Sean Gray's Reviews > Night

Night by Elie Wiesel
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's review
Jan 12, 2008

it was ok
Recommended to Sean by: the michigan state board of education
Recommended for: eh
Read in December, 2007

Night, was possibly one of the worst books I've ever read. I was suprised when I logged on to find, Five star reviews of this book. Yeah, so it was written by a holocaust survivor. It doesn't make it well written. From a literary standpoing, purely. It was terrible. As Ms. Hawley would say, It lacked sentence variation. Maybe it was better when it was written in German? Maybe he should have let a "professional" writer, write it for him. I'm not bashing him, or his writing. Kind of. His writing not him. Too me I felt as if it was written by a 10 year old, who repeats everything. And then... And then this... Oh, and then... I mean, the holocaust was and is so tragic, it hardly makes a good setting for a story. And yeah, that was his experience. And his literary inspiration. But maybe we just shouldn't be required to read it. And I also learned it was on Oparah's book club list. WHAT!? But anywho. My opinion seems to be the only one of it's sort.
Maybe I'm just wrong?
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 132) (132 new)

TempOcean dude. wtf? how could you say that this was a bad book?

And how old are you?

message 3: by M (new)

M ditto to the last 3 comments

Sean Gray Is no one aloud to have an opinion?
Purely, from a literary standpoint I thought it was written poorly.

Adam This review is funny, as is Ms. Hawley's comment. lol.

message 6: by Nina (new)

Nina Personally I kinda agree it wasn't that great of a book. Not all it was made up to be atleast.

Sean Gray Does it matter?
I have an opinion.
Not to seem hateful b/c I'm not.
But just because it's about the holocaust doesn't mean it's a good, or touching piece of work

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

You must be palestinian, Arab or Nazi...isn't enough for your "knowledge" the german barbarism! Isn't enough for you 6'000'000 of dead people because of the doctrine of hate and exclusion, isn't that enough for you? Of course it isn't a great book for your and your shallow generation. We human being tend to forget everything and repeat the history of death and horror over and over again!

Erin When someone writes a review on a book when they have a pokemon as an avatar, and they criticize the book from a literary standpoint but one can barely slog through their own bad almost makes a case in the other direction. Not to sound hateful or anything, b/c Im not.

message 10: by Stian (last edited Mar 06, 2009 02:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stian Larsen "aloud to have an opinion" - guess that says it all...
erin: ditto.

message 11: by Rose (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rose There are times when some high school students can take in a story of this magnitude and others are simply not yet ready. Perhaps reading this as an adult will create a different feeling.

message 12: by Alethea (last edited May 02, 2009 11:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Alethea  Loeffler Sean,

Yes, you are right; you are entitled to your opinion. However, I think you are missing the point. From a “literary standpoint” he wasn’t trying to write some fluffy, rambling, long tale of his ordeal. His point was to write in a way that no forgets- extremely raw, horrific, and very straight forward. Wiesel wants you to never forget that what you are reading is fact not fiction.

I really hope you will read it again!

message 13: by Sabrina (last edited Apr 16, 2009 02:41PM) (new)

Sabrina "But just because it's about the holocaust doesn't mean it's a good, or touching piece of work."

You're a piece of work.

Joanna You might say that Elie Wiesel's wife is a bad translator, but I would like to see you write a book half as good.

Clara Sean, thanks for writing a truthful review. I am sure that there are many people who agree with you about this book but are afraid to because of comments like many of those above that call an entire generation "shallow." I may not agree with you, but I'm not going to criticize your grammar.

message 16: by Tom (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Eldridge While you are entitled to your opinion, it seems to me that you read this (if indeed, you read the entire book), preconditioned to dislike it. There are such powerful, and yes, beautiful images in this piece, there is no way that any knowledgeable person could say it was badly written. Perhaps reread it after you complete your education.

Theresa Tibbs You are entitled to your opinion, and I respect that. Personally, I think the "lack of professional writing" came when it was translated. As a Spanish student, I know that somethings in English might not mean the same in Spanish, and visa versa. So yeah.

message 18: by Tim (last edited Jul 07, 2009 03:35AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tim Adank I fully agree with Sean.
Although the subject matter is, of course, horrendous and chilling, this book could have been written so much better. I absolutely feel for the author and I regret very much what he and so many more people like him had to go through, but the fact that the book was written by a holocaust survivor does not, ipso facto, make it a good book. Nor does its presence on Oprah's list.

Tip for anyone interested in this subject: read Primo Levi "If this is a man/ The Truce". Seriously, it will knock your socks off.

Travis Miguel wrote: "You must be palestinian, Arab or Nazi...isn't enough for your "knowledge" the german barbarism! Isn't enough for you 6'000'000 of dead people because of the doctrine of hate and exclusion, isn't th..."

