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Schindler's Ark


lucyb
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I have just started reading this book and wondered if anyone was in the same position and wanted to discuss it.

 

To paraphrase the blurb on the back:

 

Oskar Schindler was a womaniser, a heavy drinker and a bon viveur who became a saviour. He risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Germany and was transformed by the war into a man with a mission, a compassionate angel of mercy.

 

Started it this morning and getting sucked in. Only problem is I have to go to work... roll on lunchtime!

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It's a long, long time since I read this, and since then the film has been and gone and probably altered my perception of the book somewhat. I remember being absolutely gripped by it as I'd never read anything like it before (I was only about 16). I get the feeling that people bypass the book now in favour of watching the film, which is a real shame. Both are great, but different.

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I read it fifteen years ago in high school. I remember being fascinated by the history and events, but not so much by the writing. It is very factual--almost like reading non-fiction--and the dialog is almost non-existent. I can't remember too much about the characterization. It's an interesting book, but I'm very surprised that it won the Booker prize.

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I read this after seeing the film. I had to search for an original copy rather than the film tie-in edition (so that I could pretend to have read the book first).

I agree that the film and the book are different which is good because it means that I can still enjoy the film.

I think this is a great book which fully deserves its reputation.

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It's like reading non-fiction because it is non-fiction. :)

True enough, it is. What I meant was it doesn't read like a novel, which my copy stated it was (Schindler's List: A Novel). It reads like bland non-fiction, unlike, say, Vengeance: The True Story of a Counter-Terrorist Team by George Jonas, which is also non-fiction, but it reads more like fiction (ie. a novel). Sorry for the confusion.

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It's like reading non-fiction because it is non-fiction. :)

It won the Booker Prize in 1982. So they accepted that it is fiction. :confused:

I think that becuase the novel is based on historical incidents and interviews conducted by the author we forget that the vast majority of this book is fiction. The charatcers' interaction and motivations and the detailed descriptions of situations are a creation of the author's imagination.

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It won the Booker Prize in 1982. So they accepted that it is fiction. :confused:

I think that becuase the novel is based on historical incidents and interviews conducted by the author we forget that the vast majority of this book is fiction. The charatcers' interaction and motivations and the detailed descriptions of situations are a creation of the author's imagination.

 

Yes, tagesmann, fair point. Having won the Booker it should have told me something.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...
I read it fifteen years ago in high school. I remember being fascinated by the history and events, but not so much by the writing. It is very factual--almost like reading non-fiction--and the dialog is almost non-existent. I can't remember too much about the characterization. It's an interesting book, but I'm very surprised that it won the Booker prize.

 

I'm not surprised at all about it winning the Booker. Compared to some of the other winners, Possession and God of Small Things for example, this book retains it's voice all the way through. It holds onto the message, has a proper story to tell and lets it unfold with slow dedication.

 

I've read many books on the holocaust and this one like most of them gave me a new perespective on it. Each time I read about the horror I find out something new, some new depth that the human race fell to.

 

In Schindler we had a reversal of that fall, and Keneally rose admirably to the task in bringing his tale to a wider audience.

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  • 11 years later...

Just finished re reading this. This time on audio and I found the text dryer than I remembered. Perhaps the narrator, perhaps the film, perhaps just the blending of time and more knowledge of the subject affected how the text played out for me. That said I still enjoyed the book, Schindler is a conundrum of sorts. A complicated simple man or a simple complicated man? He rose above his 'allotted' role in life, industrialist, womaniser and drinker, to find the value of life and the knowledge that for one to be free we must all be free. In a world where the far right is once again on the rise, where hatred of the other is being encouraged by certain politicians and media outlets we may soon be in need of more men like Oskar Schindler. As Keneally says in his updated afterword to the book, The Third Reich began with name calling and proceeded to destruction. In too many places in the world the name calling has never stopped and is becoming more prevalent in established 'civilised' countries that should definitely know better. 

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