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Jacob the Liar

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  894 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Acclaimed as the most remarkable novel of the Holocaust ever written in Germany, Jacob the Liar breaks with the genre's tradition of unremitting realism to offer a suspenseful and masterfully crafted tale of hope, desire, and the life-giving force of fiction. In the ghetto, the possession of a radio is punishable by death. Like thousands of his fellow prisoners, Jacob Heym ...more
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published February 7th 1996 by Arcade Publishing (first published 1969)
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Alex Baugh
First, forget everything you may remember about the movie Jacob the Liar with Robin Williams. That movie is totally NOT representative of this excellent novel.

Read the book instead.

Jacob the Liar takes place in the Łódź Ghetto in 1944. Returning home from work one night, Jacob Heym is caught in the spotlight of a guard who tells Jacob he is out past the 8 o’clock curfew and to report to the military office for a “well deserved” punishment. As he walks the corridor of the military building, not k
...more
David Ramirer
eines der bücher, das sich ganz sanft ins herz hineinwebt, von der ersten seite an.
ich liebe ja bücher, die es ohne grober moralkeule, und ohne moralisch gefestigtem supermenschenhelden schaffen, neue sichtweisen zu eröffnen. in diesem buch ist es der begriff der lüge, der völlig neu überdacht werden muss, wenn er in einem kontext gesehen werden kann, den dieses buch darlegt.
die zentrale figur des buches - jakob heym - erfindet eigentlich in einem kurzen moment der unbedachtheit als notlüge ein
...more
Roberta
Là, dove sono stato io, non si è avuta nessuna resistenza.

Jakob il bugiardo è una riflessione sulla verità, sulla bugia, sulla natura della realtà. Un narratore anonimo racconta, molti anni dopo gli avvenimenti stessi, la storia di Jakob, entrambi costretti nel ghetto di Lodz durante l'occupazione nazista. Il romanzo utilizza l'assurdo come arma principale: in un mondo stravolto, dove la fame l'umiliazioni e le vessazioni psicologiche e fisiche sono più che quotidiane, il nostro narratore sottol
...more
yellow tree
coldest darkness in bright colors; that's how i would describe that book in a few words. after getting over the first couple of pages, which were rather arduous, the suspense grew and grew until it almost became unbearable. the characters at first seemed fairly strange, but the farther i got the more i could hope and feel desperate with them. the pressure that lay on jakob grew insufferable to both him and the reader. some rather comical scenes made the gloom which ran through the whole book eve ...more
Amy Hustead
Fantastic book and great movie!!!
Jackie Bertsch
Jakob the Liar is about a Jewish man who is being held in a Ghetto. When he gets into trouble with a German look out he is forced to go into the Military office where he hears news that the Red Army is getting close to the Ghetto where he is being held prisoner. He is so excited he has to tell someone, he tells his friend Mischa, Jackob can't just tell him he went to the Military office so he makes up a lie and tells Mischa he has a radio. It snowballs after that he doesn't wasnt to give the peo ...more
Mohamadreza Rahnama
داستان همان داستان هيتلر و يهود با روايتي تازه است . عده اي از يهودي ها در شهركي تحت نظارت آلماني ها زندگي مي كنند . البته اين زندگي تحت قوانين و شرايط بسيار سخت و نا اميدكننده اي است . روزي بر حسب اتفاق يعقوب يكي از يهوديان در قرارگاه آلماني ها رفته و جمله اي در مورد روند نبرد آلمان و روسيه مي شنود . او فردا اين خبر را پخش كرده و عنوان مي كند كه برخلاف قوانين راديويي دارد كه از طريق آن از اخبار آگاه مي شود . بدين ترتيب يعقوب به نوعي ناجي تبديل شده و به دروغ در دل مردم اميد قرار مي دهد..
کتاب نسب
...more
Azadeh sharifi
سرد بود و غمگین
...
یادم روزنامه خوان خودم افتادم که هنوز جایی میان فایل هاست... و تواردی که از رفرنس دادن ناگزیرم می کند
...
حس نوشتن نیست، فقط الان می فهمم جز فلسفه چه چیزب مرا به این آلمانی ها نزدیک می کند... این که تحمل می کنند، و تحمل می کنند و باز هم تحمل می کنند
نه صبورند و نه مومن
تنها مغرور تر ) در صورت لزوم پرروتر خوانده شود( از آن اند که بشکنند
کم بیاورند
...
با تشکر از نرگس معینی
Piperitapitta
Una mistificazione della verit��, il tentativo di nascondere una realt�� inaccettabile, un barlume di speranza che si accende all'improvviso?
La bugia di Jakob �� una bugia bianca come una nuvola d'ovatta, di quelle dette non per far male, ma per aiutare a sperare nel domani e risollevare un'intera comunit�� dalla difficolt�� di "vivere senza un futuro".
Jakob il bugiardo - del quale esistono ben due riduzioni cinematografiche: la prima del 1975 premiata al Festival di Berlino per il miglior att
...more
Maryann
Jakob lives in the ghetto, as WWII rages on and the Germans persecute him and the rest of the Jews. He accidentally hears a report that the Russians have reached a town not terribly far away and spreads the news to his neighbors and friends. When asked how he came by this information, he told them he had a radio (because they wouldn't have believed how he REALLY heard it). He perpetuates his initial lie and becomes a beacon of hope for the ghetto, but to what end? Is he feeding them false hope? ...more
Matti Karjalainen
Puolansaksalaisen kirjailijan Jurek Beckerin romaani "Valehtelija-Jaakko" (Otava, 1999) ilmestyi suomeksi Keltaisessa kirjastossa kolmekymmentä vuotta alkuperäisen julkaisunsa jälkeen. Romaani kertoo Jacob Heym -nimisestä juutalaisesta ravintolanpitäjästä, joka on monien muiden kohtalotovereidensa tavoin päätynyt natsien hallinnoimaan Lodzin gettoon.

