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Schindler's Ark [Paperback]

Thomas Keneally
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Made into the award-winning film 'Schindler's List'. In the shadow of Auschwitz, a flamboyant German industrialist grew into a living legend to the Jews of Cracow. He was a womaniser, a heavy drinker and a bon viveur, but to them he became a saviour. This is the extraordinary story of Oskar Schindler, who risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland and who was transformed by the war into a man with a mission, a compassionate angel of mercy.

Product details

  • Paperback: 401 pages
  • Publisher: Coronet, Sevenoaks, Kent; Fourth Impression edition (1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340335017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340335017
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 597,804 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)

Book Description

The Booker Prize-winning true story of a hero of the Second World War

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A true story of a life saver 24 Sep 2002
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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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An terrifying, moving novel 21 Nov 2001
By A Customer
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Justice is served to this horrendous true story 10 Jan 2010
Book Review - Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally
Schindler's Ark is a novel that depicts the horrific circumstances surrounding 1940s Poland. Many are aware of the basic facts surrounding the start of World War II and the conditions for Jews during this time; however, the novel provides an historical portrayal but from a successful German man living in Poland, safe from persecution, but still deeply astounded and disgusted by the treatment of the Jewish people during this time. Oskar Schindler, who is initially represented as a man with little moral obligations, provides an uplifting yet desperate perspective to the unethical situation in which he is positioned.
Although the first one hundred pages of the novel seem futile, once information about what was happening in the ghettos and the stories were being related to families and children, the horror of the story makes the book hard to put down due to sheer fascination. When conditions become increasingly worse for Jews in Cracow, Schindler provides the moral outrage in which all readers would have wanted to feel if put in such a situation. The representation of how families coped with the continuous fear and anxiety allowed me to calculate what I would have done in the same situation and therefore made the story more powerful.
Schindler's Ark is by no means an enjoyable book to read but rather a fascinating one, in the sense that it is important to remember what happened to Jewish people during this time and how human rights can be so violated. By creating a novel based on a true story such as this one, it allows the people of the time, with their bravery, to live on. Readers of this novel are not just able to remember the historic facts but have emotional attachment to the characters and therefore allowing the story to be that little bit more memorable.
By Anna Young
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Schindlers Ark gives the true story of a man "Oscar Schindler" with a personality one would have least expected to have saved over two thousand Jews during the Second World War. Schindler is a German businessmen who is firstly portrayed as power hungry, womanising and wealthy. The tale starts with Schindler taking to his advantage of the fact Jews can no longer work and son by buying a factory in Poland near the poor conditions of the ghetto funded by Jews and employs Jews. This in fact helps to save them. At first one wouldn't think of Schindler as a saviour but as the story advances he sees the brutality of the Nazi superiors and inhumanity they are inflicting. "Oskar, my dear fellow, you'd be a fool if you got a real taste for Jewish skirt. They don't have a future Oskar. That's not old-fashioned Jew-hate talking, I assure you. Its policy" He grows to know his Jewish employees and forms a very good friendship with his accountant Itzhak Stern. After learning of the SS intentions for the Jews, Schindler uses his own money from the factory to buy each one in order to protect them from harms way. This story has touched many people especially the descendents of those of whom he saved, as he was one man who did so much whilst the rest looked on and did nothing. Although the book was interesting and is much more detailed than its film adaptation Schindler's list I feel found it quite hard to read, as I couldn't quite relate to characters as they had perhaps been fictionalised too much. I found it moving in parts especially towards the beginning when Schindler hires Itzhak Stern and they are discussing about how the current rules set for businesses, Schindler asks him how he knows of this and Itzhak Stern simply answers, "A Jew is still permitted to read German newspapers".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult read on a horrible time in history.
Loved the movie and wanted to read the book that it was based on. Explained more about the motivation of Schindler.
Published 7 days ago by retired and happy
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Good,it was interesting,Schindler nice guy,amon goeth not nice guy,book good though,worth 4 10/10 would read multiple times and buy if I hadn't yet.
Published 21 days ago by S.Greenway
4.0 out of 5 stars Present
I brought this as a thank you for a friend after we had been to Krakow for a weekend. She had seen it in the Schindler Museum shop but didn't purchase and regretted.
Published 2 months ago by ann bradford
3.0 out of 5 stars not read it yet
cant comment on the book as I just haven't got round to reading it just yet but if its as good as the film then it wont be to bad and its true story so look forward to the read
Published 2 months ago by webload
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I have read
Five stars are not enough for this brilliant, moving and utterly compelling book. The controversy about whether a work of non-fiction can also be a novel seems trivial after all... Read more
Published 2 months ago by GeordieReader
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
this is a beautiful story when beauty was the last word to be said in those times. it delves far deeper into the pain and atrocious events the Jews endured. I couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jdog
4.0 out of 5 stars Whoever saves one life saves the world entire: how to make your own...
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... Read more
Published 4 months ago by K. J. Noyes
4.0 out of 5 stars really interesting and a good read
I was really gripped into this book and found it interesting to read about Schindlers life and that of the people he saved, very good book.
Published 4 months ago by Hannah
5.0 out of 5 stars Book review
This is a brilliant book - well-researched and enlightening.You can't watch it without seeing Schindler's List in your mind'e eye. Read more
Published 5 months ago by L. J. McQuillin
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
Good storey,full of facts that should never be forgotten
Tribute to a brave man
An era that was not mans best
Published 7 months ago by Gregory
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