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Dawn (The Night Trilogy #2)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  9,708 Ratings  ·  731 Reviews

Elisha is a young Jewish man, a Holocaust survivor, and an Israeli freedom fighter in British-controlled Palestine; John Dawson is the captured English officer he will murder at dawn in retribution for the British execution of a fellow freedom fighter. The night-long wait for morning and death provides Dawn, Elie Wiesel's ever more timely novel, with its harrowingly taut,
Paperback, 81 pages
Published March 21st 2006 by Hill and Wang (first published 1960)
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Aug 14, 2016 Ted rated it really liked it
Shelves: lit-european, have
Elie Wiesel, a world famous, highly honored (and oft-criticized) Jewish writer and political activist, was born in Romania in 1928. The novella Dawn was his first work of fiction, published in 1960. Together with his famous memoir Night (1958, of the time he spent in Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps in 1944-5) and his next fictional work, Day (1961) it appears in The Night Trilogy.

The Night Trilogy edition of Dawn (which I read) has a preface, dating to 2006, in which Wiesel writes t
Lubinka Dimitrova
I'm sorry, this book pushed all the wrong buttons for me. It only evoked the resentment I feel for the modern state of Israel and its policies, and I simply couldn't shake off the feeling.

Wiesel's point is that we are the sum total of everything that has ever happened to us and everyone who has ever loved us or given us their time. An interesting point, to be sure. But all the reasoning behind Elisha's acts couldn't convince me that trying to justify your monstrosity by blaming your enemies for
Zahra M
Aug 27, 2013 Zahra M rated it did not like it
Shelves: disappointing
Perhaps it's my fault for assuming that 'Dawn' was a follow up to Wiesel's brilliant memoir 'Night'.

Or perhaps the book was just boring. Well written, but boring.

In my view, 'Dawn' should not be packaged as the second part of a trilogy, because I did not get any sense of continuation; there was a lot of philosophising but no real sense of transition from the night that was Wiesel's life in a concentration camp to dawn in the Promised Land. I felt that there were a number of gaps.

It has certain
Jul 15, 2012 Teresa rated it liked it
3 and 1/2 stars

Though this is a novella, it's sometimes marketed as part of a trilogy with the nonfictional Night. I can see the relevance, as Wiesel himself says in this book's introduction that he imagined what might've happened if he'd been recruited after his Holocaust experiences to become a terrorist in Palestine. And while I didn't find this as affecting as the memoir Night, it is still relevant, imagining the kind of young person that might become a murderer for a cause and the toll that
May 01, 2016 Negin rated it liked it
This is a follow-up to "Night", which I found to be a bit odd. It’s not that I didn’t like “Dawn”, I did and it definitely affected me emotionally, but “Night” is much better. It’s the only book in the trilogy that’s a memoir, so obviously the styles are different. I wonder what “Day” will be like. I plan on reading that soon.
Jun 30, 2008 Mandi rated it it was amazing
This book is very different from anything else I've read. It's the follow up to Elie Wiesel's memoir Night, but this time the story is fictional. Because it's fictional, right off the bat it's easier to digest than Night. It revolves around a Holocaust survivor's morals and way of thinking after he becomes part of the Jewish Resistance in Palestine and is ordered to execute a British soldier. Can the victim ever become the murderer? Do the crimes of others make it okay for you to commit the same ...more
John Walters
Oct 30, 2011 John Walters rated it really liked it
This book came to me by accident. I was visiting the library at Anatolia High School in Thessaloniki one day and, as is occasionally the case, there was a pile of books on a table outside the door - books that had been purged from the collection, free for the taking. I am wary of such books, as they are often not worth the trouble, either because they are falling apart, or because they are lousy books. But this one caught my eye because I had heard of one of Elie Wiesel's other books, "Night", d ...more
Skylar Burris
Jan 22, 2008 Skylar Burris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: judaism
Dawn is a beautifully written but disturbing novel about an Israeli terrorist waiting to assassinate a British officer in retaliation for the hanging of an Israeli. This novel evokes a great deal of thought about stopping violence with violence and hate with hate. Reflecting on the persecution the Jews have suffered, the young assassin Elisha says: "Now our only chance lies in hating you, in learning the necessity of the art of hate." However, the novel seems ultimately to say that hatred must b ...more
Feb 05, 2016 orsodimondo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sono 80 paginette scarse, e scarne, che però pesano come secoli e millenni, anche se il racconto è racchiuso nel giro di pochi anni (il protagonista ne ha diciotto).

Un ebreo, in rappresentanza della sua gente, deve imparare a odiare, e uccidere, per sopravvivere: dalla sera all’alba rivede la sua vita, la gente che ha conosciuto, le persone che hanno inciso la sua esistenza, prende la sua decisione e la porta a termine.

