by John Boyne
Another story that depicts a horrible situation through the eyes of a child. Bruno is upset that his father\’s job makes them move from their nice home in Berlin to what he at first assumes is the desolate countryside. He mispronounces the name of this new place as \’Out-With\’ but the reader can soon guess the real location. Also the identity of his father\’s seldom-seen boss, of whom everyone is very much afraid- \’the Fury\’- is very clear to the reader, but then we are seeing it all through hindsight. In the middle of the story, nine-year-old Bruno is just angry and bored, squabbling with his sister, questioning the maid and finally wandering outdoors. Where after a very long walk he finds another boy sitting on the opposite side of a tall, barbed-wire fence. He slowly makes friends with this boy, all the time innocent of what is really going on. Who his father really works for, why are those hundreds of people standing around on the other side of the fence, looking terribly thin and all wearing the same clothes. There\’s a very real sense in this book, of how people- especially a child- could have been blind to what was going on during the Holocaust, how they started to deliberately not see- for fear of their own lives- when it became apparent what was really happening. Brutality. And this kid just wants a friend.
I read it in just two sittings. The ending is chilling.
Borrowed from the public library.
Rating: 3/5 216 pages, 2006