Sunday, 1 February 2009

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

The story of "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" is very difficult to describe. Usually we give some clues about the book on the cover, but in this case we think that would spoil the reading of the book. We think it is important that you start to read without knowing what it is about. If you do start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy called Bruno. (Though this isn't a book for nine-year-olds.) And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence. We hope you never have to cross such a fence.

*This review contains plot spoilers*

At only two hundred and twenty four pages long, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is shorter than your average novel, is written very simply, and is easy to read. It's also unexpectedly powerful and shocking.

Set during the Holocaust, one of the most horrific events in world history, this book follows nine year old Bruno and his family, who relocate to Auschwitz due to his father's new job. Bruno has no idea where they are, or what they're doing there, and all he wants to do is return to his beloved city of Berlin.

Whilst exploring outside one day, Bruno meets Shmuel, a young Jewish boy on the wrong side of the fence. They meet almost every day, and, inexplicably, become great friends.

To say any more about this book would ruin the ending, so I'll leave it here. John Boyne has expertly crafted a story of innocence, friendship and the horrors of war, which leaves you thinking about our history and how one wrong decision can change your life forever.


Em said...

I saw the movie trailer which looks way depressing. Books are usually better though so I'll have to check out the book.

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

Jenny, I want to read this book but I always end up buying something else instead!


robin_titan said...

I want to read this book soooo badly!!! and I really want to watch that movie.

Oh btw-no I have not read Black Rabbit Summer, I will definitely have to check that out. Thanks :D

KD said...

oh I want to read this one... but it looks so sad! so I don't know.

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