Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Jacob the Liar” as Want to Read:
Jacob the Liar
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Jacob the Liar

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  1,298 Ratings  ·  79 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Jacob the Liar, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Jacob the Liar

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
FeReSHte
Jun 16, 2016 FeReSHte rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german
داستان کتاب تو یکی از شهرک های یهودی نشین تحت نظارت نازی ها با قوانین بسیار سخت میگذره . روزی یعقوب ( که شخصا ترجیح می دادم اسمش همون ژاکوب ترجمه بشه ) برای دلگرمی بخشیدن به یکی از دوستانش که مثل خیلی های دیگه از شرایط سخت و یکنواختی که روزنه ی امیدی به بهبودش نیست، به تنگ اومده خبری رو برملا می کنه که لو دادن منبع حقیقی خبر به شک و تردید اهالی نسبت به صداقت یعقوب منجر میشه پس یعقوب راه دوم رو انتخاب می کنه و دروغ میگه . منبع خبر دروغینی که افشاش نزد نازی ها تهدید جدی برای جانش محسوب میشه . یک د ...more
Alex Baugh
May 05, 2011 Alex Baugh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-2
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
Feb 07, 2014 David Ramirer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
yellow tree
Mar 27, 2009 yellow tree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prose
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
Elizabeth (Alaska)
There are many holocaust stories out there, but this is an aspect I have not encountered. The Germans are, for the most part, nameless. The Jews are in the ghetto with lives and relationships and fear and despair. It is about one man's courage and how it can affect an entire community.

I was surprised this took me a bit longer to read than I had anticipated. I don't know if the translation isn't just terrific or the author's writing style was harder for me to adjust to. I can truthfully say I fou
...more
Mi Na
Aug 27, 2016 Mi Na rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
دروغگویی که گرفتار عذاب وجدان است هرگز به جایی نخواهد رسید.در این حرفه خویشتنداری و حیای بیجا موردی ندارد. باید پیمانه را لبریز بگیری، باید اعتماد به نفس از چهره ات ببارد، باید رفتارت بیانگر حالت کسی باشد که برآنچه میگوید خود وقوف کامل دارد. باید در به کارگیری ارقام و اسامی و دیگر اطلاعات گشاده دستی نشان دهی. نبرد رودنا را باید تنها سرآغازی متواضعانه بدانی. این نبرد هرگز در تاریخ ذکر نخواهد شد، ولی در داستان ما جای پرافتخاری را به خود اختصاص میدهد. بگذار اگر روزی همه چیز به خیر گذشت و کسانی توان ...more
Amy Hustead
Mar 08, 2013 Amy Hustead rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book and great movie!!!
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
Elisa
May 07, 2016 Elisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ich habe es auf Deutsch gelesen, also kommt jetzt auch mal eine deutsche Review.
Ich musste es für die Schule gelesen und was soll ich sagen.. an sich finde ich die Geschichte gar nicht so schlecht, aber es war so anstrengend zu lesen! Nicht, weil die Sprache schlecht war oder so, sondern einfach, weil so viele unnötige Stellen drin vorkamen. Auch die Sache mit dem Ich-Erzähler fand ich irgendwie "anstrengend". Obwohl es meiner Meinung nach immer besser wurde, kann ich dem Buch nicht mehr als ein
...more
Shahrzad
فقط یه چیزی رو توی قصه نفهمیدم که اگه بگم هم شاید داستان لو بره، در نتیجه اگه از دوستان کسی خونده بهم بگه ازش بپرسم
:)
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
Nadja A.
Ein toller Schreibstil. Manchmal ein bisschen langatmig, aber irgendwie braucht es das auch..
Jackie Bertsch
Sep 16, 2011 Jackie Bertsch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Maryann
Jan 23, 2014 Maryann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001
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
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
Annie
May 26, 2015 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is there such a thing as a good lie? Whenever this question comes up, I imagine that most people can agree that white lies are fine. Without them, we’d probably be perpetually annoyed with one another. But when the lies get bigger, it becomes harder and harder to say if a lie is justified—a “good” lie—or not. Jacob Heym, the unwitting hero of Jurek Becker’s Jacob the Liar, wasn’t thinking about whether his lie was a good one or not when he told it. Jacob’s lie just slipped out. But his lie chang ...more
thebluefruit
Maybe it's because this book was a reading assignment for school but Jakob the Liar couldn't quite convince me of its greatness.

