The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a Holocaust novel by Irish novelist John Boyne. Unlike the months of planning Boyne devoted to his other books, he said . The Boy in the Striped Pajamas book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Berlin When Bruno returns home from schoo . The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. By John Boyne. Published: David Fickling Books . ISBN: This Large Print Book has been.
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“It's a great book, energetic, vivid, and amazing in the scope of its appeal. In the space of download The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas at the following on-line retailers. Intense, powerful Holocaust book offers unique perspective. Read Common Sense Media's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas review, age rating, and parents. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by Boyne, John () Hardcover [John Boyne] on The Book Thief (Anniversary Edition) by Markus Zusak Hardcover $
Strangest of all is the barbed-wire fence outside his bedroom window, and the huddled groups of men and boys beyond. Along that fence he'll meet the boy of the book's title. By focusing on Bruno's innocent and puzzled view of his father's job, Boyne offers a previously unseen perspective on the everyday Germans who took part in the Nazis' ultimate solution. While written with teens in mind, this is certainly a book worthy of adult readers. Already a bestseller in the U. It should be noted, however, that the book has garnered criticism from some who argue that the boy's viewpoint trivializes this tragic era.
Bruno is definitely naive by today's standards, but this novel isn't set in —it takes place in , when a sheltered child might well have been unaware of Auschwitz and the fate of the Jews who were sent there. They are led into a gas chamber, which Bruno assumes is simply shelter from the outside rainstorm. In the gas chamber , Bruno apologizes to Shmuel for not finding his father and tells Shmuel that he is his best friend for life. It's unknown if Shmuel answers him, because as soon as the door is closed, the lights go out and all is chaos.
However, Bruno is determined that even in chaos, he will never let go of Shmuel's hand. Critics' reviews[ edit ] Kathryn Hughes , writing in The Guardian , calls the novel "a small wonder of a book". While she comments on "the oddness of Auschwitz security being so lax that a child prisoner could make a weekly date with the commandant's son without anyone noticing", she describes the novel as "something that borders on fable", arguing that "Bruno's innocence comes to stand for the willful refusal of all adult Germans to see what was going on under their noses".
It provides an account of a dreadful episode short on actual horror but packed with overtones that remain in the imagination. Plainly and sometimes archly written, it stays just ahead of its readers before delivering its killer punch in the final pages. Scott , writing in The New York Times , questioned the author and publisher's choice to intentionally keep the Holocaust setting of the book vague in both the dust jacket summary and the early portion of the novel, writing: "Boyne's reluctance to say as much can certainly be defended, not least on the grounds that the characters in a story about the Holocaust are themselves most likely unaware of the scale and historical importance of their experiences.
To recreate those experiences faithfully might require undoing some of the readers' preconceptions". Nov 06, Brandy rated it did not like it Shelves: I hardly know where to begin bashing this book.
Do I start with the 9-year-old boy and his year-old sister, who read about 6 and 8, respectively?
The imperial measurements miles, feet despite the German setting? The other English-language idioms and mis-hearings, despite our being told that he speaks only German? And that h I hardly know where to begin bashing this book. And that he believes that "Heil Hitler!
So maybe these are fussy issues, and I shouldn't trash the book on these minor linguistic flaws. Instead, I can start with the plot holes big enough to drive a truck through: Or that the people wearing the "striped pajamas" are being killed, and THAT's why they don't get up after the soldiers stand close to them and there are sounds "like gunshots.
Or that Bruno's friend Shmuel, a frail 9-year-old boy, would survive over a year in a Nazi camp. Or even the author's refusal to ever use the word "Auschwitz," in an effort to "make this book about any camp, to add a universality to Bruno's experience.
I can't speak to most of what he said, because it was a lot of "here are all the places that are hyping my book," but the worst part of it, to me, was where he was addressing criticisms: I'm not trivializing the message; I'm objecting to his trivializing of the Holocaust. I find his treatment of the Holocaust to be superficial, misleading, and even offensive. As an audio recording, I'm pretty neutral. The narrator did the best he could with the material and there was some differentiation between the characters' voices, but the music that was added Other chapters had no music at all.
