If you start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy named Bruno. (Though this isn’t a book for nine0year-olds.) And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence. Fences like this exists all over the world. We hope you never have to encounter one.
I went into this book having absolutely no idea what it was about. I had no clue it dealt with the holocaust. It took my a few pages before catching up on the fact the THE FURY referred to Hitler, but not very long to grasp that Out-With was Auschwitz. Let’s dive into my thoughts:
I don’t want to be too harsh on a book that carries such a powerful message but I just don’t think it wasn’t very well executed. A lot of people complained about Bruno coming off younger than he actually was, but I think that was on purpose to emphasize his naive and sheltered mind. What I had problems with was how inconsistent his character was portrayed by the author. You can’t have a boy act like a little child most of the book than say things to his maid like “well, you’ve been brought here against your will, just like I have. If you ask me, we’re all in the same boat. And it’s leaking“.
Sounds like a very adult way to view and express the situation, for a kid who can’t even pronounce Auschwitz in his own tongue and who, after a year of looking over a concentration camp, still think these people are living there happily and could leave at any moment. (Out-with is an english mispronunciation, yet the kid only speaks German. Weird?)
[Spoilers down below]
The ending was abrupt, I thought that once on the other side of that fence, he’d face some trouble being misidentified as a prisonner and finally realize what was going on before getting out of there somehow. What saddens me the most is that even at the very end, he still doesn’t get it. He will have never known the truth. It’s frustrating, and incomprehensible. Also that nobody seemed to have a clue as to what happened with him. Your missing son’s clothes are left right beside the fence of a camp where people are massively killed and somehow it took you one year to notice that there was a gap under the fence exactly at the same spot? That’s not serious.
I still rated it 3 stars because it’s not a bad book, but after finishing it all the flaws started to pop into my mind. Have you read it? Do you agree/disagree?