Friday, December 26, 2014

Book Review: I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust by Mathias B. Freese

I Truly Lament: 
Working Through the Holocaust 
by Mathias B. Freese

Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: Wheatmark (September 15, 2014)
Amazon Paperback Link

Kindle Edition
File Size: 456 KB
Print Length: 252 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Wheatmark (November 9, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Kindle Link

Note: I received a review copy of this book free from the author, Mathias B. Freese. The review posted below is based on my personal thoughts while reading the book.

Ratings: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

I Truly Lament is a collection of Holocaust short stories. I have read too many Holocaust books, short stories published in newspapers/internet, I thought I have read everything I need to know. Some stories here still shocked me.

One story was about how a doctor performed operations on Holocaust patients. Hospitals didn't have much medical supplies then. He has been operating patients without anesthesia, some died on the table while the operation is ongoing, just imagine performing surgery without drugs? Another story was when a mother was taken in front of her son. They knew they would not see each other again. Slaves work for weeks without food or rest, they crave death. . .  Heart breaking.

There were some I found amusing, Hitler's sex life with Eva Braun and the auction of Holocaust items, including Hitler's shorts. 

While this is a good Holocaust book, I had to take out one star. Stories were confusing at first, I imagined them to be true accounts of Holocaust victims/survivors. And then halfway, I realized these short stories are fiction based on true stories. It was mentioned at the back of the book but missed it. 

All in all, I highly recommend this book.

** got a note from the author:

1) Not one of these fictional pieces was based on a true story, not one!
2) each story was imagined and fabricated. 

The stories felt authentic, hence the confusion while reading the stories. . .

About the book:

I Truly Lament—Working Through the Holocaust is a varied collection of stories: inmates in death camps; survivors of these camps; disenchanted Golems complaining about their designated rounds; Holocaust deniers and their ravings; collectors of Hitler curiosa (only recently a few linens from Hitler’s bedroom suite went up for sale!);  an imagined interview with Eva Braun during her last days in the Berlin bunker; a Nazi camp doctor subtly denying his complicity; and the love story of a Hungarian cantor, among others.

A description meant to entice booksellers, librarians, reviewers and readers might be this: A weirdly wonderful short story collection exploring the Holocaust from diverse perspectives in literary styles ranging from gothic and romantic to phantasmagoric.

Moreover, this book in manuscript form was chosen as one of three finalists in the 2012 Leapfrog Fiction Contest. It was selected from out of 424 manuscripts.

About the author:

Mathias B. Freese is a writer, teacher, and psychotherapist. His recent collection of essays, "This Mobius Strip of Ifs," was the winner of the National Indie Excellence Book Award of 2012 in general nonfiction and a 2012 Global Ebook Award finalist. His "I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust" was one of three finalists chosen in the 2012 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest out of 424 submissions.


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