De ster van Josef Roubíček

De ster van Josef Roub ek Set during the Nazi occupation of Prague Life with a Star records the day to day life of Josef Roubicek an ex bank clerk who discovers that the prosaic world he has always inhabited is suddenly off

  • Title: De ster van Josef Roubíček
  • Author: Jiří Weil Kees Mercks Philip Roth
  • ISBN: 9060127935
  • Page: 265
  • Format: Paperback
  • Set during the Nazi occupation of Prague, Life with a Star records the day to day life of Josef Roubicek, an ex bank clerk, who discovers that the prosaic world he has always inhabited is suddenly off limits to him because he is a Jew One of the most powerful works to emerge from the Holocaust it is a fierce and necessary work of art The New York Times.

    994 Comment

    • Robert Greenfield says:

      What can I say about a book that is so utterly moving, thoroughly compelling, and deeply disturbing - evoking the barbaric horrors of the Holocaust The author with his astonishing and simplistic narrative, has truly captured the essence of the vilest horrors befalling the Jewish race at the hands of the merciless, murderous, and TOTALLY immoral Nazis', who incidentally are emotively only referred to as THEM or THEY etc in the narrative. I became totally engrossed in the protagonist's (hopeless) [...]

    • Meaghan says:

      Meh. This book is supposed to be one of the greatest classics of Czech literature, but in my mind that doesn't speak well for Czech literature. Although it's only 200 pages, it took me forever to finish because it dragged so much.I suppose I can kind of see the merit in why the author wrote the way he did -- this long, slow slog to doom -- but it did not make for enjoyable or engrossing reading. NOTHING HAPPENED in the story. It was just one gray, dreary day after another, the protagonist's exis [...]

    • Zuberino says:

      When I picked this book up – from the guy who sells books every weekend in Swiss Cottage outside Hampstead Theatre – I didn’t know the first thing about Jiri Weil. A flip to the back – an account of surviving the Holocaust in wartime Prague – and my interest was confirmed. This stuff was right up my alley. But the slim size of the book is deceptive; it took me a lot longer to finish it than I had initially expected. Part of it because of the nature of the story, the texture of Weil’s [...]

    • Lia says:

      Intense, unrelenting, gut wrenching and disturbing. An honest portrayal of life lived under the harsh and terrifying realities of a society in the grip of fascism told through the point of view of one man.

    • Malcolm says:

      Jiři Weil is better known for his superbMendelssohn is on the Roof and while this deals with similar events – Jewish life occupied Prague – I am slightly surprised to be saying that this is perhaps more rewarding. Josef Roubicek is close to the quintessential everyman, so excessively normal that he is both utterly believable and nearly unbelievable; a bank clerk, single (but with one overwhelming pre-war affair with the wife of a friend’s friend), parents dead and raised by what seem to b [...]

    • Bep says:

      Prachtig boek. Onderkoelde stijl, vaak ironisch of cynisch gekleurd. Het woord Jood wordt zelden gebruikt.

    • Susie Rohrbough says:

      Prague, Czeckoslovakiaa banker lives in a shell of a house, burning furniture to keep warm and to prevent non- Jews from taking it from him when they want. Struggling to find food to eat. Struggling to report to registration stations. Forced to wear a star. Cowering away from those who would humiliate him. I found it gloomy and profoundly sad in the simple way survival is decribed. Written as a day-to-day account of a rather dull banker whose life has been narrowed by edict upon new edict. From [...]

    • Andrés Bermúdez Liévano says:

      With humor and his common sense, a middle class Prague Jew tries to survive during the Nazi occupation of his city, a daunting task in the midst of the world of absurdities that 'they' (his unnamed oppresors) keep coming up with every single day. A beautiful little novel that manages to convey the psychological horror of the Holocaust without ever mentioning its perpetrators or their worst deeds, but focusing on one man's struggle to survive and, even more important to him, to preserve his human [...]

    • Marina says:

      Read in one go. A very unusual book, which, I suppose, could offend some. Written in 1948 or 49, so well before people had a consensus of how the Holocaust should be written about. The main hero is a bit like Kafkian K but then finds new consciousness through meeting Materna, his "commissar" (a bit of Socialist Realism there). A simple but striking style. Clearly based on his own experiences, but also clearly not autobiographical, as Weil himself was an amazing character, and not like K. at all. [...]

