A fictional account of the persecution and suffering of the Jews. It is simple in style and full of dark humour, irony and lyricism. The author served in Moscow as a member of the Czech section of the Comintern but was later expelled from the Communist party. This is his best-known novel.A fictional account of the persecution and suffering of the Jews. It is simple in style and full of dark humour, irony and lyricism. The author served in Moscow as a member of the Czech section of the Comintern but was later expelled from the Communist party. This is his best-known novel.Read Less
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This is yet more Jewish Holocaust requieum which adds another measure to the seemingly inexhaustable material of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. Two lives are immortalized. Firstly, the life of a man on the lam from 'They' (German occupiers of Czechoslovakia) and, secondly, the inner vessel of a man's hopes and deams. Together, they form the automaton that is cunningly surviving in the shell of a town that has been systematically drained of its vigor, its inhabitants and its treasures. The river that runs through it has been immortalized by Smetana in the tone poem 'The Moldau'; but They who have touched and fingered without veneration the riches of this place have implacably changed it forever.
It develops that kismet is apportioned to him at his haunting by Ruzena. Who is she? Is she with im? Why, or what, does she give him that which is excruciation when he discourses with her?
All the while, 'They' are and remain an excrescence in their suzerainty.
Publishers Weekly, 1991-02-01 A man who escapes assignment to a concentration camp during the Holocaust clings to hope despite the persecution he witnesses, and finally goes underground with a resistance fighter's help. ``Powerful, yet small in scope, this is as much an indictment of materialism--and greed--as it is a chilling portrait of Nazi-occupied Prague,'' PW said. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1989-04-28 This slim, wartime classic was written in the mid-1940s when the author's experiences during the Holocaust were still fresh; the ``star'' of the title refers of course to the Star of David European Jews under Hitler were forced to wear. It opens as the narrator, a former bank teller named Josef Roubicek, is waiting to be called up for deportation to Terezin, the notorious concentration camp in eastern Czechoslovakia. Instead, he is given a ``classification four''--unsuited to hard labor--and is assigned by the authorities to sweep leaves in a Prague cemetery. Here, Roubicek begins a surreal existence as the author contrasts the peacefulness of the cemetery with the increasing persecution of the Jews still left in the city. A weak, vacillating character at the start of the narrative, Roubicek matures. Unlike many friends who contemplate suicide, he decides to embrace hope--and life--and with the help of a resistance fighter goes underground. Weil (1900-1959) builds his drama through a series of telling vignettes; in one pathetic scene a doll cries ``Mama'' as toys of Jewish children are carted off to a warehouse. Powerful, yet small in scope, this is as much an indictment of materialism--and greed--as it is a chilling portrait of Nazi-occupied Prague. In the preface, Roth explains how he was made aware of this ``outstanding'' book. He was in strumental in its publication here. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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