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A Scrap of Time and Other Stories
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A Scrap of Time and Other Stories

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  221 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
A Scrap of Time is a haunting collection of stories about life in Poland during World War II.
These shattering stories describe the lives of ordinary people as they are compelled to do the unimaginable.
Paperback, 165 pages
Published June 21st 1995 by Northwestern University Press (first published January 1st 1985)
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Paul Bryant
Mar 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
These bitter glimpses of the Holocaust in Poland ring like small folorn bells tolling us all to hell. I'll give you one example. In "The Key Game" there's a couple and their three year old boy. They finish dinner, it's late, 10 at night, but before the boy goes to bed he has to play the Key Game. They have been playing it every night for two weeks and the boy still hasn't got it right. The problem is not the boy, it's the father who just isn't quick enough. The game starts. The mother calls out ...more
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Powerful book. A series of short stories based on actual events, that is, the event gave rise to the story, but the author, Ida Fink, never names names. She wanted to preserve the privacy of these individuals.

Now I've read a lot of Holocaust literature, starting with 'Anne Frank' when I was quite young. I've read Primo Levi and Art Spiegelman; Elie Weisel and others. My father was a GI during WWII; he was at Normandy; he was among the GIs who liberated the camps. However, when I first asked him
Terri Lynn
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is stunning. It is a slim volume of short stories set in Poland during the Holocaust and are slices of that experience that the author and others shared. They are not long stories and were finely written and unusual. They don't come out in your face and say "Holocaust in Poland" but break your heart nonetheless with people knowing what is coming and facing it such as a family with a preschooler who is prepared to answer the door to Nazis and give his dad time to hide, telling the Nazis ...more
Jan 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Wow -- this book was very heavy. Of course, I expected that, but oh! this was hard to read. Maybe because it covered so many scenarios? Each of them painful. I read the first half or so in one sitting and then took a break to read another book. Came back and finished it, and then thought a lot about my review. It's hard to just write a short "review" of the book, isn't it? These were real people. It was good to take a breath between each chapter.

I think we must read things like this, no matter h
Yani Daniele
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
si no fuera porque son relatos sobre personas reales, personas que han sobrevivido a hechos tremendos, quizás este libro no me hubiera llamado la atención y probablemente lo hubiera calificado de otra forma. Como dije antes, a diferencia de la mayoría de los libros sobre el Holocausto que nos narran la vida en los campos de concentración, este nos cuenta el comienzo de todo, como de la tensión se pasó a la guerra, nos cuentan como fueron los primeros días en que empezaron a suceder cosas horribl ...more
Read this so you know... and never forget how horrid humanity can be.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Title Review: Moments captured and revealed

I discovered this beautiful novel through a Holocaust online class I took through; really recommend it by the way. I learned so much and my knowledge on Holocaust literature has expanded enormously. This was the last novel assigned in the course, and now that I have read it, I can understand why.

This is a compilation of short stories related to the Holocaust capturing specific moments. Through the series of fictional stories, the author cl
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Wow, amazing stories! So emotionally heavy and dramatizing but so wonderfully written that they are light like feathers. The author is incredibly talented storyteller, the reading is so easy and quick but the effect is proportionally opposite. The book imbues you with that desperation, fear and numbness of death without even depicting actual bestiality of that bloody mess. Ida Fink is a real master and if you want to tickle your nerves with something true and horrifying better read her then Step ...more
Matthew Berkshire
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Amazing. Told in simple language that belies the harsh reality. It makes reading of sad events worse that it's told so beautifully and contradicts the message that beauty can't exist in a world where such ugliness lies. The author is so efficient with her words, that many of these stories can be considered small masterpieces, like tiny Netherlandish devotional paintings.
Alana Cash
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I would give this book a "10" if Amazon ratings went that high. The writing is engaging, personal, and intelligent. The powerful stories are set during the Nazi era and in each story, the protaganist is always a Jew trying to survive that brutality or sometimes with great pathos, sometimes with cowardice, sometimes with delusion - always with fear and sadness. Each story is different and deserves to be considered for a while before beginning the next one.
Sandy Korom
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazingly touching and real
Maurizio Manco
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Ci sono pensieri che allo sguardo estraneo appassiscono, che vengono feriti dal respiro altrui, annullati dalla minima incrinatura nella solitudine." (p. 169)
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love short stories, but to read what people had to go through.. with the torturing and abuse!! So very sad and heartbreaking.
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a fabulous book about life in Poland under Nazi occupation and terror. It consists of short stories about events which the author experienced, or which which were related to her by others. In the introduction, she explains how her and others' sense of time was altered from our typical time sense of hours, days, weeks, months to experiencing time in terms of Nazi "aktions" - "before the first "aktion", "after the second aktion" etc. How their lives came to revolve not around agricultural ...more
A compelling collection of stories from Holocaust survivors. It really brings home the horrors of the time for those of us lucky enough to have not directly experienced WWII. It is not an easy read, but a profound and moving one. I sent it on a BookCrossing bookring and the participants comments are worth reading as well.
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This collection of short stories is nothing less than profound. Sometimes the story is grotesque, sometimes it is beautiful, and often it is both. Each story narrows the perspective on the war and the Holocaust in a unique and detailed way. I want to just start from the beginning and read it again.
Nov 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book.
I sat down & read it in an afternoon & it really touched me.
It really was just little scraps of time- chunks of lives from people involved in the Holocaust. Some of the stories connected, some of them didn't, but all of them were very human.
I would recommend this to anyone.
Jul 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A colleague at work loaned me this book and I can't believe I have never heard of Fink before. The stories are short and powerful. Her writing reminds me of a combination of Bruno Schulz and Sandra Cisneros. I savored the every story.
Apr 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
These short stories about the Holocaust were at times difficult to read, but certainly worth the time for the incredible insight into the minds and lives of the people affected by the tragedy. The stories offered a full range of emotions - all sobering but pierced by hope, anger, fear, resolve...
Apr 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a collection of fictional short stories describing the Jewish experience during the Holocaust. It is thoughtfully arranged and causes the reader to reflect on the words written, as well as those words that are not written (what is the purpose to their omission).
Aug 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Beautiful and painful - an exquisite collection of short stories that raise holocaust literature to a high standard. As eloquent as they are simple - nothing gratuitous in this array of perspectives on the nature of humanity and of evil in the world.
Sep 02, 2013 added it
04/07/2003 Moore Library Book Discussion: Let's Talk About it Oklahoma - Survival series
Scholar: Robert Greenstreet
As I am entering this on 9/2/13, I can't remember this book. I must have blocked the stories out of my mind .
Rachel Taylor
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: others
Although this book is quite short, I ended up reading it over the course of a fairly lengthy period because I felt the need to take some meditative time between stories. It is a very intense book and one of the first in a very long while to make me cry.
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Phew, very heavy and heart wrenching! But awareness is everything.
Sep 20, 2013 marked it as abandoned
Read some, but very depressing stories.
Okla Elliott
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Some of the stories are quite powerful, and I think that overall, the book would serve as an excellent textbook in a course on Holocaust literature and/or history.
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Fink writes in Polish, primarily on Holocaust themes. Her stories revolve around the terrible choices that the Jews had to make during the Nazi era and the hardships of Holocaust survivors after the war.

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