Hostage

Hostage

A Novel

Book - 2012
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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.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012
Edition: 1st American ed
Description: 213 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9780307599582
0307599582
Branch Call Number: Wies
Additional Contributors: Temerson, Catherine
Wiesel, Elie 1928-

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j
JohnnyArch
Sep 04, 2012

Hostage © 2012 – Fiction
By Elie Wiesel (Jewish-American b-1928) – Terrorism

Hostage is an excellent novel with the pleasure of utilizing only three characters for some deep drama. Human interaction and emotion rule the day without relying on graphic torture or Hollywood antics.
Elie Wiesel is one of only a small handful of writers who could pull this off brilliantly. Being a holocaust survivor himself, as well as actually having endured Auschwitz’s death camp, Elie regrettably knows his material.
Elie’s Jewish character in the novel held hostage ‘Shaltiel Fiegenberg’ is neither famous nor in any way more or less significant. The terrorists consist of an Islamic extremist and an intellectual Italian sympathizer. The bounty for Shatiel’s freedom is the freeing of three Palestinian prisoners.
An American held captive by a couple of revolutionist is not by any means a fresh idea. Hollywood has trampled this idea to death however Elie’s version comes off way more worthy of note, considering the source. It reads like a Turner Classic Movie relying on content and quality to carry the day rather than Bruce Willis, explosions, shock & awe.
At 214 pages it was taken in with one sitting. Well actually, I made it to 211 wherein my wife unyieldingly intervened with some domicile crisis, thereby causing a rather obtuse ‘book interrupted’ incident. We have talked it out and have since reconciled. Almost a full pull 
A good read.

By John Archibald, September 2012

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