Lovely Green Eyes

by Arnost Lustig | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0099448580 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Helly77 of Preston, Lancashire United Kingdom on 6/12/2004
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8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Helly77 from Preston, Lancashire United Kingdom on Saturday, June 12, 2004
Another addition to my TBR pile!!!

Journal Entry 2 by Helly77 from Preston, Lancashire United Kingdom on Sunday, January 09, 2005
Offered on the relays - will read first!

Journal Entry 3 by Helly77 from Preston, Lancashire United Kingdom on Sunday, January 09, 2005
Synopsis - From Amazon

Fifteen-year-old Hanka Kaudersova has ginger hair and clear, green eyes. When her family is deported to Auschwitz, Hanka is faced with a choice: follow her family to the gas chamber, or work in an SS brothel behind the eastern front. Choosing life, she fights cold, hunger, fear and shame.

Journal Entry 4 by Helly77 from Preston, Lancashire United Kingdom on Tuesday, January 11, 2005
This is a very cruel sad and depressing book. It shows how human spirit can triumph over harsh adversity, and serves as a reminder to everyone of the awful things that people are capable of doing and also enduring.

I would have given more stars had it not been so miserable!

Journal Entry 5 by Helly77 at Book Relay in a RABCK, By Mail/Post/Courier -- Controlled Releases on Friday, January 21, 2005

Released 16 yrs ago (1/21/2005 UTC) at Book Relay in a RABCK, By Mail/Post/Courier -- Controlled Releases

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gone to jaenelle

Journal Entry 6 by jaenelle from Orlando, Florida USA on Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Caught today. Looks very interesting and I'm looking forward to reading it!

Journal Entry 7 by jaenelle from Orlando, Florida USA on Tuesday, March 10, 2009
This is now my purse reading book. I think I will offer it as a bookring or ray when I am done reading it.

Journal Entry 8 by jaenelle from Orlando, Florida USA on Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Here is some information from amazon.com:

From Publishers Weekly
Prague-born Lustig (The Bitter Smell of Almonds) adds this chronicle of a resilient teenage girl to his highly regarded oeuvre of spare and haunting novels rooted in the Holocaust. The "lovely green eyes" of the title belong to 15-year-old Hanka "Skinny" Kaudersova, a shy, ginger-haired girl and the only member of her family to avoid death in Auschwitz. At first a cleaner in a camp hospital lab (where the doctor sterilizes her), she continues to evade extermination by lying about her age and her heritage (passing herself as Aryan) and is requisitioned as a prostitute in the German military field brothels. In a typical workday, Hanka services at least a dozen soldiers, many of whom are distraught and violent. Lustig presents the brothel clients as fully rounded characters, both viciously prejudiced against Jews and kind to the (Czech, they think) girl whose body they use. Constant hunger, freezing temperatures and disease further weaken Skinny's spirit, but as the war ends, she realizes she must search for her place in a world built on ashes. A rabbi, who is himself drowning in despair, attempts to offer her solace, but she's unable to shed her shame and guilt. Back in Prague, agonized by nightmarish memories, she settles in with a group of survivors and meets the narrator, whose declaration of love eventually thaws her heart. Lustig's prose is evocative at the same time it is sparse, even during harrowing scenes of physical and mental cruelty. Aided by a fine translation, this is a stunning work, worthy of comparison to those by Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi. In imagining the ordeal of a young girl "who had looked on the devil 12 times a day," Lustig has created an unforgettable character within whom "remembrance and oblivion contended," but who still summons the courage to affirm life.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal
A Feldhure, or army prostitute, working in Feldbordell No. 232 Ost somewhere near the eastern front during World War II, Skinny is known to the German soldiers who frequent the camp brothel as Lovely Green Eyes. Managing to pass as a gentile and lying about her age the 15-year-old comes by her position after her entire family perishes at Auschwitz-Birkenau. In the brothel, her daily quota is a dozen German soldiers, sometimes more, back from the front. With the sparest prose whose harrowing monotone only increases our sensation of horror, the author covers Skinny's daily routine amid the executions, medical experiments, gassings, and incinerations that are the fabric of camp life. This includes listening in her cubicle to the rantings of German officers convinced that the Reich will last forever. With this highly original novel, written in the tradition of bearing witness, Lustig (The Bitter Smell of Almonds), himself a survivor of the death camps, brings our understanding one step closer to the abyss in which countless millions died. Recommended for all literary collections. Edward Cone, New York
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

I'm going to start a bookring with this one when I'm done with it.

