Friday, January 10, 2014

Samson: A Savior Will Rise- Shawn Hoffman

17762147My Rating: 4 Stars

Description:You are a man who has vowed to protect his family, even at the cost of your own life. So you have no other choice. . . . You must fight, Samson. You must.

 The year is 1941, and Samson Abrams makes a life-or-death decision that lands him, and his entire family, in the notorious concentration camp Auschwitz. When Samson is recognized by Dr. Josef Mengele and Commandant Rudolf Hoss as a former boxing champion, he is ordered box for their entertainment. A win means extra rations, but the penalty for losing is death in the gas chambers.

One question haunts Samson as he and his family face one atrocity after another: Where is God in the face of such evil? An unexpected friendship between the Jewish Samson and the Polish Catholic priest Maximilian Kolbe challenges Samson to examine what little is left of his faith, but will it give him strength when he needs it most?

Based on true stories, "Samson: A Savior Will Rise" blends Shawn Hoffman s thorough research with a compelling narrative that provokes questions about faith, hope, and love.

My Thoughts:  Just... Wow. The research put into this book is amazing. It comes with pictures and footnotes and other information in the back. For a history nerd like me, that just makes this awesome. Add to the historical facts, retold Holocaust stories and Samson from the Bible, and you have a very emotional read. The horrors Samson suffered were atrocious and will haunt me for a while to come.

There were some things that I did not enjoy. Every now and again there was a little bit of head hopping, and at one point Höss refers to Samson by name, even though Höss has not learned his name yet. On the whole though, I enjoyed this story about a man God used to give hope to the Jews.

*The story of Samson is not a true story, though it is drawn from many other true stories. The content is, while not described in detail, graphic and upsetting.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Thomas Nelson publishers.


  1. I noticed this book when flipping through CBD catalog (because I was initially shocked to see a shirtless guy in a Christian magazine), but was intrigued by the summary. However, I thought then and have decided now that it would probably be too upsetting for me to read.

    I am curious, though, could you tell me if it has a good ending? I know such endings were super rare in those cruel concentration camps, but Corie Ten Boom had a beautiful one, and even Mercy's was lovely because of her God-glorifying attitude. If it's too much of a spoiler to tell me, don't.

    1. lol, yeah, that shirtless guy through me off at first too. I'm glad it didn't stop me from reading it though. The story was great, and very upsetting.

      I can tell you that the ending is bitter sweet. You are a bit glad for the ending by the time it comes around, but not happy that it had to end that way.