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Fires in the Dark Hardcover – 6 May 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd; First Edition / First Impression edition (6 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743220870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743220873
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.2 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,400,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

New Statesman Amanda Craig 'Louise Doughty's Fires in the Dark is a harrowing and wholly absorbing account of the gypsy Holocaust, and how one man survives it' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Louise Doughty is a journalist and broadcaster. In 1990, she was the recipient of an Ian St James Award for a short story and a Radio Times Drama Award for her first play, MAYBE ME, both of which received widespread critical acclaim. She is the author of CRAZY PAVING, DANCE WITH ME and HONEYDEW and three plays for radio. She lives in London, N7.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer HALL OF FAME on 30 July 2004
Format: Paperback
As well as murdering 6 million Jews, Hitler did his best to exterminate the Gypsies. This is the story of how just one escaped, Yenko, from a copper-working Romany tribe, thanks to the sacrifice made by his heroic mother, and his own luck and intelligence. His birth, childhood and journey into manhood against the background of the Nazi rise to power make history live. Doughty is herself part-Romany, and writes with real passion and insight as well as what looks like a lot of research. Her characters break your heart.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ms R Doughty on 1 Jun 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book, moving and passionate. The characters are real and touchable. The story is full of the kind of true detail that's completely absorbing. It tells the story of a Romani family and how their lives are destroyed by the Nazi's. Its a tough subject, but this book is really worth it. It doesn't shy away from the realities, but neither does it dwell unnecessarily on the worst of it. The places and major events are based on fact. So I learned a lot, as well as being totally gripped by a brilliant story. Buy this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Mcinnes on 13 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Fires in the dark" by Louise Doughty

I enjoyed this author's "Stone cradle", a story of Romani in the United Kingdom, so much that I determined to read others if I could find them.

This is the one I found, dealing with the lives of East European Romani from 1927 to 1945.You will be aware of what happened in Europe over that period.

Emil, whose secret name is Yenko, is one of the main protagonists. We follow him while his group is on their travels, in winter settlements, cherry harvesting and other things, watching as life and travel become much more difficult for them as a result of increasing government burocracy, new travel papers etc, all of this being aimed at making it easier to keep track of the Romani and to control them.

We read of invasions, battles, conquest by the Nazi armies, and eventual round-ups of the Romani groups, followed by transportation to concentration camps.

Emil escapes, following urging by his mother, and makes his way to Prague where he lives out the war, working on the black market as the only method available to him to keep safe and make a living. Near the end of the war he goes back to the camp to see if any of his family have survived.

This is a brief summary of a harrowing, and yet hopeful, story. There is plenty of incident, personality clash, humour and horror. I was surprised to learn that, per head of population, more Romani died under the Nazis than Jews, horrifying as the Jewish experience was.

I recommend that you read this book. No matter how good a person you are, I think you will be an uplifted and even better person as a result.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brian Haines on 2 Aug 2003
Format: Hardcover
Up to now, Louise Doughty has written fairly small scale domestic dramas, entertaining but limited in their scope. With this book she stakes a claim as a serious novelist tackling the biggest issues and succeeds brilliantly. The history of a gypsy family in eastern europe during the second world war can only be a tragic story. Doughty turns an unflinching eye on the worst that humans can do to each other, with an anger that is barely suppressed, but without resorting to simplistic value judgements. The story is dark and the misery is piled up until you wish for some joy to lighten the mood, but Doughty builds your interest in her characters so that you can't stop reading.
The subject matter of the book is likely to put off a lot of people. Sadly, anti-gypsy prejudice is alive and well, from Romania to Norfolk. This matters to Doughty and she has devoted energy and passion into this book. Don't be put off. Read this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Jun 2003
Format: Hardcover
I had only the vaguest idea of the gypsy Holocaust, so found this a fascinating and very moving story. It begins with the struggles of Anna, a coppersmith Romany, to give birth to her son Yenko and ends with Yenko as the sole survivor of his tribe marrying a fellow-Romany orphan girl whom he met in a concentration camp. In between have come acts of cruelty and compassion. including Yenko's escape from the camp and murder of two elderly people in order to assume "gadjin" identity. It has you rooting for the whole tribe while knowing they are doomed by prejudice on both sides.
A compelling story. I am very glad to have discovered a new author.
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