First Edition, 1982. Hodder & Stoughton, London.
This is a hardback cover, which is in very good condition, without its original dust jacket. There is some foxing to the page edges, and the silver gilt letters to the spine are slightly worn, however the spine binding is tight. Previous owner inscription to frontispiece.
This is the famous novel that tells the story of Oskar Schindler, the self-made entrepreneur and 'bon vivant' who almost by default found himself saving Polish Jews from the Nazi death machine. Based on numerous eyewitness accounts, Keneally's story is unbearably moving but never melodramatic, a testament to the almost unimaginable horrors of Hitler's attempts to make Europe judenfrei (free of Jews).
What distinguishes Schindler in Keneally's version is not, superficially, kindness or idealism, but a certain gusto. He is a flawed hero as he is not 'without sin'; he is a drinker, a womaniser and, at first, a profiteer. After the war, he is commemorated as Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, but he is never seen as a conventionally virtuous character. After the war, his business ventures fail and he separates from his wife.
After 29 unexceptional postwar years he died in 1974. He was buried in Jerusalem as he wished with the help of his old friend Pfefferberg. Schindler's Ark (released in America as Schindler's List) was awarded the LA Times Booker Prize for Fiction in 1983 and more famously was later adapted into the highly successful movie Schindler's List directed by Steven Spielberg.
Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally
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