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Book Title: Twilight: A Novel|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 726 KB
ISBN 13: 9781476737645
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Loaded: 1279 times
Reader ratings: 7.4
The author of the book: Elie Wiesel
Edition: Simon Schuster
Date of issue: February 12th 2013
Read full description of the books:
A man’s search for God through the madness of the Holocaust and its legacy.
Raphael is a child survivor of the WWII, who loses his family to the death camps and to insanity. He is attracted to madness himself from a young age, when an old man in an insane asylum in his home town in the Carpathians introduces him to the alternative reality of the madman, and questions claims to legitimate thought by the sane. After enduring the vicissitudes of life and questioning his own sanity in middle age, Rafael retreats to a sanatorium in upstate New York in his quest to find his missing hero Pedro (or is it God that he is in search of?) who pulled him out of the wreckage of war and then went missing. At the sanatorium, Rafael spends time with inmates who have cultivated personalities of Biblical characters: from Cain to Abraham and even the Messiah, and comes to a surprising end to his quest.
While on this fragmented journey we are introduced to vignettes of the philosophy of the mad:
“The path to enlightenment lies through the ravaged landscape of madness”
“The dead live within us. We carry the dead inside us.”
“Understand without seeking and seek not to understand”
God is on trial as well – for the Holocaust survivors hold Him guilty of releasing such mayhem on the world. And God seems helpless to control what he has created – Man. And the scary question being asked, and which is ultimately answered: Is God a Madman?
Despite the intriguing premise, I founded the scenes and characters underdeveloped in this rather short novel. Scenes moved back and forth rapidly in little fragments and the character development was lost as a consequence. There were too many characters and too many sub-plots which seemed like anecdotes from the writer’s experience, crammed into this book, where the pieces did not always fit. Of the three madmen referred to in Rafael’s life, only one comes to life in these pages; I’m still trying to find the ones Paris and the Far East.
Rafael too comes across as a half-baked character, mortally shy of women and abused by his moody wife, who later leaves him, taking their daughter away with her, and taunting him with the parting words, “You cling to misery as it clings to you.” Perhaps the Holocaust did not give us strong characters, only damaged ones.
I’m sure Wiesel has returned to this theme in his other works, and I hope he has explored them in greater detail. This book is just a tad too short and cursory for such weighty subject matter.
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Read information about the authorEliezer 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 "messenger to mankind," noting that through his struggle to come to terms with "his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler's death camps," as well as his "practical work in the cause of peace," Wiesel has delivered a powerful message "of peace, atonement and human dignity" to humanity.
On November 30, 2006 Wiesel received an honorary knighthood in London, England in recognition of his work toward raising Holocaust education in the United Kingdom.
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