Book Jacket

 

rank 2252
word count 18202
date submitted 31.08.2010
date updated 16.04.2012
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Historic...
classification: universal
incomplete

Hope (1st Revision)

Matthew Hahn

A story of survival, hope, and horror from the period of the Holocaust.

 

In Poland, 1939, a man with shadowed eyes squeezed the trigger that killed Daniel Friedman. Not the man but the parts of him that mattered, made life worth living. It happened in a click, a scream, his name—Daniel, a shot, the silence that followed. The man he used to be, lost in a flash.

After the German invasion of Poland, Daniel is captured and sent to a concentration camp where he is positioned as a sonderkommando. He is plagued with the task of removing the clothing of the dead before placing them in a crematorium's never-ending flames.

While Daniel is confined in a concentration camp, his brother, Adam, is supplied with false information that causes him to believe his brother was murdered by the passing German army. In a fit of rage, Adam vows to seek revenge on the only two names he is given, The Vulture and Wolf.

 
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tags

wwii world war 2 holocaust concentration camp nazi

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17 comments

 

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carol jefferies wrote 615 days ago

Hi Matthew,

What a great start to 'Hope 1st Revision,' it leaves the reader eager to know how Daniel transformed into the person he now is.

I liked the small observations of herding the Jews into the railway trucks by the German guards, falsely promising them a future so they would avoid any protest.

Hope is a brilliant name for your story.

Good Luck with it,

Carol

Shelby Z. wrote 830 days ago

You capture the feel of this time completely in the dark foreboding mood of the situation.
Your POV is perfectly chosen. How could it be anything else? The words flow across the page in deep feelings and you feel a chill.
You lead so well up to your next chapter that it draws.
I like your last three paragraphs there is something about them that is leading.
I am sure though, no matter how well written, it was difficult to write this.
You are doing great!

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

P.S. Could you please take a looked at my pirate adventure Driving Winds, when you have time?

tupbup wrote 841 days ago

Chapter 1:

You show a clear talent as a story teller. 98277 strolls into the first sentence as a fully dimensional character who I could believe in and sympathise with. By choosing to reject his given name shows the reader in a few short words how prisoners were dehumanised in the eyes of the anti-semites.

You use interesting and original similes which really add to the impact of your writing as a whole. For example:

"shakes every one like marbles in the basket of a bicycle."

This is a really visual description. Using two objects associated with children and children playing to describe a poignant image of people being carted off to their death was unsettling. It disarms the reader whilst showing them something negative and really makes the imagery hit hard.

I only read your opening chapter and read ir in the full knowledge that this is an early revision and skipped over most of the awkward sentences (which were a tiny percentage). However at the end of one of the middle paragraphs:

"The last thing they will take from me is my breath. But not before I've had it. Even they can't take that away." The end of this paragraph sounded a bit repetitive. You might want to consider cutting the last sentence, I think it would have more impact.

There are other instances where ideas get repeated. Especially the one about hope. Clearly this is an important theme to your character and the people he lives alongside and provides an emotional contrast to the horrors you describe. I think with more contrast between hope and horrific truths will help to convey to the reader the importance of maintaining the self-defence mechanism.

There was a lot of description in this first chapter which is difficult for an opening. However the power with which you set the scene and the subject matter itself certainly draws the reader in. I think with more concise descriptions this opening chapter will make the rest of the book impossible to put down.

strachan gordon wrote 1114 days ago

Greetings to Minnesota from England.This is a very difficult and ambitious theme to tackle,even today when we know so much more about what went on than in the past, I was amazed to read that you are only 22!This is a\ very mature performance and very best of luck.Watchlisted.Would you be kind enough to look at the first chapter of my book ' A Buccaneer' which is set in the Caribbean in the 17th century,best wishes Strachan Gordon

Nigel Fields wrote 1177 days ago

Your approach to this is interesting. On the surface, it seems your narration is distant, but in ratcheting up the concentration, it becomes apparent to the reader how very intimate this is. I loved the line about the man anxiously dipping his toes in and out of the pool of emotion, sending small ripples away from his body. I enjoyed the first two chapters today.
When I come back to read more, I just might have Gorecki's Symphony of Sad Songs playing in the background.
Very nice work here.
Cheers!
John B Campbell
Starred well.

Marita A. Hansen wrote 1279 days ago

I have just finished reading a story on Authonomy about David and Goliath, and then I came across your book, and thought it was apt to read it ("Star of David.") I had time to read the prologue, and thought this was a very sad, but convincing portrayal of a man trying to deal with being in a concentration camp. If anything, he isn't dealing with it anymore, because as we read we understand that all hope has left him, stricken out by the bodies he had to burn for the Germans. The way I read it, with every body he'd burnt, a part of him died, along with the loss of his daughter. I liked your description of how people's souls leave them through their mouths, but with Daniel he lost his soul even with his mouth clamped shut.

The way in which the Germans treated the Jews is horrifying, the gas chambers, the total disregard of the Jewish people as humans. It is even sadder that this treatment of different nationalities continued long after WW2, and is still going on nowadays. The Yugoslavian War of last century being the most proinent in my mind as I had an uncle put in a concentration camp. Luckily, he survived it, but it still sadden me what he had to go through.

