Wladyslaw Szpilman - The Pianist - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback
    More information
    • ISBN:9780753814055
    • Publication date:31 Dec 2002
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781780222684
    • Publication date:08 Dec 2011

The Pianist

By Wladyslaw Szpilman
Read by Laurence Dobiesz

  • Downloadable audio file
  • £P.O.R.

'You can learn more about human nature from this brief account of the survival of one man throughout the war years in the devastated city of Warsaw than from several volumes of the average encyclopaedia' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY.The bestselling memoir of a Jewish pianist who survived the war in Warsaw against all odds.

The bestselling memoir of a Jewish pianist who survived the war in Warsaw against all odds.

'We are drawn in to share his surprise and then disbelief at the horrifying progress of events, all conveyed with an understated intimacy and dailiness that render them painfully close... riveting' OBSERVER

On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin's Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside - so loudly that he couldn't hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.

Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, THE PIANIST is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.

'The images drawn are unusually sharp and clear... but its moral tone is even more striking: Szpilman refuses to make a hero or a demon out of anyone' LITERARY REVIEW

Read by Laurence Dobiesz

(p) Orion Publishing Group 2018

Biographical Notes

Wladyslaw Szpilman was born in 1911. He studied the piano at the Warsaw Conservatory and at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. From 1945 to 1963 he was Director of Music at Polish Radio, and for many years he also pursued a career as a concert pianist and composer. He lived in Warsaw until his death in 2000.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781409185116
  • Publication date: 09 Aug 2018
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Orion
Vivid and anguished . . . compulsive reading — Richard Overy, Sunday Telegraph
You can learn more about human nature from this brief account of the survival of one man throughout the war years in the devastated city of Warsaw than from several volumes of the average encyclopaedia — Gerald Jacobs, Independent on Sunday
We are drawn in to share his surprise and then disbelief at the horrifying progress of events, all conveyed with an understated intimacy and dailiness that render them painfully close . . . riveting — Lisa Appignanesi, Observer
This memoir of a Jewish pianist who survived the war in Warsaw is one of the most powerful accounts ever written — Sunday Tribune
A compelling, harrowing masterpiece — Independent
A book so fresh and vivid, so heartbreaking, and so simply and beautifully written, that it manages to tell us the story of horrendous events as if for the first time . . . His account is hair-raising, beyond anything Hollywood could invent . . . Everything that has been most horrific in life in 20th-century Europe is encompassed in this exquisite memoir — Daily Telegraph
What really stays with the reader is the chilling, almost naive immediacy with which the story is told . . . The Pianist is an icy, nerveless but remarkably readable memoir that takes us as close as we are ever likely to travel to the day-to-day reality of living through terror — Sunday Times
The images drawn are unusually sharp and clear, but its moral tone is even more striking: Szpilman refuses to make a hero or a demon out of anyone — Literary Review

Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts is commonly described as one of the UK's most important writers of SF. He is the author of numerous novels and literary parodies. He is Professor of 19th Century Literature at Royal Holloway, London University and has written a number of critical works on both SF and 19th Century poetry. He is a contributor to the SF ENCYCLOPEDIA.

Alan Furst

Alan Furst is widely recognised as the master of the historical spy novel. Now translated into eighteen languages, he is the author of novels including MISSION TO PARIS, SPIES OF THE BALKANS - a TV Book Club choice - THE SPIES OF WARSAW, which became a BBC mini-series starring David Tennant and THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT. Born in New York, he lived for many years in Paris and travelled as a journalist in Eastern Europe and Russia. He has written extensively for Esquire and the International Herald Tribune. He now lives in Long Island.www.alanfurst.net

Alastair Reynolds

Alastair Reynolds was born in Barry, South Wales, in 1966. He studied at Newcastle and St Andrews Universities and has a Ph.D. in astronomy. He stopped working as an astrophysicist for the European Space Agency to become a full-time writer. REVELATION SPACE and PUSHING ICE were shortlisted for the ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD; REVELATION SPACE, ABSOLUTION GAP, DIAMOND DOGS and CENTURY RAIN were shortlisted for the BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION AWARD and CHASM CITY won the BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION AWARD.You can learn more by visiting www.alastairreynolds.com, or by following @AquilaRift on twitter.

