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Night - Elie Wiesel
Title: Night
Author: Elie Wiesel
Genre: World war II, non-fiction
Rating: 7/10
# pages: 115
Date read: April, 2007

Summary: In Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel's memoir Night, a scholarly, pious teenager is wracked with guilt at having survived the horror of the Holocaust and the genocidal campaign that consumed his family. His memories of the nightmare world of the death camps present him with an intolerable question: how can the God he once so fervently believed in have allowed these monstrous events to occur? There are no easy answers in this harrowing book, which probes life's essential riddles with the lucid anguish only great literature achieves. It marks the crucial first step in Wiesel's lifelong project to bear witness for those who died.

Review: I'd heard many people talk about how terrible and how devastating this book is, and that's very true, but I found it less moving than I'd expected to. It contained nothing new. That doesn't make what happened any less horrible, but it did mean I wasn't shocked by the book, nor surprised by any of the actions performed by the Germans. Actually I found it relatively subdued compared to many of the other WW2 biographies I've read. Also either the writing or the translation was very distached, so I never felt able to relate to Elie, the same way as I could to Corrie ten Bom, Anne Frank or Tante Soof - just to take a few examples.

The most tragic part of "Night" was the fact that if Elie and his father had just remained at the infirmary, they would have been released by the Russians a few days later. Instead, they feared (reasonably! I would have too!) that the Germans were just saying that they would be left alone, but they would really be sent to the crematories, so they left with the others when the camp was evacuated, and suffered through another couple of months of horrors, before liberation finally came - although for Elie's father it came in the form of death rather than the end of the war.

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