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Publisher's Summary

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.
The Lost begins as the story of a boy who grew up in a family haunted by the disappearance of six relatives during the Holocaust - an unmentionable subject that gripped his imagination from earliest childhood. Decades later, spurred by the discovery of a cache of desperate letters written to his grandfather in 1939 and tantalized by fragmentary tales of a terrible betrayal, Daniel Mendelsohn sets out to find the remaining eyewitnesses to his relatives' fates. That quest eventually takes him to a dozen countries on four continents and forces him to confront the wrenching discrepancies between the histories we live and the stories we tell. And it leads him, finally, back to the small Ukrainian town where his family's story began and where the solution to a decades-old mystery awaits him.
Deftly moving between past and present, interweaving a world-wandering odyssey with childhood memories of a now-lost generation of immigrant Jews and provocative ruminations on biblical texts and Jewish history, The Lost transforms the story of one family into a profound, morally searching meditation on our fragile hold on the past. Deeply personal, grippingly suspenseful, and beautifully written, this literary tour de force illuminates all that is lost, and found, in the passage of time.
©2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Gillian on 08-14-16

Exquisite Narration, Breathtakingly Heartfelt Book

This book from a man, a scholar and Classicist, who has spent his life looking back, who travels the world to find the stories of his uncle, aunt, wife and four daughters, reads like a memoir, a detective story, a moral fable, even a romance. It is well-paced and engaging to the point that I put my life on hold just to keep finding out: And then what?
Everyone becomes a fully fleshed-out person: the lost; the old man in Poland who remembers, "The whole town was talking about it; the bodies were there the next day;" the woman in Australia who remembers it all but will die if she has to talk on record; all the way to Mendelsohn himself whose memories range from the childlike to the full-blown, in-your-face.
There are what seem to be digressions for stories from the Torah, from history, from Greek tragedies, but all come to a point. The summations are so beautiful, and the relevance so pointed that they are beyond moving. Simply stunning. Simply lovely.
And Pinchot gives voice to it all, the love, the frustration and anguish, the chuckles and joy. No, really, I mean it. This is the most dramatic, most perfectly nuanced performance I've comes across all year. And trust me, I'm an audio-fanatic. I listen to books like it's the air I breathe.
Brilliant book. The re-imagining of what happened to 16 year old Ruchele will make you cry.
And you'll be grateful to bring her to life for at least that moment. Because despite the horror, at least she was breathing.
She was alive.

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11 of 14 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ellen Marie Murphy on 05-14-18

Outstanding

This was a truly engaging story. Not just a story though, but stories within stories. So many times, we like the author, think we've learned the last important thing to know, but it is not until the last sentence of the post-script that we truly learn all there is to know. Every word, every sentence has meaning.

The narrator is Bronson Pinchot--outstanding! He brings to life each character and his accents are spot-on! (I had a grandmother from the Ukraine). I think I would not have had the same experience if I had read the book myself, as he smoothly pronounces each "foreign" name and word with such smoothness. Perhaps even more importantly is the genuine emotion he brings to the written word.

This book was an amazing experience!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jackie on 09-19-16

An amazing story and education

Listened to the audio book as my chosen format and maybe the long length referred in negative reviews makes the case for listening. Though many of us will never know much at all about our ancestors so brutally killed, Daniel's sharing of his journey brings the truth to us in painful and funny and in educational mixtures so we, too, will feel closer in spirit to family never to be known but always loved. Thanks, Daniel

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Purplelotus on 04-08-18

Search for the truth

This is an engrossing account of Mr Mendelson's search for lost relatives in the holocaust. It is hard to critic because of the subject matter which at times is truly horrific as would be expected. There are also moments of levity in his wonderful descriptions of elderly Jewish ladies he befriends and help him with his search. One elderly lady in New York who continuely reminds him that his brother is much better looking. However, the digressions into the Torah and Greek tragedy don't really add much to the story and make it rather long winded. There are so many characters and false leads, that is enough to keep up with, the digressions are not needed. It is an incredible story and shows the persistence and endurance that have made an epic, educational and moving read.

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