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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful is an understatement
I recall when I first read 'Night', it was just after Elie Wiesel had given a lecture at my university. It was in the mid-1980s, and the lecture hall was standing-room-only. Wiesel's presentation moved us to tears, and moved us to anger, and moved me to want to follow up on his words by reading what he had written.
This is supposed to be fiction, but...
Published on 19 Jan 2006 by Kurt Messick

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average, but required reading
It takes a truly grumpy, nitpicking misanthrope to criticise the work of a Nobel Prize-winning, human rights-campaigning holocaust survivor, so please allow me to continue, for I have nits to pick.

Firstly, as many reviewers have already identified, the work is indeed a little thin, but I suppose whether you feel ripped off depends on how much you pay for it...
Published 17 months ago by James


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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful is an understatement, 19 Jan 2006
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
I recall when I first read 'Night', it was just after Elie Wiesel had given a lecture at my university. It was in the mid-1980s, and the lecture hall was standing-room-only. Wiesel's presentation moved us to tears, and moved us to anger, and moved me to want to follow up on his words by reading what he had written.
This is supposed to be fiction, but in a style that seems to be typical of many modern Israeli novelists, it is so close to the truth of the actual events that transpired in Wiesel's life that it might as well be treated as autobiographical. This is actually part of a trilogy - Night, Dawn, and The Accident - although each element stands alone with integrity.
How does one deal with survival after such atrocities as that at Birkenau and Auschwitz? How can one have faith in the world? How can one accept that a people so closely identified with a powerful God can ever accept that God again? Where is God in the midst of such things?
Wiesel himself as spent his life in search of such answers, but doesn't provide them here. Why then would one want to read such accounts as these? Wiesel was silent for many years, until he was brought into speech and writing as a witness to the events. Wiesel proclaims that there is in the world now a new commandment - 'Thou shalt not stand idly by' - when such things are happening, one must act. One must remember the past in all its personal aspects to both honour those who suffered and to forestall such things happening again (which, given the the depressing repetitive nature of history, is a difficult task).
This is the longest short book I've ever read. It is one that has stayed with me from the first page, and I've never been able to shake the images brought forward, the misery and suffering, the existence of evil and brutality, the sadness and desolation. We live in a culture that likes to gloss over pain and suffering, mask it with drugs and other things, and always end the story with a happy ending.
There is no happy ending here - even Wiesel's own survival is a questionable good here. How does one live after this? How does the world go on?
One thing is certain, we must never forget, and this book is part of that active remembering that we are called to do.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book should be compulsory reading for everyone., 28 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Night (Paperback)
Without a doubt this is one of the greatest books of the twentieth century, made even greater by the fact that it comes from one of humanity's darkest moments. Through the telling of his own childhood experiences in pre and post-nazi Hungary, and later as an adolescent in the Third Reich's deathcamps, Elie Wiesel raises powerful questions. The book questions the whys and wherefores of the Holocaust, demanding to know where was God? Where was Man? And how should one respond to the terrible brute fact of the tragedy of the Jewish people? The book provides an excellent, thoughtful (wise even) and compelling introduction to Wiesel's life and work and to the themes of Holocaust literature and response in general. By asking questions the book calls for answers, not only from nations, governments, religious authorities and God, but also from the reader himself. Reading this book is no light undertaking, but it is a necessary one for anyone (Jew and non-Jew alike) who wishes to consider the implications of the Holocaust for all Humankind. I cannot recommend this powerful novel highly enough.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching, 17 Feb 2005
By 
Edward Tem (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Night (Paperback)
This personal account of the holocaust by Elie Wiesel's book is a horrifying story of the Nazi death camps. The author tells the story in a simple manner, yet it is easy for a reader to end up feeling haunted by the accounts in "Night". It stirs sadness and profound questions in the bosom of a reader. The lessons from this book about the evil side of fallen human nature and the faith, courage and moral strength to fight the evil must never be forgotten. I recommend this book to any reader interested in the holocaust and the specter of mass killings plaguing the world today.
