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I'm Not From Around Here: A Jewish Boy Telling the Historical Story of his Family's Holocaust Survival in WW2 (Biographical Fiction Based on a Memoir)

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What could have led to an encounter between such an unsuitable couple as my parents? This book is a fascinating life diary, in which reality surpasses all imagination. It takes place against the backdrop of the Holocaust, the fate of the refugees at the end of the war, and the rebirth of the new Israel.The heroes of the plot are unusual, an antithesis of the weak and subm What could have led to an encounter between such an unsuitable couple as my parents? This book is a fascinating life diary, in which reality surpasses all imagination. It takes place against the backdrop of the Holocaust, the fate of the refugees at the end of the war, and the rebirth of the new Israel.The heroes of the plot are unusual, an antithesis of the weak and submissive Jew, sweeping the reader into a whirlwind of events and countless breathtaking adventures. How does a weak and very naive girl survive for three years in a deadly forced labor camp where others could not survive for more than a few months? Lola, the mother, whom we encounter as an innocent girl, sweeps the reader close to the hell of the monstrous and notorious labor camp, Ludwigsdorf. How does an “antithesis Jew” look to the submissive Jew? Staszek, the father, a street fighter and a tough and hard-working man from Warsaw, is hot-tempered, cunning, and daring. His gypsy appearance and colorful figure lead many women to fall easily into his arms. What does a spoiled "mother's son" and "father's daughter" feel when they see their family collapsing? From the eyes of an eight-year-old boy, the writer describes a stormy childhood with many heartrending vicissitudes: parents who disappear overnight, living with strangers, being trapped in a tough orphanage ... and more...Written in flowing and sensitive language, the story presents an accurate balance between a personal and family story and the story of a people. Scroll up now to get your copy of I’m Not From Around Here!


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What could have led to an encounter between such an unsuitable couple as my parents? This book is a fascinating life diary, in which reality surpasses all imagination. It takes place against the backdrop of the Holocaust, the fate of the refugees at the end of the war, and the rebirth of the new Israel.The heroes of the plot are unusual, an antithesis of the weak and subm What could have led to an encounter between such an unsuitable couple as my parents? This book is a fascinating life diary, in which reality surpasses all imagination. It takes place against the backdrop of the Holocaust, the fate of the refugees at the end of the war, and the rebirth of the new Israel.The heroes of the plot are unusual, an antithesis of the weak and submissive Jew, sweeping the reader into a whirlwind of events and countless breathtaking adventures. How does a weak and very naive girl survive for three years in a deadly forced labor camp where others could not survive for more than a few months? Lola, the mother, whom we encounter as an innocent girl, sweeps the reader close to the hell of the monstrous and notorious labor camp, Ludwigsdorf. How does an “antithesis Jew” look to the submissive Jew? Staszek, the father, a street fighter and a tough and hard-working man from Warsaw, is hot-tempered, cunning, and daring. His gypsy appearance and colorful figure lead many women to fall easily into his arms. What does a spoiled "mother's son" and "father's daughter" feel when they see their family collapsing? From the eyes of an eight-year-old boy, the writer describes a stormy childhood with many heartrending vicissitudes: parents who disappear overnight, living with strangers, being trapped in a tough orphanage ... and more...Written in flowing and sensitive language, the story presents an accurate balance between a personal and family story and the story of a people. Scroll up now to get your copy of I’m Not From Around Here!

30 review for I'm Not From Around Here: A Jewish Boy Telling the Historical Story of his Family's Holocaust Survival in WW2 (Biographical Fiction Based on a Memoir)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gayathri

