Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Challenging Turns

Elie Wiesel makes a number of challenging narrative and character turns in his novel, The Fifth Son.  Saying too much about this would reveal the plot.  But I can say that Weisel takes the narrative and moves it back and forth in time.  He builds up suspense, a sense of unwinding knowledge, and impending action, layer by layer.  There is also a surprising twist of character development toward the end that completely re-frames the novel.

Wiesel is rightly labeled a novelist who writes about the Holocaust.  This is his almost exclusive theme.  But The Fifth Son shows that he can take this theme and exploit it artistically in surprising ways. 

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