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Summary

It's 1935. Rita Feuerstahl comes to the university in Krakow intent on enjoying her freedom. But life has other things in store - marriage, a love affair, a child, all in the shadows of the oncoming war. When the war arrives, Rita is armed with a secret so enormous that it could cost the Allies everything, even as it gives her the will to live. She must find a way both to keep her secret and to survive amid the chaos of Europe at war. Living by her wits among the Germans as their conquests turn to defeat, she seeks a way to prevent the inevitable doom of Nazism from making her one of its last victims. Can her passion and resolve outlast the most powerful evil that Europe has ever seen?

In an epic saga that spans from Paris in the '30s and Spain's Civil War to Moscow, Warsaw, and the heart of Nazi Germany, The Girl from Krakow follows one woman's battle for survival as entire nations are torn apart, never to be the same.

©2015 Alex Rosenberg (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved

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

Lessons for modern day

Not my usual type of book. But I was hooked.
Now to buy a hard copy.
Unfortunately so many of the undercurrents in the story seem present in modern day Europe which makes it easier to relate to the characters.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

amazing book

I loved it, well written with real characters and gripping plot. Couldn't put it away.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

action packed ww2 epic

Enjoyable if rather improbable story capturing much of ww2 in Poland. I didn't love the narrator who seemed to struggle with characterisation.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • 23-04-16

History, Philosophy and Bodice-Ripping Sex

Any additional comments?

That may sound like a recommendation. It's not. Only after finishing this book did I look up the author's credentials. What do you know. A first novel by a philosopher. The philosophy is in fact the draggiest part. Descriptions of all of the locations and political intrigues are written as if regurgitated from deep research, so deep that the typical reader can't follow. I knew about the POUM only because I had just read a long New Yorker review of a book about the Spanish Civil War. So it's an anti-Stalinist party of former Trotskyists. If that had anything important to do with the character who flights in Spain, maybe it was worth bringing it up. But no, just another complication, without justification. And the sex. These scenes would qualify for worst sex scenes ever: who talks about "labia" in good writing about sex? And Rita, the main character, is portrayed as a "free spirit," which means in this book she sleeps with everyone who is unlikely, while still remaining pure where it is likely. The situations are a stretch. People pop up all over Europe. and then suddenly can speak Catalan, Russian, English, Polish, German -- just out of the blue. And speak well enough not to be recognized. AND, the "dramatic" situations are in fact so unlikely -- with a lot of foreshadowing about what a terrible mistake is being made, but it comes down to the smallest, most unconvincing slip, like asking "Are there still a lot of Jews in Berlin?" A question anyone might have asked under Nazi rule without having a bigot immediately decide they are Jewish.
Just terrible. And the narrator sounds so pompous, and his American accent is so wrong, it just added to the unpleasant experience.
Blah! This was a bargain book of the day, which is going to make me dubious about any other special offers, unless they are of classics.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Searching for Perfect Boot
  • 23-09-15

Good story - odd narration

I found the story interesting and engaging. However, the very proper British gentleman narrating made it a bit difficult for me to appreciate the emotions and thoughts of the primary character. He sounded as if he were reading a technical journal while relating some very intimate and emotional scenes.

40 of 48 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Sara
  • 07-05-16

Anything Goes

This book is told from such a cold, observing distance that the characters remain flat and one dimensional. There is no flow, no story which develops the people in this odd book into beings the reader can care about and believe. Rather, somehow the author uses circular philosophy and philosophical theory to justify an anything goes mentality in this book. Further, this becomes one long tirade on politics, political parties, belief systems and factions that will make your head spin. To Rosenberg it seems that everybody is wrong, everything is terrible so it doesn't matter how you behave in life.

The book is filled with themes that justify lying, infidelity, child abandonment, abortion, and a host of unsavory behaviors. Didn't do well in medical school and can't get a training position--that's ok--just steal a dead person's identity and pretend you are a specialist--no one will see you are a poser. Move to Spain and don't speak the language--no problem--in days you will be fluent and running the hospital department. Story dragging a bit--nothing to worry about just throw in another random gratuitous sex scene and all will be well. Really???