    Read my full review at Elgee Writes Disclaimer: I received this indie book from the author in exchange for an honest and fair review. I’m not from Around Here reads like a diary of the author Ishai Kalinovsky that talks about the experiences of his Jewish family right from the time of the World War II in Poland. His mother is a labor camp survivor while her dad was a street fighter in Warsaw. The couple meet immediately after the end of the War and escape to Germany to win what was looted from the Read my full review at Elgee Writes Disclaimer: I received this indie book from the author in exchange for an honest and fair review. I’m not from Around Here reads like a diary of the author Ishai Kalinovsky that talks about the experiences of his Jewish family right from the time of the World War II in Poland. His mother is a labor camp survivor while her dad was a street fighter in Warsaw. The couple meet immediately after the end of the War and escape to Germany to win what was looted from the Jews. I’m not from Around Here is not about the war but its aftermath on Jews and the other survivors. The narrator’s father, Stashek is an unscrupulous businessman who would do what he has to provide for himself, his mistresses and his family. He takes up to the black market business and has a great influence on the society by being fearsome. When his parents break up his mother Lola takes up another man and gets pregnant, which is a total no-no in their orthodox neighborhood. Lola was a timid, weak girl when she entered the labor camp. But her firm belief in her guardian angel helped her survive all the adversities in her life. Meanwhile, the narrator’s estranged father and stepfather are arrested for smuggling cars into the country. How the narrator and his family survive the final blow of being strewn across the country forms the rest of I’m not from Around Here. Being a memoir we get to take a glimpse at what really happened in the camps but that is just a small part in the book. I sort of guessed the story would end up before the young ones grew up and am glad it ended so. Even though the narration is by the young Ishai Kalinovsky through out, I’m not from Around Here has multiple point of views which work in some places and not in others.There were too many characters mostly minor that do not contribute much to the story, which may be partly owing to the genre. Usually I don’t read many memoirs because they would hard for me to relate to. But maybe since I’m not from Around Here had multiple POV and the narrator was a young boy I was able to relate and I ended up liking the characters. I’m not from Around Here is quite long with about 400 pages but it was totally worth the read and it left me emotionally drained for hours. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon |

  2. 5 out of 5

    Píaras Cíonnaoíth

    An emotional, heartrending and poignant story... Author Ishai Klinowsky weaves a fascinating, eloquent and moving narrative that will captivate the reader’s attention from the beginning. The author paints a bitter-sweet holocaust story in a very vivid and convincing way. In addition, the characters are drawn with great credibility and conviction. It’s a mesmerizing life journal that will keep you engaged from the first page to the last. The book description says it all; ‘This book is a fascinating An emotional, heartrending and poignant story... Author Ishai Klinowsky weaves a fascinating, eloquent and moving narrative that will captivate the reader’s attention from the beginning. The author paints a bitter-sweet holocaust story in a very vivid and convincing way. In addition, the characters are drawn with great credibility and conviction. It’s a mesmerizing life journal that will keep you engaged from the first page to the last. The book description says it all; ‘This book is a fascinating life diary, in which reality surpasses all imagination. It takes place against the backdrop of the Holocaust, the fate of the refugees at the end of the war, and the rebirth of the new Israel. The heroes of the plot are unusual, an antithesis of the weak and submissive Jew, sweeping the reader into a whirlwind of events and countless breathtaking adventures. Lola, the mother, whom we encounter as an innocent girl, sweeps the reader close to the hell of the monstrous and notorious labor camp, Ludwigsdorf. Staszek, the father, a street fighter and a tough and hard-working man from Warsaw, is hot-tempered, cunning, and daring. His gypsy appearance and colorful figure lead many women to fall easily into his arms. From the eyes of an eight-year-old boy, the writer describes a stormy childhood with many heartrending vicissitudes: parents who disappear overnight, living with strangers, being trapped in a tough orphanage ... and more... Written in flowing and sensitive language, the story presents an accurate balance between a personal and family story and the story of a people…’ I have read many books about this horrible time in history and my heart breaks each time I read someone else’s experiences. The author writes in a way that makes you feel that you are right there with him and feeling every emotion that he is feeling. How he was able to go through all that he did and still has a strong will to make the best of life just astonishes me. He is definitely an inspiration to me and I thank him for writing this book so that the horrors of the holocaust will never be forgotten. Each Holocaust survivor has a unique and individual story. However, these survivors’ stories didn’t end in 1945. They continue through to the present day. Their testimonies provide us with an understanding of how the events of the Holocaust have shaped their lives and are an ongoing testimony to the strength of the human spirit. Ishai Klinowsky’s actual story of survival offers an interesting all-encompassing human dramatization that stretches out from the dim days of the Second World War to the autonomous State of Israel. A holding and inspiringly idealistic account based on his own personal experiences, you’ll appreciate each page of this captivating voyage of hope and inspiration. This really is a remarkable story. A highly recommended read and a well-deserved five stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jaideep Khanduja

