The Lost: The Search for Six of Six Million

The Lost: The Search for Six of Six Million

3.9 37
by Daniel Mendelsohn
     
 

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In this rich and riveting narrative, a writer's search for the truth behind his family's tragic past in World War II becomes a remarkably original epic—part memoir, part reportage, part mystery, and part scholarly detective work—that brilliantly explores the nature of time and memory, family and history.

Overview

In this rich and riveting narrative, a writer's search for the truth behind his family's tragic past in World War II becomes a remarkably original epic—part memoir, part reportage, part mystery, and part scholarly detective work—that brilliantly explores the nature of time and memory, family and history.

Editorial Reviews

Joyce Carol Oates
“Daniel Mendelsohn has written a powerfully moving work of a “lost” family past. . . . A remarkable achievement.”
People

“An excellent memoir. . . . The Lost . . . brings to life the struggle of an entire generation.”

The Forward
“A grand book, an ambitious undertaking fully realized.”
BookForum
The Lost is a sensitively written book that constantly asks itself the most difficult questions about history and memory.”
Garry Wills
“Mendelsohn, a classicist, creates a stunning Odyssey here, an epic world-wandering.”
J. M. Coetzee
“A stirring detective work, The Lost is … deepened by reflections on the inescapable part that chance plays in history.”
Samuel G. Freedman
“Stunning. . . . A singular achievement, a work of major significance and pummeling impact.”
Charles Simic
“The Lost is the most gripping, the most amazing true story I have read in years.”
Francine Prose
“A stunning memoir. . . . As suspenseful as a detective thriller, and as difficult to put down.”
Michael Chabon
“A beautiful book, beautifully written.”
Rebecca Goldstein
“A stunning achievement. . . . Extraordinary.”
Ron Rosenbaum
“Hugely ambitious yet intensely engaging. . . . Absorbing, novelistic. . . . Thought-provoking and original.”
The Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A magnificent and deeply wise book. . . . Mesmerizing. . . . Mendelsohn's accomplishment is enormous.”
People (four stars)
“An excellent memoir. . . . The Lost . . . brings to life the struggle of an entire generation.”
Jonathan Safran Foer
“Epic and personal, meditative and suspenseful, tragic and at times hilarious, The Lost is a wonderful book.”
People Magazine
"An excellent memoir. . . . The Lost . . . brings to life the struggle of an entire generation."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062314703
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/12/2013
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
688
Sales rank:
192,659
File size:
5 MB

What People are saying about this

Joyce Carol Oates

“Daniel Mendelsohn has written a powerfully moving work of a “lost” family past. . . . A remarkable achievement.”

Francine Prose

“A stunning memoir. . . . As suspenseful as a detective thriller, and as difficult to put down.”

J. M. Coetzee

“A stirring detective work, The Lost is … deepened by reflections on the inescapable part that chance plays in history.”

Ron Rosenbaum

“Hugely ambitious yet intensely engaging. . . . Absorbing, novelistic. . . . Thought-provoking and original.”

Charles Simic

“The Lost is the most gripping, the most amazing true story I have read in years.”

Garry Wills

“Mendelsohn, a classicist, creates a stunning Odyssey here, an epic world-wandering.”

Samuel G. Freedman

“Stunning. . . . A singular achievement, a work of major significance and pummeling impact.”

Jonathan Safran Foer

“Epic and personal, meditative and suspenseful, tragic and at times hilarious, The Lost is a wonderful book.”

Michael Chabon

“A beautiful book, beautifully written.”

Rebecca Goldstein

“A stunning achievement. . . . Extraordinary.”

Meet the Author

Daniel Mendelsohn a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and The New Yorker, is the author of the international bestseller The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million. He teaches at Bard College.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
April 16, 1960
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
B.A., Classics, University of Virginia, 1982; M.A., Classics, Princeton University, 1989; Ph.D., 1994
Website:
http://www.danielmendelsohn.com

