The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

By (author) John Boyne

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Lines may divide us, but hope will unite us ...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.

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  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 18mm | 180g
  • 11 Sep 2008
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Definitions
  • London
  • English
  • 1862305277
  • 9781862305274
  • 1,098

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Author Information

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of nine novels for adults and four for younger readers, including the international bestsellers The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which has sold more than six million copies worldwide, The Absolutist and, most recently, Stay Where You Are and Then Leave. His novels are published in over forty-five languages. He is married and lives in Dublin. www.johnboyne.com @john_boyne

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Review quote

"An account of a dreadful episode, short on actual horror but packed with overtones that remain in the imagination. Plainly and sometimes archly written, it stays just ahead of its readers before delivering its killer punch in the final pages" -- Nick Tucker Independent "A small wonder of a book. Bruno's education is conducted slowly, through a series of fleeting social encounters rather than by plunging him into a nightmare landscape" Guardian "An extraordinary tale of friendship and the horrors of war seen thorugh the eyes of two young boys, it's stirring stuff. Raw literary talent at its best. More please!" Irish Independent "Quite impossible to put down, this is the rare kind of book that doesn't leave your head for days. Word of mouth should be strong and this has the potential to cross over to an adult audience. A unique and captivating novel, which I believe deserves huge success" -- Becky Stadwick The Bookseller "Brilliantly written, superbly conceived novel, ending with words as bleakly ambiguous as any I have ever read. Boyne's ability to lead us on with crystal clear prose so that we unthinkingly fall into the elephant trap reminds me irresistably of another Irishman - Jonathan Swift" -- Dennis Hamley The School Librarian

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Back cover copy

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE 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.

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Customer reviews

A great read!

"The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" by John Boyne, is a fictional story set during the time of the Holocaust. When Bruno, the main character is forced to move away from his Berlin home with his family, his live changes forever. His beautiful home in Germany is replaced by a much smaller, duller house, which is also the location of his father's downstairs office. His father does not explain or discuss his occupation with his children. However, (us) the readers soon realises that Bruno's father is a Nazi Commandant in Auschwitz. Despite the setting, the reader is spared many of the horrific details of what actually took place in the concentration camps itself. This, I believe, increases the shock when we discover exactly what is going in there. The style of the writing is clear and straightforward because it explores and captures the mind of a child. The deliberate mistakes of "Fury" for Fuhrer, and "Out-With" for Auschwitz are funny in a dark sort of way and made me feel a strong sense of foreboding right form the start. Although the book is easy to read, it deals with some very serious themes and issues which at time I found heart-breaking. I would consider this book is unsuitable for any reader under the age of eleven or twelve. It is however, a very good, thought-provoking read for teenagers and adults. I hope I have not given away the ending1 I would recommend this book and I give it a 4/5show more
by Thea Curley

Way...better than the movie!!!

I first saw the movie of this book and bought the dvd and really enjoy it but theres something about the book that makes you imagine the scene alot different than the film and the book on that note is a must have!, a bit of everything for kids and adults alike.show more
by Michael Bird

A great read!

I loved this book. The simplicity of the language used in this novel conveys Bruno's innocence very well and builds up tension directed towards a very tragic end.show more
by Mausi