Jacob the Liar by Becker, Jurek; Vennewitz, Leila; Begley, Louis (AFT), 9781951627041
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  • ISBN: 9781951627041 | 1951627040
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1/5/2021

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​One of the most remarkable novels of the Holocaust ever written, and the basis of the 1999 major motion picture starring Robin Williams.

A novel about the Holocaust "that has never been surpassed" (Times Literary Supplement), Jacob the Liar is a now classic work from one of the giants of German postwar literature and a tale of everyday heroism and the extraordinary power of illusion.

In the ghetto, possession of a radio is punishable by death. Like thousands of his fellow prisoners, Jacob Heym is cut off from all news of the war—until he is arrested one evening and brought to the German military office, where he overhears a report of the Red Army’s advance to a city some 300 miles away. Miraculously, he is allowed to return to his quarters, but when he tries to spread the good news, the only way to make people believe him is to tell a lie: “How do I know? I have a radio.” One lie leads to another, and before long Jacob finds himself feeding the entire ghetto fabricated news reports of the Russians’ advance—reports that save lives by giving people renewed hope. So Jacob is a hero and a liar. But how much longer can his web of lies hold?

Told with suspense and humor, here is a masterful tale of hope, desire, and the life-giving force of fiction. Awarded Germany's prestigious Heinrich Mann Prize for fiction and in a new translation by Leila Vennewitz, Jacob the Liar is a masterpiece of Kafkaesque comedy which unfolds with the impact of a timeless folk legend. This edition includes a new afterword by Louis Begley.

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