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Hostage by Elie Wiesel
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Hostage

by Elie Wiesel

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Not one of Elie Wiesel's best works, but far from the worst of many others. Its not quite as nuanced as some of his others. The narrative skipping from things isn't too much of the problem, but going from third person to first person randomly threw me off. There wasn't as much story to this, as just juxtaposition reminiscing "clips" to Shaltiel's life; some of which was interesting, and some of it wasn't. The blurb of him "telling stories to his captives" is a bit misleading as that's not what really happens in the novel either. ( )
  BenKline | May 14, 2017 |
Elie Wiesel draws upon his experience as a holocaust survivor to in a way retell his would wide award winning classic Night. The book tells the story of a Jewish storyteller in New York City who is captured by two terrorists, one Arab and one Italian, who are holding him to try to get three political prisoners released from jail. The book has very little physical action as it mainly centers on the hostage's recollections of his upbringing, his family and also some of the stories he has told to entertain others over the years. The terrorists play a bit of a good cop bad cop scenario as the book evolves. The book is very thought provoking and is for some who want to think - not someone look for action. The central question posed to me is have people really changed beyond the time of the holocaust? ( )
1 vote muddyboy | Aug 18, 2013 |
An interesting interweaving of stories around the experiences of a Jewish storyteller who is kidnapped by a Palestinian and an Italian. Shaltiel Feigenberg's father had brought him to America to escape a Europe marred by the Holocaust, but the repercussions of the establishment of Israel brought about the situation of Shaltiel's kidnap.

During the Second World War Shaltiel survived by being able to win or lose games of chess in the basement of his German protector. In the Brooklyn basement of his kidnappers, he has to use his ability to speak or remain silent to persuade his captors not to kill him.

His tales have some effect on one of his captors, but it's on the European one, not the Palestinian man with whom he really needs to connect the most. I enjoyed the story very much, but it still leaves me feeling fairly hopeless about the prospects of peace in the Middle East. ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Apr 1, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307599582, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:14 -0400)

It's 1975, and Shaltiel Feigenberg, a professional storyteller and writer, has been taken hostage. He has been abducted from his home in Brooklyn, New York, blindfolded and tied to a chair in a dark basement. His captors, an Arab and an Italian, don't explain why 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. A Communist brother and a childhood spent hiding from the Nazis in a cellar, the kindness of liberating Russian soldiers, the unrest of the 1960s are some of the memories that unfold during his captivity, as the outside world breathlessly follows his disappearance and the police move toward a final confrontation with his captors. The author builds the world of Shaltiel's memories, haunted by the Holocaust and a Europe in the midst of radical change. This story is both a thriller and a meditation on the power of memory to connect us to the past and our shared need for resolution.… (more)

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