As a youth I had the privilege of attending one of the finer private schools in Oklahoma City, and it was certainly the best school on the south side. I could possibly even argue that it was the best private school in town, sorry Jenn, hahaha. POTFI POTFI POTFI…That was just for you Jenn Jenn, no one else will have a clue. As we were a private school, and a Catholic school at that, we of course were allowed to have religion class. In fact, religion classes were compulsory during all semesters for each of the four years attended. Anyway, when I was a Sophomore, under the tutelage of Sister Elizabeth, we were required to read the book “Night” by Elie Wiesel. Guess what? I didn’t read it. I had Maria Sanchez give me the cliffs notes version of it right before the test.
Now that I am in graduate school I was somewhat surprised to see that once again I was being urged to read this same book. I decided that this time it would be the responsible thing to do and it was only 120 pages so I read it in one sitting.
“Night” chronicles the lives of Elie and his father Shlomo during their internment at various concentration camps throughout Poland and Germany. This moving biography provides the reader with detailed accounts of camp life including Wiesel’s multiple encounters with the notorious Dr. Mengele. Wiesel has the ability to educate and entertain his reader at the same time. His ability to recall and describe his thoughts and feelings and then transfer them to paper with such texture certainly makes this short book a worthwhile endeavor.
I personally found certain portions of the book more difficult than others because these passages prompted me to recall experiences with my own old man who died just over a year ago. It is important that the readers understand that this is a biography, even though there are a couple of passages which read like a novel.
While “Night” is Wiesel’s first work, which was written 10 years after the events transpired, he continued his literary career and became a prolific author who is still alive today. Wiesel eventually became one of the leading proponents of global human rights and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize back in 1986 when it was not given in the haphazard manner under which it is currently awarded.
At the end of the day I have to say that this short book is certainly worth the read, not because it is short, but because it details experiences which no one should have to endure. This book is certain to elicit the feeling of, “No matter how bad I think my life is…” This book is very popular and you can pick it up online or at your favorite bookstore with little trouble.
Bob “The Human Body Can Survive Things We Can Not Imagine” Bobman