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Schindler's Ark

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  129,835 ratings  ·  2,033 reviews
The basis for the Oscar-winning Spielberg movie, this novel recreates the story of Oskar Schindler, an Aryan who risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland.
Paperback, 429 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Sceptre (first published January 1st 1982)
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Alex Brown 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)
Danger Prone Daphne My 13 yearold son was assigned this book as a book club and it is not appropriate for 13 yearolds nor is it accessible. It is 99% narration, only 1%…moreMy 13 yearold son was assigned this book as a book club and it is not appropriate for 13 yearolds nor is it accessible. It is 99% narration, only 1% dialogue, dense, word-filled pages, high vocabular and complex sentences. He has a lexile in the 1300 range and this is supposedly 1150 - but this is not a book for kids. I'm only on page 101, but it has been dry information dump after information dump, all fact telling interspersed with plausible reasoning behind Schindler and other's actions. It reads more like a biography or textbook and I don't see how it is considered a novel.(less)

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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  129,835 ratings  ·  2,033 reviews

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K.D. Absolutely
Aug 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 (born 193
May 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was sort of familiar with the Schindler legacy--probably seen the film 5 or 6 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 that concentrates most of its attention on all the details that Steven Spielberg failed to bring to the screen. Because that inevitably occurs with all adaptations.

Well, t
Ahmad Sharabiani
Schindler's Ark = Schindler's List, Thomas Keneally
Schindler's Ark (released in America as Schindler's List) is a Booker Prize-winning historical fiction novel published in 1982 by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally, which was later adapted into the highly successful movie Schindler's List directed by Steven Spielberg. The United States version of the book was called Schindler's List from the beginning; it was later re-issued in Commonwealth countries under that name as well. The novel wa
Shirley Revill
I read this book some time ago and I also watched the movie. I am not ashamed to say that this book and the film made me cry. Such a terrible time in our history when so much suffering was caused to so many. Thank God for people such as this who risked there own lives to save others.
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 st
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this after the wonderful movie came out in 1993.
"The list is an absolute good. The list is life. All around its cramped margins lies the gulf."

The story behind the book which brought the story of Oskar Schindler to the world is almost as interesting as the story of Schindler himself. In October 1980, Thomas Keneally - already an established and successful Australian author - found himself looking for a new briefcase at the end of his book tour in southern California, the last stop before returning home to Sydney. Fate led him to a luggage store o
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a monumental piece of writing this turned out to be the research alone would have been prodigious. It does my head in just thinking of the time and money Thomas Keneally must have spent in gathering all the information needed to put this worthy story on paper.

What a horrendous experience the Holocaust must have been, not only for the Jews who’s tenuous hold on life hung by a thread most days of the week and they had to injure this situation for years, but for people Like Oscar S
Jenna Walker
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 C.
Oskar Schindler is a legend for all men, women and children who have crossed his path in the Krakow ghetto, or later in the labor and extermination camps.
"Oskar had taken on the appearance of the god of deliverance, a double sided god according to Greek mythology, a god crippled vices, resourceful, subtly powerful, and can save lives in such a way as effective free . "
Steven Spielberg’s movie of this book is so well known, I scarcely need to introduce the book or its central protagonist, the Sudeten German Oskar Schindler (1908 – 1974). That he saved the lives of 1,200 holocaust victims is today common knowledge. That he was a womanizer, a bon viveur and a wheeler and dealer is well known too. He is “the flawed hero”. He was a Catholic who saved the lives of Jews during the Second World War.

“He who saves a single life, saves the whole world.”

Rebecca McNutt
Schindler's Ark is hands-down one of the most inspirational stories I've ever read. The author does a remarkable job at capturing such a powerful time in history, and at capturing Schindler as well. As the book points out, Schindler wasn't perfect, he had his flaws, but the atrocities of war opened his eyes and he did something so brave that most people would never be able to imagine. Despite being a member of the Nazi Party, he used this position as a guise to secretly save the lives of over a tho ...more
Jill Hutchinson
Made into an award winning film, Schindler's List (original title Schindler's Ark) is an intense biographical novel about Oskar Schindler and the Jews that worked for him during WWII.

