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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Narrated by: Michael Maloney
Length: 4 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (385 ratings)
Regular price: £15.99
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Summary

What happens when innocence is confronted by monstrous evil?

Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas.

Bruno's friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

©2016 John Boyce (P)2016 Random House AudioBooks

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best books I have ever read.

Would you listen to The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas again? Why?

Yes. Loved the reader and characters.

What other book might you compare The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas to, and why?

Buddha in the attic and Farm and War Horse.

Which character – as performed by Michael Maloney – was your favourite?

Shmoul.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes but I don't have the time.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I'm Now The Man With Striped Feelings!

When I read some of the rather angry reactions to this book that have appeared on sites like Goodreads coupled with the effusive praise that the majority of readers documented for it I thought I saw the signs of intriguing literature in The Boy With Striped Pyjamas. Even though it's billed as a Young Adult book I thought that to have provoked so much strong reaction there must be a lot of interest even to us (ahem!) older sorts too.

So that's how I found myself being carried along inside the mind of nine year old Bruno who did seem to come across as younger to me. A bit too innocent and naive maybe. Then again the book is described as a fable and that's exactly what it turns out to be. It's a moving story of childish curiosity and innocence being thrown hard up against the wall of the worst sort of evil that mankind has produced.

It really does take liberties with the history though and as the author and publisher explain in a fascinating interview at the end this was deliberate and why they billed it as a fable. There are obvious question marks over the approach and whether it weakens the historical message of the holocaust and these nagged at me all the way through. However, in that final interview Boyne very eloquently talks through his reasoning and gives a largely compelling case for his approach though it won't satisfy everyone.

If you accept the nature of a fable for this story though it's a moving, almost heartbreaking tale with a very dramatic ending that juxtaposes justice and injustice into a single tragic event. If you accept this for what it is you will be rewarded with an emotional and thought-provoking story.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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An important and terrifying fable still relevant

It's probably quite important to understand that this is a novel and so there is a lot of artistic license taken with it by the author. That being said the main protagonist, nine-year-old Bruno was brilliantly written, a great juxtaposition of unwaning innocence and extreme cruelty in a time of brutality.

Having visited Auschwitz myself, the naive descriptions of the young boy is gut churning especially as he is so unaware of his fate. The reader does a great job in performing the role of an innocent child.

The most significant chapter, however, is the last one where the author himself describes the reasoning for his decisions as many feel that it was unrealistic and a little insensitive in dealing with the subject matter. It is a moral story about complacency and how easy it is to fall into patterns, so it is essential to read with an open mind.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Baz94
  • United Kingdom
  • 17-02-19

Well worth listening to

This is a well written and interesting, horrific and amazing story.
John Boyne does a great job narrating the story as he helps to serve the story in such a way that it is from the view of the child.
Very clever and well written and excellently read.

Well worth listening to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Such a moving story

An excellent book which moved at pace with skilled writing. The narrator was well chosen for Bruno's tale.

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A book I should have read years ago

Brilliant. Touching. A story of friendship and tribulations. Well written. Great narrator. Glad I bought it

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Brilliant

Such a powerful story seen so beautiful and innocently through the eyes of a child. And so well read by the narrator. I highly recommend it.

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Innocence destroyed.

If you haven't read or listened to this book before please do so. It isn't a book to be categorised as for children or for adults, it's an important book that carries a message for all.

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  • JACQUI
  • Shaareh Tikvah, Israel
  • 31-08-18

nievety

unbelievable. traggic. nieve. difficult to comprehend. sad. nasty. torn values challenged. readable. child not knowing who and where he is.

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very cleverly written book

love the innocence of Bruno the way this book was written it was all from his point of view he only knew the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas as his friend I think we could all learn a lot from children

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  • Ashley
  • 23-10-18

I could not stop thinking about this book!

Every time I pause this book, I keep thinking about it and want to play it or read it!
This book has an amazing way to make you look at things from many different perspectives!
Great read! I highly recommend it!!
Best performance too! Can't wait to watch the movie!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-10-18

Innocence and Hope<br />

Enjoyed it. Very well told. Opened up the view from both sides of the fence.

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  • Jane
  • 05-12-17

Very much enjoyed

Honest and captivating and short and sweet. I enjoyed this book. Would only have wanted the end to be more concise.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ANIL SHAH
  • 06-04-17

A wonderful perspective

It is a wonderful book from a 9 year old German boy who seems oblivious to what is happening and questions some the the happenings that time in a very innocent perspective. It is true that not everyone knew especially kids at that time what was going on and it is a great start to knowing more about world war 2 and read more serious books later on about the subject. The narration is excellent and overall an amazing experience. Love it.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful