• Digital Hoos

The Periodic Table by Primo Levi

This book, even though not a long one, was not the easiest of reads.

The author, Primo Levi, is an absolute genius at using words to create intricate and detailed scenes. However, the level of detail is one I have yet to encounter in my time reading.

He truly is a master of the English language.

What most impresses me in this book is the way the chapters are divided; each chapter is named after a different element in the period table and the entire story revolves around that element.

For example, the chapter Nickel discusses the main character’s exploits to extract nickel from a mine and the Nazi officer that forced him to do so.

The book follows a historically chronological order revolving around fascist Italy; from the late 1930’s to the Nazi rule and occupation.

Primo has undergone a life most of us cannot even fathom from becoming a chemist, to living under Nazi rule, being sent to Auschwitz concentration camp and then to survive it.

One thing I can confidently say is that my vocabulary has improved after reading this book as the words he uses to paint each scene are intricate in their own right.

Recommended for: Anyone interested in WW2 history from the 1st person POV, anyone looking to increase their level of English

Score: 8.1/10

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