What will we do if one day we find out our things are being packed and sent away to a place miles away from home? What will we do if one day we’re being forced to move from home where we’ve lived since birth? Imagine it happened if we’re a 9years old boy who live happily in the beautiful side of Berlin and currently have 3 best friends for life.
Mad and confused, for sure. And a lot of questioning for what have we done that made us being punished to live in the middle of nowhere. With no kids around to play with. With no playground in sight to play in. With no crowded street to stroll to on a saturday morning. With a terriying neighborhood 50 feet away from home.
So what will you do at home to kill the boredom in such situation? Young kind-hearted kid like Bruno will build a swing from tyre on a tree at his house to play with. Or have a nice chat with the maids at home whom he seldomly talked with back in Berlin. Or maybe have a little adventure to find out why there is fence outside the gate of his house.
The book tells us the humanity side of holocaust happened in Poland during World War II. About a strange friendship between Bruno, the son of German Commandant who lives in one side of the fence, and Schmuel, a Poland kid who lives in the opposite side of the fence who never failed to wear a grey stripped pyjama all day long every day.
John Boyne successfully narate the situation Bruno caught in, both inside and outside his head. How Bruno always wondering how could there be many kids on the opposite side of the fence and none of them in his side of the fence. What Bruno and Schmuel know about their condition and how they become friends although not only a fence but also social background that separate them.
How Bruno spontaneously think Schmuel’s house in Poland is not as good as his in Berlin because from what he knows Germany is a better country than Poland. How Schmuel hates soldier because he thinks of all them are bad while Bruno agress to disagree because he’s father must be a good soldier. A much talkative novel compared to the movie version.
Too bad I watched the movie first instead of the novel. If gave me perfect image to fascinate when I read the novel. Although Bruno and Schmuel friendship goes in to the same direction both in the movie and in the novel, the movie captured the ending better than the novel.
But rather than watch a slow pace movie, I’d prefer to read the novel that gives more information. Including for what happened with Bruno’s family after Bruno pronounced that Schmuel is his friend for life. What about you?
This post has been published in DVRG Magazine.