I believe most of us will never know what we are capable of until we are placed to the test. God willing, none of us are ever placed to this test. See more of my reviews at www. View all comments. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Holocaust fiction books in the English language alone. This is not the one to read. This kind of book is hard to rate.
It's based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew who volunteered to go to Auschwitz to save his older brother and, through a combination of true grit and luck, he's able to survive and even fall in love. Who wants to give the story of a Holocaust survivor just two stars? Isn't that a bit heartless? But it's not subject of the b There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Holocaust fiction books in the English language alone.
But it's not subject of the book I'm rating. This book isn't well written. I wasn't surprised to learn that Heather Morris is a screenwriter, because she relies heavily on dialogue here and really struggles with prose although, to be honest, the dialog leaves a lot to be desired, as well.
Scenes change in the matter of a sentence, the dialogue often seems only broken with stage directions. There's no atmospheric build up. There's no sense of tension or urgency or terror. It was all very one-note. The characters, even Lale himself, are flat and poorly developed. The whole book felt very amateurish, and I cannot recommend it. I received an advance copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. Nicki Completely agree!
Considering "The Tattooist of Auschwitz" is a harrowing true story, it was truly compelling and utterly unputdownable. It's without a doubt one of only a few books that will stay with me a very long time, it's that unforgettable and one that keeps you thinking about the story well after you've put it down. Lale Sokolov is a well dressed, charming ladies' man - however he is also a Jew. On arrival at Auschwitz in he immediately stands out to his fellow prisoners who save his life when he tak Considering "The Tattooist of Auschwitz" is a harrowing true story, it was truly compelling and utterly unputdownable.
On arrival at Auschwitz in he immediately stands out to his fellow prisoners who save his life when he takes ill. In the camp he is put to work in the privileged position of the 'Tatowierer' - the tattooist - to mark his fellow prisoners as they arrive in camp. One of them is a girl called Gita who captures his heart immediately. Given a reason to survive Lale uses his position for the greater good even through struggles and extreme suffering, with the hope of one day being with Gita forever, outside of the camp.
Although upsetting, saddening and at times quite unimaginable, there is such a beautiful love story at the heart of the tale that you can't help smiling at. I immediately took to all the real life characters, they were excellently portrayed whether good or bad and could imagine the whole true scenario with such clarity. The author Heather Morris took several years to write Lale's story in her book with the input of the main protagonist himself and even becoming a very good friend with him.
She has ultimately written a story Lale would be very proud of and which tells of his and Gita's tale of wanting to be together through one of the worst and sickening periods of our history with the utmost care and consideration. Compassionately written with sensitivity, its emotive, thought provoking, awe inspiring and certainly puts your own everyday problems into perspective. This book wasn't as brutal and as hard hitting as some holocaust books I've read although equally saddening, therefore I feel this could be read by slightly younger readers without offending or upsetting.
I really can't recommend this stunning book highly enough, it a definite must read for and it gets a fantastic 5 stars for a heart wrenching unforgettable read. View all 68 comments. What a waste of an amazing story on an incapable writer. There is no 'prose', there is really just "he did this, and then he did that". No depth of emotion, no depth of characters, heck - no characters!
I couldn't tell you ONE personality trait of Gita's. Lale also, is so thinly drawn I know nothing about him other than he is supposedly charming. The dialogue between characters is ridiculously empty and the whole thing feels like the most superficial experience of Auschwitz possible.
The love sto What a waste of an amazing story on an incapable writer. The love story, which I'm sure had depth and feeling in real life, is like a disney retelling. A sad sad waste View all 31 comments.
Myths and pre-conceptions
Right after I started reading this book there was a story on the local news about a new exhibit at the Jewish Community Center in our area. The exhibit highlights the Holocaust survivors from this area. At kiosks you can click on a name, read a bio but what struck me the most was that you can also see a video of the survivor telling their story. The utmost importance of these stories is reflected at the beginning of this book by author Graeme Simsion: "It reminds us that every one of the unimagi Right after I started reading this book there was a story on the local news about a new exhibit at the Jewish Community Center in our area.
The utmost importance of these stories is reflected at the beginning of this book by author Graeme Simsion: "It reminds us that every one of the unimaginably large number of Holocaust victims was an individual with a unique story It's really not possible to know what it was like in Auschwitz or the other camps no matter how much we read about the Holocaust, but it is through the stories of the survivors that we can try to understand, even if only a little. Heather Morris has retold the story of Lale Sokolov, a Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz who becomes the camp tattooist and while there finds the love of his life, Gita.
This stared out as a screenplay she wrote as Lale told her his story and has been developed into this "novel". Lale from the first day he arrives in Auschwitz by cattle car, makes a vow to himself that he would survive this and after falling in love with Gita, he makes a promise to her that they will have a life together when they are out. That he can speak multiple languages saves Lale multiple times as well as connections made with other people imprisoned, with workers from the outside and even a German guard.
With jewelry and cash gotten from the women who work in the building where belongings are sorted, Lale with his savvy, his courage and with some luck barters for time with Gita for the price of chocolate, a piece of sausage , a hunk of bread, a diamond or ruby.
