Review: Night

Elie Wiesel (1958)

Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel’s recounts his deportation and survival in Nazi concentration camps as a teenager during WWII.

While reading Night, I kept thinking about The Diary of Anne Frank, a book I’ve read many times, and how Wiesel’s story could have been Anne’s. Hers is the ‘before’, living at first in the open and then in hiding with her family, constantly in fear of Nazi persecution. Wiesel’s is the ‘after’, the story of survival in the inhuman and unthinkable world of the concentration camps.

Anne’s story is written by a teenager, moody, chatty, catty, humorous, and personable. Wiesel’s is spare, direct and unrelentingly grim, a man remembering the teenage boy. Each is a personal story about coming of age in extreme and horrifying circumstances.

Obviously, Night isn’t the kind of book one enjoys reading and then eagerly recommends, but it is a book to be read and shared with others. [**** out of 5]

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