Wednesday, November 24, 2010


At the moment I am reading Lumen by Ben Pastor, and the review will appear on Karen's wonderful Euro Crime website around the publication date of 20 January 2011.
I am about half way through the book, and unless the plot falls off a cliff my review will be very positive.
The book is set in Cracow in 1939.

The map shows the division of Poland following the " second Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact" of 28 September 1939, and is signed by Ribbentrop and Stalin.

In the next few weeks I will be reading another book set in Nazi Occupied Poland, The Warsaw Anagrams by Richard Zimler, and the third book in the eccentric Eberhard Mock series by Polish author Marek Krajewski; this one Phantoms of Breslau.
I will definitely have to read some lighter books in between these gloomy novels, but at least reading books set in Cracow 1939, Warsaw Ghetto 1940 and the former German city of Breslau in 1919, make one realise that present day conditions could be a lot worse.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norman - I'm glad you're enjoying Lumen. I'll look forward to your review, of course, as I always do. I have to admit, historical crime fiction is one of my favourite sub-genres, so you just may be responsible for some severe budget-stretching additions to my TBR ;-).

4:29 AM  
Blogger Dorte H said...

WW II is not my favourite period (I like moving a bit further back when I read historical fiction), but I enjoyed StrattonĀ“s War so much that I may be tempted to try more from the period. Not right now, however. This week is just crazy familywise so no gloomy tomes for me until I have more leasure time again.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

I don't know how you can read about Nazi-occupied Poland for relaxing reading. I absolutely can't read about WWII unless it's about the Bielski brothers or other partisans fighting back against the forces of evil. Even then I'd have to have other books as diversions, with good characters and humor, to alternate with.

People's tastes are so interesting and different in reading (as in every artistic or cultural matter). Thankfully, there are lots of choices for us all to exercise our individual preferences and taste.

I'm reading Barbara Fister's "Through the Cracks," which is very good--setting, issues, political commentary, great woman detective, and humor. (The author runs the terrific Scandinavian Crime Fiction website/blog.)

4:05 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Kathy- I have spoken with Barbara on line, and of course read her blog. I must read Through the Cracks thanks for drawing my attention to this.

I can well understand your reservations about Lumen and The Warsaw Anagram, but I will read something lighter in between; and probably put off TWA till the new year.
My parents, their relatives and their friends lived and fought through WWII, and coped during it by finding humour in frightening situations. I think it is important that these books are there so that young people, who don't know how terrible things were, can learn about those desperate years.
I am grateful that because my great grandparents and grandparents left Russian Poland, and Lithuania between 1890-1905 my father and uncles were in British army uniforms, and not in ghettoes waiting for the inevitable.

5:58 AM  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Yes. I'm very glad there are books (and movies) about WWII, for young people to read and learn about its horrors, but also the heroism, the Resistance, etc.

One side of my family--grandparents, their siblings, one grandmother--came from Russia-occupied Poland (Bialystok and near it) from 1905 on. My great-grandmother, whom I never met, and my grandmother's youngest sibling, were the last to come--in 1913. (I found their entries at the Ellis Island website, which was thrilling).

I grew up with so much sadness in my family about the horror and tragedy of it all that I steer clear of reading about it or seeing movies (except for the about the Resistance).

A year ago, I read about women in the French Resistance. Some survived and wrote books after the war. They were amazingly heroic, some testifying at the Nurenberg trials. Someday I'll read their books.

Anyway, I like distraction in my reading.

Thanks for putting up those photos, and writing such good posts at your website and sharing books news.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks Kathy.
With reference to the French Resistance, the husband of a close friend of my mother was parachuted into France to assist the resistance.
He won the Croix de Guerre, which he later returned to the French as he had a policy disagreement with President De Gaulle.

1:07 AM  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Great story. I can well understand a policy difference with De Gaulle, whatever it was.

The film, "Defiance," about the Bielski brothers who saved 1200 Jewish people in the forests of Belarus, is a somewhat good movie.

It is a Hollywood version with Tula Bielski (Daniel Craig), riding onto the scene on a white horse, wearing a brown leather jacket with his chiseled face. (I said to myself what Polish Jewish person ever looked like that?) The women's roles were minimized to idol worship of the brothers (And I thought to myself what Eastern European Jewish woman ever stayed in the background and didn't assert herself--no one in my family).

But as far as showing some of the hardships and the commitment, and some tough scenes, there are moments to cheer and to cry and cheer again. They did save 1200 people. So they can be forgiven for infractions.

6:16 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home