Schindler was an industrialist who was obviously interested in making as much profit as possible from his contracts with the Nazi government. He had the Jews of the Cracow ghetto at his disposal for his labor force and used them in several of his factories. Most manufacturers worked their people to near death and t
Apr 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jonathan Terrington

""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 upwards of 6 millio/>Theodore
Travis Lambert
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
Marnie  Krüger
2017 Reading Challenge
This year I'm doing a Reading Challenge; so I have 26 books with specific subjects that I need to read.
Book 5: A non- Fiction book

I'm really conflicted about this book.

I don't like the Holocaust, I don't like these stories about it and most of all I don't like what was done to those poor people.
But still I read these book - why do I do it to myself?
This book was really depressing for me, I don't even know what I would have done in a situation like that.

The thing is this book was well written, and I love the perspective form which the story was tolread.
Roman Clodia
Only 3-stars for this respected 'novel' which won the Booker? I'm so tempted to mark it up because the story deserves to be read by everyone, and the massive amount of research that clearly went into it is tremendous... but as a book? I have to say that I struggled.

Firstly, this isn't, of course, fiction - the story of how Keneally learned about Schindler through a chance meeting with Poldek Pfefferberg has been told in Searching for Schindler, a memoir which is brilliant on Poldek and the res
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great book. Definitely in my top 5 Man Booker winners that I have read so far. Amazingly the book was only written when Keneally went into a store in LA and got talking to Poldek Pfefferberg one of the survivors. He had been trying for years to get a book or movie made. Thanks to his and the authors efforts he succeeded with both.

Schindler was no saint but he had what was lacking in a lot of Germans in WW2, a conscience. He enjoyed mistresses, partying and was a wizard on the black market. He
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is dedicated by a Jew and Zionist Until Death, myself! , To the Righteous among the Nations, those Gentiles who have stood by the Jewish Nation in times of travail and murder, and those who continue to stand by Jews and Israel, in these frightening and sombre times of today.
Many people have wondered how the nation that gave us such great contributors to humanity, such as the Statesman Frederick the Great, the poet and writer Johan Goethe, and musicians such as Bach and Beethove
Gumble's Yard
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
“To write these things now is to state the commonplaces of history. But to find them out in 1942, to have them break upon you from a June sky, was to suffer a fundamental shock, a derangement of that area of the brain in which stable ideas about humankind and its possibilities are kept”

I read this book for the 2019 Mookse Madness Tournament, which also gave me the chance to add another Booker winner to my list.

I came to this book new – not having seen the film “Schindler’s List”
Courtney H.
Mar 14, 2012 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
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ww2, holocaust
Why do I read Holocaust books?

Firstly, because we must never forget.

But also because they shed light on, and raise questions about, human nature. And I find that fascinating, compelling, and disturbing.

What would I have done if I had been there, at that time, as a Jew, a witness, or a soldier? Would I have been a Schindler...?

An excellent book.
I imagine if you are considering reading this than you're already aware of the story of Oskar Schindler.

This is a gut wrenching novel to read in parts, the human suffering and cruelty that occurred was horrendous. At heart a story of good versus evil resilience and survival and at face value a very unlikely "hero."

Another from the Boxall 1000 list.
Nusrat Mahmood
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
books which show an act of kindness are my favorites.... and so does Mr. Schindler.
28/6 - This took me so long to read, not because of its content (on which I am reasonably well read and am no longer shocked by the things that were done) because of how dense it was. It seems to be a peculiar feature of non-fiction books that they often tend to have fewer paragraphs, page breaks, or chapters, leaving the reader to deal with many pages completely filled with text with nothing to break it up. The end result for me was that a book of this length, which would usually take me a week ...more

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
Wayne Barrett

This is one of those cases where I watched the movie before reading the book. And this is also one of those rare cases where the movie was so much better than the book. I think I would have liked the book even less if I had not seen the movie because there were areas in the story that I recognized because of the movie. The movie version gave me an image that was dramatic and memorable whereas the book was impersonal, reading like a reference manual.
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Paula W
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me both disgusted and proud to be part of the human race. It took me months to finish. It wasn’t an easy read for me, for several reasons. I had to put it down for days/weeks at a time. But I am so happy I finished it.

Although Schindler initially protected his Jewish factory workers out of concern for profit, he eventually ended up spending his entire fortune to protect them. Like Mrs. Obama said in her recent memoir, it’s hard to hate up close. Regardless of your beliefs or what
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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 Picture. ...more
“Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.” 1824 likes
“The principle was, death should not be entered like some snug harbor. It should be an unambiguous refusal to surrender.” 24 likes
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