I just hated this poorly written pseudo-political, pseudo-historic mishmash of unbelievable storytelling. I only spent a dollar on this book and I'd like my dollar back. What an arrogant, offensive waste of time. I give this the double Ugh award.

41 of 50 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sheila
  • 01-05-16

Explicit lesbian sex scenes described

I wish i had of known about the vivid nature of the lesbian sex scenes...it was horrible.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Beth
  • 22-01-16

Horrified in all the wrong ways

I'm no prude, but I am thoroughly disturbed by this "Holocaust Erotica." How this author can take the sanctity of the Holocaust and incorporate pure porn is beyond my comprehension. And the book references the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising BEFORE the fall of Stalingrad, but then tries to correct itself later. The timeline is all over the place.

122 of 158 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • STEFAN
  • 22-08-17

All is fair in love and war

"All is fair in love and war": they say. But i did not enjoy this story. Her crazy sexual appetite, atheist conviction and very low self image can all be understood as she was a Jew trying to survive in Poland during WW2. What happened to the key point in this book - the code for deciphering Nazi messages?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gail
  • 13-05-16

overall the story was well done but ...

Overall the story was well done even compelling but it did not need the detailed descriptions of both heterosexual and homosexual sex encounters to advance the story.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Maine Colonial 🌲
  • 07-05-16

Adequate at best

The fate of European Jews during the Holocaust is a complex and tragic subject. In the last several years, there has been an explosion of Holocaust-related fiction. Too often, it seems to me that the author uses the Holocaust as a sensationalist hook. That's not so much the case in this book, because the author's principal characters all manage to escape capture.

However, this book does have sexual content that I thought was tawdry and perverse. In particular, he has a Jewish woman become sexually aroused by a man whom she knew was planning to have sex with her, use and abuse her and then turn her over to the Nazis. To me, that's not believable at all, and it's a disgusting concept.

There is also quite a bit of other sexual content that isn't so offensive, but I thought it was not erotic and didn't add to the story. It felt like it was there to titillate the reader. It didn't work for me and I'm doubtful it would for anybody else.

The principal characters are not fully developed. The reader never really gets to know them.

The story's concept was interesting, but it wasn't well executed.

The reader was OK generally, but not good with female voices.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • jules2963
  • 04-05-16

Odd, Atheistic account of the Holocaust

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I can't imagine atheists, Jewish, or christians would find this book anything but offensive. Apparently, if you don't believe in God, anything goes; adultery, homosexuality, child abandonment etc.
I was expecting a book containing intrigue, survival and an account of a strong woman surviving a horrendous ordeal.
This was a book filled with erotica and shallow characters in the guise of a mystery novel. I quit listening to it with 4 hrs remaining, and listened to the last chapter out of curiosity about a child's whereabouts. Even that was a huge disappointment. Thank God this wasn't a true account.

What was most disappointing about Alex Rosenberg’s story?

The fact that a woman who is so vapid and immoral would survive the Holocaust, while millions of innocents who would have been useful to society perished.

Have you listened to any of Michael Page’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The narrator did a good job, it was just odd to have a man narrating from a woman's perspective.

What character would you cut from The Girl from Krakow?

The main character, Rita.

Any additional comments?

Complete waste of time. There are plenty of other quality books on the Holocaust which give accounts of bravery, endurance and heartbreak which honor the innocent people of the Holocaust. I purchase books about it to give homage and respect to those people and learn about a horrifying moment in human history which should be forever emblazoned on the human heart so it may never be repeated.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Erica Miles, author of Dazzled by Darkness
  • 09-03-16

masterful

Hauntingly beautiful holocaust fiction full of twists and turns and so realistic. So much research must have gone into this project. And such complex and interesting characters.

24 of 32 people found this review helpful