A lot of the books I’ve read recently have had some connection to World War II. Although it may not be everybody’s favorite topic, it can sure be the setting for an emotional book.
I don’t believe that anybody had recommend The Tattooist of Auschwitz to me specifically. Instead, I had probably just heard the title thrown around enough times to get excited when I saw this book on the shelf.
I was more than disappointed to find out partway through the book that it’s basically a Nicholas Sparks book set in a concentration camp.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is meant to be a story about survival, but it’s not much more than a cheesy love story. The prisoner assigned to tattoo numbers on all the other prisoners falls for one of the women he’s forced to tattoo.
And it almost felt offensive, as nothing seemed to be taken very seriously. Like, “Oh how quaint…we’re in a concentration camp.” (That wasn’t a quote from the book, but it might have well been.)
All the prisoners know that he’s the person to go to for extra food, but the guards are somehow oblivious. He’s able to sit behind a building with his lover (who we know hardly anything about), and chat for however long without being noticed. They’re able to have sex multiple times while the guards are completely unaware. His lover’s friends always giggle anytime he comes around. And, after everything he goes through during his time in the camp, he just decides one day that he’s had enough of being a prisoner and walks off.
Just walks out of camp…
I’m totally fine with a cheesy love story every now and again, but it felt disrespectful. I know it’s based on a true story, but I’m leaning more toward “based on” than I am toward “true story”.