Sometimes the music appeared in the middle of a chapter.
Two other incidental notes: In this case, though, I feel like, due to the fictionalizing of it, the book is far enough removed from Auschwitz that it's okay to be negative about the book without being insensitive about the Holocaust. Second, this doesn't land on my "run away! Save yourself!
I can't find anything funny about what makes this book so bad; it's just plain offensive and shallow. View all comments. Jun 20, Peter rated it did not like it.
This book is so ignorant of historical facts about concentration camps that it kicks the history of the Holocaust right in the teeth. John Boyne's premise is that the nine-year old son of the commandant of Auschwitz, bored with his isolated life, takes walks to the fence s "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" would easily top my list of "Worst Books about the Holocaust.
John Boyne's premise is that the nine-year old son of the commandant of Auschwitz, bored with his isolated life, takes walks to the fence surrounding this infamous camp and meets there a nine-year old inmate who is on the other side of the fence. The two boys become friends and continue meeting on a daily basis.
Here is some news for Mr. The ft high barbed wire fence surrounding each camp was electrified. Touch if once and you are fried. There was a no-man's land on each side of the fence; along the inside perimeter of the fence were guard towers; each tower was manned by an armed guard around the clock; each guard was responsible for one segment of the fence within his vision; it was his duty to prevent anyone from approaching the fence, either from the inside, or from the outside; he was under orders to shoot anyone he saw approaching the no-man's-land.
Let me add this.
A nine-year-old boy arriving in Auschwitz-Birkenau on a cattle train would take only a single walk in this camp: It is a fantasy that does untold damage to the cause of truth about the Holocaust. This book has only one purpose: And this purpose it accomplishes. The publisher recently proudly trumpeted in an ad in the New York Times: And that's not even counting the profits from the revolting movie based on this book.
These camps were about brutality, starvation, and sheer terror. My feelings were definitely changed by the fact that the author describes the story as a fable. The abstractness makes a lot more sense in that way.
Definitely an unforgettable read, nonetheless!
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
View all 23 comments. Feb 13, Madeline rated it did not like it Shelves: As Michael Kors once sighed to a clueless designer on Project Runway: Where do I start?
Let's open with some descriptive words that sum up this book, and I will then go on to explain them in further detail: Just plain bad. I believe that to write good children's literature, you have to think that children are intelligent, capable human beings who are worth writing for - like Stephen King, who probably thinks kids are smarter than adults.
The author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas , on the other hand, clearly thinks that children are idiots. The main character, Bruno, is supposed to be nine years old, but compared to him Danny Torrance of The Shining who was six looks like a Mensa member. There's childlike naivety, and then there's Bruno, who is so stunningly unobservant and unperceptive that I actually started to wonder if he was supposed to be mentally deficient somehow.
And he's not the only child who receives Boyne's withering scorn and condescension. Take this scene between Bruno and his sister Gretel, when they've just moved to their house at "Out-With" as Bruno insists on calling it, despite being corrected many times and seeing the name written down and are wondering how long they're going to stay there.
Bruno's father, a commandant in charge of the camp, has told the kids that they'll be there "for the foreseeable future" and Bruno doesn't know what that means. See what I meant about Boyne thinking kids are morons? Insipid And Smarmy: It's meant for adults who know about the Holocaust already, so they can read it and sigh over the precious innocent widdle children's adorable misunderstanding of the horrible events surrounding them and how they still remain innocent and uuuuuuggggggghhhhh.
There's a scene towards the end, where Bruno puts on a pair of the "striped pajamas" so he can visit his friend on the other side of the fence.
