The Escape Artist
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022 BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022 WATERSTONES BOOK OF THE YEAR
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2023 RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2022 WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
A MAIL ON SUNDAY, THE TIMES, THE ECONOMIST, GUARDIAN, THE SPECTATOR, TIME, AND DAILY EXPRESS/DAILY MIRROR BOOK OF THE YEAR
‘Thrilling’ Daily Mail
‘Heartwrenching’ Yuval Noah Harari
‘Magnificent’ Philip Pullman
‘Excellent’ Sunday Times
‘Inspiring’ Daily Mail
‘An immediate classic’ Antony Beevor
‘Awe inspiring’ Simon Sebag Montefiore
‘Shattering’ Simon Schama
‘Utterly compelling’ Philippe Sands
‘A must-read’ Emily Maitlis
‘Indispensable’ Howard Jacobson
April 1944. Nineteen-year-old Rudolf Vrba and fellow inmate Fred Wetzler became two of the very first Jews to successfully escape Auschwitz. Evading the thousands of SS men hunting them, Vrba and Wetzler made the perilous journey on foot across Nazi-occupied Poland.
Their mission: to reveal to the world the truth of the Holocaust.
Vrba’s unique testimony would save some 200,000 lives.
But he kept on running – from his past, from his home country, his adopted country, even from his own name. Now, at last, Rudolf Vrba’s heroism can be known.
A brilliant and heart-wrenching book, with universal and timely lessons about the power of information - and misinformation -- Yuval Noah Harari An immediate classic of Holocaust literature. Superbly researched and written, it is both a gripping story and deeply moving, I literally could not put it down -- Antony Beevor Immersive, shattering, and, ultimately redemptive book . . . An epic of terror and endurance . . . Written with Freedland's page-turning, gripping, hard-edged immediacy, The Escape Artist is profound in thought, boundless in humanity, an immediate modern classic -- Simon Schama Awe inspiring, exciting and poignant, this is a thrilling read, a piece of redemptive storytelling and a work of important Holocaust historical research: Freedland has given Rudolf Vrba his rightful place in history - and in the process written a book that I couldn't put down -- Simon Sebag Montefiore The Escape Artist is marvellous. It is original, meticulous and utterly compelling - and ultimately a deeply tragic tale -- Philippe Sands A must-read stand out piece of history . . . This is Freedland at his finest . . . It is both a celebration of the extraordinary will, courage and resilience of the hero - Rudi Vrba - and an all too prescient warning of how hard it is to wake up the world to things it would prefer not to see -- Emily Maitlis A work of the highest quality about an astonishing man. It is gripping from start to finish, searingly, shocking, revelatory, and deeply moving - the more so because there is no false note, no striving for effect. The research is prodigious and the complexities deftly woven into the narrative . . . A profoundly troubling and important work -- Jonathan Dimbleby A masterpiece of page-turning history: an escape story that is also a fearless exploration of some of the most profound questions that face humanity. Rudolf Vrba's extraordinary testimony will deepen your understanding of the Holocaust - and compel you to think afresh about our own times, and the role of truth, denial and fragile memory. Magisterial -- Matthew d'Ancona The story of Vrba's escape from Auschwitz, exquisitely told by Jonathan Freedland, soars like a thriller. Exhilarating, deeply moving, and historically important -- Simon Parkin Powerful, important, compelling and superbly told. This is a book that needs to be read -- Bart van Es, bestselling author of The Cut Out Girl An indispensable, unflinching, bone-hard book. Compelling reading -- Howard Jacobson I read it with my heart beating fast, full of horror, rage, despair - and admiration for this potent demonstration of the stubborn resilience of the human spirit -- Tracy Chevalier Brilliant -- Julia Neuberger
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