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Skeletons at the Feast

by

Skeletons at the Feast Cover

ISBN13: 9780307394958
ISBN10: 0307394956
Condition:
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In January 1945, in the waning months of World War II, a small group of people begin the longest journey of their lives: an attempt to cross the remnants of the Third Reich, from Warsaw to the Rhine if necessary, to reach the British and American lines.

Among the group is eighteen-year-old Anna Emmerich, the daughter of Prussian aristocrats. There is her lover, Callum Finella, a twenty-year-old Scottish prisoner of war who was brought from the stalag to her family's farm as forced labor. And there is a twenty-six-year-old Wehrmacht corporal, who the pair know as Manfred — who is, in reality, Uri Singer, a Jew from Germany who managed to escape a train bound for Auschwitz.

As they work their way west, they encounter a countryside ravaged by war. Their flight will test both Anna's and Callum's love, as well as their friendship with Manfred — assuming any of them even survive.

Perhaps not since The English Patient has a novel so deftly captured both the power and poignancy of romance and the terror and tragedy of war. Skillfully portraying the flesh and blood of history, Chris Bohjalian has crafted a rich tapestry that puts a face on one of the twentieth century's greatest tragedies — while creating, perhaps, a masterpiece that will haunt readers for generations.

Review:

"In his 12th novel, Bohjalian (The Double Bind) paints the brutal landscape of Nazi Germany as German refugees struggle westward ahead of the advancing Russian army. Inspired by the unpublished diary of a Prussian woman who fled west in 1945, the novel exhumes the ruin of spirit, flesh and faith that accompanied thousands of such desperate journeys. Prussian aristocrat Rolf Emmerich and his two elder sons are sent into battle, while his wife flees with their other children and a Scottish POW who has been working on their estate. Before long, they meet up with Uri Singer, a Jewish escapee from an Auschwitz-bound train, who becomes the group's protector. In a parallel story line, hundreds of Jewish women shuffle west on a gruesome death march from a concentration camp. Bohjalian presents the difficulties confronting both sets of travelers with carefully researched detail and an unflinching eye, but he blinks when creating the Emmerichs, painting them as untainted by either their privileged status, their indoctrination by the Nazi Party or their adoration of Hitler. Although most of the characters lack complexity, Bohjalian's well-chosen descriptions capture the anguish of a tragic era and the dehumanizing desolation wrought by war." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Bohjalian proves once again that he is a master novelist." Boston Globe

Review:

"The Double Bind is simply one of the best written, most compelling, artfully woven novels to grace bookshelves in years. Immediately after the spellbinding surprise ending, readers will want to begin again at the first page. It's THAT good." Associated Press

Review:

"Bohjalian beautifully captures those dizzying moments that follow a tragedy, when disbelief and horror give way to an attempt to understand what has happened...authentic...haunting....In Before You Know Kindness, our eyes are opened to the possibility of redemption, even in these careless times." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Few writers can manipulate a plot with Bohjalian's grace and power." New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Bohjalian [is] America's answer to Joanna Trollope." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Bohjalian takes a fresh perspective and details the brutal realities of World War II in a novel that for once does not focus entirely on the Allies." Library Journal

About the Author

Chris Bohjalian is the critically acclaimed author of eleven novels, including Midwives (a Publishers Weekly Best Book and an Oprah's Book Club selection), Before You Know Kindness, and his most recent New York Times bestseller, The Double Bind. His work has been translated into nineteen languages and published in twenty-two countries. He lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Beth F, January 3, 2010 (view all comments by Beth F)
Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian belongs at the top of any list of World War II novels. This is not a story of politics, of war strategy, or of Hitler. This is a story of human beings, of terror, of unspeakable horrors, of naïveté, of survival, and even of love.

Only when war is shrunk to the individual level, to what happens to civilians, can those of us who have been spared firsthand experience begin to get the mere glimpse of such a world. We wonder about our own strength, our own skills, and our own survival instincts.

Anna, Callum, Cecile, Uri, and the other inhabitants of Bohjalian's novel are not characters, they are people. Each with a history that has informed the choices he or she makes during the last months of the war in Europe. We get to know these men and women, their dreams, their memories, their scars. We cannot forget them.

It is impossible to read the epilogue without sobbing—not so much because of what does or does not happen to the characters in a book but because of the sheer emotional impact of the story. Because we think of our fathers who were there as soldiers, our relatives who escaped or not, and our friends who live in phoenix cities throughout the Continent.
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Krista Smith-Moroziuk, April 14, 2009 (view all comments by Krista Smith-Moroziuk)
This is a haunting book whose images stay with you for days. It is nice to read about WWII from a different perspective. The story line is so engrossing that you do not want to put it down.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307394958
Author:
Bohjalian, Chris
Publisher:
Shaye Areheart Books
Author:
Bohjalian, Chris A.
Author:
Chris Bohjalian
Author:
Chris Bohjalian
Subject:
General
Subject:
Jews
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Jews -- Germany.
Subject:
Air pilots, Military
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Historical
Publication Date:
20080531
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9.48x6.80x1.39 in. 1.57 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Skeletons at the Feast New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$23.25 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Shaye Areheart Books - English 9780307394958 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In his 12th novel, Bohjalian (The Double Bind) paints the brutal landscape of Nazi Germany as German refugees struggle westward ahead of the advancing Russian army. Inspired by the unpublished diary of a Prussian woman who fled west in 1945, the novel exhumes the ruin of spirit, flesh and faith that accompanied thousands of such desperate journeys. Prussian aristocrat Rolf Emmerich and his two elder sons are sent into battle, while his wife flees with their other children and a Scottish POW who has been working on their estate. Before long, they meet up with Uri Singer, a Jewish escapee from an Auschwitz-bound train, who becomes the group's protector. In a parallel story line, hundreds of Jewish women shuffle west on a gruesome death march from a concentration camp. Bohjalian presents the difficulties confronting both sets of travelers with carefully researched detail and an unflinching eye, but he blinks when creating the Emmerichs, painting them as untainted by either their privileged status, their indoctrination by the Nazi Party or their adoration of Hitler. Although most of the characters lack complexity, Bohjalian's well-chosen descriptions capture the anguish of a tragic era and the dehumanizing desolation wrought by war." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Bohjalian proves once again that he is a master novelist."
"Review" by , "The Double Bind is simply one of the best written, most compelling, artfully woven novels to grace bookshelves in years. Immediately after the spellbinding surprise ending, readers will want to begin again at the first page. It's THAT good."
"Review" by , "Bohjalian beautifully captures those dizzying moments that follow a tragedy, when disbelief and horror give way to an attempt to understand what has happened...authentic...haunting....In Before You Know Kindness, our eyes are opened to the possibility of redemption, even in these careless times."
"Review" by , "Few writers can manipulate a plot with Bohjalian's grace and power."
"Review" by , "Bohjalian [is] America's answer to Joanna Trollope."
"Review" by , "Bohjalian takes a fresh perspective and details the brutal realities of World War II in a novel that for once does not focus entirely on the Allies."
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