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The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
4bb More than 1 year ago
THE LOST is an important book, and Mendelsohn writes with passion and, often, elegance. But the book needed an editor who would have helped Mendelsohn to be less repetitious and long-winded. In many ways, Mendelsohn is trying to mirror in writing the way in which people orally tell stories, with digressions that eventually make a point. He also tries to bring the reader along on his journey of discovery, so that we go down blind alleys and make erroneous assumptions with him, and find the truth later, as he does. The best parts of the book are the significant questions he raises and the way in which he uses the first chapters of Genesis to explore those questions--like Why does God let innocents die, as must have died in the Flood (Noah's story) and in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? And, unspoken, is the more modern question: Why did God allow all the innocents to die in the Holocaust? Mendelsohn gives no answers to such questions--they cannot be answered--but they give the book a depth and gravity that make THE LOST more than one man's search for six of his relatives. THE LOST becomes a book of profound meaning and well-worth the irritation of reading through too much repetition and too many page-long sentences.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was raised by parents who were Jewish but non-religious. Their parents or grandparents came to America from the area in eastern Europe that is described in this book. I have always known that the Jews who came to America generally did OK, but the relatives who stayed behind in the Old Country were all murdered when the Nazis came through during World War II. I never particularly identified with the people who died, until I read this book. Working in the present day, the author interviews now-elderly survivors of that period of World War II, including elderly Poles and Ukrainians who still live in that town, and the handful of Jews who managed to survive, and now live in other places in the world, such as Israel, Australia, and Scandinavia. The stories the survivors tell about themselves are amazing. Through them, the author gradually learns more and more about six of his relatives: his grandfather's brother and that man's wife and four daughters. At first, the author (and the reader) knows the people only through a few old pictures and half-forgotten stories the author heard when he was a child. As the book progresses, he gradually learns more and more facts about his six relatives, including what they were like, how they struggled to survive, and how they died. Over 99% of the Jews in that town were murdered, mainly in 1943, but not all at the same time. The book reads like a mystery, with more and more facts coming to light. Parts were so painful that I could not read them, and I skipped over portions that involved interpretations of the Torah, but I was fascinated by the portions that shed more light on what happened to this family. With so many millions killed, it was so important to me to learn some details about at least this one family, so they are not all forgotten. Highly recommended, especially for secular Jews who may have avoided stuff like this in the past.
sweetkitten More than 1 year ago
Have just finished this gripping haunting tale. I have read many books about the Holocaust as I grew up in London in WW11. Now in my life it is painful to realize this was going on just across the English channel, while I was happily playing with my dolls. In reading this you become enmeshed in this family and feel like these relatives are yours. This book would never have happened if Shmiel had stayed in America. Fate dealt him a tragic hand. His letters asking for help from his family in the US are haunting. Tuesday 28 October 1941 the Nazis ended a way of life forever. This book is one I will never forget. Everybody. Read it.
shorebird43 More than 1 year ago
My first comment has to do with the NOOK version. On or about page 128, while you are deeply entrenched in the story, the NOOK version skips backward in the page numbers and is the most frustrating and disappointing distraction. I was concerned that the book would be too different for a Christian's perspectives, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that despite some verbosity, I found myself relating to his relationships with his family and wishing that I had had the insight and the opportunity to have gotten to know my grandparents better.
relsek More than 1 year ago
Tough to say much more than what other people, here and elsewhere, have said about this book. I simply could not put it down and now cannot get it out of my head. It is so much more than the story of one man's search for the fate of his lost relatives. It is also a meditation on love, the uses of memory, the stories that are told in Genesis, and nothing less than the ways in which we choose to live. It's also a fabulous detective story, tender, spellbinding, painful to read in spots. I've never read a book quite like it. It is a book that has the potential to make us better human beings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I ordered the Nook version of The Lost as my first Nook book after receiving the HD+ for Christmas. Unfortunantly, after 226 wonderful pages the Nook version stops and resets to page 178. After several attempts to get this, first, duplicated, and corrected I am still waiting to see how pages 227 through 501 turn out. For a NYT Best Seller when I bought it I feel ripped and will now settle for a warning in the shop so others do not wait over 2 months for a book that has no restrictions on it and a hardcover for my time.
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Maryann55 More than 1 year ago
I was completely absorbed in this book. It stresses the importance of knowing your family history and asking questions of your family members while they are still able to tell you your history. A sad story but an important one. Lovingly told by the author.
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smc1020 More than 1 year ago
Although this is the story of six lost among millions in the Holocaust, any family, of any culture, that has undergone traumatic persecution, can identify and be swept into the story. This should be required reading due to the very detailed and painstaking research that went into it's writing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jmad More than 1 year ago
An excellent book, from a perspective that I hadn't seen much explored before: what was being done by friends and neighbors in the towns and villages of eastern Europe even before the actual onset of the concentration camps. This book is sweet and touching in the beginning, horrifying in the middle (because every lethal act is happening to someone we now know) and -- well, I don't know how to describe the ending. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My book club read this book and most of us liked it. This is not an easy read. The story of Mendelsohn's search for his six realatives was very interesting.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the carefully researched true story of a family's search for knowledge of family members killed in the Holocaust. Occasionally gruesome, but how could it not be, given the subject. The book is not a light read, but neither is it difficult to follow. For serious readers and especially those interested in the Holocaust in Eastern Europe.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recieved this book as a gift. Knowing that I like to read stories of wwII the gift was well recieved. This book has it all expecially suspence. The author wrote an exceptional book. I can honestly say that I dont believe I have the drive that he did to find his geneology. But he does put it in ones mind the question" how long has my family existed"? This book had it all. It had love, suspence and drama. It will clearly make you think. Spiritually or emotionally you can not help but to wonder. I read this book from cover to cover and I thought it was so well written. Just one negative I thought there was. Some of the sentances make you run out of breath even if you are reading it to yourself. I know probably in the near future I will read it again.