Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Mini - Comments

Two of the most recent books I've read were books I brought from the library the last time I went there.

One of those books is by a Portuguese author, and the other is a very hyped book, especially after a movie adaptation.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne is famous for its innocent narrator and an example of the
consequences of something that the world is still mourning. I didn't plan on reading this book, to be honest, but seeing it at the library and how small it is, I decided to bring it just for the experience. 
I haven't watched the movie either but I saw references to it and I already knew how it ends, so the interest for me wouldn't be in the story itself but how it would be told. In that regard, I think the author was quite clever in choosing an innocent little boy, whose vision of things and privileged status would have been colored by what he considered normal. Since he couldn't envision such a tragedy, his simple opinions and carelessness seemed believable.
Then the dichotomy happens: for many readers what counts is this, a quiet and naive tale of something that puts in the evidence how unfair and inhuman the concentration camps were and how tragedy was happening every single day. For other readers. this is an over simplification and no one should be taken seriously, even little boys, by ignoring what really happened. 
I can understand both sides but to me the fact this has an average grade is only based on the fact the story is a bit too simple and the characters don't interact as one would imagine in such situations. There are truly too many ignored factual aspects for me to accept it as easily. 
Grade: 6/10

Idiotas Úteis e Inúteis by Ricardo Araujo Pereira could be loosely translated as "useful and useless idiots" and is a compilation of non fiction texts he wrote for a Brazilian newspaper. This author is known in the country for being a comedian and most of his texts are in that register but, as one can imagine, some do seem to work a lot better than others.

This is not the first book by him I read, so I knew what to expect but some things were really cleverly said. I should note that most of the texts obviously make references to the Portuguese and Brazilian realities, therefore readers from other countries might find some details a little hard to understand, in the sense Portuguese and Brazilian societies might not be as known in certain areas of the globe.

The author is also known for his political tendencies and I admit I kind of agree with him in some subjects, which made it even easier to appreciate some of the texts. But I've seen comments saying the opposite so one should take it as just a detail, otherwise it might be it won't be a fun read after all. To me, it worked and I liked it better than other compilations of his work.
Grade: 7/10

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