The Pianist

The Pianist

The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945

Book - 1999
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Named one of the Best Books of 1999 by the Los Angeles Times , The Pianist is now a major motion picture directed by Roman Polanski and starring Adrien Brody ( Son of Sam ). The Pianist won the Cannes Film Festival's most prestigious prize--the Palme d'Or.

On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin's Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside--so loudly that he couldn't hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.

Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, The Pianist is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.

Publisher: New York : Picador, c1999.
ISBN: 9780312263768
0312263767
Branch Call Number: 940.5318092 Szpil
Characteristics: 222 pages : illustrations
Additional Contributors: Hosenfeld, Wilm

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j
just1morepixel
Feb 17, 2016

I highly recommend this book. One of my favorite works of non-fiction during this era of brutal history. Władysław Szpilman vividly portrays the Warsaw Ghetto like nothing else I've ever read. And by writing it more in novel form than "diary", the story flows well. You quickly become connected to Władek and his daily struggles, and empathy is unavoidable. As he hurts, so do you. When he weeps, you feel it. And as he gradually numbs... so will you. The book is way better than the movie, but the movie has plenty of it's own merits and is truly a must-see. And be sure to get a hold of the book edition containing excerpts from Wilm Hosenfeld's diary... unbelievably inspirational.

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j
just1morepixel
Mar 31, 2016

just1morepixel thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Liber_vermis
Apr 29, 2012

Over Christmas and New Year 1945, the author was starving and freezing in hiding in the attic of a demolished home in Warsaw, Poland: "In my mind, I went over every Christmas before and during the war. At first I had a home, parents, two sisters and a brother. Then we had no home of our own any more, but we were together. Later I was alone, but surrounded by other people. And now I was lonelier ... than anyone else in the world [but] ... I had to be alone, entirely alone, if I wanted to live. (p. 182)"

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