Sunday, 1 April 2012

Book Review of Night by Elie Wiesel

Description: (goodreads)
Night A terrifying account of the Nazi death camp horror that turns a young Jewish boy into an agonized witness to the death of his family...the death of his innocence...and the death of his God. Penetrating and powerful, as personal as The Diary Of Anne Frank, Night awakens the shocking memory of evil at its absolute and carries with it the unforgettable message that this horror must never be allowed to happen again.

Quick Note:
Yes, I know. This is not a YA book. Sorry, but it is STILL a good read. I understand how that would be hard to comprehend.

Calamity's Review:

Night by Elie Wiesel is a novel that is meant for a mature and sophisticated audience because of the in depth details of the novel. The book makes you think beyond what is written in text. It is easy to be fooled by the thin hardcover, but honestly speaking, I have never spent more time on any book more than I have on this. And I have also never read a book this physically small. Talking about the book’s cover may seem superficial, but it is always important for me. So, although this cover could have had more illustrations to it, I have learned not to judge a book by its cover.
The title of Elie’s novel is Night. This could be interpreted in many different ways. Before reading the book, I thought that the book was named Night because of the darkness it carries. Many people are afraid of the dark and it is usually associated with fear and other negative emotions. I thought that the title tied in with the concept of war and its dreariness. I stood corrected though. After finishing the novel, it came to my attention that night was not a bad place but actually a time of peace and calm. It is when you get to reflect and reconsider events. A place where you can be yourself and not have to foresee the worries of tomorrow.
What really made this book stand out for me was the fact that this was Elie’s personal experience through the holocaust. Most books about the holocaust are usually assumptions made by historical facts and exaggerated writers. This book was full frontal, first-hand experience. That made the book all the more real and true to read. Your outlook on the whole book changes once it is made clear that all of this –actually- happened. What makes it even better –or worse- is that it was all so well written.
Wiesel does an outstanding job of covering so many major topics in his novel. He goes over discrimination, trust, denial, faith, angst, fear, humiliation and the meaning of family. While reading this book, I did not feel as if I were reading about war and concentration camps. I felt like it was much more than that. There was raw and pure emotion invested into the book. Elie describes all the changes he goes through in way that I personally cannot put in to words. He doesn’t use transitional phrases to go from one point in his life to another; he uses a tactic that I still do not understand.
This memoir that Wiesel has written approaches many emotional points that many individuals had to face. How they started questioning what they believed in and how nothing seemed to be right anymore. Everything that was once a part of Elie’s, and other’s life, was torn away and burned to ashes. It becomes clear what can become of humans and what they are capable of. Elie encounters the realization of cruelty against him and even the cruelty caused by him. Elie’s faith in god and the humanity of people becomes tarnished and he is faced with the truth of the matter.
In the end, it would be cruel of me, or anyone else, to not pass the word and let the world know of this incredibly well written and heart wrenchingly real story of Elie Wiesel.

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