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Irina's Eye

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Irina's Eye was chosen as Semi-Finalist in the 2006 William Faulkner Writing Competition for Unpublished Novels--

"Bohemian border with Bavaria, West Germany, 1948
He should have known. If only he had trusted his intuition. That was the problem, telling the difference between intuition and fear, and he was not about to give into fear. There was no time; they had to flee and
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Published September 2nd 2011 by
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Evgnossia O'Hara
The story follows Vaclav and his undying love for a Jewish girl, who was killed during the Second World War. Clearly, Vaclav and Irina, both age fifteen, flee from Bohemia behind the Iron Curtain. Irina is shot and falls. Vaclav flees into West Germany, travelling to Rome and to New York in his quest for spiritual enlightenment and freedom from the guilt that haunts him for his soulmate Irina's fate.

A well written story with a great plot line. Overall it was an addictive and awe-inspiring read.
J. Kahele
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Right from the beginning we learn the real story behind the title. It was very cleverly thrown into the mix of a simple sentence. But it had a strong and great meaning.

The story of a Vazlav and his love for a Jewish girl that he would protect, literally with his life. From the Nazis to the communist regime of Czechoslovakia, they struggle down some hard roads.
But it is only Vazlav who escapes the prejudicial terror and finds home in New York. But no matter how many loves he find, he always think
Matt Galyon | readsandcoffee
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Irina’s Eye chronicles the story of Vaclav, a Czechoslovakian immigrant to New York City. From his daring escape from behind the Iron Curtain with his first love Irina, throughout his travels in Europe, til eventually landing in America, this is a tale of (not always positive) personal development, discovery, sex, passion, religion, betrayal, and ultimately finding oneself.

A dark tale, Irina’s Eye isn’t for everyone. As a huge fan of historical fiction, this book was immensely appealing. While I
Maya Amlin
Irina's Eye by HW Freedman is a beautiful supernatural book, formed in the contemporary times. Within the first few chapters itself, the significance of the title becomes clear. And I think that was a huge thing because it takes a lot to crack the title of a novel otherwise (most of the times). The book showcased the love of a young Catholic boy for a Jewish girl at a time when Nazis were in power. It talks of a time when there was little to survive and yet, somehow, he always did.

The story sta
Chetana Thakur Chakraborty
A Historical Fiction is defined as a novel in which a story is made up but is set in the past and sometimes borrows true characteristics of the time period in which it is set.

H.W. Freedman has beautifully penned a historical fiction, 'Irina's Eye'. The story revolves around Vaclav Bezek, a Czech guy, who fled Czechoslovakia along with Irina, a Jewess, whom he was in love with. They wanted to escape behind the Iron Curtain, from a turbulent Eastern Europe, which was under the influence of USSR d
Mugdha Mahajan
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
“His entire life from that moment to the present now faded in significance”

This book was in effect two stories – that of Vaclav’s escape from Bohemia in 1948 and the chronicle of his life up to the late 1960s, together with the story of how his life is impacted by the Irina’s eye of the title. The story follows Vaclav and his undying love for a Jewish girl, who was killed during the Second World War. While escaping their country, Irina is shot and falls. Vaclav flees into West Germany, travellin
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Irina’s Eye is a story of a young Czech lad Vaclav Bezek who while fleeing from a repressive rule in his country witnesses the death of his partner Irina. As he tries to help her, Irina’s eye pops out and drops on his hand and, this scene haunts him throughout his life.

The plot progresses with Vaclav’s trials and tribulations throughout his journey as an immigrant, a priest and as an actor. This intriguing narration discusses the impact of war and repressive rule on the population as well as on
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This book has been on my tbr pile for way too long. But finally I finished reading it 2 days back. I took so long to post this review, as I needed to assimilate my thoughts about this wonderful piece that I have read.
A beautifully written historical fiction, classic and psychological thriller. I personally love historical fiction, and the dates and all other historic facts just added to the story and kept me interested. An emotional page turner, which I couldn't keep down even for a minute. I
Aishwarya Rathor
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A classic, very well written and unpredictable.
The story of World War II. The story of Vaclav and Irina, wanting to get away from Eastern Europe.
Set in the historian times, the book is well written and scrutinized. The story smoothly oscillates between two time periods.
Filled with emotions and warmth, the book is a must read for those who like period books.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Irina’s eye is a story that first and foremost deserves to be applauded for it’s theme and the conveyance of the emotion that sits clear behind the title right from the first chapter.

There is always a danger of disconnect when you are playing with timelines, especially if it’s early on in the story and the reader is yet to make sense of the overall plot. The risk of confusion stands however, in the case of this book I found simultaneous shift of timeline’s easier to navigate than most books. It
Babus Ahmed
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Whilst trying to escape from Czechoslovakia after WW2, Vaclav Bezek is unable to save Irina who is shot by the soldiers. As he holds her she is shot again and her eye falls into his hand. Before this shot she told him to run and Vaclav does, ever since living with the guilt of Irina's death.

Vaclav eventually finds himself in America and the book tells us the story from his past in Czechoslovakia and his subsequent escape and journey to the States as well as his present story as a thespian. Vacl
Uday Singh
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are some books that get banned, then there are some books that never even get a chance to see the daylight. This book is from the latter category which has been waiting for years to be published for the world to read. And for sure, it didn’t disappoint anyone.

The story follows Vaclav and his undying adoration for a Jewish young girl, who was killed amid the Second World War.

This book narrates the story of Vaclav’s escape from Bohemia in 1948 and the annal of his life up to the late 1960s,
Misfits farm
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the story of Vaclav who during the war tried to escape with his Jewish girlfriend Irina. Irina was shot and Vaclav thought her eye fell into his hand. Ever since then, whenever he has sex he sees Irina’s eye in his hand and it enhances his pleasure. The story flits between the time in the prison camp and his current life with his new girlfriend Sara. This almost has elements of the supernatural, at least parts that even until the end you are not sure if are real to Vaclav or if he has im ...more
Anshul Goel
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book written by H.W. Freedman is truly phenomenal. It mesmerized me completely and I doubt that this is the Author’s debut novel. This book is a story about Vaclav who is a citizen of Czech and his undying love for Irina. Set in the period of World War II, this book is everything a history loved would love to read. Vaclav used to live with his mom in Kdyne later joined by Irina her childhood friend. Irina and Vaclav spent a lot of time together in their childhood and soon developed feelings ...more
Titirsha Bhattacharya
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
At the age of 15 Vaclav and Irina flee from the iron curtain. But as they were about to cross the No man's land Irina got shot in the back. Vaclav went to help her but as he takes her in his arm another bullet hits Irina. She orders Vaclav to go, he in utter dilemma put her down gently on the ground and started running. After sometime when he realizes he was came beyond the reach of the army he felt something on his hand. As he opens his claw he f
Suswagata Mukhaty
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set in the post World War II period, the story revolves around the character of Vaclav Bezek, a Czech, who escapes his hometown along with his soul mate Irina, a Jewess, in hope of a better life as they leave behind a world under the influence of USSR. As the two fifteen year olds try to escape from behind the Iron Curtain, due to the sudden unfortunate turn of events Irina is shot. Now leaving behind Irina, Vaclav runs for his life -something that haunts him for the rest of his life- and succee ...more
Kumar Rahul
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book itself is awesome and I love the story. It will keep you engrossed for days. Novel is really good. Age old tug of war between world war and one country to another country is explored brilliantly. Author will not only give you historical glimpse but also he will make you explore philosophical realms of creation. The book can be named among the most prominent works of the writer. With the backdrop of world war and provision of an answer to the life's most important questions, Freedman wil ...more
Tugcé Knowles
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This novel is about Vaclav who tries to escape with his Jewish girlfriend Irina from the world war II in Czechoslovakia. He is the only one who manages to escape from this war and finds his home in New York, but he never forgets about Irina. No matter how many loves he finds, Irina is always in his mind.

We follow Vaclav through his escape from the war, his new life in New York and throughout this journey, we can watch his inner world and see how he is dealing with the loss of Irina.

The story cha
Dilip Chauhan
May 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Copy provided from author for honest review.
Okay, I am thankful to author for providing me the copy of the book, but i understood it was not my cup of coffee. Somehow I finished reading it. As I promised for honest review.

Plot - ⭐⭐
Character - ⭐
Narration - ⭐
Pace of story - ⭐⭐⭐
Over all ratings - ⭐⭐

Review -
I thought it would be a historical fiction, but I was wrong.
It's a story about a sick basterd who think woman are just an object of pleasure and sex.
This guy want so fuck Evey woman he sees
Riddhi Gupta
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reality or delusion!
A memory , a fragrance, a feeling beyond words .. a boy , a man , a friend. World is on fire , countries are on war . An artist fighting his inner self. A man in love , a man who cannot forget . His quest to find himself .
Irina's eye is the first book of it's kind I have ever read and am glad that I did. You will fall in and out of love with Valcav . You will sympathize with him , you will yell at him. You would want to hit him hard , you would want to hold him and cry . This
 Elektra | My Trending Books