Andrzej Sapkowski

Sapkowski was born in 1948 in Poland. He studied economy and business, but the success of his fantasy cycle about the sorcerer Geralt de Rivia turned him into a bestselling writer and he is now one of Poland's most famous and successful authors, selling more in his own country than Stephen King or Michael Crichton.

Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke was born in Minehead in 1917. During the Second World War he served as an RAF radar instructor, rising to the rank of Flight-Lieutenant. After the war he won a BSc in physics and mathematics with first class honours from King's College, London. One of the most respected of all science-fiction writers, he also won the KALINGA PRIZE, the AVIATION SPACE-WRITERS PRIZE,and the WESTINGHOUSE SCIENCE WRITING PRIZE. He also shared an OSCAR nomination with Stanley Kubrick for the screenplay of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, which was based on his story, 'The Sentinel'. He lived in Sri Lanka from 1956 until his death in 2008. To discover more about how the legacy of Sir Arthur is being honoured today, please visit http://www.clarkefoundation.org

Ben Aaronovitch

Ben Aaronovitch is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling PC Peter Grant series of novels (Rivers of London, Moon Over Soho, Whispers Under Ground, Broken Homes, Foxglove Summer and the upcoming The Hanging Tree).He was born and raised in London, and his love for the city is reflected throughout the series. Ben has also previously written for television and worked as a bookseller.He still resides in London, and is currently working on his next novel. Find out more on his website www.the-folly.com, or follow him on Twitter @Ben_Aaronovitch.

Bradley Beaulieu

Bradley Beaulieu is an award-winning epic fantasy novelist who runs the successful SF and fantasy podcast Speculate (speculatesf.com). He lives in Wisconsin, USA.For more information follow @bbeaulieu or visit quillings.com.

Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson was born in Nebraska in 1975. Since then he has written, amongst others The Mistborn books and begun the internationally bestselling Stormlight Archive. He was also chosen by Robert Jordan's family to complete Jordan's Wheel of Time Sequence. He lives in Utah.Visit his website at http://www.brandonsanderson.com, follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BrandSanderson and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BrandSanderson. Read his blogs at http://mistborn.blogspot.co.uk andhttp://mistborn.livejournal.com.

Bruce Sterling

Bruce Sterling burst onto the SF scene with the birth of Cyberpunk and co-authored THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE with his colleague William Gibson. His biggest UK success was with THE HACKER CRACKDOWN. He lives with his wife and daughters in Austin, Texas.

Carol Drinkwater

Best known for her role as Helen Herriot in BBC Television's ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL (for which she was awarded THE VARIETY CLUB TELEVISION PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR AWARD), Carol Drinkwater has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as both an actress and writer. During her acting career she has worked in film, television and theatre. Her credits include working with Laurence Olivier at the National Theatre and Stanley Kubrick on A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Carol is the author of six bestselling memoirs: THE OLIVE FARM, THE OLIVE SEASON, THE OLIVE HARVEST, THE OLIVE ROUTE, THE OLIVE TREE and RETURN TO THE OLICE FARM. Carol worked with UNESCO on a lavish documentary film series inspired by her two most recent books, THE OLIVE ROUTE and THE OLIVE TREE. The series is both travel and history based and will follow an Olive Heritage Trail around the Mediterranean Basin. The aim is to celebrate the cultural heritage of this sacred tree. The first transmissions will be in Canada in February and in Germany in April 2013.

Chris Wooding

Chris Wooding is a full time, award-winning novelist, a YA novelist, and a professional script writer for film and TV. He has travelled extensively, plays bass and guitar (and has recorded several albums) and his novels have been published all over the world.He has penned the Braided Path trilogy, a standalone novel (The Fade) and the Tales of the Ketty Jay series for Gollancz, all of which were critical and commercial successes.Chris Wooding lives in Kent, and you can learn more at www.chriswooding.com.