    • Edward Belfar says:

      In Life with a Star, a very ordinary Jewish man, the former bank clerk Josef Roubick, struggles to survive the Nazi occupation of Prague. Living in hiding, he finds his life increasingly circumscribed and imperiled by the increasing punitive and arbitrary edicts handed down by the German occupiers. Life with a Star is a powerful, moving, sometimes darkly comic novel that I recommend very highly.

    • Gay says:

      Great book. Beautifully written and not predictable. This is a story of a single Jewish man and his trials as he tries to survive in Czechoslovakia during WWII. It is a very different view of the struggle the hardships seem more real, the hunger is palpable. There is an odd hopefulness along with a frustration for the fact that the tragedy was allowed to happen at all. How do you survive such an ordeal? Read this book!

    • Ole says:

      "if there were no hope", I said, "we would probably fight","and people always think there's hope, even they're standing over an open grave" 200 pages of hope even if all around tell you to diery very good book, but I think, will be interting for people who have read about Holocaust before.

    • Joshua moses says:

      One of the most haunting books I have ever read--about the Holocaust or anything else.

    • Linda Lipko says:

      Highly recommended , this is an incredible book and one of the most haunting tales of the brutal Nazi terror and unrelenting evil.

    • Iñaki Tofiño says:

      A great work of art and and great reflection on the human condition; there are sentences in this book that belong in every anthology of anti-totalitarian fiction. I thought it was absolutely brilliant: the way it is narrated, with calls to non present people; the way the Nazi invaders are always there but not really there ("they" is what they are called); the gradual transformation of the main character, his humanity, his love for animals It makes an excellent reading and offers many opportuniti [...]

    • Jamie Klingler says:

      Stunning, painful, beautifully written novel. It is unlike anything I've read. Took a very long time to get through it, as each page is painful and poetic. Am still stunned by it.

    • Maria says:

      Indringend verhaal over een eenzame man tijdens de Duitse bezetting van Praag. Verordeningen en bizarre circulaires maken het leven van Josef Roubicek steeds moeilijker. Bijna Kafkaiaans beschreven. In allerlei straten mag hij niet komen, in de tram alleen zitten als het niet druk is en allerlei spullen moeten ingeleverd worden. Dit laatste vind Josef niet zo erg omdat hij toch vrijwel niets bezit. Lichtpuntjes in zijn bestaan zijn z’n (fictieve) gesprekken met zijn grote liefde Ruzena en Thom [...]

    • Allison says:

      One of my professors assigned Life with a Star for class and I dutifully went out and purchased a used copy. I wanted to like it but I just didn't.Jiri Weil uses his experiences hiding from the Nazi's to write this novel about Josef Roubicek the ill-fated former bank clerk. I commend him for his courage in speaking about his experiences and trying to keep the Holocaust from ever happening again. Unlike other authors who write about the Holocaust he does not describe the overt violence that took [...]

    • Ellie says:

      this book is beautiful and horrifying all at once. I've never read a book so perfect in its ability to determine the speed and emphasis by matching plot and diction so exactly. it is purposefully slow-moving as we follow Josef through his stages of grief living as a Jewish man in Nazi-occupied Prague. you hear his thoughts, his panic, his bravery, his obsessions. deeply deeply deeply moving and highly recommended.

    • Alex Knipping says:

      Hoe kun je een afschrikwekkend verhaal vertellen zonder dat je lezers afhaken? Als de weerzin tegen de wreedheid te groot wordt, dan stopt de lezer misschien. Of erger, de ellende went en lijkt na pagina's lezen gewoon te worden. Jiri Weil kiest voor naïeve distantie. Zijn hoofdpersoon in 'Leven met de ster' beschouwt zijn onderdrukking met een kinderlijk soort afstandelijkheid. Hij ondergaat alle onzinnige regels en verboden op een lijdzame manier en probeert te overleven door te onthechten en [...]

    • Agnes Kelemen says:

      It is a slightly didactic and (Communist) ideological narrative, but on the whole very well written and original novel, using a narrator's voice who keeps an extreme distance from his own environment and fate, raising both empathy and alienation in the reader. I know this seems paradoxic, but you will understand what sense my prevous sentence makes, once reading the novel. For me this story is about human dignity, but it gives space for hundreds of interpretation. The atmosphere also reminds me [...]

