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The Forgotten
 
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Elie Wiesel
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The Forgotten

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  441 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
A profoundly moving novel about a Holocaust survivor's struggle to remember both the heroic and the shameful events of his past, and about his American-born son's need to assimilate his father's life into his own. "A book of shattering force that offers a message of urgency to a world under the spell of trivia and the tyranny of amnesia."--Chicago Tribune Book World.
Library Binding
Published January 28th 1995 by San Val, Incorporated (first published 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,476)
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Timothy McCluskey
Wiesel reminds us what can happen if we refuse to come to terms with our past. It is a good book to refer to when listening to Cheney, Obama, and pundits claim that we must move forward. One cannot move forward by not holding ourselves accountable for our past. As painful as it might be we must have an accounting.
liz
Jul 18, 2008 liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost like across between Milan Kundera and Jonathan Safran-Foer. Thematically interested in exile, exiles; with a little bit of that Jewish magical realism thrown in. (My apologies, I read it forever ago).

The truth was that Malkiel's father had never known any woman but his own wife. A matter of fidelity? Not even that: only love. Which write said that you could love two women but you could only be faithful to one? Malkiel's father might have known an occasional surge of love, but he had loved
...more
Sheri
This is a good solid book. It is lagging at times and vague at times (both of which might be requirements for me to all a book solid). As Malkiel works through his father's past he discovers things about himself and his own life as well as his history as a descendant of a Holocaust survivor.

Elhanen is a unique character in that he only desires to tell his son (and by extension the reader) his story because he is going to lose it. He is not a sappy character reminiscing through bitterness or a de
...more
Ivy
Mar 18, 2012 Ivy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love books about the Holocaust, but this one was different than most of the ones I have read. This novel is about a man who is losing his memory to Alzheimers and sends his journalist son back to Eastern Europe to uncover his haunted past. For Elhanan, remembering the horrors of the past is the way to honor the victims of the blackest period in history. As his mind desintegrates he falls further and further into depression because he feels he is nothing without his memories. As means of preser ...more
Raquel
Jul 11, 2016 Raquel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth book I read by Elie Wiesel, and possibly the last one. Again, I have the impression that the writing is purposely bleak, abridged and empty, but in an ugly and “un-literary” way.
The plot was terribly disjointed, so at some points I didn't know who I was reading/listening to, and felt utterly lost.
Jeni Enjaian
As I have found is typical of Wiesel's books, this narrative is depressing and starts off that way. This makes me feel quite sad for Wiesel as a person. His worldview shines through his books and I cannot imagine living life without hope. As to the book itself, it is hard to keep the timeline straight. The narrative alternates, at random intervals, between the memories and current events experienced by the son and the memories of his father. Despite the powerful potential of the subject matter, ...more
Susan Emmet
Jul 29, 2016 Susan Emmet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Forgotten" operates on at least two levels: the personal (involving the story of three generations of a Jewish family, focusing primarily on father Elhanan Rosenbaum's attempt to remember and record the horrors of the Holocaust by enlisting the help of his journalist son Malkiel), and the historical, the story of the Holocaust for its millions of victims and far fewer survivors.
Malkiel keeps his promise to his father whose memory has fallen prey to Alzheimers. As part of a family whose moth
...more
Nan Williams
Oct 28, 2015 Nan Williams rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quit
The memories about the Holocaust were very heart-felt, of course. Not so much heart felt because of the horror of the genocide, but because the book made the reader experience those same emotions of shock and dismay and panic and devastation. The reader was transported to Romania and Poland with the victims as they experienced Man's inhumanity to Man.

The stories told by the Father, Elhanan, and by the grave digger in Romania were wonderful, simply wonderful. However, most of the action and thoug
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Melissa
Jul 05, 2009 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Borrowing from the library

