Book Rating (191)
Narrator Rating (36)

The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel

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Richard Armitage

7 Hours 25 Minutes

HarperCollins Publishers

September 2018

Audio Book Summary

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.
“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.

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Reviews

  • Ria P.

    Excellent story and narration.

    Book Rating

  • Alyssa P.

    Beautiful story. Captivating. I enjoyed the narrator as well.

    Book Rating

  • James H.

    I found the narrator's accent and attempts to use German and Russian accents off-putting. Perhaps it is due to the way the book was written.

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  • Richard F.

    I loved the story from its opening chapter to the ending which was so moving and memorable. I did not know this was SPOIL ALERT this was a true story until the Author’s notes were read to me at the tail end of this novel. Now I feel even more for all those men and women that suffered and died in the concentration camps revealed in this audio book. I have always had a problem realizing how all humanity could be stripped away in a period when the world seemed to go mad and has now seemed to want to forget. This book tugs at your heart but gives the reader a greater understanding of how much pain these people endured. I give it five stars. I was never bored but clung to each chapter. I hope others will listen to this book and come away as moved as I did.

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  • Georgiana B.

    Heart wrenching account, but amazing love story. Great book.

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  • Marcella B.

    beautiful story really got to me..

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  • Rachel R.

    Beautiful story. I couldn't put it down. Keep your Kleenex handy while you listen. Wonderful tribute to the lives and hardships of this couple's lives. Narrator was also great and added extra warmth and compassion to the story.

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  • Stephen T.

    A must read for all.

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  • Sarah Z.

    Incredible and moving! Must have tissues near by while you listen. The narrator is also amazing!

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  • Patricia T.

    Just when you think you can't read another WWII story another great one captures your heart.

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