The Boy in Striped Pyjamas
by John Boyne
Fiction, History- Holocaust
David Fickling Books
This book isn't really about a boy in striped pyjamas, it is, but really it isn't. It is really about the other side of the coin, and portraying a picture to the reader that will never be forgotten. I have thought about how to do this book review, and what to include and I have arrived at the conclusion that the less the possible reader knows before snatching up The Boy in Striped Pyjamas the better.
Even the back of the audiobook I have aims to be extremely vague, saying they "think that it would spoil the listening (or reading)" in the giving away of this plot and story. I completely agree that this is a book that you need to read cold-turkey. Reviews are good in most cases, but not in this one. Because each time you read a review, a little chip of the innocence of Bruno is chipped away, because you know what he doesn't even know of his father. Oh yes, that will surely happen even as the novel unfolds, but I think I need to let the author chip away- because he does it with an incredible disarming perfection.
I walked away from this book with tears in my eyes, and fire in my heart. What could bring about this type of treatment of other people? The Boy in Striped Pyjamas just cannot be reviewed with accuracy without being of detriment to the surprise and intrigue of the book. I will not ruin this read for you, I wouldn't dream of it. This is one of the best books I have ever read, if that isn't enough to get you to read it...I won't jeopardise the impact of it on your life for a good review at B&b ex libris. This is one you just have to read! A perfect recipient of my Stellar Five Chicken Book Award. Yep, all the cluckin' is really worth a read of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. I bet you'll cluck too!!
If you want to read the novel cold turkey, you should stop reading here. Go, enjoy the novel and read the rest of this after.
Author John Boyne lecture/interview:
At the end of the audio book there was an amazing interview with author John Boyne, the following words are not direct quotes, but I did jot them down as I listened to the interview, I tried to stick as close to what the authors actual words were, but these are more like scattered notes after listening to an amazing lecture. I just love them so much that I have to share with you:
There is only one normal judgment to come away with when you think of the holocaust.
A story placed at a terrible location, at a terrible time. But this is a novel. Any story requires the willing suspension of disbelief, this story is like a nightmare and the reader can feel what is coming. The older you are, the more you know and the more fearful and real it seems. To come away from the book, annoyed by the different parts is thus minimizing the bigger questions that this novel raises is a failure to see the impact of this atrocity on us as a humanity.
The Boy in Striped Pyjamas shows a juxtaposition of extreme evil and extreme naietivity. Also to deal with the complacency of the people, during the 1940's. Groups of jewish people were walking through local villages, starving and being tormented these people were known as Hitler's willing executioners. They didn't step in, didn't try to bring change. Would you have done anything to stop it? You'd like to think you would, but millions of people just like you were caught up in the complacency and didn't make a move to stop anything happening on the other side of the fence.
John Boyne hopes that this is a starting point for children that they will want to stand up and say, why did that happen? And that then they will want to read more about the severity when they are old enough.
John Boyne's website
Movie Adaptation of The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas: I haven't seen this yet, but I a dying to. I am waiting on my husband (B) to read the book, which is hard for him to do when he has a month left in the completion of his masters thesis. Soon I will get to see it.