Thursday, October 4, 2012

Audiobook Review: Surviving Hitler by Andrea Warren

Title:  Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps

Author:  Andrea Warren

Narrator:  Aaron Lockman

Unabridged Length:  2 hrs, 30 mn.

Here is a summary of the novel from the AudioGo website:

What was the secret to surviving the death camps? How did you keep from dying of heartbreak in a place of broken hearts and broken bodies? "Think of it as a game, Jack," an older prisoner tells him. "Play the game right and you might outlast the Nazis." Despite intolerable conditions, Jack resolves not to hate his captors, and vows to see his family again. But even with his strong will to live, can Jack survive the life-and-death game he is forced to play with his Nazi captors? 

My Review:
I have made a habit of never discounting a Holocaust book, or making one story more important than another.  Every survivor has their own story to tell, and sure, bits and pieces of them may be repetitive, but that makes it even more important to me.  To think that many people were affected by one man's evil dream is horrifying to me, and I am thankful for each survival story that is shared.

This is my first experience listening to an audiobook in this genre, and I wasn't sure how it would go for me.  When I first started listening to it, I enjoyed hearing Jack's story, but found myself disliking the narration.  I feel that some more development should have been given to the audioversion, because Lockman's voice seemed almost robotic to me.  Although this was annoying to me, I did not let it interfere with my desire to hear a survivor's story.  I mean, it is quite a short audiobook at two and half hours long so it's not hard to stick it out.

I did get confused a couple of times, and maybe the print version would have been different for me.  There were instances in the book where Warren is describing Jack's experiences, but then it can change to Jack telling his own story in first person.  Sometimes I had to back up a track just to make sure I heard something correctly.

Jack shares his life within the concentration camps with us, as he is shuffled to various camps, looking for friends and any help to keep him surviving.  I think the important message I received from Jack's story was when he was talking about the hatred that some of his fellow prisoners had for their captors.  Jack decided early on that he would not harbor hatred towards the Germans because that would require too much energy, and he had to preserve all of his energy to survive so he could be reunited with his family when the war is over.

This novel brings us through Jack's entire Holocaust nightmare, from imprisonment, to liberation, to his search for his family.   With themes of the Holocaust, survival, and family, this novel can be enjoyed by people of all ages, for book club discussions or personal leisure.  We all must never forget this period of history to prevent these crimes from happening again.  I don't hesitate in recommending this novel.

My Rating:  4/5

Disclosure:  This audiobook was provided to me by the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox in exchange for an honest review. 


bermudaonion said...

This sounds like it's worth reading but I'll go with the print version if I try it.

Alyce said...

It is frustrating when you feel that a story is worthwhile but the audio narration isn't a good fit. It looks like the content of the book is good though. Nice review!

Vicki said...

I'm with both Kathy and Alyce! I'd like to read the print version. I can't stand bad narration and have no problem not finishing an audio book if the narrator grates on my nerves. On the other hand, I rarely can not finish a physical book no matter how bad it is.

Anna said...

I agree that all survivors' stories are important, though I will admit that some are better written than others, but that doesn't mean their stories aren't worth reading. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention!

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