Book review: night by Elie Wiesel

by Ana Koulouris


Elie Wiesel’s Night is a book everyone should read at least once in their lives.  Translated by his wife Marion Wiesel, this novel gives the first-hand account of Mr. Wiesel’s life and experiences as a Holocaust survivor, up to and during his internment at Auschwitz and then Buchenwald.

With striking bluntness and clarity, Wiesel recalls everything from being forced from his Transylvanian home and into the cramped, deplorable conditions of the ghetto, to witnessing the death of his father and countless others at the hands of those who ran the camps.

This book is nothing short of gripping. Though it has roughly 100 pages, each of them holds the heavy memories of a youth trying to come to terms with the hellish environment into which he was thrown. 

As a work of literature, it is a beautifully written, haunting tale of a young boy who lost his family and entire world to the concentration camps. As a work of non-fiction, it is a stern reminder of the atrocities that so many have already begun to forget ever took place.

That is undoubtedly the most daunting characteristic of this work: all of it—the pain, suffering, fear, loss—actually happened, and not as long ago as we may think.

It’s clear that Wiesel chose each word carefully, not wasting a single one in his recounting of the horrors he and his family was subjected to. The result is a “slim volume of terrifying power,” as phrased by the New York Times.

Giving Night a glowing review simply doesn’t do it justice. The only way to experience the full impact of it is to read it. Believe me, it will be well worth your time.