Book Review: The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks

  • Category: Books, Literature,
  • Words: 1332 Pages: 5
  • Published: 14 April 2021
  • Copied: 102

“Freedom, in any case, is only possible by constantly struggling for it.” This quote was said by Albert Einstein. Einstein is telling the reader that freedom is only earned and possible when they work for it. It relates to the book because all of the characters worked hard to try and escape, and ultimately in the end they became free when they died. Kevin Brooks uses characters and their experiences to expose the theme, freedom is not free, to teach the reader that if one wants to be free they have to work for it. 

Kevin Brooks uses the main character, Linus, to expose and explore the theme, freedom is not free. Near the middle of the book, “The Bunker Diary,” Linus and the others trapped in the bunker attempt to escape by distracting the kidnapper.  

“At a prearranged signal, Jenny “accidentally knocked over the frying pan, spilling bacon fat on the cooker, and screamed fire. While all of this going on I stayed in the bathroom, and as soon as all the shouting started I got to work. I had to move fast. 1.) Empty the rubbish out of the bin liner. 2.) Tear off five more bags from the roll. 3.) Quickly start stuffing one bag into another, then another, then another. 4.) I climbed inside the super strong bin-liner, crouched down low, and scrunched myself up as tightly as possible, there was still enough room to fold the bin liner over my head. Then I just waited. - After a while, I heard Fred’s footsteps coming along the corridor. The bathroom door opened, his footsteps came closer, Then the bin bag opened and he tipped some rubbish over my head. The bag closed. And then I was being carried along the corridor. - As gently as possible, but without making it too obvious that he was being gentle, Fred dropped me down inside the lift and left me there. Just another bag of rubbish. Then I heard a very faint hiss. A gassy sound. Oh, sh** I muttered. And that was it.”(Brooks)

This quote develops the theme, freedom is not free. In this quote, Linus and all the other characters are trapped in a bunker. They are not free, but they are attempting to escape by creating a fire as a distraction and having Linus hide in a trash bag. Linus is then transported to the lift by Fred, one of the other characters trapped in the bunker, and hides in the lift to try and escape. However, the kidnapper knows their plan and punishes all of the characters trapped by gassing everyone in the bunker. If the characters trapped in the bunker want to be free they have to try and escape, or they will never be free. Kevin Brooks used this quote to show the reader that to be free, one has to work for it. Additionally, in the middle of the book, Linus attempts to escape again, but this time he doesn’t tell anyone else. 

“I tried to escape again. - I got some bin liners from the kitchen, filled a saucepan with water, and pretended to clean up my room. - I stripped the sheet off my bed and took it into the bathroom. Filled the bath, put the sheet in the bath, gave it a wash then took the sheet to my room and hung it over the door. - I left my room, went over to the dining table, and picked up a chair. Then I went over to the clock on the wall and smashed it into pieces with the chair. - Then I heard a hissing sound. I can smell it, the smell of chemicals, growing stronger. I grab the bin liners and rip a hold in it to make a collar. Grab the damp sheet from the door, tear off a strip, dip it in the water filled saucepan, wind the strip around my mouth and nose. - I grab the saucepan, empty it, get out of bed. I raise the saucepan, ready to strike. I stood there for a long time, and I knew he wasn’t there. - The lift came down. It wasn’t empty. There was a dog in there. We all just froze there. And then suddenly, without a sound, the dog shot out of the lift and launched itself at Bird.”(Brooks)

This quote changed the story because it shows that Linus is working to be free even if he gets punished for it. All of the characters trapped were gassed again, just like the last time they tried to escape. However, this time, the kidnapper also sent down a vicious Doberman that attacked and bit Bird. In this quote, Linus tries to lure the kidnapper down into the bunker by breaking his clock. He then covered his face with a wet cloth to prevent him from passing out from the gas. This doesn’t work because the kidnapper was watching him the whole time and knew Linus’s plan. Brooks wants the reader to understand that even if one’s plans don’t work, one should still keep fighting for freedom. 

Brooks uses the character, Jenny, to show the reader that they should fight for freedom. Early on in the book, “The Bunker Diary,” Jenny and Linus were writing a note to the kidnapper asking him for food. Jenny also decided to ask for him to let the two of them go. 

“She reached up and took a sheet of paper from the leaflet holder. Maybe he wants us to ask. Some people are like that. They won’t give you anything unless you ask. I looked at her. She reached up and picked the pen off the wall, then crouched down, put the sheet of paper on the floor, and got ready to write. She wrote: please let us go.”(Brooks)

This quote is an example of how Jenny is determined to escape and get back to her parents and old life. Jenny misses her family and is using what she knows to try and be free. In this quote, Jenny and Linus were writing to the kidnapper asking him for food, but Jenny also decided to ask for him to let them go. Jenny was saying and asking anything to be free. Brooks is telling the reader that one should always fight for freedom even when there is little hope. Furthermore, in the middle of the book, Linus created an escape plan, and Jenny is decided to help him. “At a prearranged signal, Jenny “accidentally knocked over the frying pan, spilling bacon fat on the cooker, and screamed fire”(Brooks). In this quote, Jenny was helping Linus try and escape by creating a fire as a distraction. She wants to get out of the bunker to see her parents and be free so she helps everyone try and escape. Jenny will attempt to escape and be free even if there are punishments like being gassed for her actions. Brooks is trying to show the reader that to be free one has to work for it. 

Kevin Brooks uses the theme, freedom is not free, because he wants the reader to understand that one has to work hard to achieve freedom. Freedom is important because one has the right to do whatever one wants. When that is taken away, one's whole life can change for the worse. Brooks uses this theme to explain to the reader that freedom is a privilege and to achieve it one has to work for it. He wants to teach the reader that freedom is important and that one has to appreciate being free because most people in the world are not. The author uses this theme in his book to help the readers understand that they should appreciate freedom. Brooks pushes the reader to help others fight for freedom. By including this theme in the book, “The Bunker Diary,” Brooks is telling the reader that they should appreciate freedom, and help others fight for it. 

As can be clearly seen, Kevin Brooks uses real characters in his book, “The Bunker Diary,” to help the reader understand that freedom should not be taken for granted and that it is worth fighting for. Brooks is trying to tell the reader that freedom is never free and that one has to work for it. He also wants the reader to understand that freedom should never be taken for granted. Kevin Brooks creates believable characters to help the reader understand the theme, freedom is not free, and that they should appreciate being free because it could easily be taken away in a second. 

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