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The Reawakening Paperback – December 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (December 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684826356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684826356
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Italian (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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This book is an entertaining read.
-_Tim_-
Like Survival in Auschwitz and The Periodic Table, The Reawakening is populated with Levi's brilliant language and fascination with character.
Mike Vachow
And what characters, what situations.
Kurt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Mike Vachow on January 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Like Survival in Auschwitz and The Periodic Table, The Reawakening is populated with Levi's brilliant language and fascination with character. In Survival, Table and Reawakening, Levi is careful not to force facts into a satisfyingly explanatory story. The Reawakening is a picaresque without the moral center. Levi travels home through a carnival world, a Europe simultaneously stunned and ecstatic, a landscape of displaced characters, Greek villagers in Polish refugee camps, complicit Germans sitting down to the first course of horrific recent history and guilt, cadaverous lager inmates staggering into a world forever altered. It is a world populated with impresarios, rakes, opportunists, suicides, daredevils and rubes. But, more than anything else, The Reawakening is brimming with life; Levi makes his way home eyes forward.
I found myself thinking of two other books while reading Reawakening--Kosinski's The Painted Bird and Wolfe's Look Homeward Angel. Like Kosinski, Levi reminds us that much of rural eastern Europe was cruel and primitive before the Nazi's made a virtue of these qualities. And, like Wolfe's Gant family, the characters in Levi's account are often exuberant to the point of mania.
I think that Levi is one of the great writers and thinkers of our time. In this way, I'm not a reliable critic. Reviewing The Reawakening is akin to reviewing Hamlet for me.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By -_Tim_- on January 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Reawakening opens in January 1945, when author Primo Levi is released from a Nazi concnetration camp by Russian troops. His health almost ruined, suffering from unbearable knowledge of the crimes committed in the camps, Levi re-enters the world to find that it has been turned upside down by the war. Improbably - he explains in an afterword that it is not in his nature to hate - he finds in himself a capacity to see the world afresh, almost as a child would.
In the rest of the book, we accompany Levi and his companions on a picaresque through postwar Europe and Russia as they try to make their way back to their native Italy. While their sufferings are legion, Levi takes great pleasure in food, in his fellow man, and in nature. In particular, he displays a fine appreciation for the absurdities visited on the refugees by their well-intentioned but inept Russian rescuers.
This book is an entertaining read. Beyond that, it is an important document of the Holocaust. And beyond that, it is an important resource for modern readers who are finding their own way through an often absurd world. Highly recommended.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Esther Nebenzahl on November 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Published in 1963, "The Reawakening" is a narrative of Primo Levi's tortuous journey back to Turin after liberation from Auschwitz. In fact, it is a follow-up of "Survival in Auschwitz." As stated by Primo Levi, "after Auschwitz, I had an absolute need to write, not only as a moral duty, but as psychological need, to free myself from anguish." Out of 650 Italian Jews who journeyed to Auschwitz, with Primo Levi, only 20 left the camp alive.
Levi assumes the calm, sober language of the witness, with no manifested hate and purpose of revenge, devoid of bitterness. His prose is precise, clear, with no embellishment, lively transmitting his bewilderment of the simple fact that he had survived.
The reader cannot help be amazed by the details recorded in Levi's memory, places, names, characters, personalities, it is as though he wrote everything in locus. His memory was a blessing... but might have also been his tormenter... After a long period of depression, Levi died after falling from a stairwell in his Turin home. The question will always remain whether it was or not suicide. Levi, through his writings, symbolizes the triumph of reasoning and humanity over madness and cruelty.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By "ebynoe" on December 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is just one of the many brilliant writings of Primo Levi but it tells a tale of Holocaust survival that is often overlooked. Most narratives seem to end at liberation and this one gives us a detailed view of what happened afterwards. This is the book that the movie "The Truce" (which is also the title of this book in Italy)is loosely based on. I don't think the movie did the book justice at all and so I would especially recommend this book to anyone that has seen the movie. Like all of Levi's works it is written in a sparse yet fantastic style and it really is a great follow up to "Survival In Auschwitz".
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jack O'Brien (jobrien@usn.org) on June 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
Primo Levi again shows the magic of his writing in this tale of the purgatory he experienced after his liberation from Auschwitz. His memories of the people he meets along the way and the way he describes them are amazing, whether you hate them or love them they all seem ... human, something one couldn't exactly tell from his account of the camp itself. Truly a brilliant book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 29, 1997
Format: Paperback
It's almost as if Primo Levi didn't know what kind of a point he wanted to make with this book. Else the whole tone of Survival at Auschwitz must be subverted. In Survival Levi had a very set time and experience to relate. In The Reawakening there is travelling and motion. Levi goes all over the place trying to get back home and the people he encounters on the way are wonderfully alive. There is exhilaration and there is the pain of knowing that things will never be the same. At the end you are left with several conflicting emotions, as Levi knows that part of him died in Auschwitz and isn't sure which parts are still alive
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