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sarahf1984

Sarah's Library

I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad).  The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.

Currently reading

The Last Honeytrap
Louise Lee
Progress: 100/346 pages
Complete Works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally

Schindler's Ark - Thomas Keneally

28/6 - This took me so long to read, not because of its content (on which I am reasonably well read and am no longer shocked by the things that were done) because of how dense it was. It seems to be a peculiar feature of non-fiction books that they often tend to have fewer paragraphs, page breaks, or chapters, leaving the reader to deal with many pages completely filled with text with nothing to break it up. The end result for me was that a book of this length, which would usually take me a week to read ended up taking me 12 weeks. I was warned that the fourth reborrow would be my last because the library was getting worried about the condition of their book considering I'd had it for four months (isn't it amazing how time flies? I would have been ready to argue with them about how long I'd had the book but for the system logging the date I borrowed it on).

 

I found myself feeling a bit indignant on Schindler's behalf when Keneally mentioned that one of the men who had been bumped off Schindler's list blamed him for his experiences through the rest of the war (he ended up being marched to Auschwitz where he spent the final months of the war waiting for a place in the gas chamber, which fortunately didn't happen). How much can one man be expected to do!? Schindler spent most of his wealth paying off guards, commandants, other business owners, whoever he needed to in order to get as many people as he could to safety (inside the walls of his factory). He gave little thought to his own safety (which was in serious danger on a number of occasions) when he was negotiating these transactions, it was all about what kind of deal he could do in order to save just a few more people's lives. What right did this prisoner have to complain when it turned out that Schindler wasn't the only one doing deals, and that the other guy was more interested in the money (translation: wedding rings, family heirlooms, gold teeth) he was getting out of the deals than the lives he was saving or eliminating.

Schindler was a hero because of who he was before the war (an aryan aristocrat with an entrée to all the right Nazi party functions, doing deals with the top party members - pretty much a guy you would expect would go along with, if not agree with, the party line regarding the final solution) and how he was able to come to the realisation that what was happening wasn't right and change not only his own mind, but that of others around him. What other single man was able to do so much good?


Now that I've read the book I will definitely be on the lookout for the movie. I found the first few chapters of 'getting to know Schindler' to be bit boring, but I imagine that those chapters will be condensed down into a much more manageable (and enjoyable) few minutes of screen time. I'm also looking forward to reading further books by Thomas Keneally, at some point in the future.