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Schindler's List

4.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  107,162 Ratings  ·  1,383 Reviews
In the shadow of Auschwitz, a flamboyant German industrialist grew into a living legend to the Jews of Cracow. He was a womaniser, a heavy drinker and a bon viveur, but to them he became a saviour. This is the extraordinary story of Oskar Schindler, who risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland and who was transformed by the war into a man with a mission, a c ...more
Paperback, 429 pages
Published February 17th 1994 by Sceptre (first published 1982)
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M. Alex Goldsmith The rising tension of the occupation and increasingly threatening edicts passed against the Jews is a large part of the personality of this book. I…moreThe rising tension of the occupation and increasingly threatening edicts passed against the Jews is a large part of the personality of this book. I believe Keneally wrote it largely based on the records of the people involved, which means that the book focuses on maybe half a dozen people other than Oskar Schindler. If you can't keep track of everyone, you will probably miss some of the subtleties of the subplots, but not the main action. If you must skip ahead, I recommend starting at chapter 8. Hope that helps!(less)
M. Alex Goldsmith I think the "turning-point" scene for Schindler is when he's out riding with his mistress. He sees several SS soldiers rounding up some of Jews in the…moreI think the "turning-point" scene for Schindler is when he's out riding with his mistress. He sees several SS soldiers rounding up some of Jews in the ghetto, noticing in particular a little girl in red (she is an important minor character). He notices two other people – a woman and her son – try to flee, but an SS soldier captures and shoots both of them. The SS soldiers leading the prisoners away make no attempt to hide this, not even from the little girl in red. Schindler reasons that if this SS brutality was against their orders, they would hide it to prevent witnesses from condemning them. Given that they aren't hiding it, Schindler concludes that the brutality is all according to a plan and that the SS believe there won't be any Jewish witnesses left to condemn them. In other words, he figures out that the SS are planning on extermination and that they know it. In this moment, he decided he must help the Jews. (less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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K.D. Absolutely
Dec 04, 2013 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: Booker Prize, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 1001-core, holocaust
Much has been said about the 1993 Stephen Spielberg Oscar-winning movie. In 2007, it ranked 8th in the 100 Best American Movies For All Times list. I saw it twice in the movie house when it was released. I bought copies of it. Copies... because you know how technology progresses: VHS, then VCD, then DVD, then Blue Ray. (when will this ever stop?) Every time I bought me a copy, I watched it. Every time I watched it, I cried.

But surprisingly, I did not cry reading the book, 1982 Thomas Keanally’s
...more
Manny
Certain people (you know who you are) were suggesting the other day that no one actually reads Thomas Keneally. Well, I notice surprisingly few reviews here, so maybe the accusation has some substance. At any rate, I did read the book, and really liked it.

Quite apart from anything else, it's an inspiring true story, which the author tells well. But the thing I've thought about most is what it says about the nature of good and evil. At the beginning of the story, Schindler is by no stretch of the
...more
Jenna Allen
This is a wonderful book and a wonderful story, everyone should know what oskar schindler did for Jews in WW2. However, this book was very hard to read, like reading a research paper. Pfefferberg basically begged Keneally for an hour to write a book. because of that the first half of this book was very forced. i felt like he didnt want to write this, that his heart wasnt in this, Toward the middle of the book i flowed a little more but not until the last 8-10 chapters did it start to be easier t ...more
Luís Blue Yorkie
I always liked books that depict or have as a background the second great world war and had never read such a real story of the time. Thomas Keneally could tell a story so delicate and being extremely careful that any unreal fact was narrated.

By pages and pages we follow the life of Oskar Schindler, a businessman who took the war machine to make money. Maintaining good contacts to the base of many expensive and luxurious gifts it does not fit in any group. It is not a declared Nazi and neither o
...more
Jonathan

""The critique of culture is confronted with the last stage in the dialectic of culture and barbarism: to write a poem after Auschwitz is barbaric, and that corrodes also the knowledge which expresses why it has become impossible to write poetry today.
Theodore W. Adorno

Encapsulated in quotes such as the above is the pure devastating influence across history of the Jewish Holocaust during World War 2. As an event of magnitude it becomes hard for one to detach themselves from the large picture of
...more
Becca
Dec 03, 2013 Becca rated it it was amazing
This was not a light read. It was, in fact, a very thought provoking book. The author has done very good research and he makes it very clear what is fact and what is supposition. I really like that in a historical work.