    • Ray says:

      This is a magnificent book, the best I have read in 2012 so far. It is fairly short at just 250 pages but it packs in so much in this space.WARNING PLOT SPOILERSThe book is about the life of a Jew in Prague during the Second World War. As he waits for transportation to the death camps his life is progressively closed down by diktat after diktat from "them" (the Germans are never mentioned). Petty, arbitary restrictions and daily fear and humiliation become a normal part of life.Food is scarce an [...]

    • Adam Rabiner says:

      Czech author Jiri Weil is mostly known for two excellent Holocaust novels, Life with a Star and Mendelssohn is on the Roof. While the latter is a pastiche of narratives taken from various perspectives, Jew and non Jew, Life with a Star has a single Jewish narrator, Josef Roubicek, and thus is more of a conventional novel. They both approach the Holocaust from a close distance - near to the death camps and ghettos, not directly from within them. But this indirect approach captures the evil and da [...]

    • Barrett Nicklessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss says:

      In the book Life with a Star, by Jiri Weil, no one is safe and no where is safe. The character, Josef, lives in Nazi occupied Prague. He lives his life on the country side as an ex-banker. Josef refers to the Nazis as "they" and "them". Josef is depicted similarly to Jiri, due to Jiri surviving the Holocaust. Josef lives a peaceful life with his lover Ruzena on the outskirts of Prague. When the Nazis come they are forced to live and be treated like animals. People treat them unfairly and unkindl [...]

    • Lysergius says:

      You would think it would be one of the simplest things wearing a yellow star, with a single word in their language in the middle of it. You have to wear it above your heart - always. Together with the endless flow of decrees and the transports and the lack of food and the continual fear it makes it hard to know what to do. Josef talks to his lover Ruzena, but he could not do as she advised. It is only later that he realises that it was the only thing to do. But first he has to overcome the fear [...]

    • Derren Foster says:

      Jiri writes a moving account of the deportation process. The writing is simple, stark and confronting about a subject difficult to fully comprehend in its callousness. Acknowledging there was Jewish resistance to the Nazi plans, the predominantly passive and cooperative approach to the deportation process, as portrayed in this account, is difficult to understand as a reader. I suppose this is just a case of hindsight is sharper than foresight.

    • Lexie (lexiesbooksies) says:

      "Mezi starci a neduživci ztrácela i smrt svůj lesk. Lpěli na životě, nemohli jej však udržet svýma nemohoucíma rukama. Nemluvili nikdy o ní, báli se vyřknout i její jméno. Ti, kdož seděli dříve u kamen, než odešli na východ a do pevnostního města, vyslovovali její jméno často, s pochybnostmi, s marným výsměchem nebo s lítostí. Avšak tito lidé o ní nikdy nemluvili. Nemluvil jsem o ní ani já. Byl jsem s ní vyrovnán, nepatřil jsem k jejím poddaným."

    • Brian says:

      Poignant fictionalized depiction of life as a Jew under the Nazi terror, in Prague. Weil was no stranger to this reality, as Philip Roth explains in a foreword. Provokes me to finally track down Jerzy Koszinski's Painted Bird, another "novel," and admittedly one whose authenticity has been challenged but that, in the hands of a master storyteller, stands as another key fictional narrative about life as the persecuted during the Nazi era.

    • Ef Grey says:

      Jako téma zajímavé, ale dějová linie už byla po pár kapitolách téměř to samé. Mezi čtyřmi stěnami, myslení na Růženu, práce na hřbitově, atd. Ano, občas si Josef zašel k Maternovi nebo ke kamarádovi ze školních let, kde se mohl i najíst, ale to bylo tak všechno. Vyhnul se transportu a chvíli si i spokojeně žil s kocourem Tomášem, jehož smrt byla pro Josefa mnohem destruující než smrt několika židů.

    • Faye says:

      This book is *fantastic*. I can't say enough for it - I absolutely loved it. I enjoy war stories, particularly those from WW1 and WW2 - this retells one man's experience of Nazi occupied Prague, a Jewish man. This novel is a classic and should be taught at school!

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