Boy from the boy in the striped pajamas
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John BoyneI hardly know where to begin bashing this book. Do I start with the 9-year-old boy and his 12-year-old sister, who read about 6 and 8, respectively? The imperial measurements (miles, feet) despite the German setting? The German boy, raised in Berlin, who thinks that Der Fuhrer is The Fury and Auschwitz is Out-With, despite being corrected several times and seeing it written down? The other English-language idioms and mis-hearings, despite our being told that he speaks only German? And that he believes that Heil Hitler! is a fancy word for hello, because he understands neither Heil nor Hitler?
So maybe these are fussy issues, and I shouldnt trash the book on these minor linguistic flaws. Instead, I can start with the plot holes big enough to drive a truck through: that Bruno, whose father is a high-ranking official in The Furys regime, doesnt know what a Jew is, or that hes living next door to a concentration camp. Or that the people wearing the striped pajamas are being killed, and THATs why they dont get up after the soldiers stand close to them and there are sounds like gunshots. Or that theres a section of fence that is (a) unpatrolled and (b) can be lifted from the ground high enough to pass food and, eventually, a small boy through, AND that nobody would try to get OUT through this hole. Or that Brunos friend Shmuel, a frail 9-year-old boy, would survive over a year in a Nazi camp. Or even the authors refusal to ever use the word Auschwitz, in an effort to make this book about any camp, to add a universality to Brunos experience.
That last is from an interview with the author that appears at the end of the audio version. I cant speak to most of what he said, because it was a lot of here are all the places that are hyping my book, but the worst part of it, to me, was where he was addressing criticisms: there are people who complain that Bruno is too innocent, too naive, and they are trivializing the message of this book. Um, no. Im not trivializing the message; Im objecting to his trivializing of the Holocaust. I find his treatment of the Holocaust to be superficial, misleading, and even offensive.
As an audio recording, Im pretty neutral. The narrator did the best he could with the material and there was some differentiation between the characters voices, but the music that was added... some chapters ended with appropriately-somber music. Other chapters had no music at all. Sometimes the music appeared in the middle of a chapter.
Two other incidental notes: first, normally you cant say anything negative about a Holocaust-themed book without being an asshole, because the books are so tied in with the Holocaust itself. In this case, though, I feel like, due to the fictionalizing of it, the book is far enough removed from Auschwitz that its okay to be negative about the book without being insensitive about the Holocaust. Second, this doesnt land on my run away! Save yourself! shelf, because thats more for books that are comically bad--books that I can bash with glee and mock with abandon. I cant find anything funny about what makes this book so bad; its just plain offensive and shallow.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
The tale of an unlikely friendship between Bruno Asa Butterfield , the son of a Nazi commandant, and Shmuel Jack Scanlon , a Jewish boy held captive in a concentration camp. The tale of an unlikely friendship between Bruno, the son of a Nazi commandant, and Shmuel, a Jewish boy held captive in a concentration camp. Though the two are separated physically by a barbed-wire fence, their friendship grows and their lives become inescapably intertwined. Timings where shown are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes. A collection of some of the most involving films available to watch on BBC iPlayer. Main content. This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer.
Nine year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution or 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. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process. In the space of three days it had been read, and loved, by everybody in my house. The dog felt left out.
More TV Shows & Movies
Unlike the months of planning Boyne devoted to his other books, he said that he wrote the entire first draft of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in two and a half days, barely sleeping until he got to the end. As of March , the novel had sold more than five million copies around the world. He lives with his parents, his year-old sister Gretel and maids, one of whom is called Maria. Bruno is initially upset about moving to Out-With in actuality, Auschwitz  and leaving his friends, Daniel, Karl and Martin. From the house at Out-With, Bruno sees a camp in which the prisoners wear "striped pyjamas" prison clothes.