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.
About Piero degli AntoniSee more books from this Author
Antoni has this character lasciviously provoking the others, rhapsodizing about a German soldier's "bulging pectorals," and sashaying across the room in a way that is described as transforming his death camp uniform "into a sort of evening gown"âone of the most profoundly misguided metaphors in...| Read Full Review of Block 11
The vast majority of the story takes place on that one night, during which tensions flare, loyalties change, masks are torn off, and total outlooks on life are altered.Jan 15 2013 | Read Full Review of Block 11