Tuesday, September 06, 2011
I don't want to trash this book. It's for young adults, after all--or I suppose it is. It's designed to generate discussion about the Holocaust and inhumanity, and I can see that happening in a middle school classroom. It's really not a terrible read by any means. But I just couldn't suspend disbelief to the degree necessary to appreciate its potential charms. How could Shmuel get away for hours every day to sit quietly by the fence at Auschwitz and talk to Bruno? How could he procure an extra uniform at a moment's notice when scraps of cloth were fought over? How could Bruno be so dunderheaded and vacuous about EVERYTHING, even though he's only 9 years old? The plot is simpiy unbelievable. Richard Matheson or Rod Serling might have made a quality TZ episode from this story, however; the twist at the end is a good one, and likely explains what all the fuss is about. I'll put it in my WW2 book bin at work, but I'm not sure I'll use it. It was probably a bad idea to read this concurrently with Hoess's autobiography.