The Book Gourmet

Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.



Professional Reader Reviews Published

Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally

Schindler's List - Thomas Keneally

When it comes to movies based on a book, there's always the mandatory debate about which one is better. In this case, both the book and the movie are amazing, with the book being a perfect companion to the movie, offering much more details, going deeper into the story that the movie, thanks to the time constraints, could not really delve into.

WWII is one of my favorite historical eras; don't ask me why, since I don't have a ready answer. My fascination with the subject is, as the subject itself (the motives, the reasons, the actions and reactions), complex and layered.
I guess what intrigues me the most is the infinite capability of a human beings to inflict inexplicable suffering onto the others, be it in the name of religion, racial purity or a misguided conviction of superiority...I simply call it evil in all its many forms.

Mr Keneally shows us such evil in the pages of this book, but unfortunately it's not a fictitious evil, but real, living, breathing evil in the form of a single man and the form of many, all working under the assumption that what they're doing is the right thing to do.
But this isn't the story of evil, even though it plays an integral part, this is the story of good ultimately (albeit not permanently) trumping evil, a story of redemption, a story of hope, incredible courage and beautiful humanity that man is also capable of.

It's chilling, heart-breaking and horrifying, but at the same time enlightening, in-a-way liberating, and hopeful. It shows the reader both sides of the same coin that is man (light and dark, good and evil), and it's up to us all to learn (not from the book, but from history itself). Unfortunately, man is also forgetful, resulting in the tendency of history repeating itself.

This was a beautiful and poignant story, a definite must-read.