Block 11

From an award-winning author comes an audacious, high-concept noir set in Auschwitz that straddles past and present

 

New York, the present: An old woman and her husband sit down for a breakfast of black bread and coffee at a table set for ten. Eight chairs remain empty.

Auschwitz, Spring 1944: Following a successful escape from the camp, a group of ten prisoners are rounded up for execution. But at the last minute, counter-orders are given. Since the camp needs every inmate for labor, only one prisoner will be sacrificed. And it is the job of the other nine prisoners, locked up in an empty building in Block 11 with nothing but a piece of paper and pencil, to decide by dawn who will die. Otherwise they will all go to the gallows.

Thus begins a night of storytelling with tales of horror, secrecy, and betrayal, but also of love and great humanity, as these ten prisoners debate who deserves to live and who deserves to die. The night is filled with violence, emotion, and shocking revelations. Degli Antoni wrestles with questions of guilt and forgiveness, selfishness and sacrifice, in this unforgettable novel set during the most trying of times.

Reviews from Goodreads.com

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By Mikkee (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · April 25, 2013
I loved this book. It has been by far the best new book I have read in 2013. I am only rating it 4 instead of 5 because it was a little slow to start. However, Antoni did amazing work of developing his story and characters in such a way that I reviled, hated, loved, and understood all of them thr... ...more
By Kimberly (Shawnee, KS) · ★★★☆☆ · November 20, 2012


I liked the author's development of the different characters. However, the story itself seemed a bit disjointed. The back story of Ida wasn't really fleshed out, and yet seemed to take a prominent position at the end of the story. ...more
By Lightblue (Pordenone, 20, Italy) · ★★★★☆ · February 12, 2013
Come ho già detto altre volte è difficile dare un giudizio ad un libro sull’Olocausto. E’ un tema così terribile, ma che non dobbiamo mai smettere di ricordare, per evitare di ricadere negli stessi allucinanti errori. In questo caso poi, il libro è scritto talmente bene e dà delle sensazioni estr... ...more
By Cristina (San Antonio, TX) · ★★★★★ · November 23, 2014
Literally read this book in one night, could not put it down ! I really liked how the author incorporated the separate scenes of the commander and the prisoners. The scenes were very detailed.
Over all it is a story about characters who live in a demoralized place and yet find the hope to survive.... ...more
By Joel · ★★★★☆ · January 14, 2013
Block 11 is an excellent book. Certain parts come off as predictable, but so much more of the book is left wide open with the reader unable to guess what might happen next. It is very reminiscent of Elie Wiesel's early works, especially Night. The tale is a story of ultimate loss and sacrifice co... ...more
By Marcos (Baní, 17, Dominican Republic) · ★★★★☆ · June 10, 2014
Un poco lento al principio, pero muy bueno al final. ...more
By Lizvette (The United States) · ★★★☆☆ · April 29, 2014
Great story for a movie. An unexpected ending. ...more
By Garryvivianne (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · October 31, 2013
Ten prisoners are sent into Block 11 because there have been three escapees. The Nazi's are furious & pick 10 people to choose just ONE of them for execution. The story details each character's good & bad traits. During this time that they are trying to decide whom to pick, they find out... ...more
By Gaby (Costa Rica) · ★★★☆☆ · April 20, 2014
No me termino de encantar y menos atrapar la historia, pero es un libro entretenido. ...more
By Jerom (Madrid, 29, Spain) · ★★★☆☆ · September 02, 2013
La verdad es que lo pongo aquí porque no se me ocurre donde ponerlo.

Se lee en un santiamen, para mi gusto le falta algo. Creo que intenta abarcar mucho, intenta ser una reflexión sobre la condición humana, pero creo que se queda a medio camino.

Como detalle negativo, la no traducción de vocablos a... ...more