Slaughterboy by Odo Hirsch

Slaughterboy by Odo Hirsch is a novel set in medieval Germany and is about a boy named Conrad who was found by a Bailiff and Gravedigger when he was barely the age of two. He was found by them when his peasant mother had died and he was naked next to the body skinny and hungry for food. As the story progresses, the common factor as he progresses, no matter how much food Conrad eats he is never satisfied. He gains first the nickname Hunger boy and later on Conrad Belly guts.

My favourite character in the story is Krenk who is introduced the last part of the book and takes Conrad under his wing and teaches him the trade if robbery and deception. My lest favourite character in the novel is the slaughter man’s wife who is introduced to us in the second part of the story. The slaughter man is overwhelmed in his work at the slaughter yard and has never brought on a helper before, but when Conrad was a peasant he used to watch the slaughter man and when he tried to scare Conrad off Conrad showed no fear. The slaughter man brings Conrad into his home and gives him a bed as well as hot food.

This is the first time Conrad has actually had a bed and warm food regularly. Krenk was my favourite character in the story because he treated Conrad the best and with more respect than any of the other characters in the story. Conrad over the years cannot recognise this as he has only really ever been treated badly. Conrad meets Krenk by accident on the streets as Krenk knocks him over and whispers something in his ear, soon Krenk brings Conrad in on a heist at the place where he is currently staying but is being kicked out in the next two days.

After that Conrad is given a comfortable bed, some clothes and money from Krenk. Whenever Krenk and Conrad scandal someone either by pickpocketing, heists or cheating at poker Conrad is given a small amount of the gains, it’s never much but its more than Conrad’s ever had. Near the end of the story at a heist of a mansion Conrad and Krenk are running from the Magistrate and Krenk trips and twists his ankle (which is unusable for Krenk) and he pleads for Conrad’s help but Conrad keeps running. Eventually Krenk is beaten an inch from death and Conrad steals all money from Krenk and buys a horse and fleas town.

This showed how emotionless Conrad had become from his previous “caretakers” Krenk was very nice at heart and his only weakness was his family who live out of town, when Conrad found this out Conrad realised he was stronger than Krenk. The slaughter man’s wife was my lest favourite character as she no matter what Conrad did, branded Conrad a hunger boy. Conrad found out later on in the novel that a hunger boy was an old fairy-tale I Germany of a demon boy who comes into someone’s home and just keeps eating and eating until there is no food left and the boy eventually eats there baby and they starve.

When Conrad found this out this hit him hard as when he lived with the slaughter man and his wife and baby, with Conrad there as an extra mouth to feed the slaughter man’s baby died of starvation and after an encounter with the store manager of a food shop and the slaughter man the slaughter man was hung. The slaughter man’s wife blamed everything on Conrad even though it wasn’t entirely his fault. Conrad took it to heart and believed it was all his fault.

This took a huge hit in Conrad’s moral early in the story just as Conrad was learning to love and as a result Conrad was left emotionless and eventually leading to Krenk’s suffering and eventual death. In conclusion, Krenk was my favourite character In the story as he showed Conrad the most love and gave him the most money and supplies as well as the most skills. The slaughter man’s wife was my lest favourite character as she was to worst to Conrad and was emotionally bulling her and only cared about herself and her son even after everything Conrad had done.