K.B.L.'s Reviews > The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
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Jun 05, 2013

it was ok
Read in January, 2009

In the jacket summary, the author claims that the book is not for children, (and yet it is found in the children/young adult section) and that the book is meant to teach adults something. Then he states that he "didn't want to tell what the book was about because it would spoil it"--thus there *is* no actual summary...
But by the third chapter, I wondered just how stupid he thought that the readers were. Word usage, such as where they move being "Out With" and "Fury" (which makes no sense because it is a completely different word in German) and beyond language, there's the movement of raising the hand above their head.
Um, WWII, duh.

The author's words about the theme, intended audience, the way it is written, etc. makes me, the actual reader, get judgmental.
I think the author comes off as pretentious, and the story itself is slow moving, predictable, too long of explanations with trivial things, with not enough explanation for important things--things so important that maintaining the "mystery" about the story ruins the main boy's characterization.
The boy lets his initial curiosity die in empty conversations to prevent the truth from revelation. This contradicts his other character traits that have been established, which makes it difficult in believability.

And the ending? Hard to believe that a German speaking kid--the fattest and in best-of-health of any person there--wouldn't be found suspicious in a group of starved, severely ill Jews.

Overall, I felt it was an absurd read.
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Reading Progress

05/27 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Mcdermott Hi there

I noticed you have some strong views about The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which makes you an ideal person for me to ask if you would you like to put a question to John Boyne himself about his book? BBC World Book Club is interviewing him on Tuesday 23rd February and would love to hear from you. If you could email me at ruth.mcdermott@bbc.co.uk as soon as you can with your question about the book (anything - doesn't have to be particularly clever!), we can either arrange for you to talk to the man himself, or have our presenter put your question to John for you. Then you get to hear your question on World Service Radio! Please get in touch soonest, including where you are in the world and contact details.

Thanks, and all the best.

Ruth McDermott, BBC World Book Club
ruth.mcdermott@bbc.co.uk
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/art...



Rhonda I agree with you Kyla! Thought it was far fetched!


Ryan Oh yeah in my review i forgot the ending. Seriously, they found the clothes and shoes he left before he entered the camp and it was a YEAR before the father went back there and pieced what actually happened together? Blah bullocks. They would have known straight away. Ending was shite, writing style was shite, storyline was ok (given that it IS fiction) but the film is definitely better (a rare case).


Rhonda Ryan wrote: "Oh yeah in my review i forgot the ending. Seriously, they found the clothes and shoes he left before he entered the camp and it was a YEAR before the father went back there and pieced what actually..."

Yes, yes indeed! The film was better because it was a different author. Good call Ryan!


message 5: by Victoria (new) - added it

Victoria I agree with your review for the most part - Bruno's naivety was not believable. But for the record I read this is German and the word Furor was used for 'Fury', which means the same thing, and is in fact closer to Führer than Fury is. Just saying.


message 6: by Lina (new) - rated it 1 star

Lina Victoria wrote: "But for the record I read this is German and the word Furor was used for 'Fury', which means the same thing, and is in fact closer to Führer than Fury is. Just saying."

It may be closer, but to mispronounce "Führer" would require a serious problem with speaking in general. It is in no way a difficult word(I'm serious, it's not). If anything, he would've pronounced it with the Berlin dialect(Which would be "meen Führa", more or less). "Fury" at least makes sense in English, but there is no plausible equivalent in German. So, it doesn't work in the German setting at all.


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