I'll stop here for now. Kind regards, Marita.

P.S. I haven't read your original version, so I can't comment on whether this is better or not, but I thought it read very nicely, and was well structured. I didn't notice any typos. Also, I thought you did a great job describing the smells in the truck as well as the old man.

Katarina66 wrote 1411 days ago

well researched, good story line and a subject which should never be forgotten. It could do with tightening up as previously suggested. The first instance I came accross was "and on I will never get back from" this would read better as and one from which I would never return. I will back the book for now, and hope yopu will return the complement.
Isabella
with each retreating wave.

Sarah King wrote 1420 days ago

This is great, thought provoking and emotive writing. We immediately sympathise with Daniel and feel his pain. You write very well indeed.

In places however, I feel you could improve it with some tightening. I'll use a couple of examples from the beginning so you can find them easily:


'I came to the realization' could be more simply writtten as 'I realized'
And ‘The nazis took it upon themselves to carry out the only solution they saw fit for someone without a purpose. Their solution is death.’
could be tightened to read, ' The nazis carried out the only solution they saw fit for someone without a purpose. That solution was death'

I have already backed this. It is quality reading. Sarah

lizjrnm wrote 1422 days ago

I am currently writing a memoir of WWII and I am in awe of your ability to write about that period of time - well researched and beautifully tole story. backed 100%

Liz
The Cheech Room
A Fine Pickle

memphisgirl wrote 1424 days ago

The maxims here drop like stones, weighty and memorable. You depict hope as a way of looking forever backward into the past, as if human nature believes in what has come before and, therefore, hopes. Your discussions of everything from death, to Hitler, to love and murder are provocative. Death is depicted as the only certainty, a faithful constant in a surreal existence. I wish I could teach parts of this manuscript alongside Wiesel's Night.

Memphisgirl
Ashes By Now

memphisgirl wrote 1424 days ago

The maxims here drop like stones, weighty and memorable. You depict hope as a way of looking forever backward into the past, as if human nature believes in what has come before and, therefore, hopes. Your discussions of everything from death, to Hitler, to love and murder are provocative. Death is depicted as the only certainty, a faithful constant in a surreal existence. I wish I could teach parts of this manuscript alongside Wiesel's Night.

Memphisgirl
Ashes By Now

PCreturned wrote 1424 days ago

This really is a harrowing and immediate piece of historical fiction. We feel Daniel's hopelessness and sorrow in the face of such vileness. Reading this is a shock to the system. I wanted to pinch my arm to remind me that, while your characters may be fictional, these things really did happen.

The writing feels polished and the subject matter well researched. I'm backing this as I think the topic is important. I wish you luck finding publication.

Pete

name falied moderation wrote 1424 days ago

Dear Matthew
backed you first and now the revision. such good work and well researched for sure...I loved your short and long pitch both really sell your book which they are meant too so CONGRATS, and love the way you write. Your ability with words to craft an orginal read is amazing. the characters have decided to take up permanent residence but i will insist they leave soom to go home. ha! I have to wonder on this site at the
creations that come from peoples heads and of course the immense talent of those like yourself to animate
such colorful characters. I truly wish I had half your talent.

BACKED BY ME FOR SURE.
Please take a moment to look, COMMENT which is important to me, and BACK my book. if not that is OK
also

The VERY best of luck to you

Denise
The Letter

andrew skaife wrote 1424 days ago

Meticulously researched, obviously (unless you were there, which I doubt given ages etc.) and beautifully written. This is a work that shines with the passion that you must have to have built it so well.

BACKED

fh wrote 1424 days ago

HOPE
Dear Matthew,
This is a riveting story. Full of beautiful writing straight from the heart. Extremely well written. Moving and passionate. Despite this being a story of truth, you would still have to have spent countless hours in research and I know how much this entails (my first book also was about WW2 in parts and I learnt an enormous amount). Well done you for giving us the chance to read this. I am happy to back this as it is so well written. - Good luck
Faith
THE ASSASSINS VILLAGE
Faith

Mchahn2990 wrote 1424 days ago

I can't thank Suzie enough for her kind words, but to avoid confusion this is not a memoir but a historical novel. The events that occur in my book are all factually correct, but the characters are all fictional.

Thanks to all who take the time to support Hope,

Matthew

SusieGulick wrote 1424 days ago

Dear Daniel, I love that you have told your story & the tragedy of it. :) When I told my story in my memoirs, I thought I was bad off (& still am), but you show me that it could be much much worse. :) Thank you for letting the world know about the holocaust from the inside. :) God bless you. :) Since I have tight optic nerves, I tend to go back to the line I had just read - if you cut your paragraphs in 2, it would have been an easier read for me. :) Your pitch drew me in to read your book & you compassionate story kept me reading. :) I have backed your book :) - you would make me so happy if you would take a moment to back my 2 memoir books. :) Thank you from the bottom of my heart. :) Love, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."

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