[REVIEW] The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne.
Set in World War 2 from a 9-year-old boy’s point of view.
The beginning is just run-of-the-mill descriptions of family, life and friends, set in the early 1940’s. Nothing really happens except moving to new house in first 100 pages. The part where it starts to get interesting is when the boy Bruno moves with his family to what he calls “Out-with” because of his father’s connections to the “Fury” which we know it as Auschwitz and the Fuhrer – IE. Adolf Hitler.
It starts to get eerie & unsettling as an adult reader because we understand a lot more than Bruno. You can tell this book was aimed at children because most of the descriptions are kept to a minimum to stop any upset reading.
The second half sets the scene for the last 100 pages of drama. Although this is a slow read, it picks you up halfway through and you get absorbed into reading the next chapter to see what happens.
You feel like screaming in horror at what his father’s job is although you never quite get told what it is you know it is something dangerous and upsetting to all. Calling him “Fury” doesn’t show how terrible Hitler was in real life and the very brief encounter in the book portrays him in a horrible light.
Throughout the book, you can feel Bruno’s loneliness through the pages and how he longs for a friend like he did before they left his old home at the beginning. One of the meetings between Bruno and Shmuel is very emotional. I don’t want to give it away but there are parallel stories that show the differences between those on one side of “the fence” compared to the other.
The ending was beyond creepy n leaves it up to you to fill the blanks. Anyone with previous knowledge of the subject (Concertation Camps and Nazis) can work it out. I didn’t like the ending because it was too abrupt and you left feeling like there could’ve been more to it.
I would not recommend this book for an adult reader. It was too short & full of emotion but a child would really enjoy the length and the storyline. Luckily this book is actually aimed at children anyway.
Nice review! I love this book so much! And I actually enjoyed the childish POV, it broke my heart a million times. I never got myself to watching the movie because I will just cry.
Great review! I personally liked the contrast between the ‘innocent’ POV of the main character and the seriousness of the topic and the book is on my list of favorites, but I can also understand why it wouldn’t be for everyone.