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)
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.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
I am almost speechless. This is one of those times when you are so emotionally affected that words can not explain. I believe this is required reading in some schools and I applaud those schools. I would rather read horror as fiction, so I can tell myself that it is fiction. This is true, which makes the horror hard to bare. Everyone should read a non-fiction book about the Holocaust, Apartheid, slavery, war, or torture, just to keep them grounded about once a year. We need to be reminded and our young people need to learn and not forget.
Profesionl, hard working woman who travels weekly, enjoys life. My best Friends are Michael and Scooter. Nonfiction books are the best!
Beautiful, I couldn't stop listening, How could this have happened. I have recommended to many others
Perhaps one of the most powerful audio experiences I have ever had. In fact, this reading, both the text itself and George G.'s reading of it have effected me profoundly. I had never read the book before. It has been on my "to read" list for many years. There is no question that I would have been a much different man had I read this sooner in life.
I am not Jewish. But all decent non-Jews should make an imperative effort to read and know this book. Each person who does can only walk away from it knowing that they too will not forget what happened and will feel empowered to know they themselves will never let it happen again.
This book is personal. and not just because it is autobiographical. I am not Jewish, but I sometimes say that I'm half Jewish. My best friend growing up (like since birth) was Jewish. One of her grandparents, or maybe a great grandparent had their Holocaust tattoo and didn't really talk about it. Maybe because we were so young? We were pretty much inseparable then. My best friend died two years ago of ALS, leaving a son and grieving family. I take stones to her grave in the Jewish tradition. What a beautiful thing to do.
So, this story, this history, ripped into my heart. Told in first person from a 16-year-old boy's perspective, Elie Wisel tells the story of being a Jew from the beginning of the Holocaust to the end. I decided to read it because my son had read it last year for school, and it was already in my audio library. He said it was good, but brutal. He was so right. All I can say is, read it. You need to know. I plan to read the next two books in the trilogy as well. I need to know.
Absolutely! I love history from the 1st person's point of view.
The fruit being brought to Elie...
Sad and hard to listen to at times.
This book awakened a new reverence for life in me. George Guidall was impeccable in this performance. Every nuance, every emotion was portrayed with sensitivity and resonance. I highly recommend this listen. Elie Wiesel makes the holocaust understandable for one who has always been uncomprehending of the depths to which human beings can sink. His treatment of this part of his life is poignant and believable.
I originally picked this up because my son was assigned to read it in high school and liked it so much he insisted I read it too. He was really interested in it since his grandpa is from Germany and escaped to America by sheer luck on one of the last ships that allowed jews to leave. This is a heartbreaking story, but one that has to be told. Everyone should read this story at least once. This book was so great that I read his other books which were just as good. I can't say enough good things about this book.
"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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