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The Bunker Diary

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  11,678 ratings  ·  2,139 reviews
I can't believe I fell for it.
It was still dark when I woke up this morning.
As soon as my eyes opened I knew where I was.
A low-ceilinged rectangular building made entirely of whitewashed concrete.
There are six little rooms along the main corridor.
There are no windows. No doors. The elevator is the only way in or out.
What's he going to do to me?
What am I going
Paperback, 268 pages
Published March 7th 2013 by Penguin
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Liz Thompson It mirrors life - sometimes horrible things happen that you have no control over - there is no answer, no reason.

You can question and wonder about Him…more
It mirrors life - sometimes horrible things happen that you have no control over - there is no answer, no reason.

You can question and wonder about Him or The Man Upstairs - but you'll never get an answer.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,678 ratings  ·  2,139 reviews

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Cora Tea Party Princess
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
5 Words: Brutal, intense, heart-breaking, pensive, horrific.

5 More Words: Addictive, amazing, shocking, unbelievable, lost-for-words.

There's something about Kevin Brooks' style of writing that I just can't get enough of. I guess it's because the way the narrative flows is similar to the way my own thoughts flow. It just feels so right to read.

This is an author who is not afraid to take chances and be controversial. He's not afraid to hit you hard and shock you. And The Bunker Diary just proves t
May 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
While this book was intense and heart-pounding and mind-boggling, I was kind of let down by the ending. I mean, I know not every book is going to be a HEA but this was just too much for me. It sucked the happy right out of me and now I'm depressed. While the writing was impressive, the story's ending...was not.

Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars
This book was part of a Carnegie Short List package I bought for a school library, and I started reading it primarily to figure out if it was appropriate for Middle School or not (view spoiler). After a couple of pages I had completely forgotten that I read it for work. I laughed, I cried, I ignored the rest of the world until I had finished it.

There is a lot of violence and hopelessness in the story, and it calls to
Erik Fazekas
Oh my...
I am finished...
I am trembling...
I started this book 3 hours ago, now I am finished, I read the last page and then looked at several other blank pages after...
I don´t know what to say about this book, how to characterize it.
Just - It is sick and wrong and cruel in every possible way. And perfect and honest and true and exquisite in every other way.
And you have to read it to fully understand what it is about.
The topic is for sure not new, but masterfully executed. Yes this book was exe
Jul 04, 2022 rated it liked it
It took me a week to finish and get through this book and another to write a review. The disturbing images and the claustrophobic descriptions of the bunker are still etched on my mind. Holy shit.

I think I went a little nuts as I go along the pages, I shared the pain of the captives, I suffocated with them, I starved, I felt cold, I got confused, I licked my dry lips and felt a jolt of twist in my stomach, fearing the unknown.

Even though I was only a reader, I too felt trapped within those wal
Until Tatiana reviewed this, I realised I'd actually forgotten to do so myself. And, frankly, skip this one. Please. I'm saying that to protect you.

The Bunker Diary made me think of my seriously unsettled view of True Art Is Angsty. The Bunker Diary is relentlessly miserable, depressing, and unforgiving. Think of the worst ending you can think of and triple it. It's well written, it's well structured, but it's not good.

Yes, I have no doubt that those of you who loved it (and possibly Brooks hims
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You know that feeling when you finish that book and you sit there motionless for a moment? This book is like that: spellbinding, thought provoking, stunning. I am finding incredibly hard to write this and talk about it coherently because I am just- I don't know. Shocked? Mesmerised I think would be more like it. What I really enjoyed about his book was that although there was a brilliant premise and plot, it was also so psychological and really made me think. I especially liked the way in which ...more
Natasha Mostert
Aug 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
4½ Out of 5
“I thought he was blind. That's how he got me. I still can't believe I fell for it. I keep playing it over in my mind, hoping I'll do something different, but it always turns out the same...”
“A thousand questions have streamed through my head.
Where am I? Where's the blind man? Who is he? What does he want? What's he going to do to me? What am I going to do?
I don't know…”
Linus was living on the streets, living rough. But that doesn't mean he was rough. When he saw the blind guy struggl
Jun 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-again
I dont really know what to say about this book. I found it quite boring and extremely dissapointing.

The start was promising. Sixteen year old Linus was taken and imprisoned in a bunker. Throughtout the novel, more people joined him. Well that's basically it, nothing more happends.
There is a bit when Linus is looking back on this life and I guess this is supposed to make the reader feel sorry for him, but the whole poor little rich boy bullshit did not work for me.

Except for Linus, there is no ch
Alice Oseman
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is absolute perfection. I would not change a single thing about it, especially the ending. The messages are so intricately woven and muddled in with often completely meaningless diversions that it can at times be difficult to understand what Brooks is actually attempting to communicate - but that's all part of the wonderful, intriguing mystery of this book. The reason that I couldn't give it full stars is because it's absolutely the most horrifying and unforgiving book I have ever read ...more
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2015, 3, starred-2015
So depressing and so pointless in the end. I guess I need someone to explain it to me?

