Saturday, 13 September 2008

The Boy in the Striped Pijamas, John Boyne a must read! I was waiting for it since a week (last Saturday, before watching the Duchess I saw the trailer of the film based on the novel by John Boyne). It's a next generation of 'Little Prince'!
It has been ages since I read a book in one go completely loosing the sense of reality - and I was about to go to bed early tonight, right...Bruno's story is.. o, damn it, I really do not know where to start, I even took a long hot bath to put this post together, and it's already falling apart - I will not tell you the story - media is shouting about it anyway, but it doesn't matter if you know or not - if you don't you will enjoy it just as much as a person who does, simply because it's WELL WRITTEN! Every single stop, every ending of a chapter, the rythm of the book, peoples gestures, silences and hidden tears (does anyone actually cry?), all the warnings and sence of obligation - to the country, family, but mainly to yourself! All the grown up questions and childish naivity! All the 200 pages of brilliant piece of literature!:)

Now we can see it on the screens.(with a great deal of Hungarian actors, btw)...
The story itself is (film trailer here) about boundaries, respect and friendship, but it also is a well written piece on Auschwitz and hitlerism (the every-day hitlerism)...about blindness and open hearts, about people trapped in the wrong times and places.
I think the ending is a perfect solution for a book writen for US/UK/Irish readers - I think it might be percieved diferently in Eastern Europe - but I think we all actually do need those endings.
I was 9 years old when I visited Auschwitz camp museum. My father lied that I was 11 (the minimum admission age for children) knowing me very well, and wisely. There is no age that can prepare you for the reality of that place. There is no book, or film that can actually show you what it meant to be a Jew living in there...I remember that th emost shocking issue for me was the fact mentioned in the induction film - that twins, children were speared from going straight to the gas chamber simply for the sake of medical experiments - 1. was it really any better? 2. if yes, if they survived, how does it feel to be alive simply because you were born as a twin? so randomly saved...that was the point where the 'big lie' lost on its 'logic' to me. At the age of 9.
(Bruno is 9, his friend too. Maybe that is why I felt so close to the actions and emotions of those characters.)
I also remember every block, every wall, I could draw the plan of the place. I went back two times, to see if I can learn more, but I think I have learned enough as a 9 year old girl: this is not meant to happen and cannot be allowed, but yes, we do tent to behave like animals...(one thing Hitler WAS right about).

At the age of 30 I experienced myself the low of the lowest behaviours in my own house and I know how easy it is to miss the point, to forget the ethics, to let others brake the rules of humanity - and how easy it is to resist, to protect yourself and to recover.

I see it all in this well written story!

I definitely will pass this book on to every single soul I know! And I will encourage everyone to go and see the film (John Boyne is writing about its London première on his blog).

(On a way from the film - The Dutchess - last weekend I heard a couple talking about something similiar. The guy was telling his friend a real story of a child - victim of Auschwitz, who was saved by a Polish servant girl who fed the boy every day with an apple. When the boy grew up and went back to - I think - US - he had a blind date arranged with...the very same woman! Proposed to her the same evening! - I really would like to believe it's truth)

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Mbuckingham said...

Hi Sylwia I've just watchedthis movie, and I can't stop talking about it! It just so good! Loved every minute of it!

GabK said...

Hi, great! I will go to see it too, next weekend probably:) I am glad our opinions are similar - I still cannot stop thinking about the book, even though I am reading smth else...Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Olgi said...

Hi, I am Olga from Hungary. I just read that the movie - partly shot in Hungary - is ready, than I searched for the author and the title of the book, and your page was the first to come up! Thanks for the inspiration, I really want to read it! (and watch the movie too, but having a baby and living abroad far from grandmas we might have to wait for the DVD release). But the book is in at the local library, so I vist the library today, and I try to read it in English!
BTW, we visited Auschwitz 2 years ago w my husband, in out late twenties, but it was shocking, we will never forgot.

GabK said...

thank you, I am happy you like the post, do read the book! Koszonom a hozzaszolast!:)