Also recommended are: SURVIVAL IN AUSCHWITZ, DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Night by Elie Wiesel (ELI VI zel), 17 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Night (Paperback)
The book "The Night" by Elie Wiesel does not do less then make you think how lucky you are to be in this world with your family. As a kid Elie Wiesel was sent to Auschwitz, Buna and Buchenwald which are described full and a bit in exaggaration to the "good" side. Most of the description of the pogroms that are in te book are in a way, too gentle and not as harsh as the real pogroms were. it might be on purpose the the author does that, in order not to shock people and frighten them too much, but as a Jew whose grandfather was saved from the war, I know that this is a bit different than what really happened. I read this book as an assignment and could not put it down for a minute, I was actually quite sorry when I realized I had finished it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We must never forget., 31 July 2007
By 
maya j (Quail Crossing) - See all my reviews
`Night' is a poignant, evocative story of a young Elie Wiesel and his father and their experiences in a number of concentration camps during WWII. The translation from French is done beautifully, as it is written in a plain, straightforward manner, and it reads with an eloquence and softness that belies the subject matter. As you read `Night', you find yourself cringing, eyes wide with horror, and it gives you a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach to know that innocent human beings were subjected to physical and emotional pain beyond belief. It is not graphic in the sense that there is too much information, it tells, in its simplicity, the truth of what one person experienced at one time, on this earth. Sixty years later, we believe what history has shown us of these atrocities, yet do we understand? In `Night', Elie Wiesel attempts to make us understand. He talks about Death with a capital "D" and "The Selection" of people for slaughter. His sadness and despair during his incarceration, as well as his alarming indifference to certain things in the name of survival, permeate each page. Finally, we realize that this book is written as a tribute to his father and his father's beliefs that "Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" and keep the memory alive, "Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices". So Elie Wiesel will not stay silent, and we must never forget.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful is an understatement, 5 Jan 2006
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Night (Paperback)
I recall when I first read 'Night', it was just after Elie Wiesel had given a lecture at my university. It was in the mid-1980s, and the lecture hall was standing-room-only. Wiesel's presentation moved us to tears, and moved us to anger, and moved me to want to follow up on his words by reading what he had written.
This is supposed to be fiction, but in a style that seems to be typical of many modern Israeli novelists, it is so close to the truth of the actual events that transpired in Wiesel's life that it might as well be treated as autobiographical. This is actually part of a trilogy - Night, Dawn, and The Accident - although each element stands alone with integrity.
How does one deal with survival after such atrocities as that at Birkenau and Auschwitz? How can one have faith in the world? How can one accept that a people so closely identified with a powerful God can ever accept that God again? Where is God in the midst of such things?
Wiesel himself as spent his life in search of such answers, but doesn't provide them here. Why then would one want to read such accounts as these? Wiesel was silent for many years, until he was brought into speech and writing as a witness to the events. Wiesel proclaims that there is in the world now a new commandment - 'Thou shalt not stand idly by' - when such things are happening, one must act. One must remember the past in all its personal aspects to both honour those who suffered and to forestall such things happening again (which, given the the depressing repetitive nature of history, is a difficult task).
This is the longest short book I've ever read. It is one that has stayed with me from the first page, and I've never been able to shake the images brought forward, the misery and suffering, the existence of evil and brutality, the sadness and desolation. We live in a culture that likes to gloss over pain and suffering, mask it with drugs and other things, and always end the story with a happy ending.
There is no happy ending here - even Wiesel's own survival is a questionable good here. How does one live after this? How does the world go on?
One thing is certain, we must never forget, and this book is part of that active remembering that we are called to do.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very powerful reading, 3 April 2009
By 
J. Cooper (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Night (Paperback)
This is a small but very emotive book that contains the recollections of Elie Wiesel and his family whilst at Auschwitz.

