Watching: Jacob the Liar

Watch Jakob The Liar | Prime Video

Robin Williams plays a Jewish man in Nazi-occupied Poland who begins relaying fictitious news bulletins about Allied advances in order to keep hope and humor alive among the ghetto residents.

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Jacob the Liar eBook: Jurek Becker, Leila Vennewitz, Louis Begley: Kindle Store

Back in print, here is the classic work from one of the giants of German postwar literature and the basis for the major motion picture “Jakob the Liar,” starring Robin Williams.In the ghetto, possession of a radio is punishable by death.

An unforgettable tale of everyday heroism and the extraordinary power of illusion among Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust “that has never been surpassed” (Times Literary Supplement).

Set in an unnamed Nazi-occupied ghetto, the story centers on an unlikely hero, Jakob Heym, who accidentally overhears news of vital importance: The Russians are advancing on a city 300 miles away. As Jakob’s tidings rekindle hope for liberation, he feels compelled to elaborate. Forming a protective bond with a young orphan girl, Jakob becomes caught in his own web of optimistic lies.

Originally published in 1969 and awarded Germany’s prestigious Heinrich Mann Prize for fiction, Jakob the Liar inspired an Academy Award-nominated film of the same name. Written by a Holocaust survivor, it is a masterpiece of Kafkaesque comedy “that unfolds with the impact of a moral parable or a folk legend” (Publishers Weekly).

“A strange, powerful, moving work, beautifully written and well served by its translator.” —The New York Times Book Review

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