on 16 July 2006
Lantos' world came undone when - as a small boy - he was deported by the Nazis to Bergen-Belsen. Many years later, after becoming a medical doctor in England, he returned to Hungary to reconstruct what happened to him and his family. His memoir is beautifully written and captivating, and he has done a wonderful job of discussing terrible suffering in simple, moving, and insightful ways. He has not only written a sensitively narrated memoir, but he has also done an expert job of sleuthing his family's history in order to fill in the heartbreaking gaps left by the Holocaust. I recommend this book highly.
on 6 September 2013
Such a lovely, inspiring book, which kept me riveted throughout. A true account of a young boy's journey from childhood to Belsen, his survival and subsequent journey into manhood. A heartbreaking account of the suffering of the Jewish people and small pockets of kindness shown. A truly remarkable man who describes his life without a hint of self pity.
on 12 September 2012
Peter Lantos' book 'Parallel Lines' is an amazing account of how the lives of his Hungarian Jewish family were affected by events in the second world war, and how small chances could allow people to be killed or live. Deported as a small boy along with his parents from Hungary to Bergen Belsen, Lantos tells how his father died and how he and his mother's lives were saved when they were put on a train out of the camp which was eventually liberated by the Americans. Other trains ended up in Auschwitz, his took a different turning. At the end of the war he and his mother returned to Hungary to discover that his elder brother had died. Other members of the family died, others survived. After the war the family were subjected to continuing anti semitism and then to action from the ruling Communist authorities. Lantos eventually came to this country where he became one of our most prominent neurosurgeons. Our gain was Hungary's great loss. One of the most poignant stories in the book is the telling of the death of his own mother who after surviving all the tribulations of the war died in a road accident. Lantos is a remarkable man and this book is fascinating, a few different turns could have led to a totally different story with very sad consequences.
on 18 May 2014
I was a little unsure on downloading this book due to the sensitive nature of the subject, but I decided that Peter had a story to tell that he wanted the world to know. The basic outline of the book is a subject known to many, but from a child's innocent eyes, understanding nothing as to the reasons why he and his family were embarking on this journey made this a unique read. I can't recommend this highly enough, in fact, the book could have been twice this length and it would have still gripped me cover to cover. It put into perspective our daily gripes and when we feel things aren't quite going to plan.
on 8 April 2014
The story of a life tuned upside down and then the right way up again. From Child to adult - living through the most horrendous times of war on the Jews.
The story told from a child's perspective as to how life changed and the not knowing why, what or where?
The writer came up against so many situations for which he got no answers, but had to live on in acceptance.
It is amazing that anyone survived to tell the tale.
Thank God his life was spared and he was able to pursue a wonderful career.
on 14 September 2014
I really enjoyed this, a non-emotional retelling of a story of one family's outcome during the Second World War told mainly from the perspective of a young boy but extending into his early adulthood under another repressive regime. Whilst obviously being aware of the history and having read many more 'dramatic' accounts, this touched me, particularly the writer's attitude, coming across throughout the book of wanting to understand the reasons for it all.