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)
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
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.
Reading is one of life's greatest pleasures...and, now that I've found audiobooks, I can read even while performing mundane tasks!
Part of me wonders why this powerful book didn't pop up on any of my required reading lists in high school, college and grad school. At the same time, I'm glad I read it for the first time (in the form of this audiobook) after having acquired basic knowledge of the holocaust over the years, because I don't know how I would have handled the experience as, say, an unprepared teen in a high school English class. Then again, perhaps this book should be required reading precisely because it is so powerful. Its lessons surely cannot be forgotten, and they're such important lessons. I was intrigued with the author's frank handling of the subject of faith. And I was captivated by the additional texts attached to the main reading: Wiesel's Nobel Prize speech, his preface to the new translation (Weisel's wife's translation), etc., and I was glad they're presented after the main text reading (since much of what happens in the main text is referred to in these additional texts). George Guidall's narration is moving and real. There were times when I thought I could "hear" tears in his eyes.
Night by Elie Wiesel together with VIctor Frank's Man's Search For Meaning are two of the most important books I have ever read. Whenever I begin to feel sorry for myself, relistening to either helps me keep my life in perspective. These two men together with many of the characters described in their books give new meaning to the term "man's indomitable spirit". Mr. Wiesel was so honest about his innermost thoughts and feelings as he and his father attempted to endure the daily horrors of concentration camp life that I was continously asking myself how I would have reacted under similar conditions. Frankly, I too often found myself coming up short in my comparative predictions. Mr. Wiesel and Dr. Frankl have definitely become two role models that have made me a better man.
My daughter had to write a paper on this. I got the audio book so I could reaquaint myself with the book too, For such a slight volume it packs a brass knuckeld punch to human self deception. It destroys the fiction that hard times bring out the best in people instead of the worst, that god can save you from the hands of mere human cruelty, and that a sons love for a father is unassailable. Yet in the end there is a type of redemption for the living. If for no other reason that to be the one to tell the story.
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.
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.
I cannot say that I would listen to night again, the only reservation being it is a very hard read. The disregard for humanity described in this book is heart wrenching.
The arrival at the first concentration camp, where Elie and his father are separated from their wife/mother and sister . The depiction of the chimneys of the crematorium are haunting.
The liberation of the camp
I could not listen in one sitting; it was necessary to take a break.
I had shied away from reading/hearing this book because I felt it would be gut-wrenching and saddening. It was both. But, I was glad that I had listened to a reading of NIGHT to better understand the inhumanity and every survivors' ability to cope with degradation and fear beyond my comprehension. I wish I had read the book sooner.
Thank you, Mr. Weisel.
In addition, this was yet another flawless reading from George Guidall.
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
"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"
moving to the point of tears. we all know the stories but this personal account is heartrending and unmissable
"Spellbinding, tragic, harrowing, beautifully written and read"
Spellbinding, tragic, harrowing, beautifully written and read. Some valuable extra material at the end helps put it into a context (if that's possible)
"How can one call such horror a good book?"
This is an absolutely heartbreaking recollection of crimes against the Jews during WWII. My only "criticism" is not against the excellent reading by the narrator, but as the story is told as per the eyes of a 15 year old, the aged voice of the narrator distracted a bit. The world should be learn from the horrors of the second world war, but we can see we haven't turning a blind eye to genocide around the world happening to peoples unimportant to the west or within own regions. "Never again" rings hollow and the "easy" resettlement isn't the answer.
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