Ilana dice a Elisha, il giovane uo
Oct 29, 2008 RØB rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like coming-of-age stories
DAWN is an interesting companion piece to NIGHT even if it wasn't necessarily intended to be (but given their titles, you have to think there is some correlation). Elie Wiesel again provides a stark and direct style and his incorporation of supernatural elements, imagined or real, while at times confusing, is especially powerful. It is indeed not a frequently-seen literary phenomenon to see Jews "on the other side of the gun," as it were. A coming-of-age story of a slightly different sort that m ...more
Oct 14, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Incredibly relevant. While a historical novel, in our post-9/11 world that's cluttered with arrogance and self-righteous politics, this should be required reading. Dawn is unnerving; it shakes you to the core. The lines between "us" and "them" are blurred and the reader cannot possibly walk away viewing the world through the same narrow lens they came in with. Read it.
May 16, 2016 Nicole rated it really liked it
As usual, Wiesel writes of darkness with beauty, humanity encompassed by inhumane actions. As usual it is sad, tragic, beautiful, and quieting.
Jan 02, 2013 Nick rated it did not like it
I am very sorry, this is not a literary production worth my time. I took this book full of hope, after reading "Night" (which was a four stars in my books, I think) .... Unlike Night, though, this new novel an invention, a clever mind building a situation and offering an ending.

This writing(?) does not contribute to the historical account of WWII, the way Night does, nor does it provide any literary achievement (i.e. the literary means employed in this book are mediocre at best).

So no hisorica
Mar 22, 2012 J.M. rated it it was ok
Read a book by this author already and enjoyed it so much I'd like to read another. Unfortunately, I didn't realize this one was fiction. I don't know why it is, but I don't enjoy fictional accounts about the Holocaust or its survivors. The true story is horrific enough.

Anyway, while this is well written but I just couldn't get into it.
Jul 21, 2008 Hanna rated it it was amazing
I read Dawn along with Night and Day. Night is autobiographical and Dawn and Day are fiction based on his experiences. Read as a trilogy, Wiesel invites you in as a house invites the breeze to sweep through and breathe in every corner of its four walls.
Jan 19, 2009 Jen rated it it was amazing
I wouldn't have enjoyed this as much without reading Night first - even though it's not a sequel.
Liza Fireman
Apr 27, 2016 Liza Fireman rated it really liked it
This book is not a real continuation of Wiesel's famous memoir Night. I think this is the most disappointing thing about this book. When I came with very high expectations to read about how Wiesel's life manifested after the unimaginable horror and life in concentration camps, finding out that this is a work of fiction, and that it is focused on very few days of an imaginary character was quite a disappointment. I felt pretty cheated.

But, putting that part aside, I'll move to highlight some rea
María Paz Greene
Jan 14, 2017 María Paz Greene rated it it was ok
Excelentemente bien escrito, pero también profundamente perturbador. Se vende como una historia real, cuando no es ficción y... bueno, es fuerte leer algo donde se intenta convertir en hermoso algo como el asesinato.

Con esto no pretendo ser ingenua: entiendo que un pueblo sienta que tiene que "devolver la mano", en especial cuando ha sido tan torturado y perseguido como el pueblo judío, y también entiendo que el verdugo no es un monstruo, y que acepta una tarea que no hace PORQUE QUIERA, sino qu
Jun 05, 2016 Eric rated it really liked it
"So many questions obsessed me. Where is God to be found? In suffering or in rebellion? When is a man most truly a man? When he submits or when he refuses? Where does suffering lead him? To purification or bestiality?"

Such questions young people ask themselves, and some, in the search for passion and purpose, find answers upon paths that, inevitably, lead to destruction.

Dawn is a book that has a very relevant place in today's society. One could argue if it ever hasn't had a relevant place consi
Dec 08, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Lohman
Oct 01, 2013 Rachel Lohman rated it really liked it
Elie Wiesel’s purpose in writing Dawn, was simply to attach another plot to the first book in the series Night. The author used Elisha to show another boy that was going through the same heartaches as Eliezer, the author himself, went through during WWII. The plots of the two novels are similar but have differences at the same time. Wiesel used Elisha to connect events that happened in his life in Night, but added a different storyline to fill in the missing pieces. I believe that Wiesel wanted ...more
Ian Cole
Jan 30, 2013 Ian Cole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-books
"Dawn" is considered the second book in the "Night" Trilogy by Elie Wiesel, but in actuality, the two have little to do with one another. Whereas "Night" is a true story about a young boy surviving the horrors of the Holocaust, "Dawn" is a fictional work that is more philosophical in nature. "Dawn" tells the story of Elisha, a Holocaust survivor who is now a member of a Jewish resistance group in Palestine during English occupation. Members of the resistance have been captured and sentenced to d ...more
Rachel Moore
Oct 18, 2011 Rachel Moore rated it really liked it

A Jewish Terrorist
Rachel Moore

Dawn, a World War Two story by Elie Wiesel, makes the reader feel what it’s like knowing that you are about to become a drastically different person. Wiesel creates the feeling that you are there with him, waiting to execute the man in the basement. In the story, 18-year-old Elie Wiesel is given orders to execute a British officer that had been taken hostage by the Jewish terrorist gang he is a part of. John Dawson, the officer, patiently awaits his death in a ce
Yuki Shimmyo
Heartbreaking, yet perfectly illuminates what Wiesel states in his Preface (which I always read after I've finished the book first): "There is nothing sacred, nothing uplifting, in hatred or in death." For me this read had the claustrophobic and oddly detached feel of Albert Camus' L'Etranger/The Outsider/The Stranger. Interesting companion piece to the author's memoir NIGHT about surviving the Holocaust and his year in a concentration camp as a teenager.

