Night (Review)

Labels: Great Works

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Night
Elie Wiesel, 1958
144 pp

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
June 2008

One could write a great deal about this book—the first ever published from a concentration camp survivor. But whatever I write will seem trite compared to the words Elie Wiesel has written.

In a slender volume, Wiesel relates his experience as a young boy as he and his family are transported from their village in Hungary to Auschwitz in Poland. "Transported" does no justice to the horror of that journey—or what comes later.

Yet young Wiesel and his father are told they are among the lucky as they escape the ovens and are taken to a work camp. The brevity of the narrative is in contrast to the immensity of suffering.

The value of Wiesel's account is that he takes us with him, allowing us to bear witness—at a safe distance. Through his straightforward prose style, devoid of emotionalism, we are exposed to profound human degradation. Yet we come away with an overwhelming sense of awe for human strength—the strengths of will, faith, and love—not only for those few survivors, like Wiesel, but for all those who perished.

See our Reading Guide for Night.

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