Intriguing premise that kept me reading and held my interest until the end. An author can't ask for more than that, really. A good job from Mark Frost...moreIntriguing premise that kept me reading and held my interest until the end. An author can't ask for more than that, really. A good job from Mark Frost. (less)
I've read countless books on the holocaust. I've taken classes on Genocide. The pages I've read and absorbed on hate, suffering and the amazing will t...moreI've read countless books on the holocaust. I've taken classes on Genocide. The pages I've read and absorbed on hate, suffering and the amazing will to survive will never leave me. Books on Hitler. Nazis. Speer. Höss. Goebbels. Even Eva. Germany. France. Russia. Hungary. Poland. Ghettos. Stars. Treblinka. Sobibor. Ravensbruk. Dachau. And of course, Auschwitz. I've been there. I've made that climb to the Eagles Nest and viewed that panoramic sky. It's downright evil that such a place of beauty ever gave Adolf and those close to him even a momentary speck of solace.
Yet, as ever, there are still stories to be told. Things to be learned. Misinformation to be debunked and sorted out as new found information comes to light. The learning continuum relentlessly rolls on. Even regarding such a heavily reported subject as this.
The Washington Post has this to say about the British Award Winning author and filmmaker Laurence Rees on his book "Auschwitz:"
"[Rees]...does at the gut level what Hannah Arendt achieved forty years ago...forcing the reader to shift the Holocaust out of the realm of nightmare or Gothic horror and acknowledge it as something all to human."
Laurence Rees, with his insightful, probing book into Nazi Germany and the Concentration Camps, the Guards and SS Officers who ran them, particulary Auschwitz, won the History Book of the Year Award in Britian in 2006 as well as a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for writing, producing, and directing a series of his book. He Is the only person to of been awarded this dual distinction.
If you think you know all there is all to know about Auschwitz, think again. This book has a lot to offer.
If you know you don't know enough about the holocaust, read this book. Hey, pick any book. If you don't understand the insidious nature of Genocide: The Armenian genocide, Rawanda, Darfur, Bosnia; start educating yourself. Genocides abound. What they have in common is a slow eerily-quiet beginning, before ascending. It need never happen. It must never happen. Not again. (less)
Read in the early eighties, this was a book that affected me in a profound, deeply personal way. Styron, along with so many authors of his generation,...moreRead in the early eighties, this was a book that affected me in a profound, deeply personal way. Styron, along with so many authors of his generation, were the guides of the map that charted the course of a winding, long path. I found myself to be one of the willing seekers to their grail, inhaling all as I followed along.
There I was, traipsing, skipping, meandering, flying, all the while, reading words into song, and these were from the Masters, these Mozart's and Beethoven's and Liszt's of STORY, they being ones I thought Immortal, crafting words into song that began with premise, then hit that high note, thus fulfilling their promise of a story sung to it's ultimate completion.
Note: This is me making reflections as I am now, at fifty, looking back at the me I was then, at twenty: To me, these sung words of story were not only akin to but actually WERE *better* than opera—Uris, Mailer, Heller, Roth, Oates, Irving, Hemingway—I could go on, naming, forever and a day.
William Styron was a part of this group. Giants, all of them. This is one book *not the movie* the book, all readers should read.
If you find yourself sitting on the fence regarding THISMASTERPIECE or this is one that you have been considering; yet still, there you sit atop that fence, holding back for whatever inconceivable reason, here's my attempt to tempt with a slight curve into coercion, call it a shade of persuasion when I say please —consider this:
Was Awarded The Pulitzer Prize Was Awarded The National Book Award Is On The Guardian's 1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read (Annotated List) Is 82 On Le Monde's 100 Books Of The Century (Annotated List) Is 56 in Best English Language Fiction Of The 20th Century (Annotated List) Is 92 In Modern Library's 100 Best Novels: The Boards List (Annotated List)
Word lovers of The World Unite! Zusak's words are pure delight. His playful patterns, cadence and rythym create such a jubilation to the senses, for...more Word lovers of The World Unite! Zusak's words are pure delight. His playful patterns, cadence and rythym create such a jubilation to the senses, for those of us who find the divine in linguistic uniqueness. Pretty awesome when "Death," a Soul Carrier, is the narrator of what is, at the core, an oft told tale we all know too well, that of a world filled with naught but heartbreak, bleakness and woe. While some readers do not "take" to Zusak's combination of "Death," books, the love of books, the theft of books, along with genius word play and a young girl orphaned not by fate, really, as I prefer to call it Hate. The Hate so unfathomed, by any standard of normal, Hitlers Hate. And yes, she's a thief. She steals books. Not many, but she does catch the eye of Death, who takes no small pleasure watching her grow, all the while taking in her mettle, as she, whether guided by fate, hate or destiny certainly has the misfortune, as does a continent, as does the Soul Carrier, as do millions of souls, to be one of those immersed in the carnage of WWII. Markus Zusak pulls this off with aplomb. He's my kind of writer, that's one thing I do know for sure.(less)
"Under Total Eclipse We Will Tremble Like Birds Without Song" by Lee Vidor 5***** Amazon Kindle $3.99 leevidor.com One can also purchase "The Auschwitz Ch...more"Under Total Eclipse We Will Tremble Like Birds Without Song" by Lee Vidor 5***** Amazon Kindle $3.99 leevidor.com One can also purchase "The Auschwitz Chapter for .99 *In Ms. Vidors prologue she states "that although the characters are fictional virtually every specific incident this story is fully documented as having occurred in occupied Europe during WW2." She goes on to thank Dina Mironovna Wasserman, for her written eyewitness testimony of what took place at Babi Yar Ravine in Kiev, Ukraine on September 29-30, 1941. From the over 30,000 brutally slain in that two day period, she was the lone survior. The title comes from a poem that she has, I assume, written & given the honor to one of the Sonderkommandos as having scratched above the burning furnace at Auschwitz. He would of been one, who for a moment, retained a shred a shred of humanity in a world where evil rules. Sonderkommandos, fellow Jews given a few extra rations to handle the unthinkable death chores Auschwitz required, such as putting "freight" straight from the showers, (after been picked over for useful materials such as gold teeth, skin for lamp shades, hair for felt, bones for their minerals, contraband in or upon ones corpse) then efficiently hooked into the the blazing furnaces. "This metal door will not keep us in silence We will not remain shut inside these flames Under total eclipse. Tear down the skies Put out the stars Let no birds fly over Auschwitz Let there be no singing here Let nothing exsist in this place Through all the ages of man to come Except the awesome grief Of what has been learned here Let nothing grow at Auschwitz Nothing Except the will never to forget Never Of the darkness in the human heart Ours Which can put out even the sun Forever" This book was very intense. It was a very hard read only due to the subject matter & it's a vivid retelling in the hands of Lee Vidor. She holds nothing back, no sugarcoating here. But her words are magical, like a song. It is, at it's heart, a love story. And a story of heroes and patriots. The setting is a small coastal town in France Cherbourg, France, very strategic for the German occupiers. The story is about the people of this small town, who have known one another for a lifetime, but this war changes everything & everyone. Our hero & heroine are Ellen Provost, a young schoolteacher who has lost her husband & young son in the early stage of the war & can find no meaning in life. Paul Giraud, a member of The French Resistance has been sent from Paris to Cherbourg for his own safety & to start up a splinter cell along with his Parisian friend, Marc. It is the story of Suzanne, Ellens beloved, playful sister. She is thought to be "loose" by many but her loyalty is the true testament of her character. Rachels story is the testimony of what occurred at Babi Yar Ravine. Hard to stomach. Ruth, ahhhh, poor Ruth. Many times I had to just put this book down and breathe. But at the same time I feel the authors love and tenderness emanate through every word. She was invested 100% through their greatest joy down to their ultimate, inevitable, overwhelming, sorrow. She makes you love, as much as she does, some of these townspeople of Cherbourg. Fighting so valiantly a war that no chance of success, except in ones own moral conscious. I wonder, would I, could I, ever be so brave? Not in my mind or my heart. But in real action. THATS why we read things like this and we say....Never Forget....so no one is ever put to that kind of test. Never. No One. This is one I will never forget. (less)
Grade A-World Class Fiction (based on what we all know is factual information, however disturbing it is to our psyches) Benioff captures the voices of...moreGrade A-World Class Fiction (based on what we all know is factual information, however disturbing it is to our psyches) Benioff captures the voices of his two young men, Lev and Kolya, not only for WHO they are, but where they are, in geography, in time and in situation so absolutely perfect, they could be in 3D and not flat letters on a page or on a screen. Simply breathtaking in sadness, joy and scope. (less)