I wanted to accuse whoever judges Carnegie medal awarding of being morbid, but then I remembered Printz Honor for Nothing, which is only slightly less depressing, but better written.

In the end, I would classify The Bunker Diary as more of a torture porn experiment (like those Saw movies) than quality literature for teens. But that's just me.
Karin Michael
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was bitter-sweetly heartbreaking which left me feeling depressed a minute after I finished reading it. The sad thing is there are some sick people like that in the world who do such things and that makes me hate the world we live in.

Full review to come.

Veronica Morfi
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4/5

This can't be the end. OMG!!! Full review to come...
Elizabeth Sagan
May 19, 2022 rated it liked it
lol the ending
Barbara Band
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm not quite sure what to say about this book. I read it because it was on the Carnegie shortlist, although I have enjoyed previous novels by Kevin Brooks so this would probably have ended up on my to-read list anyway.

It's basically a story about 6 people who are captured by an unknown man and put into a buried bunker where he plays mind games with them. I found it exceedingly gripping and couldn't put it down but, after I'd finished it, I began to wonder what the point of it all was? We aren't
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what I'm feeling. It was like I was there with them and I lived their sorrows and laughs and cryings. I was blown away. ...more
Bookish Devil
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I think I've lost my ability to speak ! ...more
Hanin Reads
That was intense, massive and dark. It put me in a temporary depression and a low mood and that what I was looking for tbh. I needed a book to shock me and let me think what it represents beyond the plot and the story itself.
The story is about a guy who found himself in a bunker with a bunch of people (5 other people) to be more specific, with 6 rooms no windows no doors. They didn’t know what they’ve done to be punished in that way. They did what in their hands so they can survive. Eatin
Gavriella Troper-hochstein
Jun 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very good yal book! My young students loved it too. One of them couldn't sleep after finishing it. Made quite an impression. ...more
Daisy May Johnson
The Bunker Diary won the Carnegie this year, and, almost immediately, got a lot of less than favourable media coverage. Articles ranged from calling The Bunker Diary'vile and dangerous', through to other critics 'refusing to review it'. Vulpes Libris have an excellent round up of articles on the subject and a thoughtful review here.

So what do you do about a book when you come to it in, perhaps, a shaded light of expectation?

You read the book. You should always read the book. You can never judge
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent book by Brooks. I'm a big fan of his work and personally I think this is one of his best (alongside Naked and iBoy). His writing is always so gritty and realistic which I find refreshing in the YA market. In fact, it seems almost insulting that Brooks is categorised as a YA author as his writing is always so much darker than what is stereotypically perceived when "YA" is ever mentioned.

I can't go in to any depth discussing this novel as it would cause far too many spoilers for
Jun 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
It seems stylish to like dystopian books these days and perhaps even books without a traditional happy ending. This is all fine and well when the book is well balanced (think The Book Thief or Flowers for Algernon) with sufficient character development and some ups and downs to take you along with the characters. But this is one sick sled ride all the way downhill. If the sign of a good book is that it generates controversy and is hard to forget then I'll give this book that. In addition people ...more
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
1. THE ENDING WHAT THE?!?!?! Theories on the ending:
a) The kidnapper was caught by the police but the police didn’t know about the bunker so they were all caught down there.
b) The kidnapper wanted everyone to die and fills up the bunker periodically and just watches everyone die over and over. Linus died too based on the ending seeing the light and the diary ending mid sentence.
2. OMG I’m so sad Jenny had to be eaten. At least she was dead first.
3. I think I would have done thing
I slept on it, and I finally decided to down it a star. The writing *is* impressive, but there's not much substance to the story. It's a book to shock you, and doesn't have any other purposes.

This book is disgusting and cruel, and I don't know who thought it was okay to publish it as a children novel. The author pissed on life, and the world is a dark dark place.
You can say the book is total nihilism, and you'll be right, but it is still a
Gaby Meares
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
I thought the premise was intriguing - 16 year old Linus is duped by a man to help him load a van....and wakes to find himself alone in an underground bunker. He is joined by a further 5 individuals similarly fooled, drugged and deposited into the bunker via the lift. Why have they been captured? What does this man want with them? How can they possibly escape.


I had a sinking feeling as this book developed that I was going to be very angry about the ending...and I was! I t
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars

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Kevin Brooks was born in 1959 and grew up in Exeter, Devon, England. He studied Psychology and Philosophy at Birmingham, Aston University in 1980 and Cultural Studies in London in 1983. Kevin Brooks has been in a variety of jobs including: musician, gasoline station attendant, crematorium handyman, civil service clerk, hot dog vendor at the London Zoo, post office clerk, and railway ticket office ...more

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