This is actually kind of an odd book to read. It’s an amazing story of a person who at risk of great peril to himself, his family, those around him, put everything on the line to do some immeasurable amount of good. I can’t imagine facing down the Third Reich as a concept. (And hopefully I won’t have to), but what I mean by this…looking into the face of the German government and German military and feeling like it’s even imaginable that what they promised as a 1000 year Reich would be anything but (at least) indefinite, is unimaginable to me. So thinking about the ways in which Oskar Schindler decided to hold onto and hide those people under his charge, knowing that he had no clue how long he would need to be able to do this is amazingly brave. And this book details this in an extremely meticulous amount of detail.
Here’s where it gets odd for me to review. This is a truly remarkable book, but it’s not a particularly good novel. It’s a history text in the form of a novel, and in this form, it doesn’t quite capture the human element of the story. As readers, reading this, we are tasked with filling in those gaps. It also shows the amazing strength of the film, to look for how to better communicate the pathos of the story beyond the facts and figures of the story. It’s a nearly impossible task, and again, I am not faulting the novel for presenting the sheer amount of detail it had in this way, but it’s the odd novel that can do this.