Samson: A Savior Will Rise by Shawn Hoffman is based on true stories of the horrors endured by the Jews at the hands of the Nazi's during World War II. It follows the Abrams family from their life in occupied Poland to their enslavement in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. The main character Samson, an Olympic boxer is forced to fight for his life where if he wins he gets extra rations, and if he loses, he is sent to the gas chambers. While at the camp, Samson meets a Polish Catholic priest named Maximilian Kolbe who becomes a sacred friend and helps Samson wrestle with the question of "Where is God in the face of such evil?"
I found this book incredibly difficult to read and review. The story itself is gripping, but the brutality of the events is certainly not blunted or sugar coated. If I didn't have to read the entire book to review it, I likely would have put it down because it was so disturbing. At one point, about half way through, I had to skip to the end of the book to see if there was any hope or justice given, because if there wasn't, I would have been unable to continue. The fact that the book is based on true events is heart wrenching and distressing, but I kept reading holding out hope that something good was coming. It did, but not in the ways I had hoped for. This book is a good read for someone who wants to have their eyes open to the horrors of war, but be prepared to be consumed with thoughts about the book and the horrors of the holocaust that will last much longer than the story - and perhaps that's not a bad thing.
I am a member of Book Look Bloggers and have received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
"Samson: A Saviour Will Rise" is based on true stories, woven together by Shawn Hoffman in a novel of historical fiction that is hard to put down, and harder to forget. Samson Abrams, a Jewish prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp encounters men like Dr. Josef Mengele - "the Angel of Death," Commandant Rudolph Hoss and a Polish Catholic priest, Maximilian Kolbe. During World War II, male Jewish prisoners were forced to box on Saturday night for Nazi entertainment. The winner got extra food. The loser went to the gas chambers. Samson, a 1936 Olympic boxer, became one of those fighters.
Samson taught me 7 lessons about freedom:
1. The last freedom is the ability to choose one's attitude in the face of any circumstance.
2. I have a free will to live the best I can. I can choose to act atrociously or altruistically. A Nazi commandant's barbarism and a Catholic priest's benevolence were free choices.
3. No prison can hold a person who sustains their freedom to dream.
4. One question haunts Samson as he and his family face one atrocity after another: "Where is God in the face of such evil?" The book reminds us that good always arises to triumph over evil. The good may pale in comparison to the magnitude of evil, but it's evidence that love is stronger than fear and hope is stronger than death.
5. Purpose is the great liberator.
6. Unexpected friendships can inspire us to rekindle what little may be left of our faith, hope or love.
7. The free must not become a prisoner of their freedom.
This book, which is based on true stories, is about a man, Samson Abrams, and his family who end up being sent to Auschwitz, one of Germany's worst concentration camps. It is soon discovered by Dr. Josef Mengele and Commandant Rudolf Hoss that Samson was a former boxing champion and therefore he is ordered to box for their entertainment as well as for his life.
I had a fairly good idea what I was getting myself into when I chose to read this book, because I've read a lot of other books on the subject. I also personally visited the concentration camp at Dachau. But, the summary enticed me because I did not remember hearing about boxing matches.
I opened this book with fear and trepidation but, from the first page, there was no putting it down. From beginning to the very end, this fast paced page turner is extremely well written. It is impossible not to live, breath and experience the horror right along with Samson, who never once gave up the fight.
I appreciated Samson's struggle with God and his faith trying to wrap his head around how a loving God would allow such evil to continue in the world. It is not an easy question to grapple with and yet the author made the answers seem so obvious. I took 2 pages of notes and I believe that I have come away with a greater determination to pray, "Let your kingdom come and your will be done on earth."
I hope Mr. Hoffman will have this made into a movie to further show the world not only what was, but what still is going on in our world today.
If you appreciate stories based on true events, you'll enjoy this book.
If you appreciate thrilling action, you'll enjoy this book.
If you appreciate a plot that holds your attention, you'll enjoy this book.
If you appreciate history, you'll enjoy this book.
Shawn Hoffman is a master of the trade of entertainment & his masterful work can be seen in this story. Once you pick up this book, you'll fight with yourself for not wanting to put it down. You will find yourself cheering and pulling for characters as if you are there in the midst of the action. This story is filled with drama that will provoke your faith & hope, giving you the motivation to believe and that wherewithal to endure.
Pick up a copy of this gripping story as soon as it is released on October 29, 2013.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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, HÃ¶ss, 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.
I really liked this book and again, I couldn't wait for the book to arrive, so I borrowed it from my fellow blogger. I'm pretty sure he knows why I'm always knocking on his door. Good thing he reads the novels pretty fast. I really couldn't wait for a copy of my own, so I always need to borrow his.
This book was pretty fast-paced. I love anything to do with the Holocaust, so this book was a fast read for me. I really like survivor-type books from any history era. It's just that the Holocaust was so horrific, I hold a special fascination for it.
The book will be made available to the public on October 29th, 2013!