Moments of Reprieve, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Primo Levi was one of the most astonishing voices to emerge from the twentieth century: a man who survived one of the ugliest times in history, yet who was able to describe his own Auschwitz experience with an unaffected tenderness.

Levi was a master storyteller but he did not write fairytales.

These stories are an elegy to the human figures who stood out against the tragic background of Auschwitz, 'the ones in whom I had recognized the will and capacity to react, and hence a rudiment of virtue'.

Each centres on an individual who - whether it be through a juggling trick, a slice of apple or a letter - discovers one of the 'bizarre, marginal moments of reprieve'.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Second World War fiction
  • ISBN: 9780141186979



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

My first completed read of the year, Moments of Reprieve, aptly described in its missive as a discovery of 'bizarre, marginal, moments of reprieve' charts the stories of a myriad variety of people, mostly Jews who Primo Levi had come across during his stay at Auschwitz. Among many others, a juggler, an almost mute worker, a mirror chemist, a helpful SS officer, are all bound in a conflict, both that ravaged their internal beings as well as the external world they inhabited in times where sense failed. Primo Levi, like what he is well known for in his holocaust works, tells the tales of harrowing times in quiet, unaffected prose, and thus sharing an intimate experience with the reader than just a book.

Review by

This book elaborates on some characters that were mentioned in other books and first mentions others that didn't fit into some of his longer works like If This is a Man and The Truce. I would recommend this, The Periodic Table, and The Drowned and the Saved after reading those two books.

Also in the Penguin Modern Classics series   |  View all