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The powerful and bestselling memoir of a young Jewish pianist who survived the war in Warsaw against all odds. Made into a Bafta and Oscar-winning film.

‘You can learn more about human nature from this brief account of the survival of one man throughout the war years in the devastated city of Warsaw than from several volumes of the average encyclopaedia’ Independent on Sunday

‘We are drawn in to share his surprise and then disbelief at the horrifying progress of events, all conveyed with an understated intimacy and dailiness that render them painfully close – riveting’ Observer

‘A book so fresh and vivid, so heartbreaking, and so simply and beautifully written, that it manages to tell us the story of horrendous events as if for the first time’ Daily Telegraph

Reviews

Vivid and anguished . . . compulsive reading
Richard Overy, Sunday Telegraph
You can learn more about human nature from this brief account of the survival of one man throughout the war years in the devastated city of Warsaw than from several volumes of the average encyclopaedia
Gerald Jacobs, Independent on Sunday
We are drawn in to share his surprise and then disbelief at the horrifying progress of events, all conveyed with an understated intimacy and dailiness that render them painfully close . . . riveting
Lisa Appignanesi, Observer
This memoir of a Jewish pianist who survived the war in Warsaw is one of the most powerful accounts ever written
Sunday Tribune
A compelling, harrowing masterpiece
Independent
A book so fresh and vivid, so heartbreaking, and so simply and beautifully written, that it manages to tell us the story of horrendous events as if for the first time . . . His account is hair-raising, beyond anything Hollywood could invent . . . Everything that has been most horrific in life in 20th-century Europe is encompassed in this exquisite memoir
Daily Telegraph
What really stays with the reader is the chilling, almost naive immediacy with which the story is told . . . The Pianist is an icy, nerveless but remarkably readable memoir that takes us as close as we are ever likely to travel to the day-to-day reality of living through terror
Sunday Times
The images drawn are unusually sharp and clear, but its moral tone is even more striking: Szpilman refuses to make a hero or a demon out of anyone
Literary Review