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Publisher's Summary

From one of England's most renowned authors, an unforgettable new novel that provides a searing portrait of life - and, shockingly, love - in a concentration camp.

Once upon a time there was a king, and the king commissioned his favorite wizard to create a magic mirror. This mirror didn't show you your reflection. It showed you your soul - it showed you who you really were.

The wizard couldn't look at it without turning away. The king couldn't look at it. The courtiers couldn't look at it. A chestful of treasure was offered to anyone who could look at it for 60 seconds without turning away. And no one could. The Zone of Interest is a love story with a violently unromantic setting. Can love survive the mirror? Can we even meet each other's eye, after we have seen who we really are? In a novel powered by both wit and pathos, Martin Amis excavates the depths and contradictions of the human soul.

©2014 Martin Amis (P)2014 W. F. Howes

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    47
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Performance

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Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

the performance is excellent, superb

This is an important book on the secondary damages of man's inhumanity to man -- on its perpetrators, bystanders and antagonists. I would like to read this even though I have just listened to it. I would like to stop and re-read passages and translate some of the German passages and phrases. I am a different person than I was a few days ago before experiencing this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lawrence
  • Monroeville, PA, United States
  • 12-31-14

Great book, great performance, worth your money.

I loved Martin Amis's "Money," but I've been disappointed by his other works because they fell short of it. For my money, "The Zone of Interest" puts Amis back on top. It spins a heartbreaking story of a Nazi extermination camp through the eyes of three denizens: 1) a young, cynical, Nazi aristocrat; 2) a pathetic Jew who was forced to act as an overseer; and 3) the camp's savage and sociopathic commander. Throughout, Amis uses his sophisticated, lapidary, English style. To make things even better, Sean Barrett does spot-on characterizations . His character portrayals are so distinct you could skip to any part of the book and immediately recognize who is talking. My prediction is this novel will withstand the test of time. Money well spent!

51 of 63 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Todd
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 03-26-15

Chilling!

A haunting story of well developed characters running a concentration camp. It really captured the German national psyche under the Nazis.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Love between the Smoke and Gas

[rating = B]
This was my first try at Mr. Amis. I have heard only good things about him, but have never committed myself until now. The story is told by three perspectives: Thompson, Doll, and Szmul. Each character is very specific and tells a part of the overall story. Although this style has been done before, Martin Amis utilizes them very effectively; though one comment would be that somethings that are "said" seem a bit random and unimportant. With the whole concentration camp in the background, there are also sprinkles of love, sabotage, revolutionaries, and death. The tone of the novel is rather mocking, and I find that the diction is at times very hilarious. One flaw would be the fake speech; there are very British phrases that no Nazi would ever say, and likewise, the German, though superficial and key to this type of fiction, is rather annoying and indecipherable. But I enjoyed the novel and found the end exceptionally satisfying and well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Difficult to follow

Difficult to follow characters but an interesting perspective in the holocaust worth listening to for the content and insight into human nature

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

Well narrated

This novel tells a story of Auschwitz is well-narrated with strong characterizations of the book's three narrators. In this way, a listener really feels like the three voices are different and the story proceeds. It is not all gripping as a story--I found the ending a bit clumsy--but it is well done on the whole.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Impossible to understand due to the terrible narra

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The ability to understand what was supposed to be audible. It was impossible to follow the story because of the voice. The addition of the interjection of German was absurd

Would you ever listen to anything by Martin Amis again?

Yes. I have reared and listened to his books and for the most part found them interesting

What didn’t you like about Sean Barrett’s performance?

Could not follow or understand, voice garbled and irratic

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None - I know the WWII issues well.

Any additional comments?

Very sorry I ordered this book.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful