Ted Hovey's Reviews > The Last of the Just

The Last of the Just by André Schwarz-Bart
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's review
Jun 25, 2012

it was amazing
Read in June, 2012

This is an exceptional book. The story of the persecution of Jews is structured with the legend of the 38 Just Men. From the death of Rabbi Yom Tov Levy in York, England, in 1185, to the end of Ernie Levy's life in the gas chamber at Auschwitz, we follow the sufferings and joys of Jewish people over the centuries, through the lineage of one of the Just Men.

Schwartz-Bart created characters that drew me into the story. He shows human suffering so effectively that I found myself pulling out of the story at times - thankful that I'm not the one suffering the taunts and physical violence the characters in the book endured.

Description is another strength of Schwartz-Bart. The village of Zemyock, in Poland, Stillenstadt in Germany; Paris, France; countryside; home life; conflict with Christian Poles, Germans, and French - all are presented vividly and clearly. It was easy to get into the dream.

Love and hate, us and them, hope and despair, cruelty and compassion, hunger and plenty, comfort and misery - all of these contributed to making this book not only interesting to read, but also informative. I was left wanting to learn more about what happened after the Holocaust.
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