Here we are with Oprah’s Book Club again! I have loved doing these reviews so far, and I hope you guys are getting some good recommendations from them! I would love to know what you guys thought about the books too! Leave a comment after the review so I can see! This review is for Night by Elie Weisel.
Night is not a fairy tale story…
Now, I did read this once in high school. But, a lot of people did. I have to say, if that was you, READ IT AGAIN. For one, I feel that time has definitely made me more attune with deeper concepts in literature. A lot of Weisel’s writing tactics did not register my first time. The second time was so much better. You will notice my post doesn’t have it’s usual color and pizzazz. I felt I owed it to the author to be as straight forward with this as I can. This wasn’t a glamoured Hollywood story of a little bit coming out the other end with an appreciate for life. But, it is real. At some points, too real.
The Holocaust is one of the most important and horrific times in the history of mankind. Whenever you read or hear about it, shock and terror which the Jewish people faced under Nazi rule, can never truly be understood. The survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust have made countless efforts to try to give the world some kind of description of what they experienced. Millions of testimonies and literary works have emerged trying to describe the Holocaust to mankind. Elie Weisel’s Night – ranks alongside Primo Levi’s “If This is a Man” and everyone knows Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl. This 190 page story is a simple and short, but bone crushingly devastating account based on Wiesel’s personal Holocaust experience.
Elie Weisel describes his life…
as a young Jewish boy who is forced into small ghettos by the Nazis during World War II. He and his family are later put on a train to an unknown destination along with other Jews from their town.
He managed to remain with his father as they were forced to work under appalling conditions and shuffled between concentration camps in the closing days of the war. Just a few weeks after the two marched to Buchenwald and before the camp was liberated by Allied forces, Wiesel’s father suffered from dysentery, starvation, and exhaustion. The last word his father spoke was “Eliezer.” His father was taken away to the crematory in the middle night of the camp without Elie even knowing.
You will find no answers here…
Wiesel’s story of his experiences in a Nazi concentration camp paints a picture of such horror that at the end, as a reader, you are left with a lot of questions. The biggest one, being why. Why tell a tale that is so dark and grimacing? Wiesel wanted the world to know what he saw and experienced as a young boy and how it colored his world forever. He lost his entire family to the Nazis. He may have come out of the camp as a survivor. Though, he became a very bitter one.
Throughout the book, there is a dark feeling of hopelessness and unreality. It seems difficult to believe that anyone could be so vile and utterly devoid of conscience to send millions of people to their death. Those in the holocaust were tested to their core. Elie Wiesel does not give us the answers, but gives a story of one man’s witness to the death of God, children, innocence, and self. It is a really dark telling, but that is part of it’s glory. Weisel doesn’t treat us with kid gloves by putting a Hollywood glimmer to it. Instead, he gives us a straight forward, true, honest, gritty, and humbling story.
Kiss and hug your family tonight – remember how lucky we all are to not have to have personally witnessed all of this.