Monday, May 25, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "I Truly Lament--Working Through The Holocaust" by Mathias B. Freese

I Truly Lament—Working Through the Holocaust is a varied collection of stories: inmates in death camps; survivors of these camps; disenchanted Golems complaining about their designated rounds; Holocaust deniers and their ravings; collectors of Hitler curiosa (only recently a few linens from Hitler’s bedroom suite went up for sale!);  an imagined interview with Eva Braun during her last days in the Berlin bunker; a Nazi camp doctor subtly denying his complicity; and the love story of a Hungarian cantor, among others.
A weirdly wonderful short story collection exploring the Holocaust from diverse perspectives in literary styles ranging from gothic and romantic to phantasmagoric.

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Holocaust. Countless pieces of fiction and nonfiction have been penned about the horrific event and related events. The Diary of Anne Frank, Apt Pupil, even Captain America: The First Avenger and an episode of Supernatural have worked the Nazis into their stories. It is the one thing I would say 99% of the world agrees is a truly deplorable event, killing countless people and leaving an indelible mark on the face of humanity.
Mr. Freese has here a collection of stories which will appeal to every type of literary fan: from realistic to horrific and even fantasy (if you squint). Golems, romantic relationships, non-believers and even obsessed Hitler collectors make appearances in the stories.
Each story makes you think, many make you gasp and a few will even leave tears in your eyes. The problem is, while all the stories have a common theme, they have quite disparate genres. While some readers will be able to get through the entire book without being bored, people who only like romance, or only like stories based in reality, will find themselves skipping stories and that is not what any writer wants.
Were I to rate each story individually, I would give them all fives--in their respective genres. Collected together, I understand what the author was trying to accomplish, but they do not fit. There's something for everyone here, but unless you read this specifically because you have a fascination with the Holocaust, you might find yourself bored.
I read everything, so this was not a problem for me, but I think it could be for other readers.

3/5--great stories, just not together.

Purchase I Truly Lament via Amazon!

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