The One Man by Andrew Gross

The One Man: The Riveting and Intense Bestselling WWII Thriller by [Gross, Andrew]

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Date of publication: August 23, 2016

Genre: Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Thriller, War, World War II, Holocaust, Suspense

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | IndieBound | Indigo | Kobo | BetterWorldBooks

Goodreads Synopsis:

1944. Physics professor Alfred Mendl is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp, where all of his belongings are tossed on a roaring fire. His books, his papers, his life’s work. The Nazis have no idea what they have just destroyed. And without that physical record, Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge. Knowledge that could start a war, or end it.

Nathan Blum works behind a desk at an intelligence office in Washington, DC, but he longs to contribute to the war effort in a more meaningful way, and he has a particular skill set the U.S. suddenly needs. Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, he is Semitic looking, and he proved his scrappiness at a young age when he escaped from the Polish ghetto. Now, the government wants him to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life: Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz, on a mission to find and escape with one man.

This historical thriller from New York Times bestseller Andrew Gross is a deeply affecting, unputdownable series of twists and turns through a landscape at times horrifyingly familiar but still completely compelling.


I am going to start this review with a dedication. I found out that Elie Wiesel died today at the age of 87. He dedicated his whole life to keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive. I read Night in 9th grade as part of an English assignment. So, to say I was (and still am) very interested in the Holocaust is an understatement. I read everything and anything about the Holocaust (from fiction to nonfiction) that I get my hands on. So RIP Elie Wiesel.

This was one of the best books that I have read to date. From the beginning, where there is an old man in a nursing home, and he decides to open up to his daughter, it takes off. It is a whirlwind ride that left me breathless (and in tears) at the end of the book.

I was taken back to Nazi-occupied Germany and Roosevelt-era USA. The atrocities committed against the Jewish people in the book were vividly written. I had to put my book down at some points because I was crying so hard. Introduced in the book, in no particular order: Nathan Blum, Alfred Mendl, Leo Wolciek, and Greta Ackerman. All their lives become intertwined at Auschwitz.

This book is fast-paced, and I did not want to put it down in case I missed something. There are several twists to the plot, but the two biggest were saved for the end, and they took me by surprise.

3 things I liked about The One Man:

  1. Nathan Blum
  2. The storyline
  3. Leo Wolciek

3 Things I disliked about The One Man:

  1. Auschwitz
  2. Kurt Ackerman
  3. The scene right before the ending

I would recommend The One Man to anyone over 21. There is brutal violence, language, and sex.


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