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Night (Night) Paperback – January 16, 2006
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Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.
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“A slim volume of terrifying power.” ―The New York Times
“Required reading for all of humanity.” ―Oprah
“Wiesel has taken his own anguish and imaginatively metamorphosed it into art.” ―Curt Leviant, Saturday Review
“To the best of my knowledge no one has left behind him so moving a record.” ―Alfred Kazin
“What makes this book so chilling is not the pretense of what happened but a very real description of every thought, fear and the apathetic attitude demonstrated as a response . . . Night, Wiesel's autobiographical masterpiece, is a heartbreaking memoir. Wiesel has taken his painful memories and channeled them into an amazing document which chronicles his most intense emotions every step along the way.” ―Jose Del Real, Anchorage Daily News
“As a human document, Night is almost unbearably painful, and certainly beyond criticism.” ―A. Alvarez, Commentary
- ASIN : 0374500010
- Publisher : Hill and Wang (January 16, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 120 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780374500016
- ISBN-13 : 978-0374500016
- Lexile measure : 570L
- Item Weight : 4.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.39 x 8.26 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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It's not very long but it didn't need to be. It is heart wrenching and infuriating and inspiring and about a million other adjectives I could think of... but that's the kind of feeling we need to experience when we're reading about this type of horror. The real life, actual horror people inflict on one another, sick, twisted, wretched, heartbreaking and utterly disgustingness of what Nazi Germany really did.
Elie survived, that in itself is a miracle, that he chose to share that terrible chapter of his life with all of us so that we may learn, that's his gift to us. Don't waste that.
It only takes good men to do nothing for evil to prevail. Keep your eyes open, people.
There are so many memorable scenes in this short book: the journey in the cramped cattle cars; the arrival at the camp; the sight, sound, and ash of the crematorium; the hanging of a child; the crusts of bread; the forced march when the camp was abandoned at war’s end; the gratuitous murders even in a place where gratuitous murder was the organizing principle. And there are so many painful moments, most having to do with loss: the loss of God, the loss of identity, the loss of friends and family, in the end the loss of his father, too, who was his mainstay through most of the ordeal. But there are also moments of remembering that humanity must be preserved. As the camp was being evacuated, the prisoners stopped long enough to clean their prison camp. Why? To let the liberating army know “that here lived men and not pigs.” I was reminded of Italian chemist Primo Levi’s account of his imprisonment in Auschwitz, If This Is a Man, in which he describes the ex-army sergeant who washed daily, even though the water was dirty and he had only his soiled clothes to dry himself with. But he did it, and encouraged others to do the same, for the sake of dignity more than cleanliness, to remain human and to prevent the machine of war, imprisonment, and dehumanization from turning prisoners into beasts, as its masters wished it to do.
This book is a ringing call to remember, and to resist injustice, ignorance, and apathy. As Wiesel said in his speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 (reprinted at the end of this book): “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.”
This a mature book, but it is definitely a must read for teenagers and adults. The ideas may be a too strong for children or pre-teens. It is poignant and graphic, but gets a clear message across. If you’re looking for short read and have interest in the holocaust and the victims who suffered through it, this is the book for you. I suggest you read through the preface and the forward in the beginning of the book, as well as the author’s note at the end. All in all, this is a great book that will provide you with both information and a saddening perspective of World War II.
It is such a powerful, well-written, and eloquent account of what Elie and so many other Jews went through during the Holocaust. If you haven't read it, it is definitely one that needs to be added to your TBR Bucket List. His use of internal dialogue, first person narrative, and reflection throughout the story pulls the reader in and keeps their attention. You become a witness to what happened. Beautiful. Powerful. Memorable. And one of my absolute favorite books of all time.
I feel for the survivors, their families. I worry for my children who will learn that great men like this author are less than current winners of this prestigious award. It is up to us, the third generation, the generation that makes or erases history, "to look into that young Jews eyes and say ... That we are not forgetting [them]. When their voices are stifled, we will lend them ours"
Here is my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Top reviews from other countries
I would urge everybody to take the time to read this book because the people and ideas who brought about this horror are once more in the ascendant and it falls to us send them back to the shadows where they belong.
In western minds the holocaust seems to eclipse the mass murders attributed to Stalin and Mao Zedong (both of whom murdered greater numbers), not to mention the millions who have died due to political mistakes such as the partition of India and the cumulative horrors of nasty little wars in Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Pol Pot's genocide in Cambodia and China's annexation of Tibet and Hong Kong and the incarceration in concentration camps of millions of Uyghurs. Perhaps the atrocities inflicted on the Jews and the author of this book occurred closer to home and have received more attention in movies, news media and books?
Elie Wiesel describes how, in spite of repeated warnings, he and his family simply didn't believe that Jews were being rounded up and exterminated. Even when the Gestapo arrived and began lodging nearby, no one believed that the Germans posed a danger; they were initially charming. Elie and his family ignored rumours about the camps. Even when the family was ordered to leave their home, they rejected offers from an old maid to hide them from the Gestapo. They could never have believed what lay ahead.
While witnessing atrocities inflicted by the Germans on an industrial scale, Elie, a deeply religious man, is forced, time and again, to reconcile his faith with what he was experiencing.
Having read this book, I am surprised how ruthless the current Jews are towards the Palestinians and it is perhaps time that the international community woke up to the ethnic cleansing being perpetrated not only in Israel, but in Xinjiang, China; millions of Uyghurs removed from their homes and taken to concentration camps in the same way that the Gestapo removed Elie and his family from their home.
Elie suggests that it is when people ignore what is happening that events like the holocaust occur.
Wiesel conveys the utter helplessness, the brutality and inhumanity of the final solution in a short book. No more words are needed. There is power in every word, every line. How a child could come through this most heinous of times, this darkest of nights and go on to achieve what he did, is remarkable. There are passages that describe certain events in Auschwitz Birkenau that leave you cold. I had to put the book down and reflect. To continue reading at that moment did not seem right. A moment to reflect on the lives lost. But lived Wiesel has ensured will never be forgotten. Every one should read Night.
I found this book really inspiring in the sense that it helps me to put in perspective my own challenges. It is quite difficult to complain about our everyday life challenges when reading about the experience of a young innocent man sent to a concentration camp for no other reason than belonging to a specific community.
The main lesson for me from this book is: "some people have suffered and survived inimaginable pains, whatever challenge you are going through, you have the resources to overcome them".