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Publisher's Summary

Translated by Stuart Woolf.

'With the moral stamina and intellectual poise of a twentieth-century Titan, this slightly built, dutiful, unassuming chemist set out systematically to remember the German hell on earth, steadfastly to think it through, and then to render it comprehensible in lucid, unpretentious prose. He was profoundly in touch with the minutest workings of the most endearing human events and with the most contemptible. What has survived in Levi's writing isn't just his memory of the unbearable, but also, in The Periodic Table and The Wrench, his delight in what made the world exquisite to him. He was himself a magically endearing man, the most delicately forceful enchanter I've ever known.' (Philip Roth)

©2014 Primo Levi (P)2014 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The death of Primo Levi robs Italy of one of its finest writers...One of the few survivors of the Holocaust to speak of his experiences with a gentle voice." (The Guardian)
"A life-changing book." (Daily Express
"One of the greatest human testaments of the era." (Philip Roth)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Incredible

A powerful eloquent memoir read beautifully. Life changing enriching and chastizing our own easy journey.

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  • Liz... Bristol
  • 10-12-15

Levi's humanity shines.

These books have provided me with an extraordinary taste of a world that no longer exists. I am glad to have had that taste. My life is the better for it. I won't pretend that this is an easy listen. It describes a world that I've never known and I hope to never know outside of listening to Primo Levi's experiences. What rises from those experiences is a strong sense of how, despite the difficulties of existing, humans can both persist and retain a sense of dignity & purpose. Yes, he describes the brutality of the lager, but he does not lose his focus on the responses of both himself and those around him.
In The Truce, Levi goes on to describe the aftermath of his internment at Birkenau and his journey back to Italy. This is an odyssey of sorts, crossing Europe, and has some humour, as well.
Henry Goodman does an excellent job of narrating what might have been a banal and unrelieved story of true horror. Instead he finds the nuances to help differentiate in the listener's mind Levi's carefully written prose.
You do not need to be Jewish, anymore than you need to be a human being, to be interested in this book. It shows how those in power can seek to belittle the lives of those different to themselves. Also how despite the vile strictures of the powerful, those oppressed retain more of their humanity than their oppressors. Listen to this and find your own humanity.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs. Lorraine J. Brown
  • 02-10-15

A compelling narration

The story. Was captivating, a compelling narration of a horrendous time in history, the narration was very good had me in tears

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kdl
  • 04-09-15

Riveting account

This is a brilliant heart rending account of what a man had to go through on a daily basic to survive a concentration camp and having done so, the challenges that he faced to get home. We cannot imagine the terrible ordeal that inmates had to endure but this book brings home the struggle where the vast majority did not make it. I have listened to this book three times - it makes me humble and realize that my day to day tribulations are nothing compared to what these heroes went through.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul c
  • 08-27-17

Touching read

Primo uses the most incredible language to portray his experiences during the Second World War. This use of language brings another dimension to his accounts, although we have heard, read and watch stories regarding the holocaust, Primo Levi brings a unique vantage to what we already know including the duration after he was liberated from the concentration camp through to the official end of the war. A must read.

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  • Ed & Jo
  • 07-20-17

A very great book.

This book will stay with me. I had feelings of trepidation before beginning due to the subject. But his humanity and bravery impels you to continue. The narration is very good.

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  • fred2020
  • 06-18-17

unbeatable must read.

Henry Goodman's voice perfect: not cloying and careful but not reverent with the famous subject

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  • Saad
  • 01-12-17

The most powerful story I've ever heard

This is the best audiobook I've ever listened to. the narrator is superb. Listen now.

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  • m
  • 07-16-16

Profound Experience ...

Shocking, detailed and morbidly fascinating account of the day to day horrors of the camps and prisoner experience. The detailed and empirical narrative informs the reader and implores understanding and meditation on what it is that gives us identity, courage and independence. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  • Miss Judith Finlay
  • 04-21-16

Everyone must read this book and know the truth x

Everyone must read this book to understand what happened from the perspective of a good and honest man, at times this is very hard to listen to, but a story like this is not meant to be enjoyable, it is meant to let us collectively remember, so we always know this is wrong, and there is joy in knowing you do not have to experience such atrocities x

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  • Goronwy-Wyn
  • 02-14-16

Fascinating

I knew in broad terms of the events and I'd been to Auschwitz but Primo Levi brought the time the events and the terrible details into sharp focus.
His level of detail and his ability to paint a mental picture make this a special book.

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  • Emma
  • 01-27-17

very moving, one 'complaint':

I just wish the narrator would translate the random words into English as well. 3

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  • Luke E
  • 05-17-15

A chilling yet inspiring account of internment.

I found this to be a scary account of how humanity can be stripped away given a certain environment. A truely inspiring account of survival and life lessons on how any maybe why to live.

'First you need shoes, people think its food, but first, shoes.'