“The One Man” Who Would Dare To…

thThe One Man was just great! I loved everything about it! It started when Alfred Mendl was sent to a concentration camp instead of being permitted to leave Europe with his falsified papers. His scientific background made him a commodity to the United States who desperately needed him to help make bombs that could help have a serious impact in winning World War II. Alfred was so important to that objective that the U.S. decided it was imperative that Nathan Blum break into Auschwitz to rescue him.

This highly improbably novel was made absolutely believable due to the characters who each played a part in the momentum for the plot. By having an omnipresent narrator, all the characters were given a detailed and believable story. Nathan was motivated by his own past and regrets. He suffered from survivor’s guilt from being smuggled into the U.S. and leaving his entire family behind in a Jewish ghetto only to be murdered by the Nazis. Alfred was a kind man who took young Leo under his wing. It wasn’t entirely clear why Alfred wanted to teach Leo everything he knew, other than the obvious daily threat that Alfred could be killed in the camp. Leo was an interesting boy who carved out a place for himself among the prisoners by showing off his chess playing skills.

The story moved very quickly since Nathan had only three days inside the camp to locate Alfred and escape. The novel was packed with action and good twists. The twists all sprang from the emotional reactions of the characters, and that made me go along with this story. Some of the hi jinks were entertaining and seemed plausible for crafty prisoners with nothing else to do but figure out ways to get around camps restrictions.

The story moved from one person to another and skipped around in time, but it all tied together nicely. As for the writing, the author used word and language that made this a powerful story. I appreciated that every character had background, even if it was given briefly. I liked everything about this and have already recommended it!


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