|Purchase: Amazon | Chapters|
Published: 1958 (translated: 2006)
Start Date: Aug. 16, 2011
Finished Date: Aug. 21, 2011 (6 days)
Where Found: Chapters-Indigo
Why Read: On my TBR list
Read For: Back to the Classics Challenge (7/8)
Summary: A Holocaust survivor gives a detailed account of the escalating horror he endured as a teenager shifting through several concentration camps during WWII.
I began reading Night immediately after finishing the historical fiction novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, a bold move that I was afraid would be depressing, but turned out to be one of the most important reading experiences I've ever had.
For such a gargantuan scope as the Holocaust, Wiesel has been quoted as a minimalist writer. But that is not the right word to use. He writes as much as needs to be said. His account is a slim volume without a single embellishment or unnecessary thread--every word suggests a cautious but deliberate style that gives readers room to pause and reflect in thought if not discussion.
Wiesel guides with a firm hand, sequencing his time in concentration camps with (at first) a subtle escalation from the beginnings of encampment at Sighet with the barbed wire and wearing a star of David, rising intensely as he transfers to Auschwitz, the crematoriums ever closer and the starvation, enforced labour, beatings, and deaths magnified, until he is sent to Buchenwald where on the evening of April 11, 1945, the prisoners are liberated.
I found it interesting that both Night and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas were written from the first-person perspectives of children. It sheds fresh light on a period of time that no matter how many renderings are printed cannot be exhausted, otherwise its memorial is forgotten.
Count this amongst the most important books you should read in your lifetime.
Rank: (A+)- Necessary Reading