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Open Heart

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,757 ratings  ·  282 reviews
Translated by Marion Wiesel

A profoundly and unexpectedly intimate, deeply affecting summing up of his life so far, from one of the most cherished moral voices of our time.


Eighty-two years old, facing emergency heart surgery and his own mortality, Elie Wiesel reflects back on his life. Emotions, images, faces and questions flash through his mind. His family before and durin
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Hardcover, 79 pages
Published December 4th 2012 by Knopf (first published 2011)
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,757 ratings  ·  282 reviews


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Melissa
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, nonfiction
With all that Elie Wiesel has lived through,and with all the horrors of life that he has experienced firsthand, one might assume (as I erroneously did) that he would be all right - at peace, even - with the possibility of dying.

You would be wrong.

"Long ago, over there, death lay in wait for us at every moment, but it is now, eternities later, that it shall have its way. I feel it." (pg. 17)

"Hadn't I lived with death, even in death? Why should I be afraid now? Yet, this is not how I imagined my e
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Carla
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
a one sit read. very touching, very inspiring, very sad yet offers hope knowing all that he's been through he's still able to find the light at the end of the tunnel. he does an amazing job of reminding readers of what is really important in life as well as on the operating table. i love this man and his values, his ethics, his genuine compassion for the entire universe. it was a nice read to remind me of the power of gratitude and how i intend to bring in my new year.
Claire
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it
"I know- I speak from experience- that even in the darkness it is possible to create light and encourage compassion. That it is possible to feel free inside a prison. That even in exile, friendship exists and can become an anchor. That there is one instant before dying, man is still immortal." --Elie Wiesel

"There it is: I still believe in man in spite of man. I believe in language even though it has been wounded, deformed and perverted by the enemies of mankind. And I continue to cling to words
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Matt
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
With my wife having gone through open heart surgery not long after the birth of our first daughter, I originally bought this for her to read. However, being a great admirer of Wiesel and the work he has done in his life, i read it immediately after she was finished with it.

I've read several reviews from others who focus only on the fact that Wiesel, even in this book, continues to carry a grief that he does not want to let go of. Anyone who has not experienced even an iota of what he and millio
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Marisa Bennett
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
Short read. Five starts? I admit I am very prejudiced when it comes to Wiesel as he is a monumental influence in my life. There is just one section I will discuss so as not ruin the memoir for you. This is one of the few times I have wanted to write an author, and the only time I want to write to reassure the author. Wiesel questions whether he should have been so brutally honest in the book, "Night." He admits to struggling with this question for years. That book, although at first devastating ...more
Diane S ☔
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
My daughter recently saw Elie Wiesel at the Civic Opera house in Chicago and said she cried through the whole thing. That he was just so honest, caring and sweet. This book definitely reflects all of that, his honesty shows through, his love for his son and wife, his faith and the coming to terms with his past. Facing death impels one to re-examine everything in their lives. He remembers his past, his father, all the trials he and his wife had faced together and knows their are still things he w ...more
Donna Hines
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What will be your lasting legacy? How do you wish to be remembered?
At 82 years young Elie wondered this very same question after achieving so many accolades in life his worry was about his legacy far after he left this beautiful Earth.
I'm captivated by his work, his mindset, his emotions that are exposed so freely to the world not only in his writings but in his teachings.
His intellect is far beyond intriguing as his past seeks to be a lesson for us all in humanity, compassion, empathy, and unde
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Cynthia Egbert
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a perfect final offering from one of my favourite human beings. Mr. Wiesel has helped me to see things in such a different light so many times in my life and this small book is no exception. Yes, it is a one sitting read, but the profundity will stay with you for a long while to come. I usually offer quotes but I would have to quote the entire book if I wanted to remember all that struck me so I will just leave you with one quote that sums up Mr. Wiesel quite well (and speaks my own hear ...more
Elaine
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Elie Wiesel's Night has been on my list of books to read for years and as yet I haven't got to it. I picked this up at a moment when I wanted a quick read. Although a very brief read it is quite a deep and thoughtfully written piece. At 82 Elie was faced with life threatening surgery which found him reminiscing about his past, those lost in the Holocaust, things he'd done and hadn't done and questioning his life. It is so well written and emotional that now I want to rush out and add more of his ...more
Ingrid M.
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Since God is, He is to be found in the questions as well as in the answers."

The last time I read a book by Elie Wiesel, I was a high school freshman living in an incredibly diverse though predominantly Jewish community. The collective stories and hardships of the Jewish people were deeply ingrained in my psyche, and I only wish I had been a little older to truly grapple with what he was conveying.

The intersection of terrible anguish and gut wrenching beauty converges in Wiesel's Open Heart. I
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Taylor Church
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this in one sitting in Barnes & Noble, much to the chagrin of my friend who wanted to leave and go to Starbucks.

