Jacob the liar

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Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975 - Fiction - 266 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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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

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About the author (1975)

Becker is a survivor of the Lodz ghetto and Nazi concentration camps.

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