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Open Heart Hardcover – December 4, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (December 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307961842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307961846
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A successful husband, father, grandfather, teacher, and writer, [Mr. Wiesel] is an asset to humankind. He has turned despondency into a message of approval and optimism…Mr. Wiesel packages equal parts beauty and astonishing description in an impossibly concise manner. Few authors have possessed such capacity for succinctness and brevity with magnificent dexterity.”
-NY Journal of Books

“An absorbing, clear-eyed reflection on [Wiesel’s] own mortality and a candid account of a life lived…Open Heart is Wiesel at his most vulnerable and his most determined, and his thoughts and ideas have never been so lucidly conveyed.”
-The Rumpus

“The reader…becomes a quiet observer of Wiesel’s thoughts, which are plagued by the question: ‘Am I ready to die?’ His answer, clearly, is no…What seems like a quick and easy read actually delves deeply into the philosophical and makes you wonder:  Will I be ready when it’s my time?”
The Free Lance-Star

About the Author

Elie Wiesel was fifteen years old when he was deported to Auschwitz. After the war he became a journalist and writer in Paris, and since then has written more than fifty books, both fiction and nonfiction. His masterwork, Night, was a major best seller when it was republished recently in a new English translation. Wiesel has been awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor’s Grand Cross, an honorary knighthood of the British Empire and, in 1986, the Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1976 he has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University.

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

Open Heart is a book that speaks from Elie Wiesel's heart.
Elizabeth H. VanLiere
Read this book in one sitting and was very disappointed when I finished it!
tennischamp
Great book, it was a thought provoking book and I enjoyed it.
MDavis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Charles S. Weinblatt on December 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Elie Wiesel has produced many excellent works of fiction and nonfiction. Most of them are in whole or in part related to his experiences as a Holocaust survivor. Open Heart is very different.

This book is equal parts memoir, treatise, and affirmation of faith as Mr. Wiesel faces sudden death from cardiovascular disease and open heart surgery.

At age 82, in June of 2011, Wiesel is rushed to a hospital with severe coronary artery disease. He has several blocked arteries that only open-heart surgery can resolve. Suddenly faced with the prospect of death, Mr. Wiesel reflects upon his life, his experiences during the Holocaust, and his life since the Shoah.

As he is wheeled into the operating room, he reminisces about the terrifying agony of his imprisonment in the Holocaust, his survival, and the glorious wonders of life, love, family, and work left undone.

Mr. Wiesel comprehends the gravity of his abruptly serious health issue, which frightens his wife and son as much as himself. He gazes into his past, filled with trepidation, gloom, and death.

Virtually everyone he loved as a young man had been murdered by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. It was the darkest portion of his life and of humanity's existence. Unexpectedly he is once more threatened with losing everyone he loved.

A devout Jew, Mr. Wiesel wonders how God could allow millions of His children to become Holocaust victims. He considers, as had so many of his peers in Nazi death camps, how God could have turned away. Where is God, Elie Wiesel wonders? How could He abandon us? How could He allow so many generations of devout families to be murdered?

Admitting that there are no easy or swift answers to such questions, Mr.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By doug on December 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this slight memoir focused on his cardiac event, "Open Heart," Elie Wiesel opens his heart which opens his soul and in turn his mind to his readers and students. With touching transparency and vulnerability, Wiesel reveals himself and the deeper inner dialogue with his life. His carefully chosen words and personal reflections invoke the preacher of Ecclesiastes, the conscience of Job, and the passions of Jeremiah. Wiesel's loyal readers and students savor his existential quests in his first memoir,and his novels and plays but all the more we celebrate the rich, instructive, and edifying teaching in this manner of communicating what matters in life; a communication so accessible, so real, so tender, and so profoundly personal. His writings will continue to invite humanity into ever more purposeful striving for justice and peace, for unconditional inclusion and the radical containment of hate, but "Open Heart" has a fresh, new cadence, a fresh, new intimacy, and a deeply personal summons to choose life and blessing, gratitude and love. The wake up that came from Wiesel's cardiac event is told in such a way as to awaken us to a conscious embrace and awareness of the lives we live. Thank you and bless you, Elie Wiesel. Doug Huneke
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. Hanna on December 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a former high school English teacher I had taught Wiesel's "Night" years ago. Also, I have tried to keep in touch with his growth and career. His confrontation of likely death is insightful and moving.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Wilson Trivino on December 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Death is such a mystery and Elie Wiesel admits that eventhough he has skirted the grim reaper many times he still is not ready to go to the other side. In Wiesel's book Open Heart he describes his latest health challenge in open heart surgery.
This book is one of reflection and reconciliation of life's challenges. Wiesel takes you in a deeply personal view of his fears , hopes, and challenges as he moves forward in his eighty-second year. He is not ready to give up and has much more to accomplish.
This book is an interesting account as one man reflects on his life and ponders the future. Dynamite comes in small packages and this book packs a punch of hope and draws on the inner wisdom of a man that personifies the power of making a difference.

By Dr. Wilson Trivino
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Hamer on December 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
As an Afro-American I can identify with the suffering that Night brings to light. This experience was very tragic as portrayed by very ignorant and evil people, families were torn apart. The Jews suffered greatly for years. In a similar situation African-Americans suffered over 300 years of hatred and prejudice and tore families apart as a result.
Our past experiences are similar and we should never forget. Only if we never forget can we be certain that it never happens again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Philip on December 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Open Heart is a heart-rending and insight account. In a world where humans are losing faith in humanity, Elie Wiesel's account in this book comes as a welcome relief. Not only is it very informative and educative, it is very insightful and well-written as well. Like in Disciples of Fortune, the lesson for humanity here is big.
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Format: Hardcover
This short work opens with Elie Wiesel's description of a sudden medical crisis, and his need for Open Heart Surgery. It seems at first as if the whole book will be about this particular episode but after several pages this 'crisis' is resolved by successful surgery. Wiesel then engages in a reflection on his work and life, and on their meaning. In this reflection I believe he underestimates his own historical importance and the enormous contribution he has made to the Jewish people and to humanity. After all more than any other writer he is the one who made the world aware of the horrifying dimensions of the Shoah.(The Holocaust). His book 'Night' is one of the most powerful documents about human suffering ever written. It tells the story of his own experience in the death camps and on the death marches, of the loss of his family and his world. It is a poetic book of questioning and argument with God and at the same time a narrative of events overwhelming in their horror. After this book Wiesel became known throughout the world and worked tirelessly for years to diminish human suffering, to oppose racism, and genocide. His actions in regard to the freeing of Soviet Jewry were heroic, and he gave the people of Silence a voice which helped lead to their rescue.
In this work he writes in a summary fashion about a few of his more than fifty books. He writes too lovingly about his wife Marion, who has shared his life for over forty years and contributed so much to his well- being. He writes with love of his son and grandchildren and of what they mean to him.
Wiesel is a writer whose every perception seems charged with feeling. He is a legend in his own time and certainly one of the great voices for Humanity of the past half - century.
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