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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This account of life in the Warsaw ghetto allows the reader to view the 're-settlement' of Jews during WW2 from a completely different perspective than the one usually portrayed in literature of the period, penned by holocaust survivors.
This is simply because it is not a recollection of concentration camp life, but that of a young man who managed to escape the net...
Published on 27 Feb. 2003

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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A difficult read
Hard to rate the subject matter makes this a difficult read. Also it is written in such an unemotional way it left me unsure of how I felt about the book. It's when you come to finish and realise that Mr Szpilman wrote this immediately after the war and therefore was somewhat still in shock makes you reassess what you have read. I would like to have known more about...
Published on 8 Jun. 2009 by LadyM


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pianist, 18 Jan. 2012
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A wonderful read. It was written in an unemotional way that clearly betrays the fact that the author was still traumatised when writing it. Of particular interest were the differences between the 'big ghetto' and the 'little ghetto', and the differences in the situation of the Jewish people within them. The people were not presented as good or bad according to nationality or culture but in a much more realistic way that depicted people by their personality. This edition also contains the diary of the German soldier who assisted not only 'the pianist' but others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good read, 25 Nov. 2010
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thought i would read this book before i view the dvd.it was a great story,along the lines of the diary of ann frank, in that its a book that everybody should read.
i recently visited warsaw so the book was an insight into how this city was destroyed during the war,how some people survived the atrocities and lived to write their story.
i would recomend this book without doubt
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humbling, 1 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: The Pianist (Audio CD)
I listened to the audio c.d. of this book.Excellently read by Stephen Greif. The sheer horror of the suffering of the Jews and later the non-Jewish residents of Warsaw are so hard to comprehend as you listen to Szpilmans account of his escape from the jaws of death. This book should be a part of all senior school curriculum, as you can learn more about the second world war and how it affected totally innocent people than most history books. I was left both shocked by the utter carnage heaped on these people and also in awe of his human spirit to survive a trip into HELL.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Survivor from Warsaw, 4 Sept. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pianist (Hardcover)
Doom permeates "The Pianist," Mr. Szpilman's stunning memoir of near extinction in war-torn Warsaw. The book is filled with unforgettable incidents, images and people. First published in Poland right after the war, "The Pianist" was quickly removed from the stores and the author, who is still alive at 88, never returned to the subject. Its power derives from its immediacy but also from the deep reserves of culture the author was able to summon so soon after the war in an effort to make sense of it. Thanks to a new translation, American readers can now sample his artistry for themselves.
Wall Street Journal - 2 Sept. 99
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5.0 out of 5 stars You must read this!!, 8 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pianist (Hardcover)
Wladyslaw Szpilman's autobiography is truly a masterpiece. A Polish Jew pianist, Szpilman was one of about twenty jews who survived the Warsaw Ghetto, thanks to some help from the unlikeliest of sources. He succeeds in telling a wonderfully touching story of his survival of WWII, without dramatizing or over emphasizing the atrocities of the Nazis. This novella is not merely another politically purposed Holocaust story. It is one man's journey through pain, hope, survival and the power of music, all told with an amazing objective tone. Read this, and become a better person. I absolutely recommend it!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, 21 Nov. 2004
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I bought this book having seen the film because I wanted to know more. However the film follows the book very closely, so I didn't really find out anything new. That said, I couldn't put it down. It's extremely well written, and very thought provoking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and moving story wel told., 20 Sept. 2014
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This was a powerful story written in a totally matter of fact first hand style which makes it all the more real. The tension in the Warsaw Ghetto and the author's pain and despair come across with deep feeling. It is a riveting tale of survival against all the odds. The account of the author's meeting the German Officer who protected him in the last weeks of the war was deeply moving. I bought this book within days of seeing the movie "The Pianist" and noticed how accurately the movie followed this book. Very well worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The good thing about the book is that it is frank ..., 15 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-45 (Paperback)
This is a short book that can be read in a couple of days. The good thing about the book is that it is frank and takes you chronologically right from the start of WW2 to the end. Unfortunately Szpilman isn't the easiest character to empathise with, but I guess his toughness was what gave him the strength to fight through when 99.9% of us would crumble.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving account of one mans struggle to survive the holocaust, 21 Oct. 2003
The Pianist is an amazing account of Wladyslaw Szpilman's struggle against all odds to live through the second world war.
The book begins just as the first news of the war begins to reach the city. Life goes on as usual and it is only when the war begins escalating so deep into Poland that it is literally knocking on the door that reality sinks in.
Wladyslaw was a popular Pianist in Warsaw before the war and desperately tries to continue with his life despite the chaos that now surrounds him. In the early stages of the book there appears to be a lack of comprehension into the severity of the situation for the Jews as the German army begin to carve up areas of Warsaw and begin the segregation of the population.
As time goes on the Germans presence becomes ever more dominant and before long life for Wladyslaw and his family is confined to the ghetto where life is uncertain and hard for everyone. As the Germans set about disposing of the 'undesirable' elements of Warsaws population in a sickenly efficient manner.
During this time Wladyslaw loses many people close to him and what follows is a relentless struggle to stay alive. On many occasions Wladyslaw defies all odds to survive in situations that appear so impossible that if this book was fictional you would more than likely find it inplausible. The reality is shocking as the story of desperation unravels into a sickening lottery of life.
The emotional undercurrent of the book evolves as the story goes on, however, Wladyslaw does very well not to get swept away with bitterness, anger or disbelief which is interesting considering he originally wrote the story almost immediately after the war had finished. Instead he tells of what kept him going, what gave him the will to live and shares moments of love and humanity that at the time were clearly few and far between. This provides for a very interesting and open account of what happened during this period in time.
It is clear from reading this book that Wladyslaw did not set out to be a hero, in many ways he was very submissive - doing what he had to do to get through the War rather than directly rebelling against the overwhelming suffering that had been forced on the Jewish population of Warsaw (see 'The Avengers')... However, Wladyslaw demonstrates overwhelming courage and determination and manages to shed some light on what is a particularly dark time in history.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 July 2014
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