Lisa's Reviews > The Emperor of Lies

The Emperor of Lies by Steve Sem-Sandberg
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's review
Mar 11, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: abandoned, holocaust
Read from March 30 to April 01, 2012

I know I offered to review this for Stu’s Shadow Independent Foreign Fiction Prize team, but having plodded through the first 51 pages of 664, it’s quite clear to me that I don’t like it at all, and so I’m not going to read the rest of it.

Simon Schama at The Financial Times says it so much better than I ever could: whatever is the point? If you are disposed to try to understand the unfathomable Holocaust, this tawdry novel is not going to help you, and if it is the only book about the Holocaust that you read, its prurient violence may well put you off reading anything better.

The nastiest thing about it is that by fictionalising the factual – the culpability of one Jew in the murder of his fellow citizens - it essays the notion that Jews helped to bring about their own destruction on themselves. And in a mere 50 pages it has managed to reinforce all kinds of anti-Semitic stereotypes; I refuse to read more of it.

To read the rest of my review, (and access links to other reviews), please visit
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