Takeaway: A book everyone should read to remind us that suffering is not a reality show or an abstract discussion.
I have never read any of Elie Wiesel‘s books. I have known of him and basically known that he was a Nobel Peace Prize winner and writer, but not a lot more. I ran across his first book Night, when looking for audiobooks on Overdrive. (Overdrive is a library system that allows you to check out ebooks or audiobooks over the internet just like your regular library books.)
I ran across it months ago and kept putting it off. I knew it was about the holocaust and I just did not want to read a depressing story. Finally, I decided to just go ahead and start it. I was transfixed. I listened in less than 24 hour period.
Night is written in the voice of a 15/16 year old and so often thought of as a young adult book. But it has been masterfully written (and equally masterfully narrated.) I have thought frequently about why I was never asked to read this as a high school or college student. I would strongly recommend that it be part of a high school or college curriculum.
As I listened to Night, I kept reflecting on two books. One, Hunger Games, where a teen girl is sent to fight to the death as entertainment. There were horrible parts about that book. But it was a story, Night was about the real story of thousands of boys and girls sent to their deaths in concentration camps. That is not to complain about Hunger Games, it was a good book with powerful things to say about how we approach entertainment, free will, love and other themes. But seen in contract to the real horror of Night, it seems almost too tame.