The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

A Novel

Book - 2018
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Jun 12, 2019

Recent comments reflect the historical inaccuracy and rudimentary quality of writing in this novel, which the author and publisher present as being a work of historical fiction. It is not accurate and should be taken as a novel in which the author took a fiction writer's imaginative license with a real person's story. For details of the discrepancies, you may refer to this review in The Guardian newspaper:

If the book were to be re-issued with an honest preface and the inacurracies corrected (penicillin was not available during the second world war--anywhere--not to mention in a rural Polish village), it could be considered an interesting first novel. Dr. Josef Mengele, in spite of the horrors he perpetrated upon twins and people with disabilities, never castrated men. The author and her fact checkers were not diligent. The book is misleading.

Jun 07, 2019

Wasn't especially well-written...I found out later the author is a screenwriter and this was her first novel. Well, it showed. The writing was terse in an awkward, almost childish way. She also took a lot of liberties with her imagination, according to actual historians of Auschwitz who have slammed this book for its inaccuracies. The way the love story unfolded didn't especially move me either. The subject matter could've been handled so much better.

May 26, 2019

Awful, irresponsible book. So much is so unbelievable! Some of the scenes were written as if the characters were at summer camp with guns, not in a concentration camp. How many times did Lale sneak out of his room? How many times were the SS looking away? He was able to sneak jewelry and precious gems into his room? The women were able to chat, gossip, and giggle?! I am baffled that this was published. It’s atrocious and irresponsible.

May 18, 2019

This story is so important, and could have been so beautifully told. Morris just wasn't the one who should have written this book. Very surface level and didn't engage me nearly the way it could have.

Apr 29, 2019

What would you do to survive the Holocaust? Atrocities are everywhere. Most of us wouldn't have survived. And, I think this is the point of the book. Lale and Gita Sokolov weren't perfect people, but they DID survive. They married. They had a son Gary. We can question Lale's ethics, but we can't question his overwhelming desire to see everyone he knew survive the horrors of Nazi Germany.

ArapahoeKatieK Apr 24, 2019

A heartwarming story about love in the unlikeliest of places and how that love survived. Based on the lives of actual Holocaust survivors, it gives us a peek into what life was like in the camps. Definitely worth a read.

Apr 22, 2019

The story held my interest and, in truth, I couldn't put it down. However, the writing is terrible. It's a poor adaptation of a screenplay. And why does Lale Sokolov's story need to be fictionalized? This book is on par with what I consider to be a disturbing trend in Holocaust-related literature: sexy and romaticized works aimed at younger readers. To reference John Boyne, if you're going to write about the Holocaust, you better have something to say. Morris adds nothing to this genre. The story is meant to suck you in and make money.

Apr 20, 2019

In the main, this ws a badly written book and the last five pages or so were the worst-as if the author got bored and wanted to be done with it.

Apr 02, 2019

I have never seen a Prologue where the author actually copied and pasted part of her book and stuck it at the beginning. This was a strong indication of what type of writing would lay ahead. The author also used crude terms that were unnecessary and distracted from the overall story. Her writing seemed disjointed and the narrative did not naturally build; rather, it slammed the reader with the horror from the first moments of the first pages. I suppose that could be because the author was getting her information second-hand from Lale. Perhaps the details of the story came out quite disjointed because of all of the years that passed since his experiences. I also found it hard to believe that so much dealing went on in the story with chocolates and jewels, but it could have happened that way. I was also disappointed that the hero was not an honest man of virtue, he was simply someone who fell in love during the holocaust. Having said all of that, I did believe in the love between him and Gita and I did appreciate the ending. I just think there are a lot more virtuous stories out there about Hitler's regime, such as The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.

Mar 29, 2019

Well written story that does need to be told. This true story is brought to life so that you can experience the thoughts and horror of the victims in the story and see survival.

Mar 20, 2019

Although this is a fictionalized account of real-life events, the prospective reader should read, first, the "Additional Information" and the "Author's Note" at the back of the book which provide a short biography of the main characters, photographs, and two maps. Check out the "Similar Titles" for higher rated Holocaust accounts.

