Book Review: The Thief of Auschwitz by Jon Clinch

February 21, 2013
Article first published as Book Review: The Thief of Auschwitz by Jon Clinch on Blogcritics.

The Thief of Auschwitz by Jon Clinch is a fictional book telling of a family’s struggle to survive. Mr. Clinch’s previous books, Finn and Kings of the Earth won awards and commendation from around the country.

The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy to two winners of this book –to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post.

Book Review The Thief of Auschwitz by Jon Clinch

My rating forThe Thief of Auschwitz5

Buy this book inpaperor inelec­tronicformat*

More Books by Jon Clinch

More Rec­om­mended World War II books onMan of la BookStore

The Thief of Auschwitz by Jon Clinch (website | Facebook | @jonclinch) is a fascinating and well written book. Even though short, Mr. Clinch is an excellent storyteller presenting a beautiful story and tight page-turner.

The story portrays a Jewish family trying to stay sane in a world gone mad. The family is trying to salvage a bit of civility wherever they can in a place that could on be described as hell on earth.

The story doesn’t have many twists, but several convenient plot points which, although a bit too convenient are central to the story. Usually I’m not a big fan of “all too convenient” coincidences but I’ve read enough about World War II to know that stranger things have happened in real life, so why not in fiction?

Mr. Clinch wrote an elegant and poignant story which runs the gamete of emotions from despair to hope. I found myself caring about these characters, took solace from their strength and inspiration from their actions. Most important the book shows the true cost of the Holocaust, not only in terms of human life, but in term of culture. The artists who will never paint, the writers who will never write and yes, even the barbers who will never pamper their clients again.

Related Reads:
Auschwitz by Dr. Miklós Nyiszli
Displaced Persons by Ghita Schwarz
The Polski Affair by Leon H. Gildin

The story is told in flashbacks of Max Rosen, an artist, octogenarian, Holocaust survivor and son of Eidel and Jacob who perished in Auschwitz. In his story Max remembers his parents, their tremendous struggle to survive in the concentration camp and all they gave up so he could live.

Jacob, a barber by trade, is assigned to cut the Nazis hair and fantasize about slashing the commandant’s throat. Eidel, an accomplished artist, goes once a week to paint the commandant’s family who lives in relative luxury compared to her existence.

Buy this book inpaperor inelec­tronicformat*

More Books by Jon Clinch

More Rec­om­mended World War II books onMan of la BookStore


  • Give­away ends: Feb­ru­ary 28, 2013

  • US Ship­ping Addresses Only

  • No PO Boxes

  • Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked

Congratulations: clenna@, carlscott@

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book for free.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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  • Jonathan @ I Read a Book OnceFebruary 21, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Wow, sounds like a powerful tale. I love reading anything having to do with WWII history. Thanks for reviewing it, Z.


  • M GibbsFebruary 21, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    It is a shame that this is only open to the USA. I understand that for the paper format but do not understand why this has to be so for the ebook format. That said it does sound like an interesting tale.

    • Zohar - Man of la BookFebruary 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks for the comment.
      The number of books, format and geography are established by the publisher.
      Usually it has to do with the marketing plan (for example: the US release).

  • Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)February 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve seen this book around, and it does look interesting!

  • April KemplerMarch 7, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I just downloaded this book, can’t wait to read it. Honestly I did not care for Finn, but I couldn’t pass up this book. Thanks for reviewing.

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