    http://pebbleinthestillwaters.com/i-a... I Am Not From Around Here by Ishai Klinowsky Where Reality Surpasses All Imagination I Am Not From Around Here by Ishai Klinowsky is a collection of memoirs. In fact, you may feel it like a diary by a person sharing his experience of Holocaust, refugees, and war. And also the rebirth of Israel after passing through so much of agony. The title itself is quite introspective and relevant to author's situation. The author treats himself as a wandering Jew havin http://pebbleinthestillwaters.com/i-a... I Am Not From Around Here by Ishai Klinowsky Where Reality Surpasses All Imagination I Am Not From Around Here by Ishai Klinowsky is a collection of memoirs. In fact, you may feel it like a diary by a person sharing his experience of Holocaust, refugees, and war. And also the rebirth of Israel after passing through so much of agony. The title itself is quite introspective and relevant to author's situation. The author treats himself as a wandering Jew having no particular roots. The book covers author's real-life incidents. It depicts his family's story through a collection of stories revolving around his parents. It relates to early twentieth-century time in Poland. The story begins with the lives of both his parent's families before the second world war. There are pains and climaxes to witness during the course of unfolding this touching story. Ishai's father's family was living in Warsaw. His mother's family was in Sosnowiec in Upper Silesia. In the book, I Am Not From Around Here, the author Ishai Klinowsky relates life as a movie. It is like an engrossing movie where the lead characters act from one scene to another, from one situation to another. And then these main characters elope from the screen. Gradually you find new characters who start losing relevance of old characters to their lives. In fact, they start diminishing from the memories of new characters. That is what actually happens when time moves from one generation to the next generation. And then all of a sudden someone tries to fill in that void by revisiting the lives of those characters who are no more around. This is, in fact, a long story of slightly less than 400 pages. But each page promises to engage well with emotions and connection. I Am Not From Around Here is more than an inkling. In fact, the book survives on a good amount of facts and real-life incidents. It will be interesting to read and understand why the author calls his parents an unsuitable couple. One thing is true. This is a book where you see reality surpassing all imagination. There are a lot of unusual sequences that are beyond imagination. Reading about Lola and Staszek and their personalities, and how they could become life partners is something quite amazing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    The author says he is writing this book, so his children will know the story of their family. Then it is listed as a biographical novel. I'm assuming the author made up a lot of the stories, which were pretty horrendous. I could understand the mother doing what she needed to do to survive, but it was pretty awful. Most of the story takes place after World War II, and tells of how these people survived. Attributes that helped survival during the war, lead to criminal behavior after the war. This The author says he is writing this book, so his children will know the story of their family. Then it is listed as a biographical novel. I'm assuming the author made up a lot of the stories, which were pretty horrendous. I could understand the mother doing what she needed to do to survive, but it was pretty awful. Most of the story takes place after World War II, and tells of how these people survived. Attributes that helped survival during the war, lead to criminal behavior after the war. This was not a book I liked reading, and I read one chapter every so often, in order to finish the book. I read a lot of holocaust books, and this one was my least favorite.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Fascinating and emotional I found this book to be very interesting and engaging. Told from the various viewpoints of himself, his sister, his mother, and his father, the book recounts his family's fascinating yet, at times tragic, life in Germany as Jewish people. Its difficult to imagine the situations his family members endured. Theirs is truly a story of survival. If you enjoy books about determination, I would highly recommend this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shree

