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What readers and reviewers are saying:
"In this elegantly conceived memoir…is a remarkable tale of survival and unexpected kinship. A vitally important Holocaust story eruditely captured."
“Inventively structured and impeccably written, THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF GIDON LEV is a must-read book for anyone interested in Holocaust narratives.”
“…the compelling biography of a Holocaust survivor who attests that human beings are capable of both incredible evil and transcendent love.”
“Author Julie Gray gives voice to Gidon Lev’s story of resilience and hope in this uplifting portrait of Holocaust survival. …readers will find Gidon’s story an inviting, eye-opening look at an important chapter in Jewish history.
Blue Ink Review
"...an improbable love story -- of a man who had every reason to be bitter but instead fell in love with life. It is also the story of a late-life romance that will make you believe in happy-ever-after endings again. Read this wonderful book and you’ll fall in love too – with Gidon, with Julie, with the Jewish people and the nation they created out of the abyss.
Yossi Klein Halevi, author "Like Dreamers" and "Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor"
"...a highly recommended memoir that rises above and beyond politics, Middle East history, or autobiography alike to reveal the path one man took to move beyond an incredibly difficult childhood of cruelty and oppression.
D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Gidon's book helps frame survivors in a different light: people who despite everything went on to live full lives after the war. Gidon's lively and complex personality shines through.
Dr. Anna Scanlon, Holocaust History University of Leicester
"....wonder of wonders, it is exactly through this tale, a tale with the Holocaust at its essence, that a new light is shed on Jewish possibility and purpose."
-Rabbi Susan Silverman, author of Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World
With his merry blue eyes, shock of white hair, and mischievous grin, 82-year-old Gidon Lev did not fit my image of a Holocaust survivor. He lost 26 family members in Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Buchenwald. These are terrible facts to consider. But there are other facts about Gidon too: he has very many unpaid parking tickets, went zip lining on his 85th birthday, vandalized a political billboard, and has a girlfriend 29 years younger than himself.
The True Adventures of Gidon Lev offers a primer on Jewish and Israeli history, insights into the culture of the modern state of Israel, and the inspiration to carry on after hardship and loss. From Prague to New York to California and back to Israel again, Gidon Lev and Julie Gray take us on a journey into the depths and back up into the sunshine of hope, love, laughter, and possibilities. Weaving Gidon’s invaluable memories together with the cultural and historical backstory of time and place, Julie Gray invites readers inside the process of mining memories for truths and history for lessons. The number of Holocaust survivors left in the world today is dwindling. Who will tell their stories when they are gone?
The True Adventures of Gidon Lev carves an important new space in the oeuvre of nonfiction books about the Holocaust. Fresh, entertaining, and quirky on the face of it, the book is packed with history, context, and the irreplaceable charm and personality of Gidon himself.