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The Boxer: The True Story of Holocaust Survivor Harry Haftby Reinhard Kleist
Synopses & Reviews
Poland, 1941. Sixteen-year-old Harry Haft is sent to Auschwitz. When he is forced to fight against other inmates for the amusement of the SS officers, Haft shows extraordinary strength and courage, and a determination to survive. As the Soviet Army advances in April 1945, he makes a daring escape from the Nazis. After negotiating the turmoil of postwar Poland, Haft immigrates to the United States and establishes himself as a professional prizefighter, remaining undefeated until he faces heavy­weight champion Rocky Marciano in 1949. In The Boxer, Reinhard Kleist reveals another side to the steely Harry Haft: a man struggling to escape the memories of the fiancée he left behind in Poland. This is a powerful and moving graphic novel about love and the will to survive.
"This graphic novel, which tells the true story of Holocaust survivor Hertzko 'Harry' Haft, leaves a deep impression. Haft is separated from his family in Nazi-occupied Poland, sent to a series of concentration camps, and subjected to unimaginable brutality, including being forced by the SS to fight in a terrifying series of boxing matches. Readers need only observe Haft's chilling physical transformation to see how remarkable his story of survival is. Despite the sheer inhumanity of his circumstances, Haft is driven by an indomitable will, fueled by the conviction that Leah, the woman he loves, is also somehow managing to survive the Nazi genocide. When his pugilistic skills lead him to a career as a boxer in America after the war, Haft can only hope that his rising success — which includes a shot at the legendary boxer, Rocky Marciano — attracts Leah's attention and ultimately reunites them. Although Kleist (Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness) spares the reader nothing in depicting one of the darkest periods in human history, he always has the unconquerable spirit of his protagonist clearly in focus. Drawn in stark black and white panels, characterized by a visceral sharpness of lines and angles, Kleist's narrative is set in a perfect visual landscape. It's safe to say this is an early candidate for graphic novel of the year honors. (Mar.) " Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Reinhard Kleist has written a number of critically acclaimed graphic novels, among them the award-winning biographies Havana: A Cuban Journey (2008), Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness (Abrams ComicArts, 2009), and Castro (2010). Kleist lives in Berlin, Germany.
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