The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
John Boyne's The Boy in Striped Pyjamas will no doubt acquire many readers as a result of the subsequent film of the novel, but viewers of the latter would do themselves a favour by going back to the spare and powerfully affecting original book. Bruno is nine years old, and the Nazis’ horrific... show more
John Boyne's The Boy in Striped Pyjamas will no doubt acquire many readers as a result of the subsequent film of the novel, but viewers of the latter would do themselves a favour by going back to the spare and powerfully affecting original book. Bruno is nine years old, and the Nazis’ horrific Final Solution to the ‘Jewish Problem’ means nothing to him. He's completely unaware of the barbarity of Germany under Hitler, and is more concerned by his move from his well-appointed house in Berlin to a far less salubrious area where he finds himself with nothing to do. Then he meets a boy called Shmuel who lives a very different life from him -- a life on the opposite side of a wire fence. And Shmuel is the eponymous boy in the striped pyjamas, as are all the other people on the other side of the fence. The friendship between the two boys begins to grow, but for Bruno it is a journey from blissful ignorance to a painful knowledge. And he will find that this learning process carries, for him, a daunting price. A legion of books have attempted to evoke the horrors of the Second World War, but in this concise and perfectly honed novel, all of the effects that John Boyne creates are allowed to make a maximum impact in a relatively understated fashion (given the enormity of the situation here). The Boy in Striped Pyjamas is also that rare thing: a novel which can affect both children and adults equally; a worthy successor, in fact, to such masterpieces as To Kill a Mockingbird and The Catcher in the Rye -- both, of course, books, dealing (as does this one) with the loss of innocence. --Barry Forshaw
Publish date: September 1st 2006
Pages no: 224
Edition language: English
, Realistic Fiction
, Historical Fiction
, World War II
Read with my son as part of our WWII/ holocaust studies - we both loved it! He also watched the movie at school too and enjoyed it. I haven't seen the movie yet so can't offer a comparison but I hope to remedy that soon.
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 mov...
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 ...
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 tho...
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 ...