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Day: A Novel Paperback – March 21, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Night Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016) 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, and continues to be an important reminder of man's capacity for inhumanity. Wiesel was Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and lived with his family in New York City. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 109 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; Tra edition (March 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809023091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809023097
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Wiesel's "Night" was a searing and honest account of enduring the concentration camps of World War II. It told of a young boy's will to survive, and the shame that came with that loss of innocence. "Dawn" was the next step, with a young man fighting for the survival of the Jews in Palestine, in the Holocaust's aftermath. It chronicled his ethical struggles in using violence to purchase freedom and life.

"Day" is the third step in this trilogy, and once again Wiesel writes with stark yet evocative sentences. This time, the young man is a little older and he is struggling with the acceptance of love with a wonderful woman. His struggle is accentuated by his time in a hospital bed, after taking a step onto a New York City street and being struck by a taxi. He thinks back through his sufferings, his relationships, his guilt, and his questions. This is the perfect time for us to see Wiesel's character come to grips with life, not glossing over the horrific things but moving beyond himself into a deeper care for others.

But that is not the case. Wiesel's character takes another wrong step, blaming God for every ill done by mankind, projecting man's weaknesses upon the God he had grown up learning about. What about the good he sees in others, though? What about the innocence and self-sacrifice? Should these, by the same measure, be credited to the Devil from the same Bible?

Wiesel's characters are rooted in the realities of the world, among the good and evil deeds done by people of all ages. He shows great care and compassion for his fellow human beings, and deservedly has won a Nobel Peace Prize for his writing. Sadly, though, I see no maturation in this chronology of storytelling. The characters are still wallowing in their shame, their past. Still blinded by despair.
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Format: Paperback
I had decided to read "Day" as its own entity and firstly, it accomplishes the fact that it can stand as its own and not just a continuation of a series. "Day" tells the story of a Holocaust survivor who is struck by a car and is sent to the hospital. The book narrates from the hospital bed through reflection, memory, and in the present. What works for me in this novel is that it's immediately challenging. Wiesel doesn't shy from making readers uncomfortable, rather he utilizes the remaining emotions from his experience in the Holocaust to ask prodding questions about life, death, humanity, suffering, and so on.

The overall message I took from "Day" was rather a question of whether or not someone can regain their humanity, their sense in the world, after going through such a tragedy. I think Wiesel is hopeful. I won't spoil the ending that lends to this idea but I believe he thinks life should be lived in the present. In other words, one can't live through the dead, nor through the past, because the dead are dead and the past is the past. Lamenting can help with the grieving, but life can move forward.

This isn't a plot-driven novel. If you're a reader who searches for that, than you may not appreciate "Day". And that's fine. I don't believe Wiesel is focused on pure entertainment. "Day" is a great book and provides excellent food-for-thought on the discussion of humanity.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel demonstrates the depth of depravity that the human mind can achieve, when all laws of humanity are removed.If a person has ever traveled to Auswich, or Duachau, you can still see the foundations of the barracks, and the crematoriums, and wonder how the local populace could live there and not know what was happening.
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Format: Paperback
This book was originally entitled "The Accident" because it involves its main character's 10-week ordeal of attempting to recover after being hit by a taxi cab in New York City. The protagonist, Eliezer, battles death and life for 10 weeks.

Elie Wiesel describes the protagonist of this novel as the survivor who endured the world's worst war to be so emotionally scarred that he thinks "wouldn't suicide be as great a temptation as love or faith?" In the preface, he mentions how children of WW II were discovered in holes and other hiding places, and whose emancipation was not a moment of magnificence. Rather, their freedom from hiding ensued into a forced starvation and eventual death - as their minds or bodies cared not to live, although offered the opportunity for such.

Pessimism about life abounds. "Maybe God is dead, but man is alive . . . " his friend lectures him. But, he also understands that God must be alive as his grandmother sagely told him "God needs love, not understanding." And, so he tries to believe.

But, such beliefs are accompanied by torments. Like an LSD-plagued person of the 1970's, he is reminded too often of what he endured in the Holocaust to feel free and alive. When recovering, the doctor wants him to fight death - usually something which can be conjured by fear. This survivor, the doctor learns, is afraid of nothing. He has seen too much. A survivor has witnessed more than he wants others to know. Like a military veteran, Wiesel for years said nothing of the hardships - then he began to write about the same. Thank God.

And, while alive the protagonist must ask why fate has delivered him to life and survival while parents and millions received much less. He surmises that "fate offered him life and maybe happiness.
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