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The Tattooist of Auschwitz (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #1)
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September 2019: Cultural > The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris- 4 Stars

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message 1: by Joi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3775 comments 5 Stars for the story. 5 stars for the real Lale Sokolov and Gita.
4 Stars for the writing and execution.

Lale Sokolov is a real survivor of Auschwitz, telling his story after his lovely Gita passed so their memories can live on. This book is the result. Lale was a multi-lingual Slovokian Jew, forced into the concentration camps at Auschwitz. He quickly becomes tasked as the tattooist- permanently marking those who arrive with their numbered identities. He is "lucky" to be in a position that is considered safe- but this is a double edged sword, because he also has to see the atrocities the others are going through. He tattoos the incoming Gita, and instantly falls in love. Lale uses this as fuel for his strength to keep going, and survive through.

As most Holocaust stories, it is absolutely horrifying, terrible, and obviously a very dark setting. With that being said- it was "nice" to hear about how Lale used what he could to his advantage, and the power of the mind. Loving Gita gave him hope, and his "we will make it out alive"attitude- (view spoiler) But as always, some of the descriptions are literally gut-wrenching. Such sadness, such horror. No holocaust story is without it.

So why not 5 stars? Firstly- the ending I felt was super rushed. (view spoiler) was all rushed into a few short chapters stuffed at the end. There is so much more to this aspect of the story that could have been explored and made both Lale and Gita feel like more rounded characters. Additionally, I felt like the book was often just short and to the point, feeling like it was reading more as a YA book than historical fiction for adults.

5 Stars for the audiobook and narrator. Loved the ending interview to explain how the book came to be as well. Did some googling after I finished the book, seems like there is some controversy around the details-but c'mon this is historical FICTION here people!


message 2: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7111 comments Nice review Joy! I need to get to this one, but been waiting for the right frame of mind. After looking through interviews and such, I think I need to.

I just hate when people trash a book for "the details" when it is marketed as HF-I am in that camp of "I believe a HF author has the right to embellish a bit" as long as it is not to far-fetched.


message 3: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy | 8153 comments Here is yet another one that everybody is talking about and I just haven’t been drawn to. There’s been a lot of books like that, and of course I eventually get to them all. I can make a list. So naturally this one is on the phone TBR. But it’s on the list of the next 10 books that will actually make the real TBR, and on the list of the 15 books I know I want to read in 2020.


Charlotte | 1468 comments Great review! I really enjoyed this book.


message 5: by Joi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3775 comments Joanne wrote: "I just hate when people trash a book for "the details" when it is marketed as HF-I am in that camp of "I believe a HF author has the right to embellish a bit" as long as it is not to far-fetched."

This story was marketed as a "recreation" so I'm not sure how much leeway that gives to veer from the story. But we also should consider this man was keeping this part of his life within himself, and it wasn't until YEARS later that he told his story. I don't blame him even if he did get a couple details wrong. I can't even remember what I did six weeks ago- let alone 60 years.


message 6: by NancyJ (new) - added it

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 4887 comments Thanks Joi for the thoughtful and balanced review. Like Joanne, I haven't felt ready to read this, even though I'll probably appreciate it in the end.


message 7: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7111 comments Joi wrote: "Joanne wrote: "I just hate when people trash a book for "the details" when it is marketed as HF-I am in that camp of "I believe a HF author has the right to embellish a bit" as long as it is not to..."

WTH is recreation? LOL, I really don't get that for such a serious subject
-on THE MPG # 1 is HF, that's where my comment came from-


message 8: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan Lewallen (susanlewallen) | 418 comments Thanks for a great review, Joi. I have this on my TBR list but I may want to wait until I'm in the right mood - a mood for something serious and heavy.


message 9: by Joi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3775 comments Joanne wrote: "WTH is recreation? LOL, I really don't get that for such a serious subject"

Re-creation (not recreation).
But I totally agree- it is in the genre of 'historical fiction', so no matter what it is still being billed as fiction. I guess curious readers like us will google the real person anyway lol.


message 10: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7111 comments Joi wrote: "Joanne wrote: "WTH is recreation? LOL, I really don't get that for such a serious subject"

Re-creation (not recreation).
But I totally agree- it is in the genre of 'historical fiction', so no ma..."

LOL-sorry, don't know what I was thinking when I read that-


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