The Ventriloquists by E.R. Ramzipoor

“A compelling historical thriller that details... the remarkable saga of how 50,000 copies of a newspaper were published under the thumb of the gestapo... Engrossing.”

—Booklist, starred review

“The skills of Aubrion and his miss-matched gang of conspirators is matched by the exquisite weaving of this story by E.R. Ramzipoor. Funny, sad, and poignant in its telling, The Ventriloquists reminds us that so much of what we read, hear and watch is propaganda—for someone, for some organization, some country. I cannot recommend this story high enough.”

—Heather Morris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

“Art and artifice, life and death, collide powerfully in The Ventriloquists, a novel about a colorful band of resistance fighters who risk everything to publish a subversive newspaper mocking the Reich while at the same time pretending to work for it. Eloquently reminding us that self-expression is the truest form of survival, E.R. Ramzipoor has made an unforgettable and important contribution to the canon of Holocaust literature.”

—Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan’s Tale

“The clock starts hammering on page one as Ramzipoor brilliantly gives a lost moment of history voice, flesh, and soul. This frighteningly relevant look at what happens when the news is controlled by biased and antagonistic forces becomes spellbinding as masters of subterfuge risk everything in order to carry forth their own trembling truth.”

—Devin Murphy, national bestselling author of The Boat Runner

Brussels, 1943. Twelve-year-old street orphan Helene survives by living as a boy and selling copies of the country’s most popular newspaper, Le Soir, now turned into Nazi propaganda. Helene’s entire world changes when she befriends a rogue journalist, Marc Aubrion, who draws her into a secret network publishing dissident underground newspapers.

Aubrion’s unbridled creativity and linguistic genius attract the attention of August Wolff, a high-ranking Nazi official tasked with swaying public opinion against the Allies. Wolff captures Aubrion and his comrades and gives them an impossible choice: use the newspaper to paint the Allies as monsters, or be killed. Faced with no decision at all, Aubrion has a brilliant idea: they will pretend to do the Nazis’ bidding, but instead they will publish a fake edition of Le Soir that pokes fun at Hitler and Stalin—giving power back to the Belgians by daring to laugh in the face of their oppressors.

The ventriloquists have agreed to die for a joke, and they have only eighteen days to tell it.

Told with dazzling scope, taut prose and devastating emotion, The Ventriloquists illuminates the extraordinary acts of courage by ordinary people forgotten by history—unlikely heroes who went to extreme lengths to orchestrate the most stunning feat of journalism in modern history.

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