SOPHIE'S CHOICE – William Styron 1979 – book - A Classic Review - Damocles was never threatened more than the two fateful protagonists in this, William Styron’s fourth novel. That tragic sword has never swung closer to the willing necks of two such protagonists.
I guess I'm the perfect audience for the style and technique Mr. Styron employs to write this book. It is a novel that no one would want to read twice, but it is a novel that everyone should read once. It is one of an endless series of attempts to understand a tale of horror that will continue to unfold throughout history. Sophie’s story will test your endurance.
Told in the first person, our young writer looses his job in Manhattan and finds himself renting a room and sharing a large home off Flatbush Avenue and Prospect Park in Brooklyn with the gorgeous Sophie and the emotionally troubled and brilliant Nathan.
From her early introduction, Sophie is identified by the tattoo on her forearm as an Auschwitz survivor. This story is fueled by the unbearable choices Sophie was forced to make while in the camp. Choices, cruel beyond belief, which now drive her fruitless search for redemption. That quest has led her to seek relief with another tortured soul, Nathan.
Each layer of the onion is peeled back to expose the cruelty and raw pain of her experiences. No matter how much you wish these events didn’t take place, a world does not exist where they didn’t happen. We, the beneficiaries of this history, are left with the memories and the burden of the consequences.