The first half of the book was harder to read because it involved the slow, steady slide into the evils of the holocaust. It was amazing to watch the Jews being transformed from citizens to substandard citizens and eventually to being seen as less than beasts. It all happened gra
...more
Courtney H.
Dec 03, 2013 Courtney H. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookers
Schindler's Ark is a brilliant book. It really shouldn't count as fiction, I suppose; one of the things that I admired about the book is that Keneally was scrupulous in his research. Even the dialogue, though obviously fiction, are constructed from conversations that actually took place. Keneally does not embellish, he does not fictionalize, he does not fudge details to be cleaner, sadder or happier, more romantic or more grim (which, though good, the movie definitely does). It is what it is -- ...more
Travis Lambert
Apr 15, 2011 Travis Lambert rated it did not like it
Michelle and I gave up on Schindler’s List half-way through. Yes, I know, we’re philistines. While its historical and ethical value cannot be denied, I would rather read a history book. It’s just not much in the way of an actual narrative. There is very little personality in the characters and way too many disconnected characters and events. It reads more like a series of anecdotes about different people in the same location, and, worst of all, every page is a bewildering avalanche of names whic ...more
Ana
initially:

I don't know how or why, but in the last two-three months I have been reading a lot of stuff about the War period of the 20th Century and I seem to have this impossible to fulfill desire to know more and more and so much more about the Nazi regime and Hitler and the Holocaust. I also seem to have a gruesome interest in the dirtiest, bloodiest, cruelest tortures that the Jews or any other ethnic were put through.

Maybe I need to see a doctor.

Anyhow, this book was another good reference
...more
Fabian
May 20, 2016 Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was semi familiar with the Schindler legacy--probably seen the film 6 or 7 times. (Isn't it peculiar that although it is regarded as one of the best biographies/films of all time it hardly ever makes it on any person's personal favorites lists? Blame the subject matter ENTIRELY.) So this is basically a reading which concentrates most of its attention on all the details that Spielberg failed to bring to the screen. Because that inevitably occurs with all adaptations.

Well, this is almost an ency
...more
Susan Branch
Dec 03, 2013 Susan Branch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw the movie and had to read this book, based on a true story. It was all there in the book, even the little girl in the red coat. Sad, important, heartbreaking, wonderful book that everyone should read.

On the island where I live (Martha's Vineyard) they took all the kids in the entire high school to see the movie. Took a few days to get everyone in, but they did it. If I didn't already love Steven Spielberg, this did it for me forever. Timeless.
Paul
Aug 19, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: booker-winners
Not an easy book to review or to categorize. Is it fiction, history, a bit of both. Keneally has clearly taken the historical account and stuck to it fairly closely, but has fictionalised the dialogue. It has also been overshadowed by Spileberg's remarkable film.
Schindler did nothing remarkable before or after the war and without his wartime efforts would have been remembered as a womaniser, drinker and bankrupt. However his efforts to save the Jews who worked in his factory and his treatment o
...more
Aubrey
Sep 16, 2014 Aubrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one bridges the gap between reality and fiction in a way matched by few. The circumstances of extraordinary cruelty are only equaled by the unimaginable courage it took to defy it. It's fortunate that the account is written in such a straightforward and clear manner, for the depth of emotion in some of the scenes described is so vast that any obvious attempt of connecting the reader to the emotions would be trivial, if not horribly superficial and presumptive. There need be no high flown wo ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Schindler's List, Thomas Keneally (1935)
عنوان: فهرست شیندلر؛ اثر: تامس کنیلی؛ مترجم: الگا کیایی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نشر سمن، 1379، در 312 ص، شابک: 9646298141؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان استرالیایی قرن 20 م
Sam
Jan 22, 2015 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, biography
This was an incredibly written and thought-provoking book without over powering the reader. The focus of the story on Schindler and the 1100 Jewish people he saved actually makes the Holocaust all the more real as you can relate to each individual person rather than being overcome with the shear numbers of people involved.

The portrayal of Schindler is well written and doesn't preach to the reader about how great a man he was, it simply describes what he did and how he did it and allows the reade
...more
Julia Hughes
Sep 30, 2011 Julia Hughes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: war, true-stories
When I was still in single digits, I asked the fountain of all knowledge (my Dad) why no-one tried to save the jewish people from the death camps during the 2nd WW.
'There was one man, I think his name was Schindler, but what happened to him after the war I don't know. I think he went to Russia. Apparently he was a bit of a playboy.'

I pondered on Schindler's fate a little, and somehow the fact that one man tried to make a difference helped elevate the horror slightly. (I know now that there wer
...more
Melanie
Ok.. I liked this book.. When I first realized it was a biography, I faltered because those aren't usually my cup of tea. And in the first 70p, Oskar Schindler didn't really endear himself to me (can you believe I only vaguely knew who he was? and I live in Switzerland where we have holocaust survivors visiting our high schools!). But throughout the book, you realize that he is a flawed man, but he is a man who did all he could to save those he could save, at great personal risk to himself somet ...more
Oana
Remember that splendid 7 Academy Awards winner movie Schindler's List? Imagine that, the book's even better. A very detailed and well-researched semi-biography, written in a very fluid fiction style, and presenting a lesser angel of mercy but a more flawed everyday human Schindler, this book is a masterpiece. Second reading, still not an easy one. My copy is in Romanian (a surprinsingly good translation by the way), and still it took forever. Though totally worthwhile.
Kiwi
Nov 30, 2015 Kiwi rated it really liked it
A painful testimony of the frailty of human kind, chilling descriptions of torture and abuse and an overwhelming number of stories from the survivors, the lucky ones on Schindler’s list. The main question remains however: why did he do what he did? as a book 3 stars. ...more
Jon
What i liked about it

Im still reeling from it. No matter what you think you know about the Holocaust, or seen in newsreels, it never fails to shock at the sheer scale of it. To say the Jews were treated far worse than livestock is an understatement, I can't even begin to describe their treatment. Like 'The Pianist' this is brought to home even more chillingly when its an account of actual individuals and their testimonies of what happened, what they had to do to survive and who they lost. Bein
...more
Elena
Mar 04, 2013 Elena rated it it was ok
This is one of those rare times when I have to say that I liked the movie better than the book (in fact, I loved the movie, whereas I barely managed to get through the book just because I knew the "story" beforehand). The book seemed to be very dry and full of names and events thrown in. I understand that this is a true story and that the author wanted to remain true to all aspects, but his writing style really did not allow me to become emotionally invested.

