In Queen's Bench Courtroom Number Seven, famous author Abraham Cady stands trial. In his book The Holocaust - born of the terrible revelation that the Jadwiga Concentration camp was the site of his family's extermination - Cady shook the consciousness of the human race. He also named eminent surgeon Sir Adam Kelno as one of Jadwiga's most sadistic inmate/doctors. Kelno has denied this and brought furious charges. Now unfolds Leon Uris' riveting courtroom drama - one of the great fictional trials of the century.
©1970 Leon Uris (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
According to my records I read “QB VII” in 1979 with a comment about how good it was. I have read all of Uris’s books except “Battle Cry”. My favorite Leon Uris books are “Exodus,” “Mila 18” and “QB VII.” It was after I had read QB VII I discovered the book was a fictionalization of a libel suit which grew out of the publication of the book “Exodus”. On page 155 Uris named a Polish physician Wladislaw Dering M.D. whom he asserted performed experimental surgery on human guinea pigs for the Nazi’s in Auschwitz. In “Exodus” Uris states Dering performed castration and removed ovaries that had been subjected to radiation treatment. Uris claimed he did experiments in surgery without anesthetics on 17,000 inmates primarily Jews. The libel trial, Dering v Uris & others, was held in London in 1964. The verdict by the jury was for Dering but only awarded him a half penny the smallest coin in the realm. Uris proved his information was correct with only a slight discrepancy in the number of cases.
Queen’s Bench Courtroom Number Seven (QB VII) is a master fictionalization of the Dering v Uris libel suit. Uris divides the book into four gripping sections. One is the story of Polish physician Adam Kelno, a brief review of his childhood and the anti-Semitism of Poland at the time. Then goes into his capture and life in the Jadwiga concentration camp. The book then goes into his life after the war in England and Borneo and after 20 years his return to England. The next part of the book tells the story of author Abe Cady, his childhood, life as a British pilot during WWII his injuries, marriage and writing career ending with the publication of his big book called “Holocaust”. The next part tells about Cady’s hunt for key people that were in Jadwiga concentration camp. The last and most exciting part tells the blow by blow action of the court trial. Uris explains about the pomp and circumstance of the British Court system and British common law. I found this education about the British legal system not only informative but entertaining. As in the real trial the verdict was for the plaintiff but only a half penny was awarded. I believe I enjoyed the book more in this second reading than in the first, maybe because I now know it was based on a true story. I enjoyed the melodious voice of one of my favorite narrators John Lee, who did his usual great job narrating the book.
I teach. I Listen. I trust your judgment as a fellow listener.
Having read this novel three decades ago, I recalled that I was enthralled with how the story unwound. Now, hearing it read by John Lee, I can tell my fellow listeners that this novel/audiobook is in my top 25 out of 1350.
First, don't be put off by the period sexism (circa 1970). You'll find the same stuff in Exodus (also by Uris). It's just the way he wrote. Keep focused on the motivations of the characters. Their extremes are tell-tale foreshadowing to a totally unexpected ending.
QB VII (or Queen's Bench 7) is the British courtroom where a trial takes place. The listener must serve as jury to answer the question: Is Abraham Cady (a reporter) guilty of libeling Dr. Adam Kelno, a Polish physician, whom Cady accused of war crimes? The backdrop for this story is the Holocaust, but the drama plays out in British Courtroom two decades after WWII ended.
When you finish this book you will be a different person. Oh…one more thing…it is based on a true story!
No. The plot and characters were not sufficiently well developed to make sense, even though plenty of time was spent on them. The author (and main character) was a narcissistic misogynist shit, whose treatment of women amounts to basically using them to make himself look like a big man.
The plot was implausible, with the ending entirely inconsistent with the story. If someone other than Uris had written it, the outcome might have been better explained, rather than just dumped on the reader. There really wasn't evidence of the doctor's participation in any of the alleged procedures, other than communist propaganda, to justify the outcome, which is likely not the case in real life. I suspect, however, that the author was too close to the story to have been the best person to write this. As it was, it came off reading a bit like a kid's self-justification for what really was his own mistake. "Not my fault, etc."
I wouldn't waste my favorite narrators on this book. John Lee does not seem capable of handling females characters without making them all sound like brainless sluts. I would recommend him only for books with male characters only.
Return it, and remove Leon Uris and John Lee from my wish list.
All I know is that I chose this book based on the summary. It's supposed to be about a trial. I think it was called "the greatest fictional trial of the century".
Problem is, I'm 4 hours into the book and....no trial yet. Not even a hint. So far, all I've heard are the life stories of two characters, tedious bit by tedious bit. If I wanted to read a biography (fictional or not) I'd buy a biography.
And worse, neither character is even likeable. There's not much about character, thoughts, or values. It's more like a list of first he did this, then he did that, next he moved here, then he moved his family there. Enough already.
I give up.
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