Whilst the first part was absorbing and gave a fascinating insight into the effects of propaganda on young boys in the Hitler Youth, the second half takes a dark sinister turn that makes for uncomfortable and quite frankly disturbing reading.
I’m not sure when I’ll get to see Taika Waititi’s take in the more satirical pleasing JoJo Rabbit, but the trailer seems like he’s taken all the best elements of the first part and enhanced it...
Leunens certainly sets the ...more
**************Some Spoilers Ahead*************
He was a nice boy like so manny others, until Hitler’s Youth caught him. He was sent to fight, got seriously wounded and had to return home. There he met a Jewish girl hidden by his parents who were both active opponents to the third reich.
What to do with that girl?
Telling the authorities seemed the right thing, but... that would be betraying his family principles. Hence, he remained silent.
And now, maybe you’ll start thinking about ...more
At first, we enjoyed the book, which is well written. Then, gradually, it seemed to part company entirely with the movie storyline and go int ...more
Much has been written about the Holocaust, but no book has ever addressed all the manipulation and brainwashing that turned young people into monsters — slaves and servers of the Third Reich madness!
Boys and girls turned into twisted human beings, marked for life! ☹️
Hitler was the Frankenstein of Hitler’s Youth!
It started off okay, then it got pretty good. At a mid-way point however, after the parents are no longer involved in a larger part of the story, it really started to suck. From there it quickly got worse. The closer it neared the end the more I started doing things like skipping paragraphs, or jumping to find the next bit of dialogue & skipping other text. Then I'd skip a page or 2 before starting in again. If I hadn't proceed...more
The story reads slow and steady but don't get me wrong, it is a very strong and powerful slow burn. You will feel all of it.
The protagonists, Johannes and Elsa, are thrown together unexpectedly into a dependent type relationship. Johannes and Elsa's "relationship" is an enigma to the ...more
This book is not for me.
And maybe it's not for you, either, unless you crave sentences that are about as tasty as burned oatmeal.
That said, if you happen to be one of those pesky readers who is sensitive to misplaced modifiers, then reading this novel will be less like eating burned oatmeal, and more eating old eggshells.
The WWII backdrop is present enough to provide an environment of angst and oppression yet remains all the same subtl ...more
So, this is the book that JoJo Rabbit is based on, and though the seeds of that script are in here, but that script and movie are definitely the product of the mind of Taika Watiti and the film is so much better for it.
Johannes in the book is just an awful, awful person. The war ends about halfway through t ...more
As WWII progresses, Johannes suffers a disfiguring injury. This keeps him more closely bound to home where he stu ...more
Leunens has a really developed sense of writing. She's good at delivering emotion and tone, even when you don't really want to be feeling the things you're feeling. For example, that you feel bad for a devoted member of the Hitler Youth, and that you continue to feel bad even as he's supporting the Reich and as he's continuing to kee ...more
Like the movie, this is the story of an Austrian child who is awash in a naive, blind enthusiasm for the Nazi propaganda he's being taught in school and in Hitler's youth corps. However, when he discovers his compassionate mother is hiding a Jewish girl in his house, he is forced to face the ugly reality of the belief system ...more
My take is that this is almost two books. The first two-thirds of the book are filled with intriguing, page-turning plots and interesting characters. The last third, however, is a bit strange, and that's when the book begins to wander and drag rather heavily.
The themes of truth/lies, imprisonment/freedom, and all the ways in which the human mind adapts to extreme circumstances are explo ...more
When I saw this was to be made into a movie, i expected a lot from it but unfortunately is disappointed.
The first 1/4 was really interesting, learning more about the Hitler youth, more about the ideologies and what that did to the family. However, from then on I felt it really dragged and w ...more
The dramatic possibilities are endless: a young boy gets caught up in the "exciting" brownshirt culture of 1930s Austria as the rise of Hitler promises the citizens greatness, military success, and ethnic purity for their superior race. The young man's parents, by contrast, are not at all sympathetic to the Nazi agenda, and this causes severe tensions in the house. Then Johannes discovers his ...more
Many years have passed since I sowed the lies, and thus lives, of which I am speaking. Yet more than ever, I shall have to sort the branches out carefully, determine which ones stemmed from truth, which from falsehood. Will it be possible to saw off the misleading branches without mutilating the tree beyond hope? Perhaps I should rather uproot the tree, replant it in flat, fertile soil. But the risk is great. My tree has adapted in a hundred and one ways to its untruth, learned to bend with the wind, live with little water. It leans so far it is horizontal, a green enigma halfway up and perpendicular to a tall, lifeless cliff. Yet it is not lying on the ground, its leaves rotting in dew as it would if I replanted it. Curved trunks cannot stand up, any more than I can straighten my posture to return to my twenty-year-old self. A milder environment, after so long a harsh one, would surely prove fatal.
I have found the solution. If I simply tell the truth, the cliff will erode chip by chip, stone by stone. And the destiny of my tree? I hold my fist to the sky and let loose my prayers. Wherever they go, I hope my tree will land there.”