Hostage: Book summary and reviews of Hostage by Elie Wiesel

Hostage

By Elie Wiesel

Hostage
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2012,
    224 pages.

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Book Summary

From Elie Wiesel, Nobel laureate and author of Night, a charged, deeply moving novel about the legacy of the Holocaust in today's troubled world and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It's 1975, and Shaltiel Feigenberg - professional storyteller, writer and beloved husband - has been taken hostage: abducted from his home in Brooklyn, blindfolded and tied to a chair in a dark basement. His captors, an Arab and an Italian, don't explain why the innocent Shaltiel has been chosen, just that his life will be bartered for the freedom of three Palestinian prisoners. As his days of waiting commence, Shaltiel resorts to what he does best, telling stories - to himself and to the men who hold his fate in their hands.

With beauty and sensitivity, Wiesel builds the world of Shaltiel's memories, haunted by the Holocaust and a Europe in the midst of radical change. A Communist brother, a childhood spent hiding from the Nazis in a cellar, the kindness of liberating Russian soldiers, the unrest of the 1960s - these are the stories that unfold in Shaltiel's captivity, as the outside world breathlessly follows his disappearance and the police move toward a final confrontation with his captors.

Impassioned, provocative and insistently humane, Hostage is both a masterly thriller and a profoundly wise meditation on the power of memory to connect us to the past and our shared need for resolution.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Wiesel takes us on a journey through dream, memory, and especially storytelling in Hostage... He continues to remind us of the brilliant possibilities of the philosophical and political novel." - Kirkus Reviews

"[Wiesel's] terse first-person, present-tense narrative will hold readers... With the intense contemporary action, the prisoner's memories also bring close the sweep of Jewish history, including persecution and survival... Sure to spark discussion about Middle Eastern history and politics." - Booklist

"Readers expecting a literary thriller may be disappointed, but fans of Wiesel's strong prose who are looking forward to a return to familiar themes will be gratified by this work." - Library Journal

"...Wiesel's narrative skills fail to create tension... Instead of a literary thriller, we get a didactic defense of the Jewish state and its timeless vulnerability." - Publishers Weekly

The information about Hostage shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Elie Wiesel Author Biography

Photo: Sergey Bermeniev

Elie Wiesel was born on September 30th, 1928 in Sighet, Transylvania, which is now part of Romania. He was fifteen years old when he and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz. His mother Sarah and younger sister Tzipora perished, his two older sisters, Hilda and Beatrice, survived. Elie and his father Shlomo were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died shortly before the camp was liberated in April 1945.

After the war, Elie Wiesel studied in Paris and later became a journalist. During an interview with the distinguished French writer, Francois Mauriac, he was persuaded to write about his experiences in the death camps. The result was his internationally acclaimed memoir, La Nuit or Night, which has since been translated into more than thirty languages.

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Name Pronunciation
Elie Wiesel: eh-lee vee-ZEL

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