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Schindler's Ark Paperback – 17 Feb 1994

4.7 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Paperback, 17 Feb 1994
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; New edition edition (17 Feb. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340606517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340606513
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.5 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 322,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

An extraordinary achievement (Graham Greene)

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

Thomas Keneally has done marvellous justice to a marvellous story ( 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 alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Winner of the Booker Prize and international bestseller, made into the award-winning film Schindler's List.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
I first read this in 1985 and whilst a teenager. Since then I have probably read it another dozen or so times and it loses nothing of it's power however well you know the outcome. It is easily the one book that has had a profound impact on my life and hopefully Oskar's lessons have made me a better person. On the strength of Schindler's Ark I visited Kracow to see the ghetto, and Auschwitz, and when I could choose a history course to teach, chose one involving Nazism. Although unbearably sad, it remains an incredibly uplifting tale - everyone should read it!
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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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Format: Paperback
This is actually one of my favourite films. Unfortunately, I had seen the film before I read this book which I always feel detracts somewhat from the emotional impact I get from reading. However, on actually reading the book I was surprised to find that none of the initial emotional spark discovered on watching the film had gone. On the contrary, Keneally's writing seemed to further intensify the vividness of the stories and events portrayed in the film. I actually felt that I was there, eavesdropping on conversations. I could see all the events unfolding before my eyes.
I have actually visited both the concentration camps in Auschwitz and the description that Keneally gives of them in his novel is quite remarkably. He seems to be able to convey the general feeling of melancholy surrounding them as well as their chilling visual impact. This is a true story and the way Keneally is able to piece together the feelings and anecdotes of the survivor's into one hermetically sealed book is quite remarkable.
This book was the first that I read concerning the holocaust and since then it has given me a vivacious appetite to find out more, look deeper into the accounts of the survivors. I would recommend this book to everyone. Very powerful.
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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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