Thursday, August 14, 2008

Book Review: The Elie Wiesel Trilogy

A few years ago, a lot of people were exposed to author Elie Wiesel's Night courtesy of Oprah's Book Club. Personally, Oprah annoys me but I cannot deny the positive influence that she has had, especially with the estrogen crowd, in promoting reading. So, between Oprah and your high school History or English teacher, you have probably read Night. For those of you who happen to live in a darkened cave (with internet access!), here's the story--Night is a small novel based on Wiesel's own experiences of having survived the Holocaust as a Jewish teenager from Transylvania. Wiesel's story is bleak and inconceivable. It offers no resolution, no conclusion, no hope. Yet, it is a powerfully important book. If you haven't read it, you must.

In Dawn, the reader meets Elisha who, like Wiesel, also survives the horrors of Auschwitz and Buchenwald as a teenager. Elisha is living in British controlled Palestine when he is recruited by members of the Israeli freedom fighters. He agrees and without much display Elisha carries out his orders. It isn't long before Elisha is given a big job: kill a British prisoner at dawn. As he waits for the execution (or will it happen?), Elisha is forced to confront his past, his present, and his future.

is considered the final book of the Wiesel trilogy. Again, Day contains biographical elements from Wiesel's life. A journalist, the main character, steps off the curb and into the path of an oncoming taxi. As he recovers in the hospital he must deal with the same reoccurring themes --- guilt, ghosts, and god -- that are found in his other books.

All of Wiesel's books are short, rich, and thought-provoking. And, who doesn't need a little more of that in their lives? So, go read, read, read......

No comments: