The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku
I listened to The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku and it was an absolute delight.
It was one of those books that makes you want to go out for a walk or do the vacuuming just for the chance to put your earphones on and listen.
The Happiest Man on Earth is the story of a Jewish man who was captured by the Nazis in World War II. After living a contented life as a child, his ordeal begins when his family senses the winds of change in Germany and sends him to study engineering under a new name.
However, Jaku is captured when he returns home to surprise his family, and finds soldiers waiting for him. The following years are characterized by violence and despair as he fights for life and freedom.
Jaku is an irresistible narrator, with his compassion and perspective on the awful time. His main message is of kindness, and in many ways, the book is a vehicle for this message.
However, it is also an important record that illuminates the horror of the holocaust, and the way an ugly ideology reduced a progressive, creative and proud country to one of hate.
I would recommend The Happiest Man on Earth to anyone – it is a very readable book with an important message, told by someone who is incredibly likeable.