While the movie was mostly true to th
...more
Hybrid Creature (devours books instead of brains)
Mar 20, 2016 Hybrid Creature (devours books instead of brains) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: history buffs
“He who saves a single life saves the world entire.”

Anyone who's followed my reviews for awhile will know that I am a fan of all well planned rebellions. Schindler's may be one of the best kind. Working the system from the inside. And of course, for the fact that this was an actual rebellion that saved lives. Not of the fantasy sort that I usually read about.

No need for me to do a run down of the Holocaust. If you skipped history class, well, your education is your own fault and I am under no ob
...more
Katikka
Aug 14, 2015 Katikka rated it it was amazing
I've never seen the movie, so the story was all new for me.
I've read several books of the second world war in the past (and seen many documents), so I know the history behind it all quite well.

Still, this book went straight into my feelings. I can't imagine the horrors these people went through and SURVIVED.
This book is about Oskar Schindler's bravery and witts, how he managed to save over 1100 jewish prisoners during the holocaust. He was no saint in his personal life, and this book stays tru
...more
Laura
A movie was made based on this book.

From IMDb:
In Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.
David Campton
Aug 26, 2011 David Campton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am probably one of the few non-holocaust-deniers in the world to have never seen Spielberg's film of the same name... partly because, right from its cinema release friends "in the know" warned me that if I saw the film I wouldn't "enjoy" the book. Having read the book, and a few reviews of both the book and the film I think I understand what they meant. I hope the film has more of a driving narrative, because, particularly in the first half, the book is episodic and hard-going (hence my scorin ...more
Daniela
Oct 24, 2015 Daniela rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
One of the most powerful books I have ever read. It was impossible just to read it, you have to stop periodically from reading and contemplate about what happened, why happened, what made people act that way. How could be the horrrors that happened in Poland be found out only in 1943 by the jews from Palestine and the genocide was known to the world only when russians hit the polish land? How could history be so blind and how can people still be blind about what happens lately (e.g. the genocide ...more
Sheila
Sep 07, 2010 Sheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oskar Schindler is one person I hope to meet in heaven - and I don't say that often. This book is a must-read for anyone wanting to acquaint themselves with critical facts about the Holocaust, with a heartwarming true story that will make you cry. This tale will restore your faith in humanity. One tip: don't let the constant and heady barrage of German & Polish names & terms put you off, as Schindler's Ark can be a little like reading a history book at times. Simply keep a retractable hi ...more
Mary JL
Mar 13, 2012 Mary JL rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any interested in history or the Holocaust and/or a good character portrait
Shelves: non-fiction
After I saw the movie of Schindler'sList, I sought this book out.

It is incredibly good. Even though I knew the plot basically from the movie, I was still captivated. The book does contains a few details not shown in the movie,btw.

Mr. Keneally's excellent writing style and prose made this an excellent tale of a horrible time and an unusual man. I mean really, Schindler was not the type most people would cast as a hero; yet despite his oh-so-human flaws, he dared to take on the Nazi regime.

Disturb
...more
Cata
Jan 03, 2016 Cata marked it as abandonados  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
dnf. adoro o filme, mas o livro é alta seca
Patrick
There's many words You could use to describe Oskar Schindler.
womanizer, salesman, greedy businessman, a War profiteering man but also a very generous man.
But the word I'd choose is
Hero.
All of these words described Oskar He was far from a saint. But from 1939-45 he saved over 1,100 people from the holocaust and the evils of the Nazi. He wasn't Superman, he couldn't save everyone. But he saved who he could. Under literal life and death circumstances, he spent all of his money to save his worker'
...more
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  • Saville
  • Something to Answer For
  • The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-45
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  • G.
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  • How Late It Was, How Late
  • The Old Devils
  • Treblinka Survivor: The Life and Death of Hershl Sperling
  • Oscar and Lucinda
  • I Escaped from Auschwitz
  • Auschwitz: A New History
  • Rites of Passage (To the Ends of the Earth, #1)
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Thomas Michael Keneally, AO (born 7 October 1935) is an Australian novelist, playwright and author of non-fiction. He is best known for writing Schindler's Ark, the Booker Prize-winning novel of 1982, which was inspired by the efforts of Poldek Pfefferberg, a Holocaust survivor. The book would later be adapted to Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List (1993), which won the Academy Award for Best Pict ...more
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“Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.” 1762 likes
“The principle was, death should not be entered like some snug harbor. It should be an unambiguous refusal to surrender.” 19 likes
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