When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
It is not easy to listen to someone witnessing about the dark side of humankind. Yet, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Eliezer Wiesel tells his story as a young Jewish boy of 15, later 16 years going through Nazi hell in Auschwitz. He tells it with the force of plainness and naked honesty that grips and doesn't want to let go. 'Night' is according to Wiesel the key with which all his other works needs to be read and understood.
This 'Recorded Books' audio book is an excellent production of a new translation of the French text of 'Night' prepared by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife. He explains that she knows him the best and has a good feeling for how he thinks and feels. Indeed she has done a marvellous job with the translation.
George Guidall's narration adds to the quality and listening experience of the book. You might think that it is the author himself telling the story of the concentration camps. He brings the terror of the Second World War from a Jewish perspective to life.
The whole production is of such a high quality that you will have to nit pick to find something out of place. While it is not a very long audio book, it is worth every penny! I strongly recommend this autobiographical sketch of inner struggle and coming to grips with a dark reality that warns and caution humankind of its darkside.
On my second time through this book. After reading (and re-reading) The rise and fall of the third Reich by WIlliam Shirer I wanted even more information on this blighted page in our human history. Such a sureal unfolding of genicide when you read how one survivor came back to the author's village and railed against the Nazis and begged his fellow jews to leave while they could. No one listened to him until it was too late.
Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.
This book totally affected me. I don't remember ever being so physically and emotionally caught up in any book like I was with this one. I cried, I thought about it throughout the day, I dreamt about it in the night. Elie Wiesel wrote the most haunting account of his young life. From being ripped from his home to being separated from his mother and sister to caring and feeling responsible for his father in his journey from concentration camp to concentration camp. It shows the depths of human despair and the height of out of control power.
Narrator George Guidall brings life to the book. He was perfect. Listening to this book instead of reading it literally brought Elie Wiesel right into your heart. Mr. Guidall had the inflection, pain and weariness in his voice that really brought it home. He is obviously familiar with some of the important Jewish prayers like Kaddish (the prayer said for the dead). He ripped out my heart when he began to recite it.
I can't say enough about the importance of this book. Please listen to it. It is essential to use the lessons you will learn in the book to make you a better person. You won't be the same after this one.
This book is very well written and told. The author is able to give you just a glimpse of the pain he and others suffered at the hands of evil rulers, evil followers and even persecuted Jews in Nazi Germany. You realize how easy it can be for men to be broken and for animal nature to kick in and take over. You learn how one's soul can be broken to a point that you wonder how they can ever come back, yet even as broken down as they were, they continued to fight to live each day in a horrible hell. It brings across the point of how easy people choose to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that life is just fine, that human beings could never be so cruel to other human beings and how pathetic we can be when we choose to ignore another's plight because we just don't want to get involved. It makes you think twice about who you are and what you stand for and it breaks your heart to know that the persecuted people hoped over and over that someone would come to help them and yet we failed them for so long. This book is so applicable in today's times and should help to awaken anyone questioning human suffering in other countries and brings across the point that we cannot stand idly by while others in the world are suffering persecution at the hands of evil rulers and terrorists.
I came across this book rather by accident in watching a show on the History Channel called the Boys of Buchenwald. It mentions some excerpts from this and I went in search of it here.
This is truly a powerful, emotional book. It moves you as you hear it in first person, told through the eyes of a teenage boy witnessing the worst murders committed in recent history.
All I could think of was my own 12 year old son, picturing him walking the path that Elie walked. My heart broke repeatedly, but some how in all of it, his strength and resolve was there, deep inside, even when he didn't see it in himself.
I recommend this to everyone I know now. It will change you.
Elderly (1932), retired university professor, degrees in engineering and economics.
What is the lasting impact on a 15 year old son who must watch and watch-over his aging father as they struggle to just survive, day by day, the Nazi death camps of WWII. He must watch his father as he is beaten, kicked and force marched from camp to camp during freezing winters barely subsisting on starvation rations.
The son, Eliezer, is a devoted Orthodox Jew pursuing his religious studies, already faltering because of the roundups of Jewish men, including Rabbinical teachers. After years of increasing brutalities and deprivations in their villages and ghettos, the final journeys to the camps begin. Wiesei, a holocaust survivor himself, describes the almost unbelievable torments and tortures, the humiliations and degradations and the killings of women, children and the aged.
He ponders the universal question of man’s inhumanity to man. He addresses the inevitable questions the survivors must confront: How to react toward his former masters; Is revenge-in-kind acceptable; Why did I survive and my family did not?
Elie Wiesel was awarded a Pulitzer Peace Prize and a Congressional Gold Medal for his activities after the war. NIGHT is, in part, autobiographical. Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor. Not all of his family survived.
The writing is clear and graphic. The story is suspenseful and compelling.
This is not light reading. But the events did happen and they must never be forgotten.
I was naturally very moved by this well-crafted and devastating book It’s commendable for handling such an unwieldy topic with great economy. It uses relatively few though well-chosen words to convey mind boggling ideas and experiences. The whole tale is told in just about four hours. By the end of those four hours however you’ll feel as if you’d been taken to Auschwitz and Buchenwald and experienced them yourself.
It’s hard to believe how profoundly significant events like this can be forgotten. But over time even the most unbelievable outrages fade and grow quiet as they recede into the past. I agree with other reviewers that it’s important that young people hear these stories and understand that the horrible extents to which men and women will go to be inhuman to their fellow men and women.
George Guidall is one of my favourite narrators and a fabulous choice for this book (or any with an Eastern European angle, for that matter).
I really enjoyed the author’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech and the forward to the revised English edition of the book, which are included at the end of the book. These were moving and relevant, too. I’m glad there were added.
PS: I won’t comment on events involving the author later in his life except to say that they sadly seem to be at odds with the core sentiments of this book. Age does funny things to us all, I guess.
PPS: A family friend, who would have been about the same age as the author, was in the same camps (except the first one, Buna?) and while listening a shiver went up my spine when I thought of him there experiencing what the author experienced.
"The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why" Mark Twain
This book is raw, and sadly very real. The thought of some of the things described in this book makes me cringe, and yet I would not hesitate to recommend this book as required reading for everyone. It reminds us of what men are capable of doing and the undying strength of the human spirit.
The book is a history of one mans (then a boy) journey into Auschwitz-Birkenau. A journey that VERY few lived to tell about. Elie Wiesel has lived an inspirational life (he's still alive) and has written several other books. I encourage anyone who has the time to take a minute and Google him - he's truly an amazing man.
After finishing the book, I told my wife some of the things I had learned. She stopped me before I could finish - it was too graphic. And it is graphic, and it is real. But it's my opinion that we need to realize that this really happened. We all know that millions of people were killed in these concentration camps, but what we sometimes forget is that these were real life people, each an individual with a story of their own. It's books like this that bring some of those individuals back to life.
Highly acclaimed author Elie Weisel recounts his personal account of the Holocaust from his youth in Siget to the bowels of Hell in the concentration camps. His first hand account is an excellent personalization of horrors experienced by 6 million Jews - a number that is impossible to grasp - and allows the reader to intimately share the experience and thoughts of a Holocaust survivor.
Night is also finely written - yet not too overwelming in language or length.
Should be required reading for all High School students - of all races.
I bought this book the week before I visited Auschwitz. Listening to it as I sat on the train--staring out the window into the bleak, snow-covered Polish countryside--was incredibly emotional. That experience is permanently etched into my memory.
Of course, even if you are not on your way to visit a concentration camp, the story needs to be heard. This audiobook is the way to hear it.
The narrator is perfect. The story is touching, memorable and chilling. A definite must-listen.