The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman

This will not be in any way a ‘conventional’ book review; those of you who are aware of Wladyslaw Szpilman’s book ‘The Pianist’ will know that this is a true account a Polish Jew who survived the Second World War and the mass genocide of the Jews. Therefore, due to the fact this is non-fiction and a very emotive and sensitive topic, I will not be flippantly dubbing it as ‘a good read’ or any other such nonsense. This book is powerful, heart-wrenching, disturbing and the events described in it are inescapably terrible; it should be read with care and respect in order to remember this piece of history and to marvel at the sheer luck and force of will that kept this man alive.  This is no light-hearted read to take on holiday; this is harrowing and on many occasions I had to stop reading it to catch my breath and escape from the atrocities described on the pages.

I have been sat staring at my computer screen for over an hour now attempting to type up something resembling a synopsis but it has only resulted in managing to reach a paragraph before hastily deleting it and repeating the process. Subsequently, I am not going to describe this book in any way beyond what I have already said above. I do not feel that a paragraph can in any way do justice to the magnitude of the content contained in this book and therefore all I can say is read the book for yourself but do not do so lightly. This is a piece of history that should never be forgotten.

I read this book to coincide with the 70 year anniversary of the Holocaust. I don’t think any other time would have felt truly suitable.

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