Bruno has had lice, so his head is shaved. When he puts on the pajamas, the Jewish boy observes him and the narration commits the following Hallmark-worthy atrocity: It was almost Shmuel thought as if they were all exactly the same really. Just Plain Bad: This book is, technically, historic fiction, but I'm not putting it on my history shelf, because there is nothing historical in this book.
Bruno is supposed to have grown up in Nazi Germany, the son of a high ranking SS officer, but based on his knowledge of everything, he's spent his entire nine years sitting inside with his eyes shut humming loudly while covering his ears.
Okay, I get that he wouldn't know about the concentration camps - hardly anyone did at that point. But there are other things: Bruno consistently and adorably! Jews, Fatherland, Heil Hitler.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
The fuck. Okay, so maybe this kid's too young to be in Hitler Youth his sister isn't though, but for some reason she's not in it either , but come on - he thinks "Heil Hitler" is just a polite way to end a conversation.
A nine-year-old boy growing up in a military household in Nazi Germany doesn't know what Heil Hitler means. All of this comes back to my original thesis: John Boyne thinks that children are idiots. Look, Boyne: Go cash your checks for that awful movie adaptation they did of this book and never try to make a statement about anything ever again, please.
Read for: Social Justice in Young Adult Literature View all 98 comments. Found this in a charity shop and couldn't put it down. So sad. Really loved it. Had no idea it would end how it did. View all 16 comments.
Feb 06, Wayne rated it did not like it Recommended to Wayne by: I'm too kind to say. I seriously suggest you read about what happened to real children in the Holocaust.
It won't fill your thoughts for many days or shock you; rather it will fill your LIFE and make you feel sick to the core of your being. Paul Friedlander, himself a survivor, recounts in his recent highly praised book the incident of 90 Jewish infants all under the age of five, orphaned after their parents were murdered in a mass shooting. These children were subjected to indescribable mistreatment for days. Then the I seriously suggest you read about what happened to real children in the Holocaust.
Then they were individually hanged. I read this with horror, revulsion and total disbelief. The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, - Or the incident of the young German soldier participating in the evacuation of the patients in the hospital in the Warsaw Ghetto.
In the presence of a distraught Jewish crowd of relatives and onlookers, patients were being thrown onto the backs of trucks. The babies were being thrown from the upper windows. The soldier requested and was given permission to catch the falling babies on his bayonet. ISBN 0 00 9 There are so many historical inaccuracies and ludicrous details in this totally implausible story of Boyne's eg.
Bruno's ignorance of basics, impossible when he would have been in the Hitler Youth and the Nazi education system. This travesty of the Holocaust is called a 'fable' as if with all its faults, it has special claim on some gravitas, thus giving Boyne justification for this lame expose of racism. I was a member of the Jewish Holocaust Committee here in Sydney for a while and once had to endure a young rabbi lecturing on how the Holocaust was God's punishment on the Jews.
So there are fools to be found inside the club as well as outside it. Not a single pure ethnic German child entered a gas chamber as part of the extermination of the Jews When protests brought this program to a close the same staff were later sent to operate the gas chambers in the camps. And for six million Jewish men, women and children there was no saviour. This bitter pill is too much for some people to swallow. Some, like the young rabbi, takes refuge in blaming the very victims; others find refuge in sentimental fiction such as Boyne's which does no honour to these tragic, lost people.
And today there are perverse forces abroad, from renowned historians to Catholic bishops, who would deny that the Holocaust ever took place or to an extraordinary lesser degree.
They use every discrepancy of detail as well as lies to justify their denial. There is an overwhelming library of rivetting, emotional, inspiring and tragic Holocaust stories out there - all factual, which you may have already plunged into.
Boyne may even have led you there. But finally Boyne just deserves to fade away. The Oscar winning Foreign Language film of , "Life is Beautiful", was also, not surprisingly, referred to as a 'fable'. It also is an implausible piece of Holocaust sentimentality and a stampede away from having to swallow the bitter pill of reality.
