This is the story of a young boy's journey from a sleepy provincial town in Hungary during the Second World War to the concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen. Peter Lantos revisits his childhood from the perspective of the present and finally lays to rest the ghosts of his past.
"I have read few autobiographies more extraordinary . . . Astonishing" OBSERVER
"A classic. I preferred it to Primo Levi's If This is a Man" EDWARD WILSON
"A child's clear-eyed journey to hell" ANNE SEBBA
This is a story of a young boy's journey from a sleepy provincial town in Hungary during the Second World War to the concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen. After a winter in Bergen-Belsen where his father died, he and his mother were liberated by the Americans outside a small German village, and handed over to the Red Army. They escaped from the Russians, and travelled, hiding on a goods train, through Prague to Budapest.
Unlike other books dealing with this period, this is not a Holocaust story, but a child's recollection of a journey full of surprise, excitement, bereavement and terror. Yet this remains a testimony of survival, overcoming obstacles which to adults may seem insurmountable but to a child were just part of an adventure and, ultimately, recovery.
After having established a career in the West, the author decided to revisit the stages on his earlier journeys, reliving the past through the perspective of the present. Along the way, ghosts from the past are finally laid to rest by the kindness of new friends.
With an introduction by Lisa Appignanesi
I have read few autobiographies more extraordinary . . . Astonishing * Observer *
Something of a genius, with the readability of a classic -- Alan Sillitoe
Anyone who thinks they have read all these is to be said about he Holocaust should read one more book, Parallel Lines . . . A child's clear-eyed journey to hell paralleled by an adult's scientific quest to understand the journey -- Anne Sebba
A remarkable addition to the literature of the Holocaust * Sunday Times *
Lantos' spare writing hits with a shocking punch and moves steadily and calmly into the tragic * The Age (Melbourne) *
Lantos follows clues, detecting and retracing the steps of his past . . . I defy anyone to read this account without retrospective anger on behalf of those who suffered -- Michelene Wandor * Jewish Chronicle *
A movingly narrated memoir -- Clare Colvin * Independent *
This wonderful memoir . . . introduces a writer with rare gifts * The Tablet *
A classic. I preferred it to Primo Levi's If This is a Man -- Edward Wilson * author of A RIVER IN MAY and THE MIDNIGHT SWIMMER *
Movingly told memories of a Hungarian childhood shattered by Belsen * Independent *
Dimensions: 196mm x 128mm x 20mm