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Hardcover All Rivers Run to the Sea: Memoirs Book

ISBN: 0679439161

ISBN13: 9780679439165

All Rivers Run to the Sea: Memoirs

(Book #1 in the The Memoirs Series)

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

Save $30.61!
List Price $35.00

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Book Overview

With 16 pages of photographs.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

disagree with "mediocre" label

I found this a very compelling read, lasting over several readings. It's true the author did not stick tightly to chronological order, but anyone who has read his fiction knows his style tends to be very esoteric and rather free-floating (I personally do not care for his fiction, which I admit I do find to go over my head). However, as a reader, I certainly got a feel for emotions he felt throughout different experiences in his life. I found the last scene describing his emotions before and during his wedding to be really profound. It's true that there is a lot of Jewish content in this book, which may cause some of his analogies etc. to be less accessible to someone from a different background. However, for someone who wants to read a first-hand Holocaust experience without very strong graphic details, I do recommend it. (As a side note, just last week I actually attended a speech by Mr. Wiesel, and he is really a personable, funny, self-effacing and sweet man, not the really sad and somber person you might expect from his writings. I was surprised by this, pleasantly so!)

6 stars?

This is one of the times when I think we should be able to go higher than 5 stars. Elie Wiesel's All Rivers Run to the Sea gave us a more in-depth look to the concentration camp survivor. He really gives us a rich experience in weaving together the threads of his past, from his days in school to the horror in the concentration camps, right up to his days of being a journalist, and ending with him as a groom. You really get a feel for the type of person he is as well - a wonderful, compassionate, and intelligent man. If you've read Night already, you're definitely going to want to check this out.


In Elie Wiesel's beautiful book, Memoirs: All Rivers Run to the Sea, he again accomplishes what he has accomplished most perfectly in all of his previous works--translating the personal into the universal. Wiesel is also a master storyteller and he does his job flawlessly in this poignant and unforgettable book, relating his memoirs in a frame, both beginning and ending All Rivers Run to the Sea with a dream.He beings with a dream about his father, and the haunting words, "Last night I saw my father in a dream." Of course, this is no ordinary dream, but a dream that reveals volumes about Wiesel's life and its ever-present themes. Imprisoned at both Buchenwald and Auschwitz, Wiesel, who shared the darkest moments of his life with his father, saw the man he never really knew die of starvation and dysentery, while his mother and youngest sister, the beautiful little Tzipora, were murdered in the ovens of Auschwitz.In the second dream, Wiesel brings his memoirs to a close as he describes his joyous wedding day in the Old City of Jerusalem. Although a happy groom, Wiesel is by no means a traditional one. Retreating into a silent reverie, he tries somehow to include his parents and baby sister in the wedding festivities, thus rounding out the family circle he loved so much.Between these two sad and haunting dreams, Wiesel, who often employs frames in relating a tale, tells us the story of the early years of his life.Born in Sighet, Romania on 30 September 1928 to Shlomo and Sarah Feig Wiesel, Elie Wiesel lived the early years of his life happily, in the center of Jewish culture. Although his family was quite traditional, it was in Sighet that Wiesel began experimenting with more mystical lines of thought. Possessed with a passion for learning, he studied both Hebrew and Yiddish as well as delving into the ancient texts of the Jewish faith.It was on 19 March 1944 that this idyllic boyhood with an intensely spiritual family came to an abrupt end. An unspeakable darkness fell upon Sighet's entire Jewish community as all of the nearly 15,000 residents were arrested and deported to Auschwitz, Poland. Wiesel is chilling as he relates the horror and uncertainty of traveling in the cattle cars, of the painful separation of loving families and the violation and exploitation of human beings by...other human beings.It was only after the liberation of the camps in 1945, that Wiesel discovered that his two older sisters, Hilda and Batya had survived. Although overjoyed at their reunion, the loss of his younger sister is something so painful, so beyond Wiesel's imagination, that even today, he cannot speak of it.For a full ten years, Wiesel remained silent regarding his experiences in the death camps, wondering why he had survived while so many others had perished. He said, "In those years, it was very difficult to talk about the subject. I grew up in a mystical atmosphere, believing in silence, so I tried to use what I learned to purify the words, to

A Voice Crying in the Wilderness

How many people in this world, as they go about living out their lives, will ever come to an understanding of the human cost that was exacted in the Holocaust? Sure, there will always be the auto-pilot responses in which people quote the six-million figure while shaking their heads, but often their knowledge does not go beyond this point. In the pages of "All Rivers Run to the Sea," Elie Wiesel is willing to lay bare his soul in order to create understanding as a living, yet still wounded, witness of the Holocaust. Without this premise, perhaps this would be just another autobiography of a globe-trotting journalist, and the intrigue of international diplomacy. But it is much, much more than that. Indirectly, Wiesel shows himself as a man who is never able to be completely happy, completely alive...completely whole. When the Jewish people in his village were rounded up, shipped off, imprisoned, starved, and killed, a part of himself dies as well. Thus, there are constant flashbacks in the book to his parents who did not survive. As Elie experiences the events of life, and the decades pass on, the reality of what occurred to his family and so many others haunts his dreams and his writings. By and by, the reader is able to see that the human cost of the Holocaust is as close as their own mother and father. This is the subtle power of these memoirs.
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