It's a wonderful little piece about life and what we are giving it. One little sentence even brought a tear to my eye in the mid public of places. As always Weisel's voice feels warm, honest, and poetic. Maybe you've just read Night and aren't ready to tackle a big piece you feel might not be as good or moving, if so, pick up this small tome and devour it in one or two sitt
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Pam
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Open Heart is the final book by Elie Wiesel. It is fitting that this be his las book as it sums up his life and yet calls out for you to read his other books.
June 16, 2011, Elie Wiesel finds out his heart is failing him. According to his story, he doesn’t give up; but continues to fight the inevitable. While he is fighting for his life, he is also fighting to understand why. In all of his books, Elie seems to be wondering why things happen the way that they do. He just continues to worry why am
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Nancy Hawkins
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Elie Wiesel is one of my heroes. He continually touches my heart with his wisdom, honesty, and fears as he faces open heart surgery and his mortality in this, his final book. As always, his experience of the Holocaust camps is the lens through which he encounters the world. But he will acknowledge the profound gratitude he has for the blessings God has bestowed. Thank you Elie.
Jim Beatty
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Itz a beautiful day when u find a book by the good md u had not read before.
Becca
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Wiesel has such a beautiful soul. So grateful he shares is pondering with the world.
Alyssa Nelson
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
Open Heart is an intimately honest account of Wiesel’s feelings and thoughts during a time when he wasn’t sure if he was going to live or die. As he faces his own mortality, he reflects on his choices and his conflicting emotions regarding God and his place in the world.

I was moved by the memoir. It’s simple and short, but contains a depth of emotion. I especially appreciated reading Wiesel’s regrets for not doing more and his ongoing questioning of religion. Even Wiesel, who has done so much, w
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Cheryl
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Is evil just another path leading to good? In truth, for the Jew that I am, Auschwitz is not only a human tragedy, but also, and most of all, a theological scandal. For me, it is as impossible to accept Auschwitz with God as without God. But then how is one to understand His silence? As I try to explain God's presence in evil, I suffer and search for reasons that would allow me to denounce Him.

Since God is, He is to be found in the questions as well as the answers.

I now know that every moment is
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Leslie
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-books
In June of 2011, author, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize honoree Elie Wiesel learned that he was in imminent danger of a heart attack and that he would need emergency open-heart surgery. Open Heart is his account of the experience.

In this short but beautiful book, Wiesel recounts not only the surgery itself and its aftermath, but the memories, questions and doubts that assail him as he faces his own mortality. He thinks of his family, both those he has lost and those who surround him and supp
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Babs
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was interested in this book as the author describes his experiences, both physical and spiritual, before, during, and after, open heart surgery. My late father had this surgery, and afterward, was never quite "himself" again. It is with bitterness, 13 yrs after his death, I recall the dramatic changes that open heart surgery wrought upon this once vital, strong man. Anyone considering this procedure would benefit from this quick read, by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. Anyone, who wants to kno ...more
Debbie
Dec 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I thought that Mark Bramhall could read his grocery list and make it interesting; I still do. Bramhall reads the audiobook version of Elie Wiesel's essay on introspection following open heart surgery. As a Christian, I lack enough knowledge to grasp the full impact of many of the Jewish customs that are part of this essay, but with Bramhall's rich voice the listener is carried through and feels all the emotions that Wiesel recalls and explores. In the end, any listener is thankful that this wond ...more
Amanda
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read Night when I was about the age that Elie Wiesel was when he was taken to Auschwitz. It has impacted me my entire life and always will. It raised philosophical and spiritual questions that I have yet to answer, except that in reading Open Heart, there is certainly peace to be found.

"I confess to having rebelled against the Lord, but I have never repudiated Him."

What an extraordinary human being.
Ellie
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
While this book was written in 2011 as a contemplation of his life and death (he was hospitalized for open heart surgery), it is with great sadness and awe that I finished reading it today, on the same day as Wiesel's death. This is a very short read but I found it disorganized and more of a personal journaling than a memoir or autobiography; I have enjoyed and appreciated his work so much more in other pieces I've read.
Mady Hernández
Sep 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Best lesson: "We must choose between the violence of adults and the smile of children, between the ugliness of hate and the will to opposite it. Between inflicting suffering and humiliation on our below man and offering him the solidarity and hope he deserves. Or not.
I know -I speak from experience-that eventos un darkness it is posible to create light..."
Jason
Dec 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Elie Wiesel is about the only writer that whenever I read him I wonder why I bother writing.

"If life is not a celebration, why remember it? If life--mine or that of my fellow man--is not an offering to the other, what are we doing on this earth?"
Bill
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
A slim, reflective work made all the sweeter because he is gone.
John of Canada
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoirs
A few profound moments,I recommend reading Night before this.
Madison Gross
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Probably the most rewarding book I've read in my adult life.
Nichole
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A slim book that can be read in one sitting. It is interesting to hear his feelings on mortality with his history. A surprise open-heart surgery prompts this writing.
Cathie
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fast read. I wanted more, but I love this man. I would recommend reading Night before reading this book so you have more background on what he has endured in his life.
Nathan Albright
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge-2018
As someone who has read a fair amount of the author's body of work, there is still something poignant about this particular volume, written by the author after having open heart surgery (spoiler alert:  he lived) but before his death about two years later.  In this book we have an old man coming to terms with the possibility of death, with the reality of slowing down, and with the desire to stay alive to finish future projects that likely never got finished.  Not everyone gets the chance to feel ...more
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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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“I still believe in man in spite of man. I believe in language even though it has been wounded, deformed, and perverted by the enemies of mankind. And I continue to cling to words because it is up to us to transform them into instruments of comprehension rather than contempt. It is up to us to choose whether we wish to use them to curse or to heal, to wound or to console.” 42 likes
“Even in darkness it is possible to create light and encourage compassion. That it is possible to feel free inside a prison. That even in exile, friendship exists and can become an anchor. That one instant before dying, man is still immortal.” 33 likes
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