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Summary

The best-selling memoir of a Jewish pianist who survived the war in Warsaw against all odds.

On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin's Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside - so loudly that he couldn't hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: that day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.

Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, The Pianist is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.

Read by Laurence Dobiesz.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Wladyslaw Szpilman (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"We are drawn in to share his surprise and then disbelief at the horrifying progress of events, all conveyed with an understated intimacy and dailiness that render them painfully close...riveting." (Observer)

"The images drawn are unusually sharp and clear...but its moral tone is even more striking: Szpilman refuses to make a hero or a demon out of anyone." (Literary Review)

What listeners say about The Pianist

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Very very moving

Of course I’ve seen the film, so knew the outline of the story. This narration of Szpilman’s account of his survival is very moving. I personally feel that the fact that he wrote it immediately after the war, is reflected in its matter of fact delivery. He must still have been in shock.
I found it heartbreaking that his saviour was tortured and died at the hands of Stalin’s forces and they never met each other again. He helped so many people. He was one of life’s o’h so rare, truly good people.
Perhaps they are together in spirit now.
Of course Szpilman was on the receiving end of many other large and small kindnesses from both friends and strangers. Each action lead to him surging another day. There were also human monsters who cared only for themselves. May they rot in hell.
I thoroughly recommend listening to this book, but have tissues ready near the end.

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narration

I didn't enjoy the book as much as the film.I found the narration a little bit too nice.

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Tragic and timeless

An unbelievable story of survival in the toughest of times. Please listen to this. Unforgettable.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-10-21

A tragic story told so beautifully

Szpilman tells his story of the most utter suffering and loss in a beautiful way.