MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of The Fighter by Jean-Jacques Greif

The Fighter

by Jean-Jacques Greif

The Fighter by Jean-Jacques Greif X
The Fighter by Jean-Jacques Greif
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Sep 2006, 288 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

When Moshe’s emigrates to Paris in the 1930s, it means a new life: A decent job, a lovely young wife, and a hobby as an amateur boxer. Until the day he is rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. There he is tortured, starved, asked to entertain Nazi soldiers by boxing against dying prisoners. Moshe wants to survive without killing his comrades, but how?

Moshe Wisniak grew up malnourished and fatherless outside Warsaw at a time when Jews and Poles lived in poverty and violence. When Moshe’s brothers emigrate to Paris in the 1930s, it means a new life for the whole family, who follow soon after. A decent job, a lovely young wife, and a hobby as an amateur boxer vastly improve Moshe’s prospects until the day he is rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. There he is tortured, starved, and most shockingly, asked to entertain Nazi soldiers by boxing against dying prisoners.

Moshe wants to survive without killing his comrades, but how? Based on the memoir of his family friend, Jean-Jacques Greif has taken the facts and turned them into a gripping novel about life and death in Auschwitz.

1
In Praga, a Suburb of Warsaw

When I was born, the czar still reigned over the great Russian empire and Poland was a mere trinket hanging from his belt. He had so many subjects that nobody ever tried to count them. He didn’t even ask them to register their children. Or, at least, he didn’t ask my mother.

At the end of the First World War, the czar of Russia tumbled down from his throne. His army of Cossacks left Warsaw. Poland became an independent country.

In 1918, obeying a decree of the new Polish government, my mother goes to the town hall in Praga, our Warsaw suburb, to register her four children.

“How old are they?” the man in the office asks.

“What you say?”

“How old? Your children, lady!”

She finds him hard to understand. Before the war, you had to learn Russian. Now it’s Polish. Why don’t these government people ever speak Yiddish, the language of the Jews?

“Schmiel Yankl, my first, he more ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The Fighter has proved very popular in France (where it was first released) as a book to accompany the study of World War II during the first year of High School. Unlike some books chosen for reading in school, it also resonates with young readers: In 2000, it won the five main literary prizes given by French students!..continued

Full Review (918 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Media Reviews

School Library Journal - Rita Soltan
In the end, however, Greif reminds readers that one not only needed emotional and physical strength but also a whole lot of luck and cleverness to be able to resist and emerge from the torturous nightmare of the camps. Tough, realistic reading with some raw language.

Booklist - Hazel Rochman
This novel.....may be too much for some readers...[his] present-tense narrative vividly describes the atrocities as well as the importance of courage, friendship, and, especially, luck in the fight for survival.

Kirkus Reviews
Greif based the novel on the experiences of his father's friend—not just a witness, but a Jewish hero…It's a spirit that will resonate with readers.

Reader Reviews

killa

BEST EVER!
This book is the best ever. It has a lot of suspense and mystery.

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Jews in Poland
Jews became a significant part of the Polish population in the 14th century when they were offered a safe haven by King Casimir the Great after being expelled en masse from much of Western Europe (including England, Spain, France and Germany).  By the 18th century about 750,000 Jews lived in Poland, representing about 7% of the Polish population and about two-thirds of the world's Jewish population (then estimated at 1.2 million). 

However, the presence of Jews had always been a source of tension amongst the Catholic majority, and from the late 18th century anti-Semitism steadily increased.  Of course, there were also groups that opposed anti-Semitism, but by the 1930s the anti-Semitic ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Fighter, try these:

  • The Game of Love and Death jacket

    The Game of Love and Death

    by Martha Brockenbrough

    Published 2015

    About this book

    Not since The Book Thief has the character of Death played such an original and affecting part in a book for young people.

  • Flight From Berlin jacket

    Flight From Berlin

    by David John

    Published 2013

    About this book

    A cynical English reporter and a beautiful, headstrong, American Olympic hopeful are caught in a lethal game of international espionage during the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: How to Build a Heart
    How to Build a Heart
    by Maria Padian
    Maria Padian is well-known for her motif of exploring teen reactions to social issues. Her novel ...
  • Book Jacket: Follow Me to Ground
    Follow Me to Ground
    by Sue Rainsford
    Ada and her father are human-like beings who age slowly and possess the power to heal all illness. ...
  • Book Jacket: Children of the Land
    Children of the Land
    by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
    In this exquisitely crafted memoir, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo describes coming of age as a young ...
  • Book Jacket: A Good Neighborhood
    A Good Neighborhood
    by Therese Anne Fowler
    After fictionalized biographies of Zelda Fitzgerald (Z, 2013) and Alva Vanderbilt (A Well-Behaved ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    American Dirt
    by Jeanine Cummins

    A new American classic, and the first book to ever score a perfect 5-stars in BookBrowse's early reader program!
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Remembrance
    by Rita Woods

    A breakout debut with modern resonance, perfect for fans of The Underground Railroad and Orphan Train.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
American Dirt
by Jeanine Cummins

"American Dirt is a Grapes of Wrath for our times."
—Don Winslow

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Lost Family

The Lost Family
by Libby Copeland

A deeply reported look at the rise of home genetic testing and the seismic shock it has had on individual lives.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A F I Need I A F I

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.