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julianmeynell

Julian Meynell's Books

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Night

Night - Marion Wiesel, Elie Wiesel As a holocaust memoir it is of course moving. However, I am not sure that it quite deserves the reputation that it has, because it lacks literary merit.

Because the events of the holocaust are so powerful and moving, it is pretty much impossible for a memoir not to be affecting. The problem with this book is that the writing is overly simple. It is not a case of using simple language for directness, it is just not that well written. It is particularly interesting in that it shows how the holocaust destroyed Wiesel's faith and of the things that I've read it is most interesting on faith.

Over the last year I've read four works related to the Holocaust, Fatelessness, The Diary of Anne Frank and Maus. In my opinion all those works are better works. Fatelessness by Kertesz is the most similar to this work in that it is also about a teenage boy that survives the camps, and their stories are in many ways parallel, but Fatelessness is better in every way. It is deeper and better written and as such even more shocking.

In some ways the best way to approach this book is to ask if it is worth reading. I think that there are only two circumstances where the answer would be yes. First, if the reader is not a strong reader. The book is very short and simply written and as a result, would be appropriate for younger readers (bearing in mind that the events are shocking) or less strong readers who want to know what life was like in the camps, and what the experience of being a holocaust survivor is like. The other circumstance is when someone has a special interest in the holocaust and is interested in reading multiple survivor accounts. Otherwise, I would read any of the three other books I mentioned first. I would especially recommend Fatelessness, which is the best of the three and covers the same ground as this book.