Connie Willis

Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis has won, among other accolades, ten HUGO Awards and six NEBULA Awards for her writing, and was recently named an SFWA Grand Master. She lives in Greeley, Colorado with her husband Courtney Willis, a professor of physics at the University of Northern Colorado.

Danny Baker

Danny Baker is an English comedy writer, journalist, radio DJ and screenwriter. He currently presents daily on BBC London 94.9 and a weekly show on BBC Radio 5 Live.For more, visit Danny Baker's website at www.internettreehouse.co.uk and follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/prodnose.

Dave Pelzer

Dave Pelzer is recognised as one of America's most effective and respected communicators addressing corporations, conventions and health/psychology/primary care workers. His unique accomplishments have garnered personal commendations from Ronald Reagan and George Bush. He was selected as torchbearer for the 1996 Olympic Torch relay. He has dedicated his life to helping others help themselves.

Dmitry Glukhovsky

Dmitry Glukhovsky is a Journalism and Foreign Relations graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Actually he is Russia Today`s roving reporter. From Algeria to Iceland, from Luxembourg to Kazakhstan, Glukhovsky has kept Russia Today viewers abreast of both breaking news and the results of major international gatherings. As correspondent he also took part in the Russian Polar expedition. In 2007, Glukhovsky got the Encouragement Award of the European Science Fiction Society in the prestigeous EuroCon contest in Copenhagen for his novel "Metro-2033". Apart from his native Russian, he speaks English, French, German, Hebrew and Spanish. His Metro novels have been international bestsellers and are the basis of the bestselling Metro computer game franchise.

Dot May Dunn

Dot May Dunn was born in Derbyshire, the daughter of a miner. In 1951 she joined the newly established NHS as a pre-nursing student at Leicester Royal Infirmary, eventually becoming a Research Fellow at St Bartholomew's London and the London Hospital Medical College. She has four nursing qualifications and 50 years on the 'coal face' behind her. She divides her time between England and France.

Douglas Preston

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child are the NY Times bestselling co-authors of a string of bestselling action adventure and thriller novels, including the Agent Pendergast and Gideon Crew adventures. Douglas Preston lives on the coast of Maine, while Lincoln Child lives in New Jersey.

Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert (1920-86) was born in Tacoma, Washington and worked as a reporter and later editor of a number of West Coast newspapers before becoming a full-time writer. His first SF story was published in 1952 but he achieved fame more than ten years later with the publication in Analog of 'Dune World' and 'The Prophet of Dune' that were amalgamated in the novel Dune in 1965.

Frederik Pohl

Frederik Pohl (1919-2013)Frederik Pohl had an extensive career as both a writer and editor spanning over seventy years. Using various pseudonyms, Pohl began writing in the late 1930s, his first published work being a poem titled "Elegy to a Dead Planet: Luna", which appeared in the October 1937 issue of Amazing Stories. Pohl edited both Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories between 1939 and 1943 and whilst many of his own stories appeared in these two pulp magazines they were never under his own name. After this period, from 1943 to 1945, Pohl served in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of sergeant as an air corps weatherman. Between the end of the war and the early '50s, Pohl was active as a literary agent, representing many successful writers of the genre including Isaac Asimov. The winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, Pohl became the SFWA Grand Master in 1993 and was inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 1998. He died in September 2013.

Gene Wolfe

Gene Wolfe (1931 -) Gene Wolfe was born in New York in 1931 and raised in Texas. After serving in the Korean War he graduated in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston and worked in engineering until becoming an editor of a trade periodical, Plant Engineering, in 1972. Since retiring from this post in 1984, he has written full-time. The author of over three dozen award-wining novels and story collections, he is regarded as one of modern fantasy's most important writers. His best-known work, the four volume far-future Book of the New Sun, won the World Fantasy, BSFA, Nebula, British Fantasy and John W. Campbell memorial Awards. He has won the World Fantasy Award four times for his novels and collections and the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award for his extraordinary body of work. Gene Wolfe lives in Illinois with his wife, Rosemary.