    I’m not from around here is a memoir of a Jewish man whose family survived the World War II. It typically reads like the diary with sequence of events which moves on from generation to generation with each set of characters slowly fading out of relevance as the generation progresses. The denominator in such memoirs have always been the torture methods used and the impact it had on the person’s psychology. This book was slightly different in that aspect for me as it was a diary which focused more I’m not from around here is a memoir of a Jewish man whose family survived the World War II. It typically reads like the diary with sequence of events which moves on from generation to generation with each set of characters slowly fading out of relevance as the generation progresses. The denominator in such memoirs have always been the torture methods used and the impact it had on the person’s psychology. This book was slightly different in that aspect for me as it was a diary which focused more on resilience rather than failures. The author traces the journey of his mother from surviving a labor camp to being married twice breaking cultural norms. The author also talks about his father and step father – both of them ended up getting arrested for smuggling cars into the country. The rest of the story is how the family survives in spite of ending up in different places. The narration is surprisingly from a young version of the writer. However, there were multiple POVs in some place which really didn’t work in favor of the memoir in general. Given the diary itself is spread across generations there were too many characters which really didn’t seem of consequence once this generation faded. I jumped at the chance to read this book primarily at the mention of Israel. I’ve not read a single account by an Israeli about the war. I expected the narration from a middle aged man. It was uncharacteristic of a memoir to be narrated by a young boy. I could connect quite well with the story and the underlying emotions as the tone of the narrator is quite young. Note : Received the book as a part of b00k r3vi3w Tours in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andreea

    I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I almost DNFed this book, but then I decided to continue and in the end, this memoir just wasn't for me... I feel that for a memoir, it was missing something. If you are familiar with the "show, don't tell" rule, then this book is telling too much and not even in a way that would make me enjoy it. I think that the author has yet to find his voice, especially with multiple points of view and the sudden change from one POV to another, although I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I almost DNFed this book, but then I decided to continue and in the end, this memoir just wasn't for me... I feel that for a memoir, it was missing something. If you are familiar with the "show, don't tell" rule, then this book is telling too much and not even in a way that would make me enjoy it. I think that the author has yet to find his voice, especially with multiple points of view and the sudden change from one POV to another, although still told through his own words. There isn't enough description to help me get a sense of the place or setting. It was hard to get invested into the story or characters. Their actions are described too simply. More than a memoir, it feels like a record of events and stories without any depth. What I did appreciate about the book is how it is not focused on the war, but the events after - and it is the first time I read a book or memoir where the aftermath gets more attention than the tragic events that happened during the war. I think this really helped emphasizing that even when the war is over, the tragedies that happened during it and because of it still stay with you, it is not over for the survivor and it might never be.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Stratton

    This is an holocaust story told from the perspective of the author as a young child. Fairly well written, but disappointing in that these people seem to have no honor, strength of character, things that they believe in. Disappointing in that way, but theirs is a story of loss, abuse, homelessness, and sorrow. Fairly interesting reading, but so much disappointment, abandonment, admiring people for all the wrong reasons, very depressing. Story opened my eyes about conditions in rural Russia among This is an holocaust story told from the perspective of the author as a young child. Fairly well written, but disappointing in that these people seem to have no honor, strength of character, things that they believe in. Disappointing in that way, but theirs is a story of loss, abuse, homelessness, and sorrow. Fairly interesting reading, but so much disappointment, abandonment, admiring people for all the wrong reasons, very depressing. Story opened my eyes about conditions in rural Russia among the farming families. At least the one they described was pretty awful. Raised pigs and cows, filth in the yard, boots to get around outside, but still unpleasant indoors, very little to eat, no conveniences, even in the 1950s, straw mattresses with bedbugs, very unpleasant. Could be an eye opening read, but certainly not uplifting. Lots of promiscuity, not seeming to be able to care for children, family. Just very low morals.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Majanka

    Book Review originally published here: http://www.iheartreading.net/reviews/... I’m Not From Around Here is a poignant, strong memoir about the life of one family set against the backdrop of the Holocaust, following the life of refugees trying to find a new home. The story is told from the point of view of an eight-year-old boy who details not just his own life, but also that of his parents. Of his mother, a seemingly frail woman, who somehow survived a terrible labor camp, Ludwigsdorf. The charact Book Review originally published here: http://www.iheartreading.net/reviews/... I’m Not From Around Here is a poignant, strong memoir about the life of one family set against the backdrop of the Holocaust, following the life of refugees trying to find a new home. The story is told from the point of view of an eight-year-old boy who details not just his own life, but also that of his parents. Of his mother, a seemingly frail woman, who somehow survived a terrible labor camp, Ludwigsdorf. The characters are easy to relate to, and the ordeals they go through, are simply horrible. They show strength and courage through it all, and as such, this is an inspiring memoir about being a survivor, about never giving up, and about somehow retaining a sense of never really belonging anywhere.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Received this book as an ARC for my honest review. I wanted to read this book because I thought it was a true story not a fiction story based on true events. I had a hard time following the book until about 3/4ths of the way through it. It is a book more about a person's life before the holocaust and after. There isn't much about the holocaust the book at all. It was a good book when I could follow it but it was so jumpy. The parts that I did follow were very well written and you could feel the de Received this book as an ARC for my honest review. I wanted to read this book because I thought it was a true story not a fiction story based on true events. I had a hard time following the book until about 3/4ths of the way through it. It is a book more about a person's life before the holocaust and after. There isn't much about the holocaust the book at all. It was a good book when I could follow it but it was so jumpy. The parts that I did follow were very well written and you could feel the desperation and loneliness.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ilecia Baboolal

