Leon Uris’s QB VII tackles antisemitism the way a terrier tackles a rat.
Uris introduces readers to Dr. Adam Kelno as he leaves Jadweiga Concentration Camp. Soviet-dominated Warsaw has no place for a Polish Nationalist.
Kelno lands in England where he spends two years in Brixton Prison while England decides whether to allow his extradition to Poland to face war-crimes charges.
Exonerated, Kelno and his family flee as far as possible from Europe. In Borneo he does medical work for which he is knighted.
Returning to England, Kelno settles into small clinic, doctoring longshoremen and immigrants.
One day an English medical student from Borneo shows Kelno a paragraph in Abraham Cady’s book The Holocaust . It says Kelno performed experimental operations for the SS without the use of anesthetic.
Kelno sues Cady for libel.
The suit is heard at QB VII: courtroom 7 of the Queen’s Bench.
Uris produces rounded pictures of both Kelno, a Polish Catholic, and Cady, an American Jew, both of whom have their share of flaws. Reader’s sympathies are pulled one way and then the other.
QB VII is a tense, fast-reading novel that leaves readers to ponder what they would have done in Jadweiga.
QB VII by Leon Uris
Doubleday 970 [1st ed]. 504 p.
1970 bestseller #6. My grade: A-
© 2018 Linda Gorton Aragoni