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All Rivers Run to the Sea (The Memoirs #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  908 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
In this first volume of his two-volume autobiography, Wiesel takes us from his childhood memories of a traditional and loving Jewish family in the Romanian village of Sighet through the horrors of Auschwitz and Buchenwald and the years of spiritual struggle, to his emergence as a witness for the Holocaust's martyrs and survivors and for the State of Israel, and as a spokes ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published October 22nd 1996 by Schocken (first published 1994)
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Aug 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate enough to study under Professor Wiesel at Boston University. This memoir includes many of the great stories he told of his childhood and early adulthood as he was starting to become the man who one day won the Nobel Peace Prize. A great teacher and a better man.
Jan 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
He has had a fascinating life...but how he goes on and on and on! It is sometimes difficult to follow him, because he is so wordy. His stories don't necessarily go in chronological order, either, so it is difficult to get a good idea of where in his life certain events fall.

However, this is the first time I have read an author who has written in such detail about his view of the Holocaust, particularly his questions about the rest of the world's silence for so long. I can relate to his anger tow
Jun 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
He is the most inspirational, wise, compassionate man alive today. I can't count the number of times over the years that I've been down, depressed, or lost faith, and his voice resonates in my head. He didn't lose faith after having experienced the worst life has to offer. His words and ideas are pure and he conveys with a directness that transcends what isn't spoken. The book and his genius cannot be conveyed in modern day bumper sticker soundbites. They are words that web themselves into the f ...more
SheriC (Portable Magic)
I found this memoir less compelling than Night, but still a chilling picture of the buildup to transport and the difficulties facing the survivors beyond the immediate aftermath of liberation.

Audiobook, performed by the author, who reads with such emotion that I was at times moved to tears.

“Wherever my life took me, a part of me would remain in that street in front of my empty house, awaiting the order to depart. I see my little sister. I see her with her rucksack, so cumbersome, so heavy. I
Michelle Hopkins
I disliked this book. There was too much self-absorbed, stream of consciousness, diary-quality prose...detailing apparently everything he ever read, everyone he ever spoke to, every trip he ever took, thought he thought and word he spoke. His telling shifts back and forth in time making it impossible to track events chronologically (or even his age at the time of events).

To me, this book lacked literary quality, although my opinion may be colored somewhat by the fact I read this after I read "M
Sep 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Wow. Incredible autobiography from his childhood through the 1960s of famous Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel. It was a bit confusing here and there due to his inclusions of Jewish words, phrasing, and traditions- I found myself googling all sorts of experiences familiar with the Jewish tradition. I appreciate his candor regarding his love life, survivor experiences, journalist experiences, and authorship. I would recommend for folks to read 'Night' first, then read this.
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. An excellent biography!
La storia e le storie

Quando un ebreo non ha una risposta da dare, ha sempre almeno una storia da raccontare.
Bonnie Atkinson
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A quick perusal of reviews found either those who generally liked it and said nothing of substance to substantiate why or those who criticized it for its nonlinear narrative and depressive tone. I've found it (at the halfway point) delightful, fair-minded, informative, and while perhaps more philosophical than most readers might prefer, he was a philosopher, a Jewish mystic, and the telling reflects the mind so beautifully. I found the prose often lyrical, unwrapping the tender youth with clarit ...more
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Nobel laureate. Thinker. Writer. Survivor. Teacher. Student.

This book is part memoir, part plea. He writes about his life and what he was feeling, in memoir fashion. He also pleas to humanity to be better to each other. Its also about his constant study and search to understand his faith. He doesn't search for answers, but rather for the questions themselves.

Early in the book, he talks about his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. One thing sticks in my mind. His emphasis that prisoners con
Connor Day
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book All Rivers Run to the Sea is Elie Wiesel’s memoir of his life before and after the Holocaust as well as his rise as a self-sufficient and independent character who had to look after himself. The book begins with a quick look into his childhood in Sighet and ends with his marriage to his wife Marion in Jerusalem. In regards to the book, Elie Wiesel only focusses lightly on his experiences during childhood and in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Though the book does focus on his life after his experie ...more
Jul 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is the first volume (of two) of Elie Wiesel's memoirs (author of Night and roughly 39 other books). Wiesel's time at Auschwitz is covered in the first 100 pages. What follows is a beautifully written account of his life following - how he became a journalist, his encounters with world leaders, his various romances- and his never-ending struggle to be a voice for those who died in the Holocaust, as well as to help find the voices of his fellow survivors. The book is filled with philosophical ...more
Jun 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this after reading his book "Night". The first half of the book is gripping, as he describes his boyhood, gives an in-depth look at his Jewish faith/community and a good feeling for the socio-political climate at the time. The read becomes somewhat laborious in the second half of the book, which describes his release from the camp and his struggle to find work, love and his own identity after being displaced. His insights are incredible; however, his writing about day-to-day life can be c ...more
L Frost
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Incredible book that presents the author's personal history as well as his theological and philosophical thoughts and questions. Glossary at the back of the book really helped with all of the Jewish terminology. Still had to google other terms and names of people. He spends a relatively short amount of time addressing his Holocaust experience since he wrote about it in his book "Night." But the book is quite a lesson about the aftermath of the Holocaust for Jews around the world as well as the c ...more
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Elie Wiesel has compiled many of his memoirs to make a very interesting book. I read this book right after I read the Ruth Gruber book and was amazed at how they coordinated. Although they looked at various events from a different angle, their perceptions were so much the same. Wiesel tends to repeat himself quite often which I found distracting. Again, anyone interested in Europe during the middle 20th century will enjoy this book.
Perth Library
All Rivers Run to the Sea recounts Elie Wiesel's early years in a loving family torn apart by the Holocaust and continues after the war as he sets out on another journey that becomes his life's a journalist and Nobel Prize-winning author. Jill found the reading of his memoirs by Wiesel himself especially poignant in light of his recent death.
Patti Meyer
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I didn't finish this book due to the incredible sadness it presents. It is a story that needs to be told and by one who lived it. Elie Wiesel 's story chronicles his family's story during the time they were taken to a German concentration camp. The story is beautifully written.

