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King of the Jews

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  77 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In what has become a classic novel of the Holocaust, Leslie Epstein dares to explore the excruciating moral dilemma of the Judenrat, the group of Jewish officials who in each ghetto of Europe were forced to collaborate in the destruction of their own people, to choose who was to live and who was to die. It is especially the tale of one such leader, Isaiah Chaim Trumpleman, ...more
Published August 1st 1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1979)
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Mar 06, 2008 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
came across epstein's SAN REMO DRIVE in the new fiction section of the bookstore, and rather than pay hardcover price for a good read, decided to see if the store had his backlist in stock, and found this. almost buried under a dozen highly laudatory blurbs, took a chance and discovered a great work of literary art. based on the polish city of lodz and the sort of puppet leader set up by the nazis to govern/liaison the Jewish ghetto there, epstein paints a teeming, vivid portrait of what it was ...more
Jan 02, 2014 Judy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Could not get into this novel. Characters were not endearing.
I have read many, many books about the holocaust, this novel never gave one the feeling of what people really went through.
The characters came in & out of the story, I felt I was tripping over them and had to try to remember who was who, which got to be tiring.
Mar 30, 2008 Msgold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this novel, we are transported to a Jewish Ghetto during Nazi times. The people are divided and arguing over how to handle almost everything, from small issues to major decisions.

At times I did not keep track of all the characters and I had to go back to remember who a person was. However, I kept reading because the suspense was very great. I wanted to know what would happen to these people.
Kelsey Jo
Apr 09, 2010 Kelsey Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A complicated read at points, this work of fiction offers an inside look at the inner working of the ghettos and the decisions Jewish leaders were forced to make and the effects it had on their communities. While I loved the book, it is certainly not for everyone. Only the patient reader can truly enjoy this slow paced novel.
Rachel Ban
This book was a really painful read because of the subject matter. It gives an interesting perspective on the difficulties members of the Judenrat balancing trying to save people's lives while meeting the demands of the Nazi's. A dammed if you do, dammed if you don't dilemma.
2.5 stars

A bit slow paced and it could be difficult to keep track of the characters. Not as much action as I would have liked, but it played with some very interesting ideas regarding life in the Jewish ghettos during WWII.
Denelle Swaim
Feb 20, 2013 Denelle Swaim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No book I read in college has stayed with me as long. If faced with an impossible choice, what would you do? It may not be what you think. What SHOULD you do? Your opinion may change after reading this book.
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