But he also provides as much food as he can to others. He helps many people along the way putting himself in danger each day as each day he tattoos numbers onto the arms of the new inhabitants.
He does seem to have an existence in some ways better than most in the camp and better than when he first arrived until he is caught with the jewels. It is obvious that he survives, so there's no spoiler here that Lale continues to have the capacity for hope and love that seems impossible as he endures. This is a story told with love about courage in the face of the horrors of the camps and loss of family, courage sustained by the strength of the human spirit and it's a love story that I'll never forget.
There is not much more I can say other than what Lale himself tells Morris - that he wanted his story recorded so "It would never happen again. View all 96 comments. Mar 11, Tammy rated it liked it. I recall, as a child, accompanying one or the other of my parents to our family jeweler countless times. It seemed as if some piece always needed to be repaired or purchased for one occasion or another. For my tenth birthday I received a small sapphire and diamond ring which was too large and needed to be resized.
One day after school off we went to see Marty and Irv. It was an unseasonably warm fall day and Irv had his shirtsleeves rolled up. When he placed his arm on the glass countertop, I sa I recall, as a child, accompanying one or the other of my parents to our family jeweler countless times.
When he placed his arm on the glass countertop, I saw the tattooed numbers on his arm for the very first time. I felt, also for the first time, a cold clenching my stomach. That very day, at the age of ten, I had watched Night and Fog as part of my fifth grade curriculum and my physical reaction was the painful shock of recognition. It was disturbing to me that this kind and gentle man had been subjected to and survived the death camps.
What I will say about this book is that it tells a story of hope amid horror. I will also say that the writing is sophomoric. However, I do think this is a book that is well suited for young teens as an introduction to this very dark part of history. View all 44 comments. A unsettling but gripping novel, based on the true story of Lale, a Slovakian Jew caught up in the horrors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during WW2.
He speaks several languages, so soon finds himself employed in the camp as the tattooist, the man responsible for inscribing prisoners numbers on their arms. He soon meets and falls in love with Gita, a fellow inmate. This is a beautifully told tale, Helen Mo A unsettling but gripping novel, based on the true story of Lale, a Slovakian Jew caught up in the horrors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during WW2.
This is a beautifully told tale, Helen Morris captures the essence of the camp well. I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau earlier this year and found it to be chilling and disturbing. One can only speculate at the deranged minds of those that caused such suffering. I read through this book it quickly in one sitting, and though it outlines the horrors of war, it shows the strength of the human spirit, and that there is always something to hope for.
Highly recommended, this is one that will stay with you for a long time. View all 23 comments. This is a historical fiction novel based on a true story. Lale Sokolov tells his story based on true events. He became the main tattooist of Aushwitz and falls in love at first sight with Gita who he first met tattooing her arm.
He tattoos all the new prisoners with their identification numbers. Lale is a Jew. He is on the first transport of men from Slovakia to Auschwitz in The concentration camp was very horrifying. Lale did have some special privileges, since he was the tatto 4. Lale did have some special privileges, since he was the tattoist. He had lots of freedom than the other prisoners. He was so brave and had lots of courage. He would exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive.
If he was caught he would of been killed. Many prisoners owed him their survival. He was a leader among the other prisoners. Their are some graphic scenes that are a little dark. This book stands out from other Holocaust related novels. It is an emotional read. The Nazi guards are monsters, they kill and hurt human beings. Lale was determined to survive. This is a terrible story but it also is a story of hope and courage.
Translation of tattoo in German
I really did love this story. It was almost like reading a memoir, but a little different than a memoir. This story is an emotional read, but I also found it uplifting at times. The Holocaust was horrific and couldn't believe all the awful things that happened in the concentration camp. I would say this is a safer read than other Holocaust novels. I really loved Lale's true story. I am so happy that the author spent a lot of time with him, to tell his story. She really did an amazing job on his character. All the characters were very well done and made this novel come alive.
I loved the love story between Lale and Gita and how they fall in love at first sight. I love a romance in a novel only when there is lots of suspense. Its always the suspense that I am looking for and this one has ok plenty of it. I felt so sad for Cilka, and everything she went through. I also felt sad for Leon. There are some scenes that are graphic but this is the Holocaust, a horrifying time and as I mentioned before this is a safer read than other Holocaust books.
I could not put this book down. It was a page turner. I loved the writing style. I am really loving historical novels more and more because I think they are needed because we need to remember what happened so that history isn't forgotten. This was a Traveling Sister read and I loved reading this with them and it was a wonderful discussion. This is a great book to do as a group read. I want to thank Netgalley, the publisher and Heather Morris for a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
View all 67 comments. View all 9 comments.
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I don't think I quite prepared myself, or wasn't able to entirely remove myself from the novel, so became completely invested and because of this, it absolutely tore me apart. Based on a true story - Lale uses his education and knowledge of languages to get himself a job as the Tatowierer after each Jewish family must volunteer one young male for 'work'.