    This book barely mentions the effects of the holocaust itself on the author and his family despite his mother and father surviving that devastating time. So I was disappointed by that click baiting. I do agree with most others that the story may have more fiction than fact, however I have to agree that it is an excellent book nevertheless. The author spins the story of his childhood in such a way that you don’t know if to believe it, but it’s lack of believability makes it believable. I would de This book barely mentions the effects of the holocaust itself on the author and his family despite his mother and father surviving that devastating time. So I was disappointed by that click baiting. I do agree with most others that the story may have more fiction than fact, however I have to agree that it is an excellent book nevertheless. The author spins the story of his childhood in such a way that you don’t know if to believe it, but it’s lack of believability makes it believable. I would definitely recommend this book despite these flaws, as a great read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Cupp

    Interesting account of the holocaust years This was an intense book to read. The author recounts experiences growing up in the years after the war with parents who were severely damaged by their own trauma. While this was a gripping story, the writing style is not polished. Still, I recommend reading it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Erin Truxell

    Not what I quite expected It was good though. Very little is said about the death camps but you got to know the characters. Each of them had their own story. You got to see what the aftermath of WW2 was like for the Jewish peoples then. How they went from having money and then the family broken up. It all comes together at the end. A bit long but interesting.

  14. 4 out of 5

    jim pedicini

    Outstanding I feel that the author spoke from his heart and it gave me a true picture of life back then and now. As a born again Christian i know that the jews are truly God's chosen people and I love learning and being around them. Pray for peace in Jerusalem. Jimmy

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bernard Holler

    Intense hardships and horrors of unimaginable life. Heart rendering story of a Jewish family's history following World War II. The hardships faced by the family and especially Hannah and Sammy's childhood with a father in out of prison and an absent mother for several years.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rick Northrup

    Although the stories of survival are the basis for this book, the author seems to continuously mix the stories together, like making a stew. This looses the reader and you are always trying to sort out who is who. Great interesting characters, not well written.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Interesting read! Story held my attention and was very informative. However, some spelling errors were extremely distracting.... example, using the spelling SUITER, when SUITOR was obviously intended.

  18. 5 out of 5

    denise

    Jewish Boy A very interesting, sad story. The pain and suffering continued long after the Holocaust was over, this family had way more than there share. I'm sure it was much pain and suffering for all, not just this family.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maria Shaw

    Great book! Leitura muito rica em detalhes, narra a difícil vida pos-guerra de duas crianças e a força de uma Mãe batalhando para ter seus filhos de volta! Parabéns ao autor!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris Dettmar

    Compelling but it sometimes meanders Much going on. Some questions left unanswered - Emile? But, very readable. An interesting childhood with a variety of relations.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Toller

    Family Story This is the story of a Jewish Family in Poland, Russia, Germany and Israel. The story was good but there were editing errors in the book which was very distracting.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    Truly knowable I love books that tell a story and have history. This one was remarkable and I was engrossed right till the end.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    It's a hard life I like to read about how the Jews have survived. This is about a woman who went through so much, and her family, as told buy her son, in her words, and his.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Donna Amaral

    Yes and no I love Israel and the Jewish people. And I love this time frame. I enjoyed the story, but found it a bit difficult to read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    M J

    A captivating story This us one of the best Holocaust novels I've ever read. A panorama of lives both during and after the war. Amazing story

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marquita Ruffner

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hillagonda Bird

  28. 4 out of 5

    Heather Harmer

  29. 5 out of 5

    Subhajit Das

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marion Moss

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