Customer Reviews for

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story

Average Rating 4
( 205 )
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(76)

4 Star

(59)

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(26)

2 Star

(34)

1 Star

(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Reaching the goodness within

I wholly endorse the five star reviews already printed here. I find the most memorable aspects of the book are the instances in which Antonina was able to reach the goodness within apparently evil people through her calm communications. Although the descriptions at th...
I wholly endorse the five star reviews already printed here. I find the most memorable aspects of the book are the instances in which Antonina was able to reach the goodness within apparently evil people through her calm communications. Although the descriptions at the beginning seemed lengthy, the book was hard to put down as it drew to the climax of the Polish uprising.

posted by Anonymous on December 6, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Vague

It's a shame that this book misses the mark. The story of Jan and Antonnia deserves to be told by someone who can do it justice. The author can't even decide the narrative point of view, she never commits to it as either a novel or a documentary account, switching view ...
It's a shame that this book misses the mark. The story of Jan and Antonnia deserves to be told by someone who can do it justice. The author can't even decide the narrative point of view, she never commits to it as either a novel or a documentary account, switching view points and adding obscure parenthetical references that are odd distractions. The run-on sentences are very hard to follow. Time and location shifts are vague and confusing too. I heard about this book through an interview with the author on Public Radio, but the interview was 10,000 times more entertaining than the book itself.

posted by Anonymous on December 26, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    Slow start, but worth reading on

    Amazing history lesson.despite what man meant for evil - goodness continued to flourish. Interesting characters who persevered through a most awful time in history and their story wasn't lost. Thanks to the author for allowing us a glimpse into survival of ordinary folk in extraordinary times.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    VERY GOOD

    Well worth it but a little more intense read. Def recommend and would LOVE to see it as a movie!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    Enlightening

    I enjoyed the book overall. I was unaware of the level of hatred pointed directly at Poland during WWII and was unaware of their heroic efforts at resistance. As far as the writing, I felt the author was perhaps conflicted on whether she wanted to write a fiction or a non-fiction piece of work. I would have preferred a fiction book based on the real life of the protaganists. That would have allowed the author more freedom than she took to hypothesize what the characters were actually feeling.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2009

    Informative read

    Learn about Warsaw during WWII. People did alot the help others survive.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Mommy Etc-Review

    I found this historical novel to be very, very interesting. It was chosen for my book group but I am starting to get nervous that they will not have liked it as much as I did. Being that I am a history teacher I loved the fact that most of this novel was based on research by the author and told like a biography. I think that some people will find this style of book off putting.

    The book tells the tail of a Zookeeper and his family who live in Warsaw at the start of WWII. The story tells the tail of this family (primarily the zookeeper's wife) during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw. The book tells the tale of what happened to the Jewish population of Warsaw, life in the Warsaw ghetto, and how the zookeeper's family helped as many people as possible. It was a great look into not only what life was like in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation, but what life was like for a family (particularly a housewife) during this era.

    For me what I liked was the historical aspect of the book. I loved the first hand accounts of what life was like in the city during the war and what it was like for the Jews living in Warsaw during the occupation, reassignment to the ghetto, and eventual liquidation of the ghetto. More importantly the aspect that I loved about this book was it showed how average people did above average things to help the Jewish community during WWII. Everyone has heard of people the Schindler who saved thousands, but you never hear about all those who helped three or four people along the way. This book showed how one family made a difference for several people and risked their lives in the process. Not only is it a great historical piece, it also a great psychological piece in that it looks at the human condition and the desire to help others versus our desire to protect ourselves.

    For those who love historical books this is a must read. I give the book **** according the the J. Kaye scale.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2008

    Gripping story of life in Warsaw during the War

    I had no idea of the terror that not only the Jews of Warsaw endured but also the people of Poland in general and specifically in Warsaw. This story relates the angst experienced in a home filled with love and people who care about each other and love animals.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2007

    Wonderful

    So well written - so interesting. I loved this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2008

    Fascinating account of Polish during WWII

    A moving story of Polish Christians sheltering hundreds of Jews at the Warsaw Zoo during Nazi rule. I found the author's detailed descriptions of minor points distracting and her flowery prose sometimes irritating. I recommend the audio CD version over print copies although it would have been better without the reader's attempts at Polish accents for the main characters' dialogues. The ending of the book was abrupt and leads the reader longing for more information on the Zabinskis after the war. Despite these weaknesses the basic story is powerful, and the book is still highly recommended.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2012

    Book Good but Ebook Table of Contents not broken into chapters

    The E-Book table of contents jumps from page 12 to page 275 which makes it really hard to navigate to different pages in the book.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

    Very good

    You just have to get through the dull spots

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2010

    Great Storyline

    The storyline of this book is incredible; I was completely unaware of the events in Poland prior to reading this book. Since reading it, I have been compelled to further research the WWII history. The courage, perserverance, and stamina of the characters in this book are completely without a doubt inspirational. I found myself questioning if I could be such a strong and amazing person at such a time of challenge and hardship. However I would agree with some of the other reviews posted that the author's variation of narration and storytelling is somewhat irritating; but not enough to take away from the inspiring tale.

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Even at the risk of losing the lives of their own family

    We have read about the tragedies and atrocities of World War II many times, but not the numbers of people willing to risk everything to help their fellow man. The author researched this hidden corridor that once was a lifeline for many people thoroughly. She was able to put all that read her book in their shoes by recreating the everyday tensions, doubts and small joys at that time. With all that I have read about the war, I wasn't aware of the depths of change that Hitler wanted to make--animals, insects, vegetation, as well as his idea of a pure race by the elimination of all he felt defiled his plan. The book did get a little too technical as far as descriptions of the various insects...most I believe skimmed that part and went on reading the story as I did. An amazing true story and beautifully executed by the author.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Good book

    Good book

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Zookeepers Wife gives a view from inside Nazi occupied Poland from the perspective

    The Zookeepers Wife is a very in depth look at life in Nazi occupied Poland. The author paints a very vivid picture of the life of poles. There are many heroes in this story including the zookeeper and his wife. You feel some of the anxiety they felt waiting to hear if their family is safe. You hold your breath while the Nazi soldiers are in their home.

    I enjoyed this book in the authors narrative of the drama that took place with all the characters. However, I did find myself skipping a lot of detail about plants and animals that seemed to go beyond the story that was being told. I also found the ending to be sort of anti-climatic. I would have liked to have read about the reactions of the characters when they were reunited. And also more about their lives after the war.

    Overall I would recommend this book. I also like how the questions are included at the back of the book for bookclubs and discussion groups.

    I learned something about this period in history. I also found a new confidence in humankind that responded heroically in this very dark and dangerous time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2009

    Good/ Recommend for the history.

    I enjoy reading about history - especially history of the Holocaust. I recommend the book due to the knowledge one can be gain about human nature and learning about history so it won't happen again. I will have to admit that all the details given distracted from the story and made it hard to follow from time to time. However I fee that with careful reading, one will gain a lot of knowledge and insight while enjoying the story of "The Zookeeper's Wife".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2008

    A reviewer

    This was a part of WWII history that I had never read about before. The best government school history classes barely touch on what happened during this important time in our history. I love to find books like this one that add to my knowledge and understanding. It is boring to me to read about what the armies did during war. I want to know what life was like for the people that got caught up in the wars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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