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Resistance: Translated by Barbara Mellor
 
 

Resistance: Translated by Barbara Mellor [Kindle Edition]

Agnes Humbert , Barbara Mellor
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

'Sober and testifying, sardonic and humorous A beautiful and powerful work of literature' Michele Roberts, The Times 'Humbert's memoir bears witness to innumerable horrors, presented here with a pugnacious courage What makes this horrific account so affecting is Humbert's sense of humour, her indomitable refusal to submit' Carmen Callil, Guardian 'An astonishing work, almost unbearable to read in places, yet ultimately inspiring A remarkable book by a remarkable and brave woman' Allan Massie, Literary Review 'Her book adds to the small record of how the human mind can preserve the heart and soul intact against all attempts to annihilate it' Linda Grant, Observer

Review

'Humbert's memoir bears witness to innumerable horrors, presented here with a pugnacious courage'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2097 KB
  • Print Length: 396 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0747596743
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (3 Nov 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747595976
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747595977
  • ASIN: B002R88G3Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #123,198 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of a True Heroine 11 Sep 2008
By Elaine Simpson-long TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
When the German army invaded Paris in 1940, Agnes Humbert a strong minded, politically aware art historian, immediately knew that she had to 'do something', the thought of accepting the invasion was anathema to her and she helped to form one of the first organised groups of the French Resistance. The speed with which this was set up and began to operate was staggering. She had excellent contacts and friends in literary and journalistic circles and an underground newspaper, combating the German propaganda machine, was printed and circulated around Paris. It was simply amazing that they managed to keep this going and out of the hands of the authorities for nearly a year before they were betrayed and she was arrested and thrown into prison. Seven of the men who founded the group died by firing squad and Agnes, while escaping the death penalty, was sentenced to five years in a German labour camp.

She had kept a diary up to her imprisonment and she completed it after liberation in 1945. Unable to keep a written record of her experiences she recreated them afterwards, relying on her memory alone. This gives this fascinating book a contrast in writing, the earlier diary memories dashed down quickly on a daily basis, breathless and eager to get everything on paper as it happened; the later reflections more considered even though she wrote at top speed in 1945 after the was liberated and before her memories faded. 'I remember everything as clearly as it it was written in notebooks' everything was recorded in memory and all she had to do was slowly turn the pages.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Agnes Humbert, Resistance 30 Oct 2008
Format:Hardcover
The diary: each day recorded is an at-this-moment experience for us, as it was for her. Her natural incredulity of events, the indignance, action when angered, practicality, strength of character, complete lack of sentiment, humour for the absurd even in the the most dire situations, even detached admiration for the "fairness" of the presiding Judge at the trial. With the flair for description that she had as an art historian, and her own remakable personality, she managed to record events daily until when she was forced to store in her head the events of the last few years. We are proud of you, Agnes!

There are over 20 good-quality black-and-white photographs of people and places. My favourite is the portrait of her at the seaside with her arm round her son Jean, the sun on her face and her hair in her eyes.

There are sincere Acknowledgements by the translator and editor; a Preface by William Boyd; an Afterword by Julien Blanc with a commentary on the documents, some family history, and what happened after the War; an Appendix of documents which includes the citation for the Croix de Guerre; a chapter of interesting and relevant Translator's Notes; and of course a bibliography and an index.

Congratulations to Barbara Mellor, Bloomsbury Publications, and her team of collaborators for this marvellously produced and presented book. I cannot praise this book enough.
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71 of 80 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misleading 10 Jan 2009
Format:Hardcover
Firstly it should be noted that this book is not a memoir of the French Resistance or occupied France. It's called "Resistance," subtitled "Memoirs of Occupied France" and features on the cover a Parisian couple in the midst of the occupation. The entire summary on the inside flap, barring the last line, describes the German occupation in France, and the formation of the resistance movement from the Musee de l'Homme in Paris. It would be safe to assume looking at the book that this is a personal memoir of the French resistance in occupied France - it isn't.

Of the 370 pages in the book only the first 50 or so directly concern the Resistance in France and the activities of Humbert and her colleagues. It's a gripping start, and it's no surprise to learn that it is this portion of the book that is taken straight from diaries that Humbert kept at the time (the rest of the book is written from memory after the fact.) These short, matter of fact entries offer little new information about the workings of the resistance, but they do convey the sense of tension and foreboding that the residents of Paris experienced at the time, as well as the excitement of their clandestine activities. Humbert is soon caught and imprisoned however, and the focus of the book changes.

The bulk of the memoir is a description of Humbert's time in various (mostly German) prisons or working in slave labour in a Rayon factory in Germany. The book suffers as Humbert largely avoids any personal reflection or insights into her situation, instead choosing page after page of detailed description of her terrible treatment and the plight (or otherwise) of her fellow prisoners.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slave labour 3 Jan 2010
By Koyuki
Format:Paperback
This is an account of the author's experiences following France's ignominious defeat at the beginning of the second world war. She became involved in the newsletter "Resistance" (hence this book's title) leading to imprisonment and trial, three years sentenced to "work" in Germany and finally liberation and a period ferreting out former Nazis in the Hesse region at the end of the war. The narration, in part copied from her pre-capture diary and occasional notes secreted during captivity, and her memories all collated immediately after the war, is particularly vivid . It gives an insight into the people involved in the early subversion networks (indifference to the acknowledged risks and Gestapo interest, high espionage mixed with practical jokes such as typing liberation slogans on currency), the willingness to acknowledge humanity where it was shown by her captors, and the terror of the slave labour factories where sadism ruled over economic advantage. Although the initial focus is Paris, the major part of the account is of the time in Germany- not clear from the title.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars slow burn
This book starts off slowly. You begin by thinking -- ooh, 'scarey' -- she's written a few pamphlets. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Uncle Barbar
3.0 out of 5 stars Resistance: a good read.
Very sad book, this lady suffered extreme treatment and was amazingly brave.
Published 2 months ago by J. Harvey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
gut churning autobiography. testimony to the human spirit
Published 5 months ago by Robin
5.0 out of 5 stars So glad it has been rescued from obscurity
An excellent and inspiring book that reveals the huge price paid by many resistants in countries occupied by Nazi Germany (and even many Germans who suffered under their own... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Paul Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling read of the oppupation
I think this is a top piece of writing depicting the way in which the occupation of their country affected the lives of ordinary people
Published 11 months ago by Mrs Annice S Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars French Resistance
As there was a 70 year anniversary of the Second World War I purchased this book in order to do research and to make items to support a celebration of the selfless actions of women... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Alfiebaby
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Read
Loved this book from start to finish.Very well written and gripping storyline.Couldn't put this book down.if you like this sort of fiction you will love this book.
Published 15 months ago by Matt Dighton
5.0 out of 5 stars resistance
a superb read that shows true humilty of agnes humbert in the face of awful adversity superbly transalated by barbara mellor
Published 16 months ago by Susan Aldridge
4.0 out of 5 stars Ann, Kent. Resistance
I enjoyed this book. It was a good interesting read. I thought that the utter cruelty the women suffered was very moving. You could barely believe that this actually happened. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mrs. A. P. Kelly
4.0 out of 5 stars Fighting to prevent war
Although I read this in French, which I would recommend for the natural, unpretentious style and vivid idioms, these comments may be useful for the English version. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Antenna
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