Night is an unmistakably autobiographical account of the author's own gruesome experiences in Nazi Germany's death camps. Told through the eyes of 14-year-old Eliezer, the tragic fate of the Jews from the little town of Sighet unfolds with a heart-wrenching inevitability. Even as they are stuffed into cattle cars bound for Auschwitz, the townspeople refuse to believe rumors of anti-Semitic atrocities. Not until they are marched toward the blazing crematory at the camp's "reception center" does the terrible truth sink in.
Recounting the evils at Auschwitz and Buchenwald, Wiesel's enduring classic of Holocaust literature raises questions of continuing significance for all future generations: How could man commit these horrors, and could such an evil ever be repeated?
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©1972, 1985 Elie Wiesel
Originally published in 1958 by Les Editions de Minuit
Translation ©2006 by Marion Wiesel
Preface to the New Translation ©2006 Elie Wiesel
(P)2006 Recorded Books LLC
"[A] slim volume of terrifying power." (The New York Times)
No. I think they are both equally good for different reasons.
This is a really stupid question for a book like this; it makes me feel these questions were written by someone who never read the book. I guess as a parent I felt the most empathy for his father, but there could not really be a favorite character because everyone was only just barely peripheral to Elie.
I like the way George Guidall presented the text; his tone, timbre, phrasing, and timing really seemed to match the needs of the story.
Yes, but I couldn't.
I usually listen to audiobooks at 2x or more but I listened to this one at 1x because I wanted to catch every nuance.
I loved it. it's so sad the way he tells his story is so sad yet I love the way he tells it. although I wish he would have included what happened to him after. but either way I loved it
I have read this book at least ten times. Each time there is a lesson. Each time a new understanding. Both versions, old and new along with the commentary should be studied by every human.
I teach this book every year in class. After the first few pages the students are deathly silent and come to class each day eager to read more. Wiesel's heartfelt pleas make students sit up and take notice to what has gone on during the Holocaust. I use this book to introduce our unit on genocides and explain to them that THESE things still happen today. Hopefully, Night and books like it will foster a sense of outrage that will lead to change someday.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Eliezer, the main character of Night who is mostly but (possibly) not completely the alter-ego of Elie Wiesel, has a moment, early during his Holocaust experience, where he believes, hopes, that it is all a nightmare from which he will imminently awake. He soon realizes that it is all too real, worse than a living nightmare, a relentless series of night terrors for him and his father and the people around him.
Wiesel's pared-down memoir of the Holocaust is mostly straightforward description of what he experienced, how he went from one place to the next, how he was treated, how he found food, how he survived illness, what was happening to those around him, most notably his father, with him most of the time. Only on occasion does Wiesel delve into his feelings, but when he does, that's where his account really hits home.
Worst of all are his feelings about his father. As much he strives to keep together and stay alive, he agonizes over the sense that his own chance of survival would improve if his father was not there. He feels terrible guilt about being rendered powerless to intervene when his father is mistreated. Sadly, Wiesel does not attempt to explore how his father felt about having to play the same role for his teenaged son.
There is also Wiesel's famous abandonment of God during the course of his experience, quite understandable but not nearly universal among survivors.
For me, this book was more personal. My father's experience was nearly identical -- dread of impending war overlaid by unfounded optimism among those who chose to stay (one of my father's brother emigrated to Palestine before the war), years in the ghetto (Lodz for my father), deportation by cattle car to the camps (most of my father's family died in those cars), arrival at Auschwitz and the selection process under the evil glare of Mengele, death march in mid-winter to a far-off camp, loss of a family member (sister) just before liberation.
My father rarely spoke about those things. Later in life, when he did, it was mostly about the broader events. Wiesel gets into detail, how the camps were organized, how they were supervised, how the selection process worked, how they were fed, how they dealt with each other. And how people died. I found incredible and indelible power in his spare but detailed account, punctuated by the profound of emotions about his father, his God, his guilt, about humanity and inhumanity, the survival instinct, and having to live with terrors that cannot and should not be forgotten.
There isn't much to say about this awful time that has not already been said. This book details the author's time in a concentration camp with his father; I have read other Holocaust books and each one adds something different to my understanding of this horrific time. I like the author's revelations of his inner struggles with his belief in God to his feelings about wanting to take his father's rations when his father was on the brink of death.
This audio edition includes the author's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech and the new preface by the author. The narration was very good and added to the overall listening experience.
"Haunting, deeply moving and disturbing"
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, Israeli author and 1986 Nobel Peace Prizewinner, presents to us a compelling, haunting and disturbing story.
Beautifully written, autobiographical, this personal narrative reflects the views of a 14 year-old boy torn from his home and community in Transylvania in the Second World War. He is traumatised by his separation from his mother and little sister, witnessing their subsequent consumption by Nazi fires and vengeance. Through one traumatising experience to the next, he manages, by a sinew at times, to retain his link with his father, surviving Auschwitz and Buchenwald... separated in the end by death and shame.
We follow the story of a Jewish community which could not contemplate the atrocities they would experience. They could not imagine the way in which the communities in which they were integrated would allow them to be expelled to concentration camps and annihilation. They could not foresee what it would be like to be marched out of their homes. "The town seemed deserted, but behind the shutters, our friends of yesterday were probably waiting for the moment when they could loot our homes".
They could not foresee the railway trucks full of Jews, the impact of scarcity and hunger and uncertainty on people's relationships. They could not have planned for the few hours they were given before they were expelled from their homes, burying valuable possessions under the floor-boards hoping one day, but never able, to reclaim their possessions. They could not imagine the cruelty, the violence, the humilation, the selection processes, the death factories, the fires, the trains, the labour camps, the public hangings, the beatings and the torture.
Elie wanders why and whether this is allowed to happen in the 20th century. He imagines the scenes of expulsions in the Inquisition, but not now when the whole world knew what was happening. And yet, the silence, the denials, and the lack of response prevailed.
"The ghetto was ruled by neither German nor Jew" he writes. "It was ruled ... by delusion".
Elie loses his trust in God and refuses to accept the existence of an all-knowing and all-good god who allows such barbarity to persist. We see stories of trust and reliability, love and warmth, tenderness and sacrifice. Wiesel writes beautifully and at times sparsely: "The synagogue resembled a railway station ... baggage and tears".
The recording contains additional material - Elie Wiesel's impressive Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech; his revised preface and discussion of why he wrote this book; and a valuable review of the book and its importance by Francois Mauriac, the French author who first encouraged Elie Wiesel to publish and assisted him after many failures, in getting into press.
The book is beautifully written, translated by his wife, and movingly read by George Guidall. Around three hours long it is a compelling and unforgettable audience with Elie Wiesel: haunting, disturbing, moving, human, insightful and lingering in the memory.
"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp that turned my life into one long night, seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky. Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my god and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes. Never shall I forget those things even were I condemned to live as long as god himself"
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