Wednesday, February 27, 2008

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.

Fences like this exist all over the world. We hope you never have to encounter such a fence.

I actually finished reading this book about 3 weeks ago, but every time I sat down to think about writing a review I was really undecided about what I was going to write about.

The main reason for this is that in discussing even the basics of the plot, you will be giving away major pieces of information about the book itself, and by even knowing just those small things the reading experience will be changed. That is quite unusual in itself because normally you can at least give some details of setting, time frame, basic plot details etc without giving too much away, but with this book you really can't.

There were several times during this YA novel that I had moments where I suddenly got whatever it was I was reading about. For example, it took me about 30 pages to realise exactly what the perspective was that the story was being told from. That may well be a little slower than some readers, but given that the last book I read about a similar time frame had some details in it that I 'thought' might be related to what I was reading about, I am not going to beat myself up about it.

Ultimately, this was a very powerful novel, despite the fact that it is only 180 pages long. There are surprises littered throughout - surprising friendships, surprising discoveries and definitely a surprising ending.

There were times that certain aspects of the writing style got a little irritating - there was a particular phrase that was used to describe the main character's older sister over and over again. As long as you can allow those few flaws to be overlooked, this is a short, emotionally packed young adult story that adults can be challenged by and enjoy.

This is definitely a book to be added to your To Be Read list.

Other Blogger's Thoughts:

Maw Books
Blue Archipelago
Books Love Me
Melody's Reading Corner
Out of the Blue
A Reader's Respite


  1. Wanted to stop by and visit. I totally love your blog. :-D Thanks for visiting mine. Also, I see you are reading Charlaine's newest book. I've read all three. :)

  2. Nice template, Marg. Love the new look.

    I've heard raves about this book... guess I need to pick this up soon. Thanks for the review. :)

  3. I am doing something fun. Well, at least I think it is. I'd like to start posting the participating members favorite book for each month on the blog. Mine is already up for January. Send me your favorite book and author of the book for January. As soon as this month is over, I’ll post one for February.

  4. Thanks Melody! This book is definitely worth reading.

  5. I read this book based on another bloggers recommendation and really enjoyed it too. It was definitely powerful. I don't know whether or not it is true, but I heard that the book is being made into a movie.

  6. I am not sure about a movie of this book. Wouldn't they have to change the ending pretty dramatically?

  7. I am certainly enticed by your review. I'm much too curious about everything you had to leave out.

  8. yeah, i love your template too, I need more space to put stuff on my blog. where did you find this one, or is it just minima with some adjustments?

    oh, I was looking into this book for the Banned book challenge. I owned the ones I chose, so I was trying to not buy any more books (as I have tons I need to read!).

    It looks like it would be worth it though!!

  9. Thanks Bethany. I got this template from Pannamontata Template. There's a link at the bottom of the page.

  10. I have this book on my shelf but haven't read it yet! I do know a little on what the book is about and it's very interesting.

    Can't wait to know what the ending will be. You said it's surprising? Then, I'll prepare myself for it. =)

  11. I loved this book! The more time that goes by the more I would like to recommend it. I like you didn't know anything about this book and was really glad that I didn't. I was on about page twenty before I figured out what time period this was and what it was about. I have heard it's being made into a movie. Very curious.

  12. I read this book last month and it was really interesting. It was easy to read and I finished it in a day. An unforgettable book!