278pp | ISBN 978-1-77140-199-9
$26.95 $21.95 £16.95
Categories: General Interest
This is a rare account of the horrors of the WW2 death camps from someone who experienced them. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family in Prague, Hoffman lost his entire family in the Holocaust. Fourteen-year-old Martin Hoffman escapes immediate death on arrival at Auschwitz by claiming to be eighteen. Through a combination of chutzpah and luck, he first survives a year at Auschwitz, then the Death March to Buchenwald, and stays alive until the camp is liberated by American troops.
After relocating to England, Hoffman is tortured by survivor’s guilt, which leads to episodes of deep depression. He learns a trade (diamond-cutting), but eventually discovers two things: a talent for bridge, and a fascination with gambling. As he finds success with the first, becoming a world-class professional player, the second almost destroys him.
It is only later in life, with the help of his wife Audrey, that Hoffman is able to overcome his dark memories, conquer his addiction to gambling, and finally find contentment in a new life in Florida.
Martin Hoffman (1929-2018) was a Czech-born player and writer (this is one of his eight books on the game). His memoir, Bridging Two Worlds, was released posthumously in 2019 from Master Point Press.
Omar Sharif (1932-2015) Although better known as a film actor, Omar Sharif played bridge at the highest levels, including two World Championships. "Acting is my business, but bridge is my passion."
Kitty will be gifting many friends with this, her personal favorite book this year. The late Martin Hoffman was a brilliant bridge player whom she remembers with fondness from when she lived in London.
— Kitty and Steve Cooper Date: 2019-12-04