Mar 19, 2019

The screenplay mode came through clearly with the lack of scenery and background. I was astonished at the apparent ease with which the girls working in "Canada" were able to collect so many valuables without being searched, and then pass them on to Lale. I found Lale's ability to hide these under a mattress in "his room" (???) undetected, over an extended period of time, unbelievable.
The wonderful love story and amazing endurance of the characters is touching, however having visited Dachau concentration camp in 1967, and having read many other books on the subject, I found the book unconvincing. It gives rise to the notion that perhaps all the horror stories are untrue. Luckily we have photographic evidence to prove otherwise.

Mar 17, 2019

This book is a must read. Triumph and Love in the midst of unthinkable horror. Thank you for bring us Lale and Gita's story. It needed to be told.

Mar 14, 2019

I guess you could say I have been on a World War II, Holocaust reading kick lately. I don't really know why (especially with the subject matter being so dark and somber), but I continue to be drawn to them. When I had shared a recent book in my Instagram stories, a friend mentioned this title so I put it on hold at the library. Let me just say, this book... WOW! It is deemed a novel, but it's based on a true story and man is it a crazy one. Lale is a Slovakian Jew who is taken to Auschwitz and eventually becomes the tattooist, the one who tattoos the identification number on the bodies of everyone coming into Auschwitz-Birkenau. Although this is definitely not a light-hearted read, it is one centered on love and perseverance. I have no idea what I would do in a situation like this, but I pray A. never to find out, but B. that I would have the strength to fight for those around me and to make a difference in the world, however small and seemingly insignificant it may be. I feel like I spoiled the ending a bit by flipping through the last few pages of the book, so if you grab it, I would recommend averting your eyes. I flew through this book in an afternoon, I just couldn't put it down (started reading it while I rode the stationary bike). I would give it a 9 out of 10.

Mar 13, 2019

Dawn Huntington

Mar 12, 2019

What an incredible book!
What those people went through & still survived! Love conquers all!
A must read!!!

Mar 06, 2019

Definitely worth a read. Moved me to tears and for sure it's a great lesson in true resilience.

Mar 03, 2019

This book does not do justice to this epic story of love and survival during WWII. The narrative felt very rushed and overly simplistic, with underwhelming prose and many scenes lacking in detail.

Mar 02, 2019

I read this for the "A book suggested by someone else in the challenge" part of my 2019 reading challenge. I thought it was very well done, it was a quick afternoon read and felt lighter than other holocaust stories while still being moving and historically accurate.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Feb 19, 2019

An unlikely love story based on a true story.

Feb 01, 2019

Not the best book I have read about Auschwitz but one worth the read. I was expecting more from all the reviews.

Jan 30, 2019

I really enjoyed this novel. Based on the true story of Gita and Lale Sokolov, the author was fortunate enough to have had a first-hand account of this amazing tale of cruelty, love, compassion and courage by Lale himself. Chosen as the official tattooist of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland, Lale tattoos the number on Gita’s arm and almost immediately falls in love with her. From that moment on, Lale is determined to survive the concentration camp to marry Gita. The book reads easily and although some of the cruelties described are hard to read, this story shows how the sheer will to live can make someone overcome anything.

Jan 18, 2019

A good story, but sometimes difficult to digest when reading. This is a story of love and resilience. "... when you spend years of not knowing if in five minutes' time you will be death, there is not much that you can't deal with. As long as we are alive and healthy, everything will work out to the best."

Jan 09, 2019

A great story of the choices we make when placed in unexpected and tragic circumstances. It was fun to see the story of Lala and Gita unfold with the unusual arrangement that created a deep romantic bond. The authenticity and raw emotion of being in Auschwitz was shown with glimpses of humanity as Lala developed relationships with his guards and attempted to help others in the camps. A page turner, I highly recommend it.

Jan 03, 2019

I believe it wasn't the author's intent to drown the reader in the unspeakably horrific things that occurred in the extermination camps. Rather, she laid out this story, based on fact, as close to the ultimate evils as possible; yet, she tried to show that love, friendship, courage and acts of kindness could and did exist in the midst of Hell. Anyone who denies the existence of these German camps, as some do, has little but air between their ears.
P.S. I was far down the line for a "Hold"; however, I was lucky enough yesterday to find it in The Fast Lane. Read it overnight and returned it - perhaps it's still there?

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