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Elie Wiesel - Open Heart [96] Unabridged
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Elie Wiesel - Open Heart

96 kbps, Unabridged, Read by Mark Branhall

Translated by Marion Wiesel

A profoundly and unexpectedly intimate, deeply affecting summing up of his life so far, from one of the most cherished moral voices of our time.

Eighty-two years old, facing emergency heart surgery and his own mortality, Elie Wiesel reflects back on his life. Emotions, images, faces and questions flash through his mind. His family before and during the unspeakable Event. The gifts of marriage and children and grandchildren that followed. In his writing, in his teaching, in his public life, has he done enough for memory and the survivors? His ongoing questioning of God—where has it led? Is there hope for mankind? The world’s tireless ambassador of tolerance and justice has given us this luminous account of hope and despair, an exploration of the love, regrets and abiding faith of a remarkable man.

Library Journal
Although the title might belong to any one of his cri-de-coeur novels—and in fact expresses his own moral fervency—this book is a memoir by the Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has done so much to help us to see the horrors of the Holocaust and the need vigilantly to choose between good and evil. In summer 2011, at age 82, Wiesel had open heart surgery, resulting in five bypasses. Before the surgery, he reflected on key aspects of his life, to give us this brief but undoubtedly bracing study. With a 30,000-copy first printing.

Kirkus Reviews
Having survived the Holocaust and Bernard Madoff, Nobel Prize–winning novelist and memoirist Wiesel (Hostage, 2012, etc.) faces mortality in this slender, elegant meditation. A few days short of the beginning of summer in 2011, Wiesel, complaining of acid reflux, went to see a gastroenterologist, who immediately pronounced, "It's your heart." There was no time to waste, he added, though Wiesel, with characteristic resolve, took a few hours to cancel appointments and otherwise clear his calendar against the possibility that he might never return to it. Wheeled to the operating room, he instructed the anesthesiologist to wait until he recited the Shema Yisrael, upon finishing which he said, in a small voice, "Now I am yours." The procedure, a matter of opening the chest to expose and repair the heart, went without incident, though it left Wiesel weak for a long time thereafter--and made him walk, he complains, like an old man, grumbling, "after all, I am only eighty-two!" It is mostly the metaphysical and not physical aftereffects that concern him here, though: He wrestles with God while remembering to say his prayers (and the one-word exchange he proposes to hold with God on their encounter is worth reading this small book to get to); he wrestles with the events of the years and with his regrets, not least of which, touchingly for a longtime professor, is having to cancel class on account of illness. Though he recognizes that the clock is ticking, the conclusion of Wiesel's little book is eminently hopeful and, indeed, as inspirational as anything he has ever written. His pains linger, Wiesel writes, but "if I forget them for a while, they quickly remind me of their presence." Just so, a most memorable book.