors of the death camps, that I don't linger on them." How many readers are likely to have read any of those "excellent books" or indeed even her footnote referring to them? She has simply copped out on this subject, so enormously important to an accurate portrayal of the war-time Warsaw she purports to present.
It's also strange that in a book whose subject is relations between Jewish and non-Jewish residents of Warsaw, the author calls the creator of the international language Esperanto, Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof, a "Pole" and not a "Polish Jew". Nor does she mention that his three children were all murdered in the Holocaust.
For a poignant example of what life in hiding was like for Jews not lucky enough to be taken in by the zookeeper and his wife, I recommend Hiding Places by Diane Wyshogrod.
Most recent customer reviews
I’m not sure what drives my interest for books set during WWII.Read more