Thoughts   Night by Elie Wiesel, Hill and Wang – a division of Farrar Straus and Giroux 2006 (orig pub 1958)/translated from French by Marion Wiesel, 120 pages.   Includes Wiesel’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech.

As I sit here trying to figure out what words would best be committed to this post for what I feel now that I’ve completed the book Night, I glance at the photo in my blog banner header.

It’s of chimneys.

I shudder.    My photo has sunshine (and is certainly not of a crematorium), but I don’t recall ever sensing sunshine during Weisel’s time in Germany  in 1944/45.    All I can see is darkness; shades of gray, and cold cold snow.

So, that’s it.     I try to isolate my feelings but there is a hole of despair and only questions of how people could treat other people like that.     Knowledge that such atrocities – yet different, maybe not – still happen on our planet.    Hope that we can be so much better than that.

I want to believe in the goodness of people.    Kindness, respect and compassion.   BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.     Smile, be kind, eyes open, connect, care.

Other reviews:     Ready When You Are CB, Wordlily, Things Mean a Lot, Embejo Etc, [ Fyrefly’s Blog Search for more. ]

And click here for the War Through the Generations:  Book Reviews for WW2.

If you are curious about the banner shot and I suppose I best include it here in the body of this post for future reference and non-ambiguity, it is of the Unitarian Memorial Church in Fairhaven Mass, a fantastically gorgeous church in a lovely town with awesome old buildings.     The library is especially amazing.


Postnote:     I’ll be sending this book to the Books for Nashville book drive, along with Watership Down, Are You There God It’s Me Margaret, Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, The Giver and Ethan Frome PLUS a BIG BOX I collected from my IRL book club.  


Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

25 Responses to “Night”

  1. 1 Aarti June 29, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Oh, I know what you mean, Care. It is hard to put into words what this book can do to people.

  2. 3 sagustocox June 29, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I really am blown away by this book and the reactions from readers. We’ve collected a bunch of reviews from bloggers at War Through the Generations under the WWII reviews. I wonder if you’d mind us linking to yours?!

  3. 5 Aths June 29, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I have this book sitting here, but I’m waiting for a couple of months before I can read it. Elie’s speech is quite moving. I can only imagine the book to be the same.

    • 6 Care June 29, 2010 at 12:51 pm

      Yes, the speech is moving. I first read this speech when I subbed at the HS and that is when I knew I had to get Night. And I want to read the books that he wrote after this.

  4. 7 Dorte H June 29, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Great photos!

    I do read grey books now and then, but I have to be prepared for it mentally.

    • 8 Care June 30, 2010 at 9:02 am

      Grey books. Yes, I think that would be apt. It just struck me that when we talk about books and call then ‘dark’ that it truly does feel like no sunshine ever shown.

  5. 9 bermudaonion June 29, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    My son read this in high school and found it very upsetting – he warned me that I’d sob if I ever read it.

  6. 11 Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) June 29, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever read this book because they did it in “regular” English class and I got bumped up to advanced, or something. I really should read it though.

  7. 13 Trisha June 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Night is a powerful book, evoking an amazing amount of emotion in a very short time.

  8. 15 rhapsodyinbooks June 29, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    I’ve read many books by survivors, but Wiesel is such a good writer that this one really stands out. But they all have similar stories. What affects me the most is how many times you see family members giving up their bread or even their lives (and often in the camps this was the same thing!) for each other. And of course, there are many instances of strangers doing that for each other as well. It’s just so unimaginable!

    • 16 Care June 30, 2010 at 9:06 am

      I was struck by a ton of questions like that. And how they could survive so much and some would quit and some go on. And the sheer numbers! One hundred herded onto the cattle car and only 12 men leave it. So hard to fathom.

  9. 17 Esme June 30, 2010 at 12:04 am

    I will probably be scoffed at for saying this-however I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I like reading books from this genre-in fact I picked up a book from a woman who was a twin subjected to experiments during the war-her dedication to me was Never Give Up Hope. For some reason this book did not move me like I expected-maybe there lay the problem I had expectations for it.

    • 18 Care June 30, 2010 at 9:09 am

      No, I would not scoff. I can’t say I enjoyed it nor will I call it one of my favorites. It just made me ‘feel’ or worse, made me sense a hole of dark feeling = scary stuff. And yet, it makes me want to go re-read Diary of Anne Frank and others books on the subject. Thanks for the rec on Never Give Up Hope. I certainly like the title.

  10. 19 Anon June 30, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Some says that Night is a very powerful book. I don’t believe them at first. After I finally read that book. I proved that what they are saying is true. It is a very powerful book.

  11. 21 Becky Brothers June 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    From the Dry Read: New Books for Nashville Project–awesome. There’s just no way enough people can read this book. I hate to push books on kids, but having this one displayed prominently and often is a great idea. It’s a deceptively simple, short book and it’s a first read for many kids on the Holocaust. I’m touched that you’ve chosen your books so carefully for our book drive in Nashville.Flood victims and their kids need to know we value their reading time by giving them powerful, meaningful books, not just stuff we’re throwing out. We’ll certainly take anything, no matter how used, but when someone like you makes certain their donation has heart behind it, we feel it. Thank you so much! And thanks for continuing to feature the button and the project on your blog. Awesome.

  12. 22 everybookandcranny July 1, 2010 at 7:30 am

    I remember being so moved by this book years ago when I was in high school that I did a piece on it in my drama class. I read it again in college but I haven’t picked it up since. I agree, that it’s not a book that people will typically say they “enjoyed” but it is quite powerful.

  13. 23 Lisa July 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Oh yes, Rupert Friend is the sole reason I couldn’t entirely condemn Wickham in the most recent P&P. Every other version and the book, I have not problem detesting him!

    I haven’t read this book or even heard of the movie. Sounds like I need to remedy that on both accounts.

  14. 24 Jessica July 6, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    I love this book. It’s perhaps my favorite one on the Holocaust. It makes my heart ache, but I appreciate Wiesel’s insight on it. In particular, I like his point that the best people died the quickest, because they gave and shared instead of fought and hoarded for survival. Thanks for the review. I need to reread this one soon.

  15. 25 Anna (Diary of an Eccentric) July 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I felt a heaviness for days after reading this one. No matter how many books about the Holocaust I read, I’m hit hard every time. I’ll never understand how it happened and how such horrors continue to occur.

    I hope it’s okay to link to this post on War Through the Generations.

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