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Publisher's Summary

This masterpiece is a brilliant work of black humor that has taken its place as a classic novel about the Holocaust. Set in Poland, it is the story of I. C. Trumpleman, the indiscreet director of an orphanage. When the Germans invade and the Jewish community is forced into a ghetto, Trumpleman becomes the leading figure, caught in making choices about who will live and who will starve. By turns a con man, charismatic leader, and merciless dictator, Trumpleman reveals himself as an extraordinarily complex protagonist.

King of the Jews continues to be an extraordinary vision of occupied Poland, and offers stunning insight through the trappings of history to questions of equal moral complexity today.

©1978 Leslie Epstein; (P)1997 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The best book yet to be written on the Holocaust. A superb novel." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"The first novel about the Holocaust that manages to be adequate to its own ambition." (New York Magazine)
"Epstein has done the impossible....He has shown what the power of art - of his art - can reveal of the depths of the unspeakable." (Philadelphia Inquirer)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting but pretty typical

You know at the start that this was going to be a depressing story. The central character is mysterious and interesting but in many ways not believable. Having read way too many tales of the Holocaust, I didn't learn anything new here.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disjointed and Annoying Narration

This is obviously a thinly-veiled narrative of Chaim Rumkowski, his background as director of an orphanage and his position as Elder of the Judenrat in the Łòdz ghetto. Very odd storyline (ie - Hitler is referred to as Horowitz, which takes some time to decipher & makes no sense). Not easy to follow.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Colin
  • 08-25-07

Ironic

I found this story so ironic that it was difficult to identify with the characters. The most important part was about the moral dilemma about the collaboration of the jewish leaders with the Nazis. This highlighted the moral debate about doing questionable things in impossible circumstances. The deadpan approach to cruelty was also very thought provoking. Difficult to warm to but important to reflect on...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful