Once We Were Brothers

  • by Ronald H. Balson
  • Narrated by Fred Berman
  • 13 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The gripping tale about two boys, once as close as brothers, who find themselves on opposite sides of the Holocaust.
Elliot Rosenzweig, a respected civic leader and philanthropist, is attending a fundraiser when he is suddenly accosted and accused of being a former Nazi SS officer named Otto Piatek, the Butcher of Zamosc. Although the charges are denounced as preposterous, his accuser is convinced he is right and engages attorney Catherine Lockhart to bring Rosenzweig to justice. Solomon persuades attorney Catherine Lockhart to take his case, revealing that the true Piatek was abandoned as a child and raised by Solomon's own family only to betray them during the Nazi occupation. But has Solomon accused the right man?
Once We Were Brothers is Ronald H. Balson's compelling tale of two boys and a family who struggle to survive in war-torn Poland, and a young love that struggles to endure the unspeakable cruelty of the Holocaust. Two lives, two worlds, and 60 years converge in an explosive race to redemption that makes for a moving and powerful tale of love, survival, and ultimately the triumph of the human spirit.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Corny & Predictable

What would have made Once We Were Brothers better?

Although the story of the Holocaust is tragic and compelling, this book in particular was poorly written and oversimplified the terrible events of the time. I found the characters very one dimensional, shallow and stereotypical. The narrative was very unoriginal and corny in parts with many inconsistencies in the story line. It read more like a teenage adventure story! I also found the writing style very amateurish, dripping with over sentimentality! I would not recommend this to anyone looking for a realistic account of the Holocaust experience. The protagonists lacked the depth and nuance one would expect from such characters.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The accents and mispronunciations of certain non-English words were terrible.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment, derision and the feeling of condescension from the author's perspective. It felt like an insult to my intelligence. At parts in the story I found myself guessing the plot, rolling my eyes in disbelief and screaming in frustration.

Any additional comments?

A waste of money!

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- Larry

Such a corny reader!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was not time well-spent. I found myself so annoyed by the whining voice that I was anxious to be done! I've read many other fine books about the horrors of the Nazi regime - in fact I'm reading the superb "All the Light We Cannot See" right now, and find this book to be so simplistic and cliche. I kept talking back to it - of course his Hannah was the most beautiful girl in the whole world!

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The accents were awful. I don't feel I can honestly evaluate the book because I was so annoyed by the reader's corny, whining voice.

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- Laura

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-17-2013
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio