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Dawn Paperback – March 21, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 81 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; Tra edition (March 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809037726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809037728
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The anguish and loss of the moral Jew who has placed himself on the other side of the gun"--Commentary

"Shines gemlike with delicate writing,"--Saturday Review

About the Author

Elie Wiesel is the author of more than fifty books, including Night, his harrowing account of his experiences in Nazi concentration camps. The book, first published in 1955, was selected for Oprah’s Book Club in 2006. Wiesel is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and lives with his family in New York City. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

More About the Author

Elie Wiesel is the author of more than forty books, including his unforgettable international best sellers Night and A Beggar in Jerusalem, winner of the Prix Médicis. He has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States Congressional Gold Medal, and the French Legion of Honor with the rank of Grand Cross. In 1986, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. He is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and University Professor at Boston University.

Customer Reviews

This is an amazing book to read.
Mrs. Shaffer
Weasel writes from a deep well of experience.
Linda Kleinbart
This is a work of complete fiction.
Shi-doh!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Shi-doh! on April 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
First off, this is not Night 2. I naively expected that when publisher's try to frame them as part of a 'trilogy'. Night is absolutely and without bar one of the most fantastic books I have read in my life.

This is not just another chapter of that. And it is not a sequel. It is an incredibly profound, and beautifully written meditation on the journey of many Holocaust survivors -- but not his. This is a work of complete fiction. Many survivors went to Palestine, and fought the British (not the Arabs) to kick them out and thus be able to establish a free Jewish state.

It is the story of a fictional Elishah (who has remarkably similar childhood and Holocaust experiences to those of Wiesel) who becomes one of these freedom fighters, and is ordered to execute a British officer in retaliation for their hanging one of the rebels. It is an account of the night that Elishah passes, knowing he has to become a murderer in the morning, and all of his internal struggles with that. In a particularly powerful lead up to the end, he realizes the power of hatred, how without hatred, terrorist groups like theirs, and indeed any violence against others is almost impossible. He notes how nations are so adept at teaching their people to hate, and even comes to the point of trying to make himself hate this stranger in order to be able to follow his orders.

EXTREMELY powerful and evocative.

One word of caution -- there is almost no action here. This is a thinking book. If you are not up to the mental effort to think and feel along with him, you will not like it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ash Ryan on December 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Very well written...almost Dostoevskian, with a similar sort of religious existentialism. Wiesel makes the best argument I've ever heard for the so-called "cycle of violence"---but unfortunately, it's equivocal. The plot involves a distinction between cold-blooded acts of violence and those committed in the heat of the moment, but the theme depends on ignoring not only this distinction but any distinctions among any uses of force whatsoever (most significantly between an aggressor's initiation of force and the victim's retaliatory use of force in self-defense). Still, the story is very suspenseful and makes an excellent read. Three and a half stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Burdett Wantland on July 10, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I tried to use this book in a philosophy of religion course I taught years ago. The students and professor became so emotional at times that we had difficulty making any headway. The lesson we learned: weep.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. on September 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book would have been better served as short story in an anthology. I thought there was too much padding in order to make this a "short novel". Even as a short novel, "Dawn" barely exceeds 80 pages.

To address the content of the story, the main theme is the futility of the cycle of violence and reprisal. The narrator is assigned to execute a hostage in a nationalistic conflict. The story illustrates the narrator's internal moral stuggle in carrying out his task. There are some flashbacks to the narrator's youth, which I thought used some mixed metaphors and didn't contribute much to the story. But nevertheless, these are largely interpretive to the reader.

Certainly not as good as Night, and probably some of Wiesel's other works. But someone interested in reading more Wiesel might find some value in this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Parallax on October 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Dawn is one of the most profound novels I've ever read. In its 80 pages, Wiesel explains the transformation of the Jewish people as a result of the tragedy of the Holocaust. The main character, Elijah, is a deeply sensitive young man, a death camp survivor, completely alone in the world, his entire universe having been snuffed out. Drifting aimlessly and alone after the War, a man shows up at his door one evening at dusk and speaks to him all through the night, asking him not only to give up his life for a cause, but to offer up his soul as well. This man asks him to sacrifice everything he's ever known, every value he's ever held dear, every spiritual teaching he's ever received. The boy was exposed to profound Talmudic teachings in his Eastern European village. He was grounded in a deeply ethical world view. He was taught, for instance, that it's far better to die than to kill unjustly. Now his rabbi, his teachers and all his relatives are gone. This man tells him that such thinking led directly to the destruction of Europe's Jews. He says that the Jews, like every other people, must take a homeland for themselves -- even if doing so victimizes others; otherwise their children will forever be weak and persecuted. By dawn, Elijah pledges everything he still has, his life and his soul, for the cause of Zionism.

Throughout the book, Wiesel offers up the main character's inner struggle. His experience of killing unjustly, of becoming a killer, of giving up his ideals. Ultimately, he must look directly into the eyes of his victim and dispatch not only his "enemy," a man for whom he feels sincere but unwanted empathy, but also (in carrying out the sentence) the deepest parts of himself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Shaffer on November 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Dawn" is an extraordinary fiction novel. "Dawn" is not in any way connected to "Night" or "Day". Unlike "Night", "Dawn" is all about responsibility and duty. This novel is about a young boy that has given the responsibility of executing one of the British soldiers, named John Dawson. He holds the man hostage and brings him food because he does not want the hostage to have an empty stomach. Later he feels sorrow for the man. It is crazy how he used to be beaten for no specific reason but yet he is beating and starving Dawson for no good reason either. This is an amazing book to read. I definitely recommend it for others but I would read it for pleasure only. It is not the book you would read to find out information on the Holocaust or World War II.
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