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This 'work' turns out to be the concentration camps on Auschwitz and Birkenau. We witness first hand the atrocities Lale sees happen, and also the cruelty and torture he endures at the hands of the Nazi's. Despite knowing this was a 'memoir' of sorts, and that Lale would eventually escape, I was still terrified when reading this.
Books like this need to be published and read, as I think that despite everyone knowing what the Holocaust was, I think people might be in danger of forgetting just how truly horrifying it was, and the lowest depths of humanity. Not everyday was filled with violence, some days nothing happened at all - and the prisoners whiled away the days, too starved or beaten to really do anything.
Non-fiction books aren't always designed to be enthralling, and for me this story's purpose was more for education and the sharing of someone's past, rather than to simply entertain the reader. I've seen a few reviews commenting on the writing style, how it is written quite factually rather than emotionally, and to be honest I do agree. It is written more as a timeline, than a novel.
But I understand it was done this way because it is the couple's story to tell; I just would have preferred more detail in other places. He just turned up at the train station and she just got off?! Is that actually how easily it happened? I would have liked to have seen a bit more of his research into how he knew she would be there? Or was it literally just fate? Politics and religion both. View all 16 comments. The German government needed workers for their labor camps.
In , all families in Slovakia were ordered to provide a child eighteen or older for work detail or risk having the entire family sent to concentration camp. Lale Sokolov hoped that by going to Prague to await these instructions his family would be safe.
He did not expect to be forced into a cattle wagon and be transported to Auschwitz. He was determined to do as he was told, reveal little about himself and always be observant. Lale's The German government needed workers for their labor camps. Lale's upbeat manner as well as deference to his capo helped him secure the job of "Tetovierer", the tattooist. Rules: Look down. Be quick and efficiently tattoo the five numbers written on each person's piece of paper. In order to survive, he had to defile innocent people.
The job of "Tetovierer" did have some perks. Lale was given his own room and increased food rations which he hid under his sleeve to distribute to others when possible. One day, Lale saw a girl with the darkest brown eyes. He made a vow to himself. He will leave Auschwitz a free man. He has just met the love of his life!
Through cunning, luck and love, Lale is instrumental in setting up a barter system with paid bricklayers, Victor and Yuri. Food and medicine are exchanged for gems and currency smuggled out of the "Canada" building where some of Gita's friends work to empty the pockets of clothing from new arrivals at Auschwitz. Diamonds and chocolate entice an occasional guard or capo as well. The chilling accounts of total disregard for life are occasionally tempered by selfless goodness and sacrifice without which Lale and Gita's love story could not have been told.
This slim tome documents less familiar aspects of Holocaust literature. A must read. View all 40 comments. An interesting tale based on a true story but not really comprehensively told. I enjoyed what was there but there seemed to be so much left out! Lale was obviously a charming rogue who managed to survive all those years in Auschwitz despite bringing himself to the attention of the authorities repeatedly and in very serious ways. It was amazing that a life long love affair could have begun in such a place and even more amazing that they both survived and found each other again after the war.
Obvi An interesting tale based on a true story but not really comprehensively told. Obviously it was meant to be. There must have been a lot more to this story than we are made aware of. Just leave for a Gran Tour of the German Tattoos! We keep a close eye on international developments and our many contributors the world over ensure we always have a fresh take on what is going on in the world of tattoo and everything that revolves around this art form.
Don't miss to visit the best Tattoo Store ever: www. Let the news come to you! Subscribe to our newsletter and join our tattoo community. Berlin is a mecca for those looking to get inked by some of the world's best artists. You need only to walk around Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, or even Prenzlauer Berg for proof. And although the tattoo craze has been happening for quite some time here, it's becoming more prevalent in mainstream society. And these can be anything from full-blown shops to hard-to-book and find private studios.
So in an effort to help you sort through the inky waters, we went out and culled some of the best artists in the game and spoke to a few of them about their craft. We also pulled together some of Berlin's best shops if a month-long waitlist just isn't your thing. The man behind the needle is Chaim Machlev, an Israeli expat who only learned tattoo and design when he moved to Berlin in which is why some are keen to call him a prodigy.
As a drawer, I love details and how a fine needle can do that. The German artist and former clothing design student is an expert in bright colors, splatters, and fades. Kreuzberg Marc Fischer is a master of realistic, life-like portraits. Fischer is set up at Pechschwarz , in the heart of Kreuzberg. Okada owned his own shop in Tokyo, but grew tired of fighting stereotypes against tattoos at home.
Prenzlauer Berg Lus Lip, a. Although he doesn't post on social media that often, his skills are still highly sought after by those looking for a gallery-worthy portrait or a warmly-colored new traditional animal piece. Prenzlauer Berg Working out of a private courtyard atelier with a garden on Prenzlauer Allee, Julia Toebel creates her soft, poetic works by appointment only. She started tattooing in Japan in , after meeting an artist from there and continued learning in Italy. Since , Julia tattoos out of her atelier and also hosts other tattooers there too. She works splashes of watercolor for tattoos that look like fairytale book illustrations, ranging from dreamy depictions of femininity to nature.
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