His sadness and pain were more than I could handle. I will try it again at another time in my life.
Cyndy Fitzpatrick
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love Elie Wiesel. From Night to All Rivers Run to the Sea, he is the greatest writer of the Holocaust writers. His depth of understanding humanity and his love for all people is amazing. He is a powerful example of what it means honor the human spirit.
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
After reading this book, I want to read his other books. I've read "Night" which was very good. This book is amazing. What an interesting life full of trials and opportunities. Truly a great person who took what God gave him (the good and the bad) and lived his life.
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This will be my back-to-school read!

After 3 months, I have finally finished reading this book - it is a pretty intense read, a definitely must-have, a tear-jerker had I not read it at public places.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an exceptional book by a truly remarkable man. It is the first of a two volume work. Reading it is not a walk in the park but despite the massive amount of detail needed to describe a complex life, the well-written narrative pulls you right along due to the interesting, unique story being told.

Elie Weisel, son of a Jewish family in Romania, is a survivor of the German concentration camps who felt compelled to be a voice for those who did not survive, like his parents and youngest sister
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
FINALLY finished, and thankful to have had a glimmer into this man's world.
Dustin Hartley
Jun 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
I didn't finish this book, and I don't think that I will. I have better books to read.
Jeni Enjaian
If Wiesel's books were not already on my to-read list, I would not continue to read them. (I have a thing about wanting to move books from the to-read list by reading them rather than just removing them because I no longer want to read them.)
For Wiesel, this memoir employs his typical non-linear chronological bent. While I am still not a fan, this approach works much better for the memoir format than for the novel format. I continue to find Wiesel's overwhelming pessimism oppressive. in this boo
Judith Shadford
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Adding my few sentences about this master of literature, diplomat, friend to some mighty people about his creation of an account of his life from early childhood until his marriage in 1969. His ability to "drop" names with simple accuracy and sincerity is astonishing. Golda Meier was his friend and I saw her, not as "Ooo, I met Golda", but as Elie Wiesel's friend. His ability to re-create the fear and desolation of surviving the camps, recovering enough of himself to live and prosper is a marvel ...more
Jan 04, 2009 rated it liked it
This should have been a better book. What a life! So much to tell, so much races by. He mentioned how his first and most famous novel, Night, was pared down by the editor and publisher; this has the same feel. I wanted more. And too much of the book is a "and then I met Joseph, one of the most honorable and intelligent men I've ever met," and goes on for a paragraph or less, and then on to other meetings, esp. the last third of the book when he's become famous and meeting other famous people. Ma ...more
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some books catch my attention and I can't put it down.......I have to finish it quickly, and some books are so full of information and emotion that it can't be read all at once. This book is the latter, especially when he speaks of the actions of the concentration camp SS officers (much more detail is given in the book Night) and when he speaks of the passing of his friends. His books - to me at least - force me to think about the larger picture and how desperately peace and love for fellow man ...more
Dec 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Wiesel has lead an amazing life, so maybe I expected more from his memoir. His writing style is good, and memories ramble and skip about as each one leads down a different rabbit trail; however, that is how memory works, so I find that an effective writing style. At various points, the book reads more like a laundry list, and Wiesel doesn't fully develop stories, so it is hard to become truly engaged with him as a reader.
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: holocaust, memoir, owned, wwii
Elie Wiesel is one of my heroes. This book and the sequel tell his story during the Holocaust. There is a famous picture of the liberation of Bergen-Belson that shows him at age 16 on one of the camp bunks. His memories of his little sister being taken to the gas chamber will tear your heart out. I treasure my autographed copy of Night. Truly deserved his Nobel Peace Prize.
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Beautifully written 1 10 Jun 04, 2007 06:17AM  
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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
More about Elie Wiesel...

Other Books in the Series

The Memoirs (2 books)
  • And the Sea is Never Full

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“If I had spoken to him out loud, he would have understood the tragic fate of those who came back, left over, living dead. You must look at them carefully. Their appearance is deceptive. They are smugglers. They look like the others. They eat, they laugh, they love. The seek money, fame, love. Like the other. But it isn't true; they are playing, sometimes without even knowing it. Anyone who has seen what THEY have seen cannot be like the others, cannot laugh, love, pray, bargain, suffer, have fun, or forget. Like the others. You have to watch them carefully when they pass by an innocent-looking smokestack, or when they lift a piece of bread to their mouths. Something in them shudders and makes you turn your eyes away. These people have been amputated; they haven't lost their legs or eyes, but their will and their taste for life. The things they have seen will come to the surface again sooner or later. And then the world will be frightened and won't dare look these spiritual cripples in the eye.” 2 likes
“Even if I wrote on nothing else, it would never be enough, even if all the survivors did nothing but write about their experiences, it would still not be enough.

*Response when asked how much longer is he going to write about the Holocaust”
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