Jacob the Liar

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Arcade Publishing, 1996 - Fiction - 244 pages
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Acclaimed as the most remarkable novel of the Holocaust ever written in Germany, Jacob the Liar breaks with the genre's tradition of unremitting realism to offer a suspenseful and masterfully crafted tale of hope, desire, and the life-giving force of fiction.
In the ghetto, the possession of a radio is punishable by death. Like thousands of his fellow prisoners, Jacob Heym is cut off from all news of the war - until he is arrested one evening and brought to the German military office, where he overhears a broadcast report of the Red Army's advance to a city some 300 miles away. Miraculously, he is allowed to return to his quarters, but when he tries to spread the good news, he discovers the only way to make people believe him is to tell a lie: "How do I know? I have a radio!" Inevitably, one lie leads to another, and before long Jacob finds himself feeding the entire ghetto fabricated reports of the Russians' advance - reports that save lives when, under the shock of renewed hope, suicides cease and the people of the ghetto take heart. Jacob is a hero and a liar. But how long can his web of lies hold?
Here for the first time is Leila Vennewitz's authorized translation of this classic novel, which won the Heinrich Mann Prize for fiction and Switzerland's Charles Veillon Award.

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User Review  - the_awesome_opossum - LibraryThing

Jacob the Liar takes place in a Jewish ghetto in WWII Germany, when simple everyman Jacob Heym accidentally overhears a war report and leads his community to believe he has more insider knowledge than ... Read full review

Jakob the liar

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

It is 1943, and existence for Jews in the ghetto is grim. Deportations in cattle cars have begun, and daily life is overseen by cruel guards who have imposed severe restrictions. Jakob hauls crates ... Read full review

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 20
Section 21

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About the author (1996)

Jurek Becker was born in Lodz, Poland, in 1937. A Holocaust survivor, he was one of the very few Jews to remain in Germany after the war. He became an internationally acclaimed novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter and died in 1997.

Leila Vennewitz was the distinguished translator of Heinrich B ll and other postwar German writers, including Jurek Becker and Martin Walser. She won numerous awards for her translations. She died in 2007.

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