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The Town Beyond the Wall: A Novel Paperback – May 16, 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“God-tormented, God-intoxicated, The Town Beyond the Wall is a fiction which refuses to be a novel in any usual sense. It is an exemplary tale such as people may in terror and in hope tell one another. It is a legend—archaic, modern, timeless—of an ascent from purgatory to possibility.”
Newsweek
 
“Elie Wiesel does not describe, he casts a spell. His imagination is in a state of trance. His words are a voice crying in the hideousness of our time.”
—Abraham Joshua Heschel
 
“Not since Albert Camus has there been such an eloquent spokesman for man.”
The New York Review of Books

Language Notes

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

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken; Revised ed. edition (May 16, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805210458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805210453
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #570,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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By RCM VINE VOICE on May 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
As always, Elie Wiesel has transformed his personal experiences into a work of fiction that is anything but. In "The Town Beyond the Wall" readers are introduced to Michael, a Jew who has survived the Holocaust and spends the rest of his life searching for meaning and answers to questions that may not even have answers. Wiesel's stories are driven by questions and the memories that haunt his characters.

"The Town Beyond the Wall" is told through flashbacks. Michael, the narrator, is being tortured in jail after finding his way back home inside the Iron Curtain. His torture is the 'prayer', to stand face to a wall until the pain in his legs causes him to speak. But Michael is strong and resists telling on his friend because he wishes to save a life. He no longer cares about God or religion. He is plagued by memories of his childhood and the regrets he has about actions not taken. He desperately wants answers but knows that some of his questions have no answers.

Wiesel is a master storyteller. He creates characters who are vivid and alive, perhaps because they are endowed with who he is. In "The Town Beyond the Wall" he has crafted perhaps his most optimistic tale, ending with a parable that is at once as thought-provoking as it is disturbing. Perhaps Wiesel has Michael sum up the story the best with these words: "...it isn't easy to live always under a question mark. But who says that the essential question has an answer? The essence of man is to be a question, and the essence of the question is to be without an answer."
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Format: Paperback
Elie Weisel's The Town Beyond the Wall is written in a fractured manner, moving back and forth in time and place. Some of the text is in italics, for reasons that are not fully revealed until later in the novel.

Keep reading, as the fruits of this novel are fully revealed at the end. Then, the entire book makes sense, although it leaves many questions about weighty matters unanswered.

Weisel is a master at this type of storytelling. He reveals nothing until it is absolutely necessary. He does not feel the need to coddle the reader in the first chapter, lulling him or her to continue to read. We must work to read his novels. If we wish to derive benefit from them, there can be no passive readers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From my non Jewish background, I found the symbolism difficult to grasp. Nevertheless, it was well worth the time to read to have a better concept of how that time period affected the lives of human beings.
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By A Customer on December 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I read this book, the only other works of Elie Wiesel that I read were those from The Night Trilogy. The Town Beyond the Wall is a bit of a departure from those three stories. You see more optimism in this work, though this only becomes obvious towards the end. The language is more poetic and really sucks you into the protagonist's world.
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Format: Paperback
This is a fairly decent read. It was assigned for an Intro to Judaism class. A very telling story, but can be dry and drawn out at times. Good account however!
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