Journal Entry 9 by jaenelle from Orlando, Florida USA on Sunday, March 15, 2009
Here is the bookring order, last updated 3-15-09.

jaenelle (KS)
perryfran (US, can ship int'l)
kaos61 (Canada)
lauraloo29 (Canada, prefers shipping anywhere but Canada)
snufkin81 (South Africa, can ship anywhere)
chucklesthescot (UK, prefers UK/Europe but can ship anywhere if needed)
Sarahmuh (Sweden, can ship anywhere)
NMReader (US, US only)
jaenelle (KS)

Journal Entry 10 by wingperryfranwing from Elk Grove, California USA on Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Received in the mail today. I will read as soon as I finish my current read. Thanks for including me in this bookring.


Journal Entry 11 by wingperryfranwing from Elk Grove, California USA on Thursday, April 09, 2009
Just finished this very powerful thought-provoking novel. It told the story of 15-year old Jewish “skinny” Hanka Kaudersova who with her family was deported to Auschwitz during WWII. Her mother, father, and younger brother are sent to the gas chamber but skinny survives by claiming to be 18 and by chance being sent to an SS brothel behind the eastern front where her Aryan looks allowed her to disguise the fact she was Jewish. She has to service 12 or more German soldiers per day while at the brothel except when an officer claims her for a whole day. She services one of the SS officers --Obersturmfuhrer Stefan Sarazin who personifies all that was evil with Nazi Germany. This quote from Sarazin briefly shows his perspective on life: “Beauty is beyond morality. Beyond good and evil. Beauty is Germany, the Waffen-SS, the Einsatzgruppen, the Jagdkommandos. The bomb that drops on an inhabited site. A town consumed by flames. Anything that dissolves into nothing. A captured enemy division turned into ashes like those vermin at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka and Majdanek. The hand grenade we thrust between the legs of that Jewish prostitute. I pulled the pin and watched from a distance as she lay there, with her hands tied, screaming, and then turned into a firework.” Skinny’s life as a prostitute servicing these German officers was more than horrific! It is really unbelievable that the atrocities of the Holocaust could have happened. The descriptions in this novel really hit hard.

Thanks jaenelle for sharing this book. I will be sending it on as soon as I get an address.

Journal Entry 12 by wingperryfranwing at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Friday, April 10, 2009

Released 12 yrs ago (4/10/2009 UTC) at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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Sending on to lauraloo29 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I received no response from kaos61.

Journal Entry 13 by lauraloo29 from Edmonton, Alberta Canada on Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Arrived safe and sound today. I have a few rings, but I am keeping them moving.

Journal Entry 14 by lauraloo29 from Edmonton, Alberta Canada on Saturday, May 16, 2009
I can't seem to get into this book. Frustrating, as I would like to. Not to worry. I will be sending it on to South Africa next week. Thank you for sharing!

Journal Entry 15 by snufkin81 from Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa on Saturday, June 20, 2009
This arrived while I was away on holiday. I have a number of other rings in the queue before this one, so it might take a while for me to get to it, but I'll not to keep it too long. Thanks Jaenelle and Lauraloo29!

