Wartime Lies Paperback
by Louis Begley
Part of the Penguin Modern Classics series
Poland, 1939. The comfortable, secure world of assimilated Jews is blown away by the invasion of the Third Reich.
Maciek's father disappears into the war's vortex, leaving the orphaned child with his acerbic and beautiful Aunt Tania.
It is her cool inventiveness, in their dramatic flight through a landscape of oppression, that will ensure their fragile survival.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 208 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 04/01/2007
- Category: Second World War fiction
- ISBN: 9780141188690
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Review by freelancer_frank
This is an extraordinary book about the human condition. It deals with the holocaust obliquely, through the filter of memory, childhood and absence. It brings the thing home, through the window, in a single amazing paragraph of great impact. The child of the story is not an innocent but neither is he completely aware. The complete absence of judgement from the narrative only emphasizes the fragility of justice itself, in addition to the fragility of the central characters. The manner in which the narrative can shift from a scene of partial normality to one of shocking cruelty emphasizes the danger of the situation. It is a powerful work that reconstitutes the way one sees things.