Once again, in The Town Beyond the Wall, Elie Wiesel has brought us a novel in which he infuses pieces of himself within the pages, through the narrator, named Michael. Michael is a Jew, and he is a survivor of the Holocaust. He is haunted by the past, by memories that he tries to hold on to, holding on literally for survival. He is in constant search for validation and the meaning of life. He ruminates, contemplates, and examines, but he does not always find answers.
Some circumstances hold no answers, and there are no clear cut reasons for the occurrences. The novel questions whether you can return to where your life began, to where you spent the first youthful formative years of your life, to where your life as you knew it ended, and not feel some form of pain or suffering. The clear message is that to do so would be to blot out those who came before you.
Wiesel implies that suffering is man’s worst nightmare, where cowardice and courage can’t blend together with a firm, peaceful or true resolution. It is either one or the other, but not both. He is masterful in his writing, and leaves us to ponder much. I have never read a book by Elie Wiesel that I didn’t like, and The Town Beyond the Wall is no different. In fact, it is intense, compelling, thought-provoking, and is a novel that caused this reader to weigh, with deep thought, the aspects of remembrance and its extreme importance in all facets of life. I highly recommend it to everyone.
I personally own and have read this book.
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