Sattuman oikusta Jacob joutuu vierailemaan saksalaisen komendantin toimistossa, ja saa siellä kuulla puna-armeijan ja saksalaisten taistelleen pari
...more
Asma
An excellent novel depicts the life of Jew who were detained in their area and detached from the outer world because of German invention.

This novel has nothing to do with the typical novels on Holocaust and the concentration camps.
The events of the novels take place in one of the isolated communities of Jewish in Poland. People are isolated and not allowed to mix up with other people than the people in their bounded area. Radios and newspapers are forbidden and so don’t know anything about what
...more
Luna Selene
The page offers no summary, so I'll write a quick one: an older man, Jacob, living in a Polish ghetto (presumed to be Lodz) is sent one night to the military office for punishment for being out after 8 pm. In the building, he secretly hears a newscast that the Germans have just defeated the Russian army fairly close to the ghetto, and is let go without punishment because it wasn't actually 8 o'clock yet. Jacob, wanting to share the good news that the Russians weren't far away, realizes no one wi ...more
Amir ali
یکساعت مانده به آغاز ممنوعیت تردد در شهر، یعقوب حییم، یهودی ساکن گتو، به پست یک گشتی آلمانی می خورد که برای آزارش، به او دستور می دهد خود را به پست فرماندهی معرفی کند تا برایش مجازات مناسب درنظر گرفته شود. یعقوب به مقر نازی ها می رود اما بخت بلندش باعث می شود افسر کشیک اجازه دهد او به گتو برگردد. همین جاست که یعقوب از رادیو می شنود نیروهای آلمانی توانسته اند روس ها را در در بیست‌ كیلومتری بسانیكا متوقف کنند.

