The Birthday Buyer by Adolfo García Ortega

How to even review a book like this? It was painful reading it but also cathartic. This is the fictional account of a 3-year old boy, Hurbinek, mentioned in the memoir of an Auschwitz survivor.

Killing a child is easy, killing thousands of children is even easier, but it isn't all that easy to erase the memory of children after they are massacred. I'm not sure why, I sometimes think it is because the lives of dead children are lives that were not lived and that must exist as fables, in a kind of timeless limbo set in history, their unredeemed presence returning to wreak a just revenge. If I believed in ghosts, I would only believe in the ghosts of massacred children.

I've never read a book like this. The author imagines the pain of the boy. He invents stories of his life that might've been. He was actually traveling to Auschwitz but had a major car accident on the way. This left his leg(s) broken and his stuck in a hospital in Germany. He seems to have written this book while in the hospital. He being temporarily crippled, and relating the imagined story of Hurbinek who was actually crippled and unable to speak.

Rating: ★★★★★ Book #16 in my My 2020 Reading Challenge

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