I lied I didn't read this...or I did, just haven't been able to finish this novel. I loved Day, Dawn and Night but this book was just really hard to get into. I am a little disappointed. I have kept this book for about 3 weeks now, and I have finally faced the fact I will not be finishing it! Sorry Mr. Wiesel, I tried.
Jillian
I liked it. I think he is a great writer and has quite a story to tell. Obviously pretty depressing, but I love that in a book. It was great to see people fight back against the Nazis because for some reason I feel like we don't hear or read about that as much as we should.
cindy sisson
Apr 16, 2008 cindy sisson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lyrical weaving of a father's experience in World War II, his global decline, and the need his son has to know his father, and recreate his past. Haunting, relevant.
Evelyn
Feb 01, 2010 Evelyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So I'll be honest, I didn't finish the book. I just couldn't get into it. Maybe I'm too mom-brained.
Debra
Sep 01, 2010 Debra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
there is nothing new I could ever find to say about any of Wiesel's works. Each one is epic.
Nripesh Ayer
I got lost in many places because I couldn't catch the flow of writing, and thus, I had problem following the story. And I blame it on me. I blame it because then I listened to this review after I was finished reading, and all became clear: https://youtu.be/eSeaUSzqcvo

A perfect review I would say. Sometime to honor a work of art and realize its importance, it is necessary we hear from the person from that field. Our eyes might not be capable to see the beauty at the first sight, but as the one w
...more
Sara
Mar 16, 2011 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hauntingly beautiful and terrifying. This is one of my must-read books. Highly recommend!
Yifot
Nov 06, 2007 Yifot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dee-jews
I cannot 'rate' a holocaust novel, fictitious or true... impossible
Maya
Jan 02, 2009 Maya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gripping and really unforgettable.
Doug
Nov 10, 2013 Doug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elie Wiesel has provided a title with a double meaning. The surface reference of “The Forgotten” is to the memories of holocaust survivor Elhanan Rosenbaum, the aging father of the story’s protagonist, Malkiel. But Wiesel’s ultimate concern is the memories of the people and culture of the Eastern European shtetls that were vaporized by the holocaust. In today’s assimilative world, Wiesel is concerned with remembering what it is to be a Jew. While the storyline follows (compellingly) Malkiel’s qu ...more
Bryan
Feb 03, 2013 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here is "Ivy's" review that I copied and am pasting here. I agree with her analysis of the book.
"I love books about the Holocaust, but this one was different than most of the ones I have read. This novel is about a man who is losing his memory to Alzheimers and sends his journalist son back to Eastern Europe to uncover his haunted past. For Elhanan, remembering the horrors of the past is the way to honor the victims of the blackest period in history. As his mind desintegrates he falls further a
...more
Hannah Schmidt
Aug 21, 2013 Hannah Schmidt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elie Wiesel is proved yet again to be a master in his art. Although this lone book tended to be a harder read than Wiesel's famous trilogy, I enjoyed it far more. The novel explores both the holocaust experiences of the aging father, Mr. Rosenbaum, and his much newer struggle with losing these memories. Both are intensely moving, whether seen through his own eyes, or those of his son struggling to fulfill the trying obligation of traveling to Elhanan's childhood village in Romania. Although Mr. ...more
Julie Teal
Oct 30, 2014 Julie Teal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deep. Stopping to think between the lines is a must in this thoughtful novel. Four stars instead of five because of the difficulty I had in following the story, but overall I liked it.
Krysten Gorrivan
The topic and style of writing of this book were so deep and intense. It was hard to put it down, but then it took me some time to be able to read another book. Excellent!
Mishelle Beagle
Another powerful book from Wiesel about the Holocaust memories of a father with Alzheimer's which his son follows up on.
Francie
May 02, 2013 Francie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an intense book. I was fascinated by the way Wiesel explored the experience of Alzheimer's and how it affects not just the person with Alzheimer's but their family as well. The story of the father's wartime experiences was heartbreaking.
Ninamarie
Mar 28, 2012 Ninamarie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
powerful - required reading for anyone having a parent or loved one with alzheimers, or for those with Jewish parents/father, recommended for all who have parents
Jen
Jun 12, 2012 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really had a hard time getting through this one. Had a lot of lagging parts. Perhaps it was just hard that the Alzheimer's hit a little too close to home.
Velvetink
""The goal of redemption is the redemption of truth" ~ ?from the Ganon Reb Eliahu of Vilna"" p.235.






10 cent score
Carol
Feb 25, 2012 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will never think of Alzheimer's in quite the same way. An important reflection on generations and what we remember.
Jennifer
Sep 21, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story itself was okay but I just couldn't seem to get into the writing style of this one.
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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
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