View all 38 comments. A powerful concept, but very poorly written even allowing for the young adult target audience - and one of a tiny number of books I can think of that was better in the film version. Plot Bruno is 9 and lives in Berlin in with his parents and 12 year old sister. They are wealthy and his father is an important soldier who is promoted to be the Commandant at Auschwitz. The trick of the story is that Bruno doesn't realise the horror of what goes on behind the barbed wire, where everyone wears s A powerful concept, but very poorly written even allowing for the young adult target audience - and one of a tiny number of books I can think of that was better in the film version.
The trick of the story is that Bruno doesn't realise the horror of what goes on behind the barbed wire, where everyone wears striped pyjamas, even when he befriends a boy of the same age at a corner of the camp.
Although his father can be strict and distant, Bruno is unfailing in his trust in the goodness of his father. In the film, there was at least a gradual, if reluctant, dawning of doubt about his father and all he stood for, but that doesn't happen in the book; the themes of family, friendship and trust are barely touched on.
Implausible Ignorance The main problem is that it's told from Bruno's viewpoint, and he is ridiculously naive and ignorant for the son of a senior Nazi.
Not knowing, and not wanting to know, the horror of what was happening is entirely understandable especially when a parent is involved. However, he hasn't heard of "the Fatherland", thinks the Fuhrer is called The Fury throughout , that Auschwitz is called "Out With" and that "Heil Hitler" means "goodbye"!
Yet we're meant to believe that he's the 9 year old son of a senior Nazi! His father had clearly been neglecting his duty to train the next generation of Hitler youth. And anyway, the puns wouldn't work in German. What is even more insulting to readers is that Boyne has responded to this widespread point of criticism by saying that anyone who thinks the boy is too naive is denying the holocaust! See Kelly H. Maybedog comment on Oct 02, and subsequent ones.
And it's leaking", and a nasty person who "always looked as if he wanted to cut someone out of his will". It might have worked better if Bruno had been 5 or 6, but I suppose the target audience would have been less willing to read it, so the result is a book that isn't really suitable for any age group.
What a waste. Postscript 1 Arising from Kelly Hawkins' review: Boyne says: People say: When he goes to the fence, and when he asks that question, he is kind of representing the rest of us who are trying to understand the Holocaust and find some answers to it. Also, when the camps were liberated, the world was surprised through and The majority of the Holocaust had taken place over four years and, granted, it was a different information age but I still maintain that in those sorts of movies, the naivety is appropriate.
Elsewhere, he is quoted as saying that naivety and complacency were two of the main reasons the Holocaust occurred http: I find that a very unsatisfying defence. It answers why people don't want to know the horrors which I fully acknowledge , but does not begin to tackle Bruno's specific ignorance of common words related to the Third Reich. Postscript 2, October His new book has a similar title and another Nazi theme - with Hitler himself this time: The Boy at the Top of the Mountain.
I won't be reading that, but I suspect it will cause similar controversy. Postscript 3 See this excellent review by a survivor of Nazi concentration camps. Boyne posting as John responded to some of the criticisms: Postscript 4, 14 May In today's Sunday Times, the Prime Minister Theresa May was asked by a year old in her constituency, "Has your thinking ever changed because of a novel?
It is a very, very cleverly written book and a very well-written book, and what it brings home is the absolute horror of the Holocaust.
Dec 01, Arlene rated it it was amazing Shelves: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is truly an amazing yet daunting novel that I will never forget. The author John Boyne did a masterful job of depicting the setting in such vivid detail and exposing the events in a manner that I felt a constant emotional pull as the story unfolded and impending doom lingered on the horizon. I feel the author did a grand job of juxtaposing two resounding themes in such a flawless manner; one being of the evil that was the Holocaust; against the second theme that of the innocence of a child.
I thought it was brilliant of Boyne to tell the story from the perspective of a nine year old German boy as you experience the events of this abominable and unthinkable time in history as a mere complicit bystander, which ultimately leaves you with a sense of hopelessness. The story unfolds the day Bruno arrives home to discover his family is moving from Berlin to Auschwitz where his father will serve as a Commandant for the concentration camp.