Miguel you are a moron. It is pitiful that there are people in this world as stupid as you. "You must be palestinian, Arab or Nazi..." Did you really just say that??? You are preaching against hate and exclusion (something jews are really good at by the way) yet you use blanket terms blaming all arabs and nazis as being somehow evil. Jesus man, grow a brain inside that empty head of yours and realize that just because this book is on oprahs book list doesn't mean its good.

message 20: by Kate (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kate Travis wrote: "Miguel wrote: "You must be palestinian, Arab or Nazi...isn't enough for your "knowledge" the german barbarism! Isn't enough for you 6'000'000 of dead people because of the doctrine of hate and excl..."

Uh...I think using a blanket term of all Nazis are evil is justifiable.

message 21: by Gin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gin Well, if you're just looking for pure entertainment, then I guess reading about emaciated bodies and suffering isn't really the thing. But I, for one, found the blunt language (which I think he did on PURPOSE) to be pretty effective in describing his stark journey, where he obviously had no time or energy to observe more interesting things for our entertainment. Or would you rather have a detailed medical and psychological description of the victims? If I'd read this on my own, I might feel a tiny bit like you do, but Night was a really interesting book to discuss in class. And since having interesting discussions is what book clubs do, that would mostly likely be one of the reasons it's on, ahem, "Oparah's" book club list.

message 22: by Steven (last edited Oct 09, 2009 09:06PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Steven Although commenting on your review kind of stopped, i just read it and feel like saying something. First off, after reading that review and your responses to other people..well, you seem very immature and I think most of what happened in this book and most of what Wiesel was trying to get through went over your head a little. This book had so much depth, so much power, and maybe you just didn't feel it because you couldn't really felt what he felt. And because maybe you weren't even trying to. Based on your review, it almost seems like you thought that the author was writing this book to entertain us or because an idea popped into his head. But, really, he wrote this book to finally be heard. He wrote this to find his own sense of justice. And, personally, I found his writing to be beautiful. You're right when you say "Just because a story is about the Holocaust, doesn't make it a piece of work." And you're right because, of course, that isn't always the case. But Elie Wiesel made this book isn't one of the most brilliantly written records of the Holocaust that I have ever read. I really think you should re-read this book and look for the hidden meanings behind his words. I think you'd get a lot more out of it that way. But, hey, that's just my opinion.

Shriram TempOcean wrote: "dude. wtf? how could you say that this was a bad book? "

dude. wtf? How can the reviewer say its a bad book? I think they used their keyboard thats how they said it.

just because its a war time book doesnt mean everyone has to like it.

Shriram Beste wrote: "
And how old are you?"

dunno how old the reviewer is, but im perfectly legal. ooooh yeahhhh

Melissa There is no doubt this book was written to enlighten not to entertain

Kayla Chappell the worst thing that stand out to me on your review is that your bashing the book based on the 6 traits of writing. Hunn,the book isn't a story,it's an auto-biography. Those don't really need sentence variation or conventions. It's the VOICE that needs to come out. Now,I understand your opinion,but Night was an amazing book and that I'm sure you have to admit. Elie's story is heart wrenching and made to grab the readers attention so that SOME of the horrors of the Holocaust get out.

message 27: by Keisha (new)

Keisha Sean,
yes it is totally ok for you to have an opinion, but this book was not at all written poorly. It is not graphic, but it a way it is. Elie does not go into detail about the events. He lets you use your imagination because no words could ever describe what had happened then. The voice in this story is amazing and how Elie had once had such a profound faith in God and now he doesn't believe at all because of what the concentration camps did to him. for the love all that is Holy, when his FATHER died, he was thinking "Free at Last" the concentration camps had done that to him. And the repitition in this book is to make a point. he repeats things to try and drive it through your head. "Night" is simply a metaphor for all the grief and terror and tragedy. The halocaust was a truely horrific event in history. Night was not written to entertain or for your enjoyment. It was written because it had to be, so that we would not make the same mistakes over and over again in the future. These halocaust survivors are trying to prevent his from ever happening again and also trying to prevent themselves from going insane and being swallowed by the awful memories of that terrible time. I wish you could see that.

message 28: by Lexy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lexy Sanchez I don't think your wrong, it's just your opinion. But seriously you didn't like that book? I loved it and I respect your honesty but I just don't understand why you think it's so horrible. It's so descriptive and well written (or at least that's what I think). You must not really be interested in the holocaust huh. Well that's you and I just wanted to tell you that I 110% disagree with you.

message 29: by Jesse (new) - added it

Jesse Dejesus I disagree with your review because "Night"was a good book. I don't know why you don't like this book but other people like this book. Elie Wiesel is a great author and he wrote this book because he want to show how he felt about the germens took over his country. Elie Wiesel wrote the book with a lot of imagery. I liked this book a lot. when i heard about this book iwas like "I should read this book". When i read this book I was amazed of how Elie Wiesel described the book.

