The Sonderberg Case by Elie Wiesel

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Synopsis

From the Nobel laureate and author of the masterly Night, a deeply felt, beautifully written novel of morality, guilt, and innocence.

Despite personal success, Yedidyah—a theater critic in New York City, husband to a stage actress, father to two sons—finds himself increasingly drawn to the past. As he reflects on his life and the decisions he’s made, he longingly reminisces about the relationships he once had with the men in his family (his father, his uncle, his grandfather) and the questions that remain unanswered. It’s a feeling that is further complicated when Yedidyah is assigned to cover the murder trial of a German expatriate named Werner Sonderberg. Sonderberg returned alone from a walk in the Adirondacks with an elderly uncle, whose lifeless body was soon retrieved from the woods. His plea is enigmatic: “Guilty . . . and not guilty.”

These words strike a chord in Yedidyah, plunging him into feelings that bring him harrowingly close to madness. As Sonderberg’s trial moves along a path of dizzying yet revelatory twists and turns, Yedidyah begins to understand his own family’s hidden past and finally liberates himself from the shadow it has cast over his life.

With his signature elegance and thoughtfulness, Elie Wiesel has given us an enthralling psychological mystery, both vividly dramatic and profoundly emotional.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Elie Wiesel

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Elie Wiesel is the author of more than forty books, including his unforgettable international bestsellers Night and A Beggar in Jerusalem, winner of the Prix Médicis. He has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States Congressional Gold Medal, and the French Legion of Honor with the rank of Grand Cross. In 1986, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. He is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and University Professor at Boston University.
 
Published August 24, 2010 by Knopf. 193 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Sonderberg Case

Kirkus Reviews

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The defendant is no help, proclaiming himself (as a philosophy student would), “not guilty but not innocent.” The critic’s obsession with the case (which doesn’t really commence until a third of the way through the novel) upsets his theater-loving wife, but it leads to all sorts of grand pronounc...

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Publishers Weekly

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The novel is told mostly via Yedidyah's personal reflections and each component of the story is so divorced from the next—there are no scenes, for instance, that show Yedidyah with more than one family member at a time—that it's difficult to assemble a larger view of his life.

Jun 14 2010 | Read Full Review of The Sonderberg Case

AV Club

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The way the characters speak like they’re in a stilted one-act play might be interesting if the book drew parallels between Yedidyah’s work as a critic and the way he perceives the world (since most of the book is in first person, though Wiesel makes frequent, jarring, and apparently random shift...

Sep 23 2010 | Read Full Review of The Sonderberg Case

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Los Angeles Times

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Sonderberg's plea — "guilty and not guilty" — irritates the judge and intrigues Wasserman, who can't forget something his grandfather told him: "When a man's life is at stake, it is not theater."

Sep 05 2010 | Read Full Review of The Sonderberg Case

Bookmarks Magazine

As Sonderberg’s trial moves along a path of dizzying yet revelatory twists and turns, Yedidyah begins to understand his own family’s hidden past and finally liberates himself from the shadow it has cast over his life.

With his signature elegance and thoughtfulness, Elie Wiesel has given us...

Sep 06 2010 | Read Full Review of The Sonderberg Case

North Jersey

After more than 60 years, more than 50 books and a Nobel Peace Prize, Elie Wiesel is still struggling with what it means to be a Holocaust survivor.

Aug 30 2010 | Read Full Review of The Sonderberg Case

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