Bruno is forced to leave his three best friends for life and discovers that life in Auschwitz is lonely and desolate.
All that changes the day he meets a boy his exact age and they begin to forge a friendship over the course of year. However, as much as he finds he and Schmuel have in common, living on opposite sides of the fence proves to have a devastating consequence to their friendship. After completing this book, I did some research on the author and the novel and found that he not only received well deserved praise for this book, but also harsh criticism.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
As with any piece of literature, when words are committed to page and presented to an audience for their interpretation there will be varying degrees of acceptance and backlash. Well, my hats off to John Boyne for tackling a story through a unique perspective and presenting a poignant fable that as a reader I willingly suspended my reality and experienced the events in a way that exposed my emotions and feelings to such a raw level.
Well done IMHO. View all 68 comments. Nov 14, Lola rated it really liked it Shelves: When I was very young, I lived in Romania. Because there was past drama in my family, I had three grandmothers and two grandfathers. I was close to two of my grandmothers and one of my grandfathers, because they lived near my mother, brother, stepfather and I. The other couple, I only saw during summers. They lived in the country, where there was no indoor bathroom, no internet, no chocolate and no sense of community that I felt at the age of six.
Every morning, I would wake up from the best of dreams: But she never did, because she was far away and we had to stay for three whole months with our grandparents.
I felt lonely. I had no one to play with. One day, I met a little girl. I was so happy that I immediately invited her to our house. We played for a while, and it was wonderful. I had a friend. When my grandfather woke up from his nap and saw me playing with this girl, he was so angry I thought he would hurt her.
He shooed her away forcefully. I was six, what did I care that she had a darker skin colour, spoke another language entirely and prayed to different gods? It made me so mad, I became a lion. I roared at him, and roared until I had no more voice. Then I cried, because there was nothing else I could have done as a very young child.
She was too scared of my grandfather to talk to me again. There was a huge wall between our houses and I could see nothing of what was happening on their side, so I never saw her again either. I understand the loneliness Bruno felt all too well. View all 19 comments. Lincoln's doctor's dog. An archaic reference in the publishing industry to the notion that the way to ensure a book is a bestseller is to write about Lincoln, dogs, or doctors.
So the sure-fire formula for creating a bestseller is to write a story Lincoln's doctor's dog. When I review a book, I look at both the medium and the content. Sometimes, you will find a great story which is badly written: Sometimes you have both, and the book becomes really enjoyable.
And when the medium and the content are so aptly intertwined to be inseparable, you have a truly great book. Very rarely, you have the misfortune to encounter a really abominable story which is abysmally written into the bargain — this happened to me with this book. The only good thing I can say about it is that it is a very fast read.
Now for the analysis. The Background This book is historical fiction yes, yes, I know that the author has claimed it is a fable situated in the time of the Holocaust: Auschwitz, according to my knowledge, had no children — they were sent to gas chambers the moment they arrived.
Common Sense says
Yet here we have a camp which is literally crawling with kids, almost like a kindergarten. We also have a German child Bruno, who despite being the son of a high-ranking Nazi officer who is very close to Hitler, does not know about Aryans, Jews and the concentration camps.
Agreed, he may not be aware of the atrocities going on in those places: In the book, Bruno remains blissfully ignorant about all until the end. He almost seems mentally challenged. My knowledge about Auschwitz comes from reading history books only, but as far as I know, the camps were guarded by electrified fences and patrolled heavily across the clock.He lives with his parents, his year-old sister Gretel and maids, one of whom is called Maria.
Kedros Hebrew: I generally have turned to listening to audiobooks and I hate it when they put music to it. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Winner: Good Book, thumbs up. Thank you Boyne, you inspired me! Black Swan Published: Bruno and Shmuel talk and become very good friends, although Bruno still does not understand very much about Shmuel and his side of the fence.
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