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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

What members say

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  • Overall
    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

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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Loved it!

Wanted to listen non-stop. For all ages. A great story. Absolutely loved it and will re-listen..

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For once the film was better than the book

Given that the story is told from the point of view of a young boy, the boys dialogue is too adult even given that he is well educated.

Maybe I shouldn't compare the book with the film but it's one of those rare occasions where the film is better than the book.

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  • Ann
  • Ireland
  • 29-08-17

Love Love Loved it !!

Beautifully written book. I listened to this with my twin daughters age 10 and we all loved it. The Narrator
was superb and brought all the characters to life. We shared laughter and tears together over this story. I think this is one of my very favourite books ever.

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The most moving book I have ever read.

This is a truly stunning, heart breaking, moving and thought provoking story that I am so grateful to have had the experience of reading!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Heartbreaking

Oh God this is devastating. I'm not usually a fan of child narrators but it's perfect here for conveying such as horrific situation through the perspective of innocence. Do NOT listen to the last 3 chapters while driving.

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Fantastic short story

As it is written in the eyes of the little boy Bruno, it gives the reader a unique perspective on the holocaust. An interesting yet thought-provoking read!

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Childhood lost when adulthood reigns

I've seen the movie which motivated me to listen to the book. There are parts of this story which wasn't apparent in the film and in that sense, I'm glad I have listened to this.

The story is just as compelling and shockingly simple yet tells a lot from the perspective of a young boy. Adult behaviour translated in child perception. It's brilliantly narrated and the story enfolds to its shocking climax; which as a child or someone who does not know the history, may not discover.

I also liked the writer interview at the end.

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moving story that everyone should read and discuss

This is one of those stories that i hope we never need to write again or need to discuss. However, i suspect it is a lesson that future generations will also need to relearn. I highly recommend that everyone reads it and takes time to discuss it with those around us a that no one else suffers in this way.

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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 1 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 1 people found this review helpful