The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Continuing on the World War 2 theme that seems to be spreading throughout my life, I recently finished reading The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. The book was something I never really wanted to read but had a few free weeks before embarking on a safari and liked the film so thought the short book would fill the time nicely. I have to say that it was one of the best books I have ever read. Boyne really taps into a small naive child and you feel sorry for Bruno that he just does not understand that he is part of a privileged life with oppression hanging over him. The use of childish words and lists make it feel as if it is written by a young boy. I think the fact he mispronounces a lot of historical names (historical now not then) makes you realise he has no real conception of the world outside his own house. I understand why some people feel that it is a little unrealistic as surely he would know something was not right but I ask you this. As a young child did you really understand punishment, oppression and racial hatred? And we live in the internet age. Bruno would not have access to the information we do and is clearly being steered in one direction and only fed certain details (as shown by his tutor). He is basically a spoilt brat who does not realise he is spoilt. A times really heartbreaking, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a  fantastic book and one which I feel all should read. I have never read a book I feel could fulfil the title of a modern-day classic but I can easily see it up there along with Dickens and Shakespeare and that’s some serious praise.

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