3.5 stars.

So many questions obsessed me.
Zack Hansen
May 16, 2012 Zack Hansen rated it it was amazing
The book Dawn by Elie Wiesel is a very good book to read, well for me anyways, because it’s about two men waiting through the night in British-controlled Palestine for dawn to come and possible their own death during World War II. One of the men is a captured English officer and the other is Elisha, a young Israeli Freedom Fighter. I would strongly recommend this book for others to read, because of the way Elie Wiesel had incorporated the action, the suspense, and the historical events in the bo ...more
Oct 18, 2014 Aarushi rated it it was ok
Elie Wiesel

Elisha, and eighteen year old SS officer, met Gad in Paris. He traveled to Palestine with Gad and became a terrorist because he felt that he had no more friends to lose. When he arrives to Palestine, he is chosen to execute Captain John Dawson, a British officer, at the same time that David ben Moshe's execution will take place.

I didn't enjoy reading this book because it wasn't very interesting, had a lot of unnecessary repetition, and was a bit confusing at some parts. It would h
Amelia the Strange
Aug 17, 2010 Amelia the Strange rated it really liked it
Dawn is the second book in Elie Weisel's trilogy (after Night.) However, it is not really a sequel, as Night is a memoir and Dawn is fiction.

Dawn is about Elisha, a Holocaust survivor. After the war, he moves to the British Mandate of Palestine and joins a terrorist group determined to purge the British from the area. One night, Elisha is told he must execute British soldier. The novel is about Elisha dealing with his own turmoil.

I recall reading shortly after I completed Dawn that Wiesel wrote
Mar 16, 2012 Iain rated it it was amazing
"A man hates his enemy because he hates his own hate. He says to himself: This fellow, my enemy, has made me capable of hate. I hate him not because he's my enemy, not because he hates me, but because he arouses me to hate." Elisha (Jewish partisan) justifying the killing of British soldier John Dawson.

Another short novel that is loaded with the philosophical gamut of humanity in times of war. To become a murderer in the name of cause, to avenge the oppression you were once victimized by, to bec
Jan 03, 2013 Claire rated it it was ok
"Night is purer than day; it is better for thinking and loving and dreaming. At night everything is more intense, more true. The echo of words that have been spoken during the day takes on a new and deeper meaning." -- Elie Wiesel

"There are times, his father said, that when words and prayers are not enough. The God of grace is also the God of war. And war is not a matter of words." -- Elie Wiesel

"Being afraid, I ought to have told her, is nothing. Fear is only a color, a backdrop, a landscape. T
Jul 01, 2012 Rob rated it it was ok
I love Wiesel's book, Night. While one of the most difficult books I have ever read, it digs deep into the soul of a person. This one was a little too out there for me to relate to. Perhaps a second read would help me think through some of the themes a bit more, but I don't know if I can bring myself to dig into this book again. While it does not have the horror of Night, it seems that the soul of the character is in even worse condition. There is no hope. All the dawn brings is the realization ...more
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  • Playing For Time
  • The Drowned and the Saved
  • The Destruction of the European Jews
  • The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942
  • A History of the Holocaust
  • Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience
  • The Emperor of Lies
  • The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest's Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews
  • Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust
  • Castles Burning: A Child's Life in War
  • The Journey Back
  • Hannah Senesh, Her Life and Diary
  • Europa, Europa
  • This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen
  • The Holocaust
  • The Shawl
  • Benevolence and Betrayal: Five Italian Jewish Families Under Fascism
  • The Mousetrap
Eliezer Wiesel was a Romania-born American novelist, political activist, and Holocaust survivor of Hungarian Jewish descent. He was the author of over 40 books, the best known of which is Night, a memoir that describes his experiences during the Holocaust and his imprisonment in several concentration camps.

Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. The Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a
More about Elie Wiesel...

Other Books in the Series

The Night Trilogy (3 books)
  • Night
  • Day

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“Night is purer than day; it is better for thinking and loving and dreaming. At night everything is more intense, more true. The echo of words that have been spoken during the day takes on a new and deeper meaning. The tragedy of man is that he doesn't know how to distinguish between day and night. He says things at night that should only be said by day.” 194 likes
“I needed to know that there was such a thing as love and that it brought smiles and joy in its wake.” 21 likes
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