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The Pianist : The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945

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The Pianist : The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Named one of the Best Books of 1999 by the Los Angeles Times, The Pianist is now a major motion picture directed by Roman Polanski and starring Adrien Brody (Son of Sam). The Pianist won the Cannes Film Festival's most prestigious prize--the Palme d'Or.

On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin's Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside--so loudly that he couldn't hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.

Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, The Pianist is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.

Wladyslaw Szpilman was born in 1911. He studied the piano at the Warsaw Conservatory and at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. From 1945 to 1963, he was Director of Music at Polish Radio, and he also pursued a career as a concert pianist and composer for many years.

On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin's Nocturne in C sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside a nearby window--so loudly that he couldn't hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw; that day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.

Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades--and now the basis for a new motion picture directed by Roman Polanski--The Pianist is a stunning tribute to what one human being can endure, as The Cleveland Plain Dealer observed, and a testimony to the redemptive power of fellow feeling.

Stunning . . . Filled with unforgettable incidents, images, and people.--The Wall Street Journal

Remarkable . . . A document of lasting historical and human value.--The Los Angeles Times

Historically indispensible.--The Washington Post Book World

The Pianist is a great book.--The Boston Globe

Even by the standards set by Holocaust memoirs, this book is a stunner.--Seattle Weekly

Distinguished by Szpilman's] dazzling clarity . . . Remarkably lucid.--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A striking Holocaust memoir that conveys with exceptional immediacy and cool reportage the author's desperate fight for survival.--Kirkus Reviews

The Pianist is a book so fresh and vivid, so heartbreaking, and so simply and beautifully written, that it manages to tell us the story of horrendous events as if for the first time . . . an altogether unforgettable book. --The Daily Telegraph (London)

Wladyslaw Szpilman's memoir of life in Nazi-occupied Warsaw and the Jewish ghetto has a singular vividness. All is conveyed with an understated intimacy and dailiness that render them painfully close.--The Observer (London)

It is all told with a simple clarity that lodges the story in one's stomach through a mixture of disgust, terror, despair, rage, and guilt that grips the reader almost gently. --The Spectator (London)

Illuminates vividly the horror that overcame the Polish people. Szpilman's account has an immediacy, vivid and anguished.--The Sunday Telegraph (London)

Review:

"[J]oins the ranks of Holocaust memoirs notable as much for their literary value as for their historical significance....Employing language that has more in common with the understatement of Primo Levi than with the moral urgency of Elie Wiesel, Szpilman is a remarkably lucid observer and chronicler..." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Stunning." The Wall Street Journal

Review:

"Historically indispensable." The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"The Pianist is a great book." The Boston Globe

Review:

"He tells his remarkable epic with great clarity and sensitivity." Dade Jewish Journal

Review:

"[A]n unusual book that gives the reader the memories of a victim still in shock, unconcerned with enhancing his story for easy reading....The Pianist is not an easy book to read, due to its lack of literary finesse, but it contains much valuable information to add to a student's understanding of the Holocaust." KLIATT

Review:

"[R]emarkable not only for the heroism of its protagonists but for the author's lack of bitterness, even optimism, in recounting the events. Written and published in a short run in Poland soon after the war, this first translation maintains a freshness of experience lacking in many later, more ruminative Holocaust memoirs." Library Journal

Review:

"Rarely has the sheer claustrophobia of living in the Warsaw Ghetto been so vividly conveyed as it is by Szpilman." The Independent (U.K.)

Review:

"[Szpilman's] shock and ensuing numbness become ours, so that acts of ordinary kindness or humanity take on an aura of miracle." The Observer (U.K.)

Review:

"[Szpilman's] account is hair-raising beyond anything Hollywood could invent...an altogether unforgettable book." The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

Synopsis:

Named one of the Best Books of 1999 by the Los Angeles Times, The Pianist is now a major motion picture directed by Roman Polanski and starring Adrien Brody (Son of Sam). The Pianist won the Cannes Film Festivals most prestigious prizethe Palme dOr.

On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopins Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outsideso loudly that he couldnt hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.

Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, The Pianist is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.

