Mar 6, 2010

1) Jakob the Liar

Original Title: Jakob der Lügner
Turkish Title: Yalancı Jakob
English Title: Jakob the Liar
Author: Jurek Becker
Pages: 224
Rating: 4/5
Applicable Challenges: 50 Books A Year; Book+Movie Challenge
When my husband brought home DVD of the movie, Jacob the Liar, I knew we couldn’t watch it that weekend because the book with the same title had been sitting on my book shelf forever and I don’t even remember how it got there. I prefer reading the book first, rather than watching the movie. My love was kind and patient enough to wait for me to read it and that is how this book became my first book of 2010.
The story is about a former cafe owner who makes up a story of the Russian army's advance on the ghetto he lives in, and the freedom that will follow their arrival. It is a somewhat comic tale of an unimaginable tragedy: Schmidt, the assimilationist; the child, Lina, who hunts for Jacob's imaginary radio; Frankfurter, the formerly obese burgher, and Jacob himself, a storyteller, who finds himself trapped in his growing mass of lies until he is driven to tell the truth. At the end there are two final passages: one in which the Russians arrive to save the ghetto; and one in which they don't. Who is to distinguish between fact and myth?
As I like reading any kind of Holocaust books, I really enjoyed reading this one. I liked the story-telling. Becker was quite successful in telling the everyday life at the ghetto, the triviality of people’s horrors. Still, it was not depressing at all. I consider it as an extremely well-written book and I recommend it if you're interested in that kind of thing, or just if you like good literary fiction.

No comments :

Post a Comment