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Synopses & Reviews
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.
From the Hardcover edition.
"Wiesel's novel, set in 1975, recounts the fictional biography of Holocaust survivor Shaltiel Feigenberg, who recalls the story of his life after he is abducted from his home in Brooklyn, N.Y., and held captive by extremists. Unfortunately, award-winning narrator Mark Bramhall isn't at his best here. Early on, some listeners will tune out; Bramhall's performance of Feigenberg's Italian and Arab abductors is disappointing: at times, he makes the Islamic terrorist sound almost Russian. Although Bramhall does a bit better subsequently in flashback scenes featuring German characters, the damage has already been done. Additionally, the flatness of his narration is not engaging. While Wiesel has given him dramatic material to work with — his protagonist recalls hiding from the Nazis and pleading for his freedom — Bramhall's uninspired delivery robs the text of its power. A Knopf hardcover." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
ELIE WIESEL was fifteen years old when he was deported to Auschwitz. After the war he became a journalist and writer in Paris, and since then has written more than fifty books, both fiction and nonfiction. His masterwork, Night, was a major best seller when it was republished recently in a new translation. Wiesel has been awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor's Grand-Croix, an honorary knighthood of the British Empire, and, in 1986, the Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1976, he has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University.
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