Journal Entry 16 by snufkin81 from Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa on Monday, August 10, 2009
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. My previous experience with Czech writers (Kundera and Hrabal) hasn't been entirely positive, but I keep trying out of familial guilt as my father is Czech ;)

This story is incredibly harrowing and disturbing, but I really couldn't put it down. Skinny is such an engaging character that you just want to stay with her even during her worst experiences. The horror of watching your family members go to their deaths and the shame of surviving yourself by doing something so degrading are ever-present in the story. The descriptions of what some of the Nazi soldiers (especially those like Sarazin) did are really shocking. How can a human being sink so low as to feel so much pleasure in killing and humilating others?
Through it all Skinny's strength and innocence remain, and the story ends with hope for a new life and new love.

ETA: I love Lustig's use of metaphors and similes. Here's one that's been stuck in my mind:
She felt no surprise at the sequence of events that had brought her to him in Hungary. The war had stirred Europe like a huge spoon stirring a cauldron of soup for 250 million people.
So evocative!

Sorry for keeping this so long! I already have chucklesthescot's address and will post this book this week.

Journal Entry 17 by snufkin81 at To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, August 15, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (8/14/2009 UTC) at To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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Posted by airmail. I hope it gets to Scotland safely!

Journal Entry 18 by Chucklesthescot from Paisley, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The book has arrived safe in Scotland-and that was very quick! Thank you for the gorgeous postcard snufkin81! I'll pass on the bookmarks in the book as well as requested. Hope to get started on this book after the weekend when I finish the one I'm on. Will have the book posted on within 2 weeks maximum. Thank you for sharing!

Journal Entry 19 by Chucklesthescot from Paisley, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 02, 2009
I really didn't enjoy this at all. It just seemed to be endless, boring talk from the German soldiers with only a few bits of information about her suffering in and out of the camp. I gave up on this book and will pass it on as soon as I get back from my week's holiday. Thank you for sharing though!

Journal Entry 20 by Chucklesthescot at Paisley, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (9/13/2009 UTC) at Paisley, Scotland United Kingdom

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Passing this on to the next in line!

Journal Entry 21 by Sarahmuh on Monday, September 21, 2009
This book is now in safe hands. Thank you for sending this on Chucklesthescot. I'll read it as soon as I can, although I have a few in line first.

It's a well-travelled little book. Thank you jaenelle for starting the bookray.

Journal Entry 22 by Sarahmuh on Monday, November 09, 2009
This was an extremely well-written book, very vivid, and one of the most intense reading experiences I've ever had. Very stifling and emotionally claustrophobic throughout the book. I can't say I enjoyed it. Who can ever enjoy a book about the holocaust? But it moved me, and I am glad to have read it.

Journal Entry 23 by Sarahmuh at Albuquerque, New Mexico USA on Monday, November 09, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (11/9/2009 UTC) at Albuquerque, New Mexico USA

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This book is travelling again tonight. Sorry to have held on it for so long, and thank you for sharing!

Journal Entry 24 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Monday, November 23, 2009
It has arrived

Journal Entry 25 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Tuesday, January 26, 2010
This book was heartbreaking and uplifting.

The book was well written and while the main character at times seemed cold and emotionless, I imagine that is the coping mechanism that would happen for many.

I am in the midst of a move. I hope to get this in the mail by first weekend in Feb

Journal Entry 26 by NMReader at Herndon, Virginia USA on Friday, February 12, 2010

Released 11 yrs ago (2/9/2010 UTC) at Herndon, Virginia USA

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Braved the snow to mail on Tuesday. Delivery Confirmation Number: 0306 0320 0001 5254 8841

Label/Receipt Number: 0306 0320 0001 5254 8841
Class: First-Class Mail®
Service(s): Delivery Confirmation™
Status: Delivered

Your item was delivered at 8:14 AM on February 13, 2010 in ALTA VISTA, KS 66834.

Journal Entry 27 by jaenelle from Orlando, Florida USA on Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I got this back the other day, thanks to everyone who participated in the bookring!

I posted this up on PaperBackSwap and it was on someone's wishlist there so I've already mailed it off to them. Hopefully they'll make a JE here.

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