Thursday

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

The story is told through the point-of-view of Bruno, a 9 year-old boy who is sadly naive to what the situation in his country is. When Bruno’s family moves from Berlin, he leaves behind his three best friends and his beautiful 5-story home, making him a very unhappy young man. Bruno detests his new home at Out-With (Auschwitz). At Out-With there are no other children to play with other than his older (12) sister "who is a lost case" and the house only has 3-stories and barely any windows, not to mention they are somewhere in the country and not in a big city like he is used to. His family has to move after The Fury (The Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler) comes to dinner at their Berlin house with a beautiful blonde lady (Eva Braun) to give his father a promotion. At Bruno's new house he can't see all the way across Berlin from his window (like he did in his old home) but he can see into a "farm" surrounded by a tall barbed wire fence with lots of boys milling about. He becomes jealous of these boys because they have lots of friends to play with, and he doesn't, and they get to wear striped pajamas all day, every day, while he has to wear all this fancy clothes all the time. All these are examples of how naive Bruno is, which is beautiful and so sad at the same time.

As any 9 year old would, Bruno loves to explore. So, to keep himself occupied he begins exploring through their backyard. Through these daily adventures he eventually comes to a fence where he meets a young Jewish boy named Schmuel. Although Schmuel is on the other side of the fence, this does not deter the grand friendship that ensues.

I found it a bit shocking how the author mixed innocence with violence in a very peculiar way. The writing style is simple, yet profound. A quick read; because you will not want to put it down, and a heart wrenching ending that will keep you thinking long after you've finished the book. 

On a side note: I also saw this movie about two weeks ago and it does not disappoint. It stayed true to the book on almost everything. It was a little different at the end but it still got its point across. It's a touching story and one that you shouldn't miss out on.

5 comments:

Nymeth said...

I've been meaning to read this book for so long. It really sounds heart wrenching. Thank you for the excellent review.

Dar said...

Great review Nely. I've taken this book out from the library on a couple of occasions and not gotten to it. I really need to read it because I haven't read of anyone not liking it.

J. Kaye said...

This has been all over the blogosphere. If I could make it fit better in my reading challenges, I'd read it too.

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

Nice review! And yes, I was the same way...I couldn't stop thinking about this book long after I had finished it!

Stephanie said...

I read this book awhile back and would love to see the movie. Thanks for the review!

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