Monday, August 22, 2016
Reading Challenge 2016: Tunnel, Smuggle, Collect
Tunnel, Smuggle, Collect: A Holocaust Boy
by: Jeffrey N. Gingold
I have read many books about WWII and the Holocaust, including some personal accounts. I've also read history books and historical fiction. This was the first account I read about someone who lived in a ghetto. This was also one of the most relate-able accounts I've ever read. Maybe that's because I'm an adult, maybe because my time of life is similar to that of Leah's, maybe because of the way the book is written ... I suspect it is some of all of the above.
I never cried while reading this book, but I definitely got teary. When I'd put the book down, I'd keep thinking about what the Gingold's went through. It's a book that stays with you. And that's important. We need to never forget what happened, and we need to make sure it never happens again.
Personally, I would've left the subtitle "A Holocaust Boy" off the book. The focus of the book is not on Sam, he is just one of the movers and players in the story. The story is really his family's collective story, not his.
I read an ARC and I'm sure some of these issues have been corrected since I know there was an updated version before the book was published, but I did not read that manuscript. Toward the end of the book there are a couple editing mistakes, and the afterward is somewhat awkwardly attached to the end. It ties the beginning of the book full circle, but it was not seamlessly done.
My only other complaint in the book is there is a bit of Yiddish in the book that is transliterated, but not translated. I have no problem with including the Yiddish in the book, but I do think translations would be helpful, even if just in footnotes. Many times the Yiddish is paraphrased or the English response gives the context to get a good idea of what was said in Yiddish, but a direct translation is always better.
If the issues I mention above were fixed before publication, it is a 5 star book. If they were not, the book is 4-4.5 stars, depending on how much was changed.
This is a book that will stay with you and offers a perspective on the war and the Holocaust that is not mainstream. I highly recommend this book.
I received a complimentary ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
This review appears as part of the Reading Challenge 2016. To see other reviews in the challenge, click here.