What I did like was the switching point of view between Jakob and the narrator. The plot itself is also catching and has potential, if only this book wasn't so slow-pasted. In addition, Becker's use of humor and irony was really remarkable but left me wondering what exactly he is trying to tell us (like, what was that toilet scene supposed to be?!). Lots of people say h
...more
Piperitapitta
Oct 24, 2014 Piperitapitta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 attore protag
...more
Alessandra
Feb 28, 2016 Alessandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un libro che il prof. Antonio Pasinato citava sempre nelle sue lezioni, ma che non avrei mai pensato di leggere prima di vederne la costa nell'header del blog di Nereia, "Librangolo Acuto".
L'ambientazione è il ghetto ebraico della cittadina polacca di Lodz durante la seconda guerra mondiale. Il commerciante Jakob, in seguito a una serie di fortuite circostanze, si vede costretto a rivelare ai compagni che possiede una radio e che i russi stanno combattendo (e vincendo) a poche decine di km da lì
...more
Bonnie
Apr 30, 2015 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. When I started it I wasn't at all sure that I wanted to read it. The paragraphs are very long and it has a rather different style. But it didn't take long before I was hooked and I stayed hooked. It has a rather quirky style, in a way just a little reminiscent of "The Book Thief" - death is not the narrator, just a normal human being, but it's not your standard narration. That is part of what makes it so entertaining once you get used to it.

There are no violent scenes
...more
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
Alex
Jul 17, 2015 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part of school lecture, wouldn't have read it otherwise. It was bearable, but I do not particularly favor Becker's writing style for a few reasons, the main one being that the writes using relatively simple wording, but still ends up producing clunky and tiresome sentence constructions. It wasn't exactly a smooth read and took me a long time to finally get it over with, but it also had its high and low points. The idea of utilizing different narrators adds complexity to the work, but the positiv ...more
Becky
Aug 09, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a novel with such a serious background, Jakob the Liar is astonishingly light hearted. The deft writing style of Becker manages to mix the lightness of hope with the dreadful happenings of Nazi Europe with a rare skill producing a novel that is both funny and devastating in equal turns. When Jakob is wrongly sent to the German headquarters in his Jewish ghetto, he accidentally overhears a radio announcement that the Russians are defeating the Germans in a town only 200 miles away. When he re ...more
Patrick Robitaille

**** 1/2

In a Polish ghetto towards the end of WWII, Jakob accidentally comes across an uplifting piece of information: the Russian Army has progressed to within a few hundred kilometres from their town. Fearing that he wouldn't be believed when telling his Jewish neighbours and friends, he creates the first lie (he heard it from his radio set) which would lead to so many others, shielding them from the truth while providing them hope that better days are to come. Funny at times, tragic at others

...more
Caspar Peek
Apr 10, 2015 Caspar Peek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jurek Becker was a hybrid writer - a Polish secular Jew who survived the Lodz ghetto and grew up in East Germany speaking and writing in German only. He always stated that he had no memories of his three years in the Lods ghetto, when he was between three and six years old. And yet, his writing about Jakob is so vivid it is hard to believe that this was written abut someone who has no first-hand memories of those terrible days.

I love this book - I bought a copy in East Germany way back in the s
...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
Sep 07, 2016 Asma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 11, 2013 Amir ali rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: رمان
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 و
...more
Matthew
Feb 04, 2013 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Pavel's Letters
  • The Hothouse
  • Anton Reiser
  • Sansibar oder der letzte Grund
  • The Commandant
  • Ashes and Diamonds
  • Halbzeit
  • Henry von Ofterdingen
  • Patterns of Childhood
  • The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman
  • Indian Summer
  • The Case of Sergeant Grischa
  • Pallieter
  • The Last World
  • Das siebte Kreuz
  • Broad and Alien is the World
  • Luka
  • The Blindness of the Heart
344695
Jurek Becker (* vermutlich 30. September 1937 in Łódź, Polen als Jerzy Bekker geboren[1]; † 14. März 1997 in Sieseby, Schleswig-Holstein) war ein deutscher Schriftsteller, Drehbuchautor und DDR-Dissident.

Jurek Becker (probably September 30, 1937 – March 14, 1997) was a Polish-born German writer, film-author and GDR dissident. His most famous novel is Jacob the Liar, which has been made into two fi
...more
More about Jurek Becker...

Share This Book