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The Warsaw Anagrams Paperback – 24 Feb 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Corsair (24 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849013691
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849013697
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Beautifully written, moving and disturbing, this packs a powerful, emotional punch. (Guardian)

A mystical, mesmerising murder thriller. (Lancashire Evening Post)

Gripping. (Independent i)

A rich, serious book. (Independent)

Compelling. (Jewish Chronicle)

A murder mystery and a moving exploration of the nature of good and evil come together in Zimler's riveting and intelligent novel. (BBC History Magazine)

Book Description

A chilling and stunningly written mystery set in Warsaw's Jewish ghetto.

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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Mar. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Erik Cohen is an elderly psychiatrist - but that was in 'Before Time'. Before the Nazi's sealed him, and countless others, into the Warsaw Ghetto. Now he lives with his niece, and grandnephew Adam, in a tiny apartment. It is 1940, freezing cold and life has been turned upside down. It seems to Erik that anything can happen, especially the worst. Then Adam goes missing and his body is found tossed on the barbed wire. It has been thrown there from outside the ghetto and his body has been mutilated. Stranger still, Erik finds a piece of string in his mouth and then discovers that other Jewish children have suffered the same fate. With his old friend Izzy, Erik sets off to discover who is luring Jewish children to their death and how, and why, Adam had left the Ghetto. This is a very atmospheric and exciting thriller, with great characters. Although the setting and situation is dark and dangerous, and the author portrays this with great tension and realism, the book also has humour and the spirit of humanity that nobody could take away from Erik and Izzy - who are great heroes indeed. I have never read anything by this author before, but I am sure I will be rectifying that. I read the kindle edition of this book, which was well edited and without typos. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A most unusual mystery, because of place and time and the background tragedy of the Warsaw ghetto - indeed the tragedy of Poland, since Hitler hated the Poles almost as much as he hated the Jews. This novel is beautifully written, with a clever plot. It reminds us...we should never forget....of man's inhumanity to man. But importantly it also showcases the nobility of the human spirit. The characters are exquisitely drawn. I could not put it down.
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Format: Paperback
As with many other reviewers, I had not come across this author before and, indeed, only happened on this book by chance. But what a chance.

With relations by proxy in Poland I have been to Auschwitz, a journey every citizen should take once in their lifetime, if only to see what civilised people can do to each other. This book so adroitly shows also what civilised people can do to endure these terrible hardships and to finally overcome them. This is not a book which is easy on the mental images. The Warsaw ghetto, one of many created by the Nazis to force the Jewish inhabitants into a life of degradation and squalour and eventually on to transportation to the death camps, is brutally described by the author. And yet, through all, shines the life of Erik Cohen, an elderly psychiatrist, now attempting to discover the killer of his young great-nephew.

So begins our jouney, too, as Erik recounts his story to a friend who, in turn, chronicles every word. This is, without doubt, a murder mystery in its own right but it soon becomes clear the young boy is not the only victim. Erik calls in favours and most of all uses his extraordinarily good friend Izzy to help him discover the truth. In the event, without Izzy, I rather think Erik would have failed but this is what makes the book all the more interesting. For this human spirit permeates through the story and I think a Latin phrase used in the book sums up the courage and fortitude shown by the Ghetto inhabitants - festina lente or make haste slowly.

I'm glad I've read the book. There were no surprises for me for I am of an age that remembers only too well but the author brings such clarity and vibrancy to an otherwise sombre and heartrending situation that younger readers must surely want to learn at least a little more about Central Europe during the 1930s and 40s.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would have very happily read this novel even without the murder mystery element such was Zimler's moving portrayal of life in the Jewish Ghetto of World War II Warsaw. Having said that, the murder plot was very clever indeed and unless you suss out the anagrams and speak Polish and German you're surely not going to unravel it before the author reveals it slowly.

You're taken beyond the cliched images of the bewildered, haggard Jews in the ghetto which you're used to seeing in documentaries. The characters in the novel refuse to submit meekly to their fate, getting what they can out of life in such a desperate situation. In the midst of the squalor (which they often use as a source of gentle teasing of each other), they were trying to lead as normal a life as possible and Zimler gives you a heart-warming insight into their courageous refusal to give up.

You desperately want all the (good) characters to survive but even the person telling the story doesn't know who made it out alive.

Highly recommended.
1 Comment 8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
A beautifully written book. I haven't read anything as good about the Warsaw Ghetto since Mila 18 by Leon Uris. I really enjoyed the way he interweaves history and a criminal investigation. The characters are developed very well and the plot moves inexorably to its conclusion. Reviewed by Tim Ellis - Author of: 'A Life for a Life'.
1 Comment 25 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This was my first book by author Richard Zimler, i'll be totally honest and say i'd never heard of him before. I love discovering new authors, and even though you shouldn't, there is still alot to be said for a cover of a book, however on this occasion it was the strap line at the foot of the cover which reads "Evil will flourish even when good men fight it", which made me pick it up and give it a try.

I was not disappointed, and couldn't put it down. The book is told through the eyes of Erik Cohen, an elderly man, who is forced to live with his neice and 9 year old great-nephew, Adam. The year is 1940 and the Nazis have sealed 400,000 Jews inside a small area of the Polish capital. Adam goes missing and his body is later found tangled in the barbed wire which surrounds the ghetto. Erik does everything within his power to trap his nephew's killer, even putting his own life at risk in the most forbidden corners of Nazi-occupied Warsaw.

I found this book heartbreaking in places, and because the author done such a fantastic job with the detail and descriptions, it was sometimes really difficult to believe you wern't there, walking those freezing cold Warsaw streets with Erik.

If you read only one book this year, please pick up this book. It's a great story, and will keep you captivated from page 1!
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