A little while back I found myself craving a story of short proportions that still packed a poignant punch. I decided upon Night by Elli Wiesel, a book that I was long ago loaned and have being meaning to read for quite sometime.
I’ll admit that originally I had reservations, I’ve read so many books and seen so many films that centre around the Holocaust and whilst I appreciate and respect them all, it is I feel quite easy to be desensitized to a subject matter that is so widely covered. Nonetheless Night comes so highly recommend I thought it might satisfy my craving.
The book centre’s around Wiesel’s real life experience of being in a German concentration camp. From the moment of his forced move to Auswitchz to his separation from his mother and sister, Night charts the unimaginable time spent imprisoned with his father, helpless victim to the cruel treatment of his captors.
Starvation, loneliness, cruelty, the breaking point of human physical endurance, Wiesel leaves no stone unturned and makes no apologies for his unreserved honesty.
And yet despite the often shocking content of the story and the unabashed frankness of our narrator, I sadly often found myself drifting through the novel without any real emotional connection.
Occasionally there was a moment where my attention became piqued and I was shocked out of the reverie which grasped me for most of the novel. Certain scenes and particular musing from Wiesel really stirred my emotions. But frustratingly these moments were few and far between.
I would still recommend this book, after all it’s incredibly well written, it has a serious and important message at it’s heart and it explores Wiesel’s journey with acute intimacy. I know so many other readers loved this book and would wholeheartedly recommend it. I can appreciate why even if my own sentiments aren’t quite the same.
So who else has read this book and if so did you love it, loath it, or were your feelings more middle of the road like mine? I’d love to hear your thoughts as always.