The King of Warsaw by Szczepan Twardoch audiobook

The King of Warsaw: A Novel

By Szczepan Twardoch
Translated by Sean Gasper Bye
Read by Stefan Rudnicki

Brilliance Audio 9781542044462
13.00 Hours Unabridged
Format: CD (In Stock)
  • $34.99

    ISBN: 9781799744399

A city ignited by hate. A man in thrall to power. The ferociously original award-winning bestseller by Poland’s literary phenomenon—his first to be translated into English. It’s 1937. Poland is about to catch fire. In the boxing ring, Jakub Szapiro commands respect, revered as a hero by the Jewish community. Outside, he instills fear as he muscles through Warsaw as enforcer for a powerful crime lord. Murder and intimidation have their rewards. He revels in luxury, spends lavishly, and indulges in all the pleasures that barbarity offers. For a man battling to be king of the underworld, life is good. Especially when it’s a frightening time to be alive. Hitler is rising. Fascism is escalating. As a specter of violence hangs over Poland like a black cloud, its marginalized and vilified Jewish population hopes for a promise of sanctuary in Palestine. Jakub isn’t blind to the changing tide. What’s unimaginable to him is abandoning the city he feels destined to rule. With the raging instincts that guide him in the ring and on the streets, Jakub feels untouchable. He must maintain the order he knows—even as a new world order threatens to consume him.

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Summary

Summary

A city ignited by hate. A man in thrall to power. The ferociously original award-winning bestseller by Poland’s literary phenomenon—his first to be translated into English.

It’s 1937. Poland is about to catch fire.

In the boxing ring, Jakub Szapiro commands respect, revered as a hero by the Jewish community. Outside, he instills fear as he muscles through Warsaw as enforcer for a powerful crime lord. Murder and intimidation have their rewards. He revels in luxury, spends lavishly, and indulges in all the pleasures that barbarity offers. For a man battling to be king of the underworld, life is good. Especially when it’s a frightening time to be alive.

Hitler is rising. Fascism is escalating. As a specter of violence hangs over Poland like a black cloud, its marginalized and vilified Jewish population hopes for a promise of sanctuary in Palestine. Jakub isn’t blind to the changing tide. What’s unimaginable to him is abandoning the city he feels destined to rule. With the raging instincts that guide him in the ring and on the streets, Jakub feels untouchable. He must maintain the order he knows—even as a new world order threatens to consume him.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

The King of Warsaw reads terrifyingly, embarrassingly well—together with the author, we are immersed in a whole swamp of sick ideology, brutality, and infinite baseness. Marcin Fijołek, wPolityce.pl
There is no doubt in my mind—Twardoch is at present a writer endowed with creative powers of which his peers can only dream…The King of Warsaw is a deftly written thriller with a subtle and unimposing issue behind it. Dariusz Nowacki, Gazeta Wyborcza
A brilliant and inventive novel about the Polish-Jewish underworld of the interwar period…highly suspenseful. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
This is a real ‘boy’s’ novel. It begins with a punch—with a fast-paced description of a boxing match. All of Twardoch’s fetishes are in place: weapons, cars, suits. There’s exciting violence, a locker-room atmosphere, sexual fantasies, and voyeurism—we first see the main protagonist, the Jewish mafioso boxer Jakub Szapiro, through the eyes of an anxious skinny boy…A retro detective story in the spirit of Tyrmand, but darker and more brutal. Witold Mrozek
After reading The King of Warsaw, it is hard to just put it back on the shelf and pretend that we have merely read a great book. The King of Warsaw rummages around in our guts and plunges deep into our consciences. Krzysztof Varga
Ultimately, The King seems a study in extremes: love and violence, sympathy and revulsion, fantasy and reality. That Twardoch can balance these extremes is a testament to his skill. World Literature Today
Something like a Polish version of Inglourious Basterds, in which the oppressed Polish Jews, supported by a likable Polish gangster, take revenge on Polish anti-Semites. Or simply a gangster picaresque novel set in an era that is increasingly popular. Juliusz Kurkiewicz
This is what Twardoch probably does best—he writes about Warsaw like it was [the] New York or Chicago of the time, and does it in fine style. Łukasz Grzymisławski
Twardoch’s depictions of individual characters, atmospheres, and political currents are precise, vivid, and ecstatic, almost to the point of madness. Rolling Stone (Germany)
Twardoch wins the reader over through gripping dialogue, compositional finesse, suspense that continues until the very end, and an unsettling story. Neue Zürcher Zeitung
[An] intelligent and literary novel…original. Library Journal
Dense but powerful…spins the convention of the unreliable narrator in multiple directions: not only may the narrator be deceiving the reader, he may also be deceiving himself. All of this storytelling legerdemain adds complexity and fascinating psychological texture to the book, which at its heart is a gripping tale of a Godfather-like power struggle between warring mobs, one largely Jewish, the other anti-Semitic and pro-Fascist. The Tarrantino-caliber violence can be overwhelming but is never gratuitous in a novel that is fundamentally about a country and its people on the verge of decimation. Booklist
Brutal…Compulsively readable…Twardoch’s willingness to stare into the abyss elevates this racing work to sublime heights. Publishers Weekly
Szczepan Twardoch has brought Poland back onto the world literature stage. Die Welt
Bold, powerful, occasionally surreal, a blend of historical fiction and noir thriller, multifaceted, intense and unsettling…Twardoch is one of the most fascinating and exciting storytellers of our day. Buchkultur
A wild book, a crazy book, and a wise book but also a book full of cruelties, since it’s about boxers, gangsters, and monsters…in other words, it has everything you’d expect in a good novel, a very good novel. WDR 5
A great joy to read…This elegantly constructed and linguistically virtuosic book has a unique aura that’s practically impossible to resist. Deutschlandradio, Book of the Week
Wonderful literature, a festival of language, a dance atop a volcano that toys deftly with narrative perspective, a gallery of colorful, sharply contoured figures. Tages-Anzeiger
“Streaked with magic realism and dream logic, the novel slides eerily between reality and illusion, 1930s Poland and 1980s Israel, where Moyshe has morphed into a retired Israeli army officer typing out his Warsaw memories. Driven by a ruthless energy, the first of Twardoch's novels to be available in an English translation is astonishing and heartbreaking in equal measure. It never runs out of revelation. A wickedly enthralling novel by one of Poland’s emerging literary stars. Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Szczepan Twardoch

Author Bio: Szczepan Twardoch

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Details

Details

Available Formats : CD
Category: Fiction/Literary
Runtime: 13.00
Audience: Adult
Language: English