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Search tags: The-Boy-in-the-Striped-Pajamas
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review 2018-02-18 07:41
Of course all this happened a long time ago, and nothing like that could ever happen again. Not in this day and age
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne

I wasn't planning on reading this today. It fell from my new pile, and as I went to get coffee, I started to read and finished it in one sitting.

Original and devastating. A child "outside the fence" long before anyone knew what went on at a place he understands to be called "Out-With" where he's moved because his father has been promoted to commandant. The family is housed on the grounds and on day one Bruno sees what he imagines to be not very fun children across the field. He and his sister didn't want to move from Berlin, but what choice does a child have? So off they go to and nobody tells them much beyond they have to go. Since nobody tells them anything, they have to make it up for themselves and figure it out on their own. But how do you figure out the unimaginable?

They've always lived in the city, so the kids first decide that a lot of strange-seeming things just are because this is "the countryside;" he calls his father's boss "the Fury." Bruno is the son of an important man in a Nazi party, but he knows nothing about it. Why should he? Nobody knew anything about what was going on in those camps for a very long time. (Recall the reactions of the grown-up soldiers who liberated the camps or the newspaper accounts in the days afterward.)

It's apolitical and not historical. It's mostly a fable and readers will need to be very young and naive or willing to suspend belief for a few hours while they step into the shoes of a young German boy who does not have the benefit of history or being outside anything but his own, very small, world. (Bruno is nine, but it feels more like around six or so. He's certainly much younger than today's nine year old kids.)

Perhaps the best part of this book comes at the very end, after the whole story is over. The narrator says, "Of course all this happened a long time ago, and nothing like that could ever happen again. Not in this day and age."

Talk about a gut punch.

And also an opening to what is going on in many parts of the world right now, has gone on in recent years, etc.

I'm now listening to an interview with the author and publisher. They discuss how many survivors, their children and grandchildren have read this book and decided that they should have their children read it. Marketed first as an adult book, it's a fable and would be OK for people of any age with some guard rails. If a child reads it, they will need a grown-up guide to fill in all of the things Bruno doesn't grasp. It's an opening conversation to both history and the way complacency, secrecy, prejudice, denial, and deceit have devastating consequences.

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review 2018-02-03 18:06
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne
I was disappointed in this novel, I mean for how much people have talked about it and then a movie is made based on this novel, seriously this book needs work. I was so frustrated reading it, I almost stopped and put it away but since I am reading it for a book club I thought I better continue. Why was I so frustrated? It felt so glossy, it never hit on anything important to this time period, it was too juvenile. I read a lot of children’s and young adult novels, novels that pertain to this time period and this one was one major letdown for me.
In the beginning of the novel, I liked Bruno’s confusion and innocence as his family is being relocated because the Fury has big plans for his father. Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing about what his father does, only that he is important to the Fury and Bruno sees this move as a “great adventure.”
In the new house, his twelve-year-old sister has a forest view out her window but as Bruno looks out his window, his view becomes confusing the further out he gazes. They’re both hoping to find new friends at their new home, as they miss what they had in Berlin. Asking his father about the groups of individuals that he sees out his window, Bruno realizes that the chance of any of them becoming his friend is none as his father tells him that “they’re not people at all, Bruno,” and he has “nothing whatsoever in common with them.” This doesn’t stop Bruno’s curiosity about them yet all through the novel, Bruno is left in the dark. I felt as though he had plenty of opportunity to be educated, to discover what exactly was going on, yet he doesn’t. What about Bruno’s family? How can they leave him in the dark while he is living within feet of a death camp? Did his sister know anything about it since she’s older, did they talk? He had to have heard something from all the individuals coming and going inside their house.
Bruno sees a fence line from his window and he was told to keep away from it yet he doesn’t. He takes this chance and when he does, he proves his father wrong. He comes upon Shmuel, who is a person and he does have something in common with Bruno. I enjoyed this innocent friendship and bond as it started to form. Bruno has lots of questions about the people in the striped pajamas and I was hoping that Shmuel would explain things to him but it seems I was only hoping. They spent lots of time together, these two young boys, talking between the wire fence, I mean a lot of time together and seriously Bruno learns nothing about the truth on Shmuel’s side of the fence.
I did like the ending. I think that is the only thing that saved this novel for me. Moving on……


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review 2016-05-30 16:07
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne

I have no words for how incredible this book is. The shortness of the novel made me underestimate it. The summary on the back of the book is quite mysterious too.

I think that everyone should read this book at least once in their lifetime. It's very subtle, very intense, and very hard-hitting and thought-provoking - especially when you get to the end. No, I haven't watched the film. I didn't even know there was a film based on this. I'd vaguely heard of the book and finally sat down to read it.

It's beautiful and haunting and has possible scarred me for life. Even now I'm still thinking about the ending. It's still constantly on my mind. Don't judge a book by its cover.

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review 2016-04-17 19:19
Haunting read but intended for whom?
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne

Although good and suspenseful story overall, I didn't like the approach to the theme. Younger readers - if this book was intended for them - won't understand much - if they are not familiar with the subject matter - because many things were left unsaid or misspelled. That's oftentimes alright to do for older readers and adults, they can easily read between the lines what was going on, but in this case I found it annoying, because I didn't understand the point of it. It was really hard to believe that Bruno would have been so oblivious of everything, that no one would tell him what was really going on, even Shmuel. And was it so necessary to hide and misspell everything? Maybe I misunderstood the intentions of the author, maybe it wasn't for the well-being of the younger readers, but to show how Bruno was sensitive and naive child, that much that he didn't want to repeat what he witnessed. The story will surely haunt me long after reading it, but I didn't like the style nonetheless.

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review 2016-01-28 02:30
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne

After watching the movie and being absolutely heartbroken by the end, I really wanted to read the book when I found out there was one. I'm sad to say that I loved the movie, but found the book to be so-so

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