During World War II, Jewish men were forced to box on Saturday night for Nazi entertainment. The winner got extra food. The loser went to the gas chambers.
The year is 1943, and Samson Abrams has just made a life or death decision, coming to the aid of a young Jewish boy being beaten by the Nazis. Before long, Samson’s entire family must board the train to Auschwitz.
As they arrive at the camp, Dr. Joseph Mengele, a man who will later go down in history as a person of pure evil, oversees the “selection” process. The young, weak, and elderly are all sent to their deaths. Samson tries to attack, but is calmed by Maximilian Kolbe, a Catholic monk also at the camp. For Samson, all of this evil reaffirms his belief that there is no God.
Samson is soon recognized as a 1936 Olympic boxing participant and is offered a deal: he can box for his life, but if he loses, he will find himself on Mengele’s experimental operating table.
Adding to the complexity is the slow renewal of Samson’s faith through his relationship with Kolbe. Here, he must somehow reconcile with God while he witnesses the violent, tortured deaths of so many.
A historic battle ensues with Hitler, Himmler, Höss, and many of the highest ranking officials in the Nazi Party watching... an incredible final fight which culminates in Mengele himself getting in the ring.
- Mediocre, unless you just want a novel.
Didn't realize this was fiction when I got it. So that was a disappointment, but I should have looked a little more carefully.
Interest level: 5. Being a novel, it should be high.
Spiritual content: 2. Didn't come away with much of value.
Content: Most of the value in this book was in WW2 history, if you consider that valuable. A lot of interesting and informative information on that front. The dealing with the Germans scenes were very interesting. The boxing scenes a little too movie like, and not so realistic.
Narration: 5. Well done.