Synopsis:

< div> Named one of the Best Books of 1999 by the < i> Los Angeles Times< /i> , < i> The Pianist < /i> is now a major motion picture directed by Roman Polanski and starring Adrien Brody (< i> Son of Sam< /i> ). < i> The Pianist< /i> won the Cannes Film Festival& #8217; s most prestigious prize& #8212; the Palme d& #8217; Or.< br> < br> On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin& #8217; s Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside& #8212; so loudly that he couldn& #8217; t hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.< br> < br> Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, < i> The Pianist < /i> is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.< br> < /div>

About the Author

Wladyslaw Szpilman was born in 1911. He studied the piano at the Warsaw Conservatory and at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. From 1945 to 1963, he was Director of Music at Polish Radio, and he also pursued a career as a concert pianist and composer for many years. He lives in Warsaw

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

ChadS, October 19, 2013 (view all comments by ChadS)
There are definitely many ways that we can take our daily life for granted. Many of us don’t think about what we are going to eat, where we are going to sleep, or even if we’ll be alive tomorrow. During the Holocaust, thousands of Jewish people were forced to live with these horrific thoughts as they were being murdered by the Germans left and right. In The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman, a middle aged Jewish man is miraculously one of the scarce number of his kind to survive the Holocaust. This memoir takes many twists and turns and is really unpredictable at times. A lack of faith in himself and perhaps a little bit of luck, is what truly brings this story to life. This conflict is able to portray the mindset of the many Jewish people at the time. Thus, it always kept me on my toes wanting to know what was going to happen next. When all hope seems lost, after he encounters what he fears most, some extraordinary luck is what ultimately saves his life from death. Wladyslaw Szpilman was able to give me a very detailed explanation of his perspective on the unimaginable events that were unfolding before his eyes. This book helped me to visualize a real-life setting of what exactly was going on during this awful time period. It also helps me understand that there is nothing that can ever be taken for granted.
This book was by far the most captivating and action packed book that I have ever read considering the many pressure filled situations that Wladyslaw was thrown into.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(7 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312263768
Author:
Szpilman, Wladyslaw
Publisher:
Picador USA
Author:
Szpilman, Wadysaw
Location:
New York
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
Jews
Subject:
Holocaust
Subject:
Holocaust, jewish (1939-1945)
Subject:
Composers & Musicians - Classical Instrumentalists
Subject:
Historical - Holocaust
Subject:
Warsaw
Subject:
Holocaust, jewish
Subject:
Jewish musicians.
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Warsaw (poland)
Subject:
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Poland.
Subject:
Composers & Musicians - General
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Subject:
Historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
10
Publication Date:
September 2000
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Plus one 8-page bandw photo insert
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.29 x 5.47 x 0.63 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » Composers and Musicians
Biography » Historical
History and Social Science » World History » Holocaust
Religion » Judaism » Holocaust

The Pianist : The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945 New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Picador USA - English 9780312263768 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[J]oins the ranks of Holocaust memoirs notable as much for their literary value as for their historical significance....Employing language that has more in common with the understatement of Primo Levi than with the moral urgency of Elie Wiesel, Szpilman is a remarkably lucid observer and chronicler..."
"Review" by , "Stunning."
"Review" by , "Historically indispensable."
"Review" by , "The Pianist is a great book."
"Review" by , "He tells his remarkable epic with great clarity and sensitivity."
"Review" by , "[A]n unusual book that gives the reader the memories of a victim still in shock, unconcerned with enhancing his story for easy reading....The Pianist is not an easy book to read, due to its lack of literary finesse, but it contains much valuable information to add to a student's understanding of the Holocaust."
"Review" by , "[R]emarkable not only for the heroism of its protagonists but for the author's lack of bitterness, even optimism, in recounting the events. Written and published in a short run in Poland soon after the war, this first translation maintains a freshness of experience lacking in many later, more ruminative Holocaust memoirs."
"Review" by , "Rarely has the sheer claustrophobia of living in the Warsaw Ghetto been so vividly conveyed as it is by Szpilman."
"Review" by , "[Szpilman's] shock and ensuing numbness become ours, so that acts of ordinary kindness or humanity take on an aura of miracle."
"Review" by , "[Szpilman's] account is hair-raising beyond anything Hollywood could invent...an altogether unforgettable book."
"Synopsis" by ,
Named one of the Best Books of 1999 by the Los Angeles Times, The Pianist is now a major motion picture directed by Roman Polanski and starring Adrien Brody (Son of Sam). The Pianist won the Cannes Film Festivals most prestigious prizethe Palme dOr.

On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopins Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outsideso loudly that he couldnt hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.

Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, The Pianist is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.

"Synopsis" by , < div> Named one of the Best Books of 1999 by the < i> Los Angeles Times< /i> , < i> The Pianist < /i> is now a major motion picture directed by Roman Polanski and starring Adrien Brody (< i> Son of Sam< /i> ). < i> The Pianist< /i> won the Cannes Film Festival& #8217; s most prestigious prize& #8212; the Palme d& #8217; Or.< br> < br> On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin& #8217; s Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside& #8212; so loudly that he couldn& #8217; t hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.< br> < br> Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, < i> The Pianist < /i> is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.< br> < /div>
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