Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “The King of Warsaw” by Szczepan Twardoch, Translated by Sean Gasper Bye, Amazon Crossing, April 21, 2020
Szczepan Twardoch, Author of “The King of Warsaw” (translated by Sean Gasper Bye) has written a challenging, and heartbreaking novel. The Genres for this novel are Fiction with some Historical Background. The timeline for this story is set around World War Two in Poland and goes to the past and future when it pertains to the events or characters. The author describes the characters as complex, and complicated. There is a contrast between decent vs. evil seen in many characters. In this novel, there also are some possible symbolism, hallucinations, or religious folklore. ( It is very confusing.) Please note that there are some horrific and vivid descriptions of torture and death. Please be aware that this is a time of hate and power.
Jakub Szapiro is a famous Jewish boxer and has commanded respect. He also is an enforcer for a criminal. In the first third of the book, this reminds me of Mafia stories such as “GoodFellas”. People had better pay up or else. Add the dimension of antisemitism and different parties vying for control in Poland. We see Jakub in many toxic situations.
There is also the mention of freedom in Palestine, concentration camps, powerful journalists, ande betrayals and crooked politicians. This is a very difficult and confusing novel. I would recommend this intense novel for readers who enjoy a complex read.