Steve Duong Yeah, I got that it was in the holocaust (what a weird way to enter a conversation.... but let's go with it) but the story was not well written. I loved the plot, I loved the cruel torture and even the fact that sometimes (in pivotal points of the story) I could feel the cold ice stabbing my toes. But I didn't get much from it as well. The only things I can remember from reading the story was the quality of which he described being cold, and hungry and sometimes, the torture, but that was it, the story fell short from what it could have been. but that's all IMO, maybe I would have a better opinion if I had deeper life relevance to Auscwitz or where ever he was at....

Franny Burd Imho, the story itself is so powerful that it doesn't really matter HOW it's written (although I found nothing to criticize in the writing - it's not meant to be a novel, and I hardly think that "sentence variation" was topmost in the mind of Mr. Wiesel while writing this book, do you?). The fact that this was an actual experience of a human being is amazing enough, let alone the bravery in his willingness to share his story with the world. It's ok if it wasn't your cup of tea, but I think to criticize the writing is to entirely miss the point. I challenge anyone with a heart to read this book and not be moved, and yet I've read many books that are "well-written" by your standards that have been entirely dismissed from my mind. I know "Night" will always stay with me.

Jason I have 19 words to say about Night, and it differs substantially from Sean's opinion.

Pauandrea94 duuuuudddee!! you are crazy! this is one of the best books i had ever read!!!!

message 34: by Anv_30 (new)

Anv_30 of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but i feel as though you are completely unaware of the conditions of the holocaust, and if you really understood the extent of it, you would be much more sensative on the subject matter. personally, as a jewish person, i am offended by your response. "it hardly makes a good setting for a story" because it was so tragic? it's not a story, my friend. it's history. these atrocities actually happened to people. i think you should think twice before being so insensitive. have you ever considered how difficult it is for survivors to talk about their experiences, and even more so to write a book about it? they must live with this nightmare every day of their lives. also, if you are going to be so brutally honest in a response that may offend people, you might want to proof read your work.
just for the record: the word holocaust means burning sacrafice. the jews were forced into gas chambers and ovens and were even burnt alive (however, these are not even the worst things that were done to them), they certainly were not sacraficing themselves. the hebrew word 'shoa' translates to mean catastrophe, which is really what it was. this is the prefered and less offensive term for the war, as opposed to holocaust. this is just something to keep in mind.
i think it may have helped you while reading the book if you had spent less time focusing on the the "sentance variation" and "literary standpoing", and more time focusing on the message. maybe if you had done this, the book would have had a different impression and more of an impact on you.

message 35: by Caroline (new)

Caroline I'm sorry, I didn't read all of the comments, so I'm sorry if I repeat something. (:

I don't think your wrong, I just think you might be looking at the story the wrong way.
Elie Wiezel's purpose was to share his story. I don't think that he was looking at it from a literary standpoint, he just felt it was the most effective way to share his experience.
This book, (while it might be, in your point of view, poorly written) becomes increasingly important as fewer and fewer people are able to tell what happened firsthand.

Cassie ♥ Caroline wrote: "I'm sorry, I didn't read all of the comments, so I'm sorry if I repeat something. (:

I don't think your wrong, I just think you might be looking at the story the wrong way.
Elie Wiezel's purpose ..."


Richie Cutler Sean wrote: "Is no one aloud to have an opinion?
Purely, from a literary standpoint I thought it was written poorly.

NO! You are not ALLOWED an opinion you ignorant and ILLITERATE fool - you are ALLOWED an INFORMED and EDUCATED opinion... two things you apparently are NOT, judging by your spelling and lack of knowledge as to WHO Elie Wiesel IS... NO he is NOT JUST SOME Holocaust survivor.... He is a PROFESSIONAL JOURNALIST AND NOBEL PRIZE WINNING AUTHOR.... MAYBE you could have learned about some of this BEFORE posting some of your insolent under-aged mumbo jumbo had you taken the time to research any of the millions of internet links about Mr. Wiesel OR the Holocaust BEFORE leaping in and offering "opinions" about what you obviously know so very little of...

Maybe you should pick up a copy of "The Little Train That Could" or "The Velveteen Rabbit"; THEY seem to be more appropriate for your reading level.

Myss-Syckness holy crap, most controversial review i've seen so far!

Myss-Syckness LMFAO, AMEN!

Richie wrote: "Sean wrote: "Is no one aloud to have an opinion?
Purely, from a literary standpoint I thought it was written poorly.

