The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne

Posted on June 23, 2008


This small novel is one of John Boyne’s greatest works. Set in WWII  it revolves around a small 9 – yeard old noy called Bruno in Berlin , Germany. He knows little of the war. He hears the myths of savage westerners and ruthless battleships , and the damage that has been dealt during the war. He also thinks that the character he knows only as The Fury will make things better. He looks up to his father , who works closely with the fury. Soon he and his  family are forced to move to the german countryside with his father’s work. Bruno is forced to leave his friends behind and knows not the reason why.

He soon adapts to life in the country. The book seems to set itself up forever , but what it lacks in initial tension and action it makes up for with raw writing talent. He meets several servants in his house , and becomes suspicous as he sees his father’s workers treating the servants badly. He is allowed out to explore , and soon comes across a fence , with a boy wearing striped pyjamas on the other side. The two boys soon talk and befriend eachother , and Bruno soon makes plans to cross the fence , even after his friend’s fierce refusal , saying it is horrible and dirty. But Bruno wants to assist in family issues , and soon gets his wish.

This book is a tragic and compelling reminder of the raw brutality of the holocaust , and a shocking reminiscence of the Nazi regime. It compiles brilliantly in an epic war novel , examining the more heartrending and less action side of the second world war. It is a book that is imprinted on my brain forever , and has true meaning. If any book shows how mutliated human nature can become , it is this one.

I strongly reccomend this book if you have any reading passion or interest in WWII


Hoping you enjoyed this review ,

Callum 🙂