این خبر برای یعقوب امیدآفرین است چون بسانیکا با محل زندگی او تنها 400 کیلومتر فاصله دارد
...more
Matthew
What a wonderful novel. Set during WWII and the Holocaust, but not solely a novel about the Holocaust, Becker's novel is in equal parts sad, funny, ironic, and deeply moving. Jacob Heym, the protagonist, invents a simple but dishonest means to keep up what little hope remains in his Jewish ghetto as he and his friends go about the drudgery of their lives ever in the shadow of death. The unnamed and omniscient narrator carries the reader across time to explain Jacob's and the others' histories, w ...more
Jen
Jacob the Liar by Jurek Becker
★★★★
Jacob the Liar is the story of life in a Nazi-occupied Jewish ghetto. Protagonist Jacob Heym is sent to the military office and overhears a radio broadcast about a nearby Russian victory. He finds himself in a predicament when he decides to share the good news but lies to cover up where he heard the news by claiming he owns a radio. The news instills hope and curbs the stream of suicides in the ghetto. The subsequent plot centers around Jacob’s struggles to main
...more
Susetyo Priyojati
I never like Holocaust novels, but somehow this one appeals to me. Jakob was a Jew that, being forced to report to a German military office, accidentally overheard on their radio that Russian army were approaching. That would mean salvation for all the people suffering under the German. Once Jakob let the information slip from his tongue, the whole ghetto was put in high expectation. Unfortunately people wouldn't believe the original story, so he said that he had a radio, and a lie follow one af ...more
Marc L
A ghetto, somewhere in Eastern Europe, arond 1943-1944; poor Jakob Heym by coincidence hears a radiomessage in the German headquarters en concludes that the Germans are on the run for the Russians.Jakob spreads the news, lying that he has heard it on his own illegal radio, and the ghetto reawakens, everybody is making plans again, the suicidenumbers crumble. But his little lie brings him quite some trubbles. The author, a vague co-resident of the ghetto, makes up two different endings, both very ...more
Roberto Macias
Der Film (oder eine der Filme) ist ja sehr bekannt. Entweder der alte Deutsche, oder die neuere Version mit Robin Williams. Nun aber das Buch ist an sich sehr lesenswert, nicht nur weil es ein Gesicht des 2. Weltkrieges ist die wir selten zu sehen bekommen, sondern auch weil die Prosa mit der das Buch geschrieben ist ausreicht um es Wertvoll zu machen.

Die Beschreibungen und Zeitlinie mit der Jurek Becker die Geschichte erzählt bringen dem leser das geschehens nah. Zu dem gibt's in der Welt zu vi
...more
Ali Amiri
I really loved the story, and i loved the writing as well. This was a story which above all, reveals human nature. It also analyses the human condition and the importance of hope in life, and poses some serious questions about it.
The plot consists of a main story line about Jacob, and a few minor ones about some other people of the Ghetto, all of which contribute to the main story about Jacob & his radio.
بهمن بهمن
من البته چاپ اول این کتاب را خواندم که به اسم "یعقوب دروغگو" منتشر شده بود.اول هم فکر می کردم باید از این داستان های لوس رئالیسم سوسیالیستی باشد.ولی از چیزی که خیال کرده بودم خیلی بهتر بود
Philip Lane
A very understated novel. The subject matter is huge but the approach is very much at a tangent. I found it enthralling and certainly full of suspense. I have read a number of novels and biographies set in the holocaust which give really vivid descriptions of the foul conditions. This story however made me feel more intensely the fear, the isolation and the desperation of being holed up at the mercy of an all powerful enemy. On top of this and strangely entangled with it is the exploration of th ...more
Jennifer
I thought I would like this book more than I did. And, really, there is no good reason why it was so hard for me to finish this. It was a well-written book with a really fascinating perspective that I appreciated. The way our narrator would fill in the blanks on stories and make up his own conversations that he couldn't get any survivors to share with him was unique in the best sort of way.

But I was bored. It was a very mundane, slow story that somehow lacked the draw that I usually feel with WW
...more
Pinar Celebi
As I like reading any kind of Holocaust books, I really enjoyed reading this one. I liked the story-telling. Becker was quite successful in telling the everyday life at the ghetto, the triviality of people’s horrors. Still, it was not depressing at all. I consider it as an extremely well-written book and I recommend it if you're interested in that kind of thing, or just if you like good literary fiction.
Christine

The last 50-70 pages were amazing and the ending was heartbreaking. Both made up for the fact that it took me over a month to read it and that the first half was so confusing and weird...
What really surprised me was, that I got so attached to the characters! Lina is such a nice child, Rosa and Mischa are the cutest and in the end I even understand Jakob's point.
N
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Mrs.Chili
I really enjoyed the voice in this novel, and I particularly appreciated that it didn't have a nice, clean, easy conclusion. It was a difficult and complex book in terms of what it asked of the reader, but it was strangely enjoyable to read at the same time. I can easily imagine using this novel in a high school class, particularly with juniors or seniors.
Jill
I read this because I have had it forever and needed a book to read. It was actually really good. I have always been interested in the perspective of the Jews during the Holocaust and this book gives a good glimpse of how life was in the ghettos. Although the book is fiction, it is written by a survivor.
Dan
If you have only seen the Robin Williams film, you're missing out on the complete story. The book has two endings - I will reveal neither - and both together make for an emotional finale to an already touching story. For anyone interested in Holocaust fiction, this is not to be missed.
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a Polish-born German writer, film-author and GDR dissident.

in English: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurek_Be...

in German: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurek_Be...
More about Jurek Becker...
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