NO! You are not ALLOWED an opinion you ignorant and ILLITERATE fool - y..."

message 40: by Sonatajessica (last edited Oct 14, 2010 01:44PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sonatajessica Wow,
I am really shocked by some of the comments I read here.
People are bashing the boy because he didn't like, care for or even get "Night". He gets labelled as a Nazi and is taken from the right of free speech and free opinion because he is not educated enough...
Especially those who read and love the book, do YOU even get what you are doing here? that is sadder and more disturbing to me than Sean's opinion!!!
An opinion cannot be wrong, based on misinformation yes, but opinions are subjective-informed or not-and you are still entitled to them. And as much I would rather read informed opinions I think people shouldn't forget he wasn't commenting on the holocaust but on the book. And that he read!
I do admit he doesn't offer much to underline his opinion or stand up for it by defending it with good reasons, so that can be critisized which quite a few do here in the approbiate way.
But just for dislike and/or misunderstanding being called a Nazi??? I am not even saying much about the reference to being an Arab for that, that stands in the worst way for itself (was a deleted memeber I noticed now, not surprised). You expect him to think before posting a comment, maybe some of the people commenting here should have done the same. And I think, these people need to read the book again, probably more importantly than Sean!
I stronlgy agree with Sean's statement that simply the fact someone experienced something as bad as this and turned it into art, it is not a masterpiece in itself. Art is in the eye of the beholder (at least to me). What some here claim would just mean any biographic work is geniuslike...and that would be wrong.

Randi Personally, I think the straight forward, fluff-free manner in which he tells his story is what is so haunting about the memoir. He doesn't try to sugar coat, nor does he try to exaggerate. The Holocaust was not a "pretty" time in world history, so why should his writing be? My 8th graders understood this....just saying....

message 42: by Kim (last edited Nov 19, 2010 10:37AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Sonatajessica wrote: "Wow,
I am really shocked by some of the comments I read here.
People are bashing the boy because he didn't like, care for or even get "Night". He gets labelled as a Nazi and is taken from the righ..."

Actually, no one is entitled to anything. Why do people always claim they're "entitled" to things? Most obnoxious word in the English language, hands down. Regardless, if you're going to put forth an ignorant opinion and can't even bother to spell simple words correctly, the only thing you're entitled to is to have your opinion ripped to shreds by people who have functioning brains and who will, rightly so, assume that you barely comprehended half of what you read. People need to take responsibility for what they say, whether it's educated and informed or just plain laughable. Roast on, fellow readers.

message 43: by Mars (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mars did you have to say you hated it though? i think it was a great book, maybe not fabricated to your taste, but it was raw and written quote "by a ten year old" because he was supposed to be young in the story. i don't mean to critisize you, i'm not anything of a genius, but i just think that you didn't have to go as far as bash on the book so harshly!

message 44: by Sommerly (new)

Sommerly Gasca I believe that you are trying to be different by saying you dont like this book. it ok to "roll" with the crowd sometimes. you dont have to bash on an author or a book jus t to be different. It DOESN'T make you COOL!!!!

message 45: by Ana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ana i think the rawness of the content made it an interesting read without the author needing to exagerate points or make the writing elaborate. i understand that from the literary standpoint it was rather simplistic writing style but sometimes you DO NOT need that to tell such an incredible story.

Annie Yes, you're allowed your own opinion, but when you say things such as " I mean, the holocaust was and is so tragic, it hardly makes a good setting for a story..." (for an autobiography, mind you) and "should have let a "professional" writer, write it for him" (he IS a professional writer, incidentally) just makes me want to read through all the reviews (and I did) and "like" the comments bashing you (which you can't, sadly, do). I'd write more, but Kimberly's already said it all for me.

message 47: by Saxon (last edited Apr 24, 2011 07:17PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Saxon I get the feeling you purposely wrote this to be aggravating, but I have to say it's a well-established tactic to use spare language when writing bleak, heavy material. You let the events speak for themselves.

message 48: by Rose (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rose Strange, because I think it's written wonderfully and poetically, as much as you can about something so horrible.

Laura I actually loved this book... actually, everyone in my Honors English class did. I have to wonder where your literary standpoint is coming from to not be a little touched after reading a story about such horrors and human injustice. But I guess this just isn't your type of book. :)

message 50: by Rose (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rose Mike wrote: "how can you write about your experience in under two hundred pages with that king of setting, I mean his three books alone are less than Stephen King's one novella it seems like."

It's actually part of a larger whole that he wrote about his life. Also, Steven King was writing a fiction novel where he could add any detail he wanted. This is a recount of something that happened in the guy's life when he was 13. Think back to when you were 13 and try to put it into words and not lie about things just to embellish them. It's hard to remember specific quotes, even with something that traumatic in the state he was in physically and mentally i doubt he remembers everything. Also, I have read many survivor stories to know that each one does hold something back. To admit to some of the things that happened is too painful and so no, you won't get the whole story.

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