It is small but by no means unsubstantial, as the book is very powerfully written and you can clearly see the high level of emotion the author is experiencing as he puts pen to paper and relives past traumatic events.

This book is necessary reading for those who usually read about the Holocaust and Auschwitz.

The book is upsetting as one would naturally expect when reading about this event, as you are reading about real people and not fictionalised characters. However, I believe it is important that as many people read this book as possible as it is outstanding and a testament to the determination of a human being's desire to continue to exist against all the odds.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very touching, 23 Jan 2006
By 
Edward Tem (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
This personal account of the holocaust by Elie Wiesel's book is a horrifying story of the Nazi death camps. The author tells the story in a simple manner, yet it is easy for a reader to end up feeling haunted by the accounts in NIGHT. It stirs sadness and profound questions in the bosom of a reader. The lessons from this book about the evil side of fallen human nature and the faith, courage and moral strength to fight the evil must never be forgotten. I recommend this book to any reader interested in the holocaust and the specter of mass killings plaguing the world today.Survival In Auschwitz, Union Moujik, Shake hands with the Devil, Disciples of Fortune,First They Killed My Father, Triple Agent Double, King Leopold's Ghost, Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare,The Gulag Archipelago are also recommended reads to help have a better understanding of threat humanity faces from the evil ideologies of hate
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average, but required reading, 27 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Night (Paperback)
It takes a truly grumpy, nitpicking misanthrope to criticise the work of a Nobel Prize-winning, human rights-campaigning holocaust survivor, so please allow me to continue, for I have nits to pick.

Firstly, as many reviewers have already identified, the work is indeed a little thin, but I suppose whether you feel ripped off depends on how much you pay for it. Once recovered from that minor injustice I dived into the preface, which happens to be full of the kind of flowery existentialist rambling which this humble reviewer finds spectacularly annoying: "How did I survive? A miracle?" *groan*

We're told in the preface that Elie's better half Marion is responsible for translating this latest version, so I suppose she is to blame for the strangely irritating prose throughout. At times there seem to be too many exclamations, as if she's trying to underline points which were bleedin' obvious to begin with. With that in mind (and if you're a grumpy bugger like me) you may consider seeking out the original version.

I suppose its brevity does give the whole thing a bit of zip, so a curious teenager, ignorant of the holocaust, may be more inclined to continue reading. And at certain points it does have the pace of a best-selling work of fiction.

As an account of personal holocaust experience, it is of course fascinating, harrowing and terrifying, and for the sake of posterity at least I'm pleased this account has been put in print and received worldwide attention. And I'm grateful that Elie persisted in getting the book published as it sounds like he met with much resistance, not to mention apathy, in his desire to tell the world about his experiences.

So while I'm not in a hurry to read it again I would recommend it to other (less grumpy) individuals. And I certainly think it should be in high school libraries at the very least.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elsie Wiesel's 'Night', 15 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Night (Paperback)
It's hard to know what to say about this book: I have a feeling that what it describes should only be told in its own words. This is a harrowing book, but not because it contains any conventionally horrific scenes or language. There is no attempt to shock: nothing of the protest leaflet, or charity advert. There is no attempt to pretend that people who died were perfect, or that they had nothing to do with their fate. (The account of how Wiesel's Jewish town refused to believe accounts of the killing of Jews is one such harrowing moment.)
I would like to say how I came to buy this book. An Essex library had four bookcases (floor to chest height) full of books by the door. They were selling them. Among them was this book and Tadeuz Borowski's collection of stories. The words "Lest we forget" come to mind.
I would urge people to read this book: not immediately, but to remember it and to read it when you wish to understand this period and this happening. (Some people might quail at that use of "understand", and I would agree; but the attempt to understand is all that I have.) This book is a record of what many people haven't had to live through. Knowledge and pity can be behind wrong as well as right decisions; but there is a carelessness that can go with a lack of them. One can seek to do good and end up doing evil, but that is not the same as the carelessness that is unaware of whether it does good and evil because it has never asked what they are. I think this book has made me less careless.
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