MISSION TO WORLD WAR II by Susan & Mare Kornblatt Nanus


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This latest entry in the Time Machine interactive adventure series sets the reader down in the middle of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1940. Thousands of Jews are surrounded by a wall, their homes and businesses taken over by blond, blue-eyed Aryans. The reader's mission: locate the chronicle of the Nazis' inhuman treatment of the Jews, recorded and hidden by a heroic underground historian, Emanuel Ringelblum. Though presented in the form of an adventure game, the story for the most part is uncompromisingly grim. Almost all of the dying occurs offstage, but the day-to-day struggle of the Jews becomes chillingly real because of the immediacy of the second-person narration, and the interactive nature of the genre. The authors compare the plight of the ghetto inhabitants with the plush lives of blissfully ignorant and complacent Americans; Italians who feared both Nazis and Fascists; and Britons facing London's first air raid. The story treads a fine line between gruesome reality and adventure novel by focusing on the battle for truth, which the Nazis constantly tried to bury. The lives of the characters as well as the historical background ring true--Nanus has done considerable research and writing on the Holocaust. The book is less successful as an interactive game. Decisions too often depend on luck or memorized facts rather than on logic or bravery, frustrating rather than intriguing the reader. But the compelling nature of the material more than compensates.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1986
Publisher: Bantam