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The Boy Who Didn't Want to Die
- Narrated by: Tom Lawrence
- Length: 4 hrs and 26 mins
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A story of survival, of love between mother and son and of enduring hope in the face of unspeakable hardship. An important listen.
The Boy Who Didn't Want to Die describes an extraordinary journey, made by Peter, a boy of five, through war-torn Europe in 1944 and 1945. Peter and his parents set out from a small Hungarian town, travelling through Austria and then Germany together. Along the way, unforgettable images of adventure flash one after another: sleeping in a tent and then under the sky, discovering a disused brick factory, catching butterflies in the meadows – and as Peter realises that this adventure is really a nightmare – watching bombs falling from the blue sky outside Vienna, learning maths from his mother in Belsen. All this is drawn against a background of terror, starvation, infection and, inevitably, death, before Peter and his mother can return home.
Professor Peter Lantos is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and in his previous life was an internationally renowned clinical neuroscientist. His memoir, Parallel Lines (Arcadia Books, 2006) was translated into Hungarian, German and Italian. Closed Horizon (Arcadia, 2012) was his first novel.
Peter was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2020 for ‘services to Holocaust education and awareness’. He is one of the last of the generation of survivors and this – his first book for children – will serve as a testimony to his experience.
Peter lives in London.
What listeners say about The Boy Who Didn't Want to DieAverage customer ratings
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- E. Howard
Moving story, well worth a listen
A harrowing story well written and well read. Interesting to hear the perspective of a small boy experiencing the horrors of what happened to his family. I’m glad I picked this book after hearing the author on the radio. An extraordinary man.
An monochromatic account of an exceptional child
When listening to this book I though it would be drama tears and distress all the way through however it seems to me that it has been written by a child inside an adults head it is obviously a matter of bare facts, “truthful”. I felt great admiration for the boys Mother and for the family and indeed all who suffered in the inferno that was the holocaust. I did not cry nor was I emotional until the very end and then I felt a great void a silence then I cried. I cried for the boy and all those who survived not only for those who suffered and died during this terrible time in history.