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Schindler's Ark Hardcover – 1 Oct 1982

88 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Oct 1982
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd; 1st edition (1 Oct. 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340278382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340278383
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 14.6 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 564,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


An extraordinary achievement (Graham Greene)

Brilliantly detailed, moving, powerful and gripping' (The Times)

Thomas Keneally has done marvellous justice to a marvellous story (The Sunday Times)

Keneally is a superb storyteller. With Schindler's Ark he has given us his best book yet, a magnificent novel which held me from the first page to the last (Alan Sillitoe)

This remarkable book has the immediacy and the almost unbearable detail of a thousand eye witnesses who forgot nothing' (New York Times Book Review) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Winner of the Booker Prize and international bestseller. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Giles Hamilton on 24 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
This is Oskar Schindler' story. A story of determination, strength and courage in the face of adversity. Schindler was a German businessman and Nazi party member. Wealthy and successful, he decided to set up a factory in Poland producing supplies for the German army in Russia. He would employ Jews.
Initially, you do not picture Schindler as a philanthropist. He is an entrepreneur, his passion is money and the full enjoyment of life in luxury. As the story progresses, and he witnesses atrocities and acts of inhumanity towards the Jews, he uses his own money to bribe the SS and Police and to buy Jews to work for him, thus saving them from a very uncertain future in the hands of the SS.
As the rest of the world stood by and did little, we learn of one man's quest to do as much as he could for those in his care.
It is not fair to say that others did not help, but Schindler clearly went further than most. This is a moving and heartbreaking story. In the end, Schindler made an enormous personal sacrifice, and put himself in danger to save those his countrymen were murdering. He saved one thousand lives. The death of Oscar Schindler was mourned by Jewish communities worldwide.
This story was the inspiration for the acclaimed film Schindler's List' starring Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes. The film is as good as the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. J. Noyes TOP 100 REVIEWER on 20 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback
4.5 stars.

This is not a book to read on a beach. Not unless you want other sunseekers to potentially see your weeping face and open mouth as you delve into the true story of Oskar Schindler and the 1000+ Jewish men, women and children he almost literally dragged from out of the hands of the Nazis.

Keneally tries very hard to keep his portrait of Schindler unbiased. Not afraid to recount his womanising and (what we'd call now) 'playboy' ways, the reader sees Oskar from the many perspectives of eyewitnesses who have collaborated with the author to bring this tale to life.

Yes, he had affairs. He may also have occasionally been heavy-handed with employees and other men. But yes, he also spent his own money and contacts saving Jewish people from right out of the concentration camps and kept them alive to the very end of the war, to his own bankruptcy.

It's incredibly tense, moving, upsetting and just horrific. No details seem to be spared. There are a lot of names and families, among them the almost unbelievable Goeth, sometimes seen by the author as Schindler's dark twin. Their relationship is so dark and twisted, you can see how Spielberg was able to make it the heart of his film.

As a Jewish reader, one lucky enough to not have had family in Europe at this time in history, the implications of what happened in this book really hit home for me. And though a lot of detail wasn't new, the post-war world Schindler had to navigate was quite an eye-opener, from his letter signed by Jews vouching for him to having to travel in prisoners' clothes to avoid being taken for a fleeing Nazi officer. Nothing they cover in GCSE history.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
I watched Schindlers List, and decided to read the book that inspired the film. The attention to detail in extraordinary, and Keneally draws you into the terrifying, upside down world of Cracow during WW2. What really gets to you is how the corrupt Nazi machine, slowly ratchet the Jews towards their awful fate, and how evil seems to be accepted and tolerated almost without question. Schindler's complex character dominates the story, as his sheer force of charisma keeps the hopes of the Pfferbergs, Sterns, Bankiers and the workers in his plant alive. A great book that can't fail to affect the reader very deeply.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By I. Sediha on 4 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Schindler's Ark" is a truthful story about a brilliant liar, Oscar Schindler, who saved more than a thousand Jews during World War Two. Thomas Keneally thoroughly examined the facts connected with Schindler and his milieu to make an objective novel about "the pragmatic triumph of good over evil".

The author describes the war as the time of a cruel game between pro-Nazi governments and Jews. All horrors of the Holocaust are depicted minutely in order to show the chaos and amorality of that period.

Hiding was the only way for Jews and their families to survive. Being a risky and enterprising man, Herr Schindler opened and developed an enamel-ware factory where he guaranteed safety and food for every Jew he could take. By means of bribes, gifts and feasts for SS inspectors Oscar created a perfect mechanism of legal sheltering for hundreds of Jews, Schindler's Jews, as they named themselves.

So, who was Oscar Schindler? A cynical German businessman who used cheap Jewish labour to become a millionaire or a philanthropic man who applied his charisma and money to save them from Auschwitz? The author gives readers an opportunity to decide whether to call him a hero or not, but his outstanding services cannot be overrated.

What makes this book so special? The feeling of reality: real names, real events and real lives. No idealization, no author's interpretation, just pure facts ably combined into a perfect reading.

In 1982 the author was awarded the prestigious Booker Prize and in 1993 this novel was transformed into a dramatic black-and-white Steven Spielberg's movie "Schindler's List".

Memorable quote: "The reason I'm beating you now is you asked me why I'm beating you."
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