I had such high expectations of this book. I hate to say it but I was disappointed. The story started strong and had a lot of promising but towards the middle, it kinda lost its focus. I felt it was like an autobiography. The main character it seemed pretty humane like in the real world "humane". In the story, you went back and forth with timelines and slowly was revealed the future/past. I think it would have worked better
Marina Ovchinnikova
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is a lot of books about the Second World War, but there is a special theme about generation which were born at this time. This generation lived their best and carefree age while the most terrible war in the world history. The story of the escape of two teenagers from Czechoslovakia to West Germany was the beginning of their life in "freedom", but the escape was only half successful and the girlfriend of the main hero - Irina was shot by border guards.
20 years after escape Vaclav's life be
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a review. I found it to be a very compelling story. It follows the journey of Vaclav Bezel, from a young age where, while attempting to flee Czechoslovakia at the end of WWII, he loses his friend and first love, Irina. The amount of guilt from Irina’s death follows him several years and thousands of miles into the 1960s, where he is working as an actor in New York, having a tumultuous affair with a significantly younger woman. Vaclav is a complicat ...more
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a captivating novel, which combines history and a truly entrancing fictional story about young love, death and understanding of one’s self. Irina’s Eye is told in two different times periods. In my personal opinion, using this literary device can sometime detract from the story/novel. That was not the case for this book; I found it wonderfully crucial to this story.

Throughout the story you follow Vaclav and his escape from Czechoslovakia, his new life in New York, and his dealing with
The story is staged on a historical narrative walking us through the vicinage of a picturesque psychological thriller.

Vaclav and Irina, try to flee Czechoslovakia, in their attempt to reach West Germany- to live their life peacefully, Irina is fatally shot at by the guards. Her last words asking Vaclav to leave her.
Vaclav follows her last wish; leaving her behind; he escapes.
Vaclav life’s takes him to America via Rome- in search of a better livelihood.

But, what he’s not able to find is peace.
Urvashi Jain
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Name- Irina's Eye
Author- H. W. Freedman
Genre- Historical Fiction, Psychological Thriller
Pages- 191

Irina's Eye is an interesting page turner, authored by H. W. Freedman. Set in the period of World War II, it is the love story of Vaclav and Irina.

Teenagers, Irina and Vaclav escape Czechoslovakia to reach West Germany to be able to live in peace but Irina is shot by the border guards and Vaclav makes the escape alone. He is guilt-ridden for leaving his love to die in the middle of nowhere. The stor
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Captivating and cleverly written novel. An author reveals the story behind the name of the book in the very first chapter. As Vaclav's story goes back and forth between 1948 and 1968, it unveils the reason behind his character.

Fifteen-year-old Vaclav escapes Czechoslovakia in 1948, leaving behind his widowed mother. His best friend, and love of his life Irina is by his side. However the bullets they run from strikes Irina. Her last word to Vaclav is "Go!". A scared young boy leaves his lover beh
Hannah May Book Reviews
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Irina's Eye
Author: H.W Freedman
Pages: 191

Vaclav falls in love with his Jewish best friend Irina who resides with him and his mother Lenka. After World War II, they attempt to escape together but unfortunately Irina is shot twice, one bulleting resulting in her loosing in her eye. Vaclav leaves Irina and carries on without her after she commands him to go. Vaclav never recovers from losing the love of his life despite his best efforts to make a new life for himself in New York.

Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Probably the only book I have read after Shakespeare (long time back) which has a story written with an intent of to be a play on stage. Or at least that’s what I thought of. The whole time I was reading this book jumping from timeline to timeline, it felt like a potpourri of dramatics in it. The plot, soliloquy, Exposition, a climax, characterisation etc. Read the following review of Irina’s Eye to know more.

There are two story lines in the book. The one is the narration during the times of pos
Christine -  LifeWithAllTheBooks
This story has pretty intense and violent start. The reader is thrown straight into the action that defines the rest of the book. We see immediately the intense connection that the main character Vaclav has to Irina, the supposed love of his life. We also very quickly realise the close relationship Vaclav has with his mother. I really liked this closeness and I found the chapter from his mother’s point of view fascinating and emotional. I also found the look at what life was like for the people ...more
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Harris born in Brooklyn, NY, has lived in Europe since 1985. He holds both British and U.S.A. nationalities. His feature-length screenplay, Broken Thread, was produced in 2007 by Deepak Nayar (Bend it Like Beckham; Buena Vista Social Club; Bride and Prejudice). His full-length plays have been produced in the UK, including London and the Edinburgh Festival, in the USA, including Off-Broadway, and i ...more

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