At the ripe old age of 24, my ability recall seemingly random bits of information is somewhat compromised. Hence, when I picked up The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, the title didn’t ring the bell it should have rung. As one does, I turned to the back cover for a little insight but John Boyne and his publishers knew better than to “spoil the reading of the book.” This peaked my interest.
Having journeyed through the book with Bruno, the nine-year-old character you will quickly grow fond of, I understand the importance of keeping mum regarding the book’s content.
This is the kind of book that one can only discuss with those that have read the book or watched the movie (hopefully only after reading the book). John positions the reader at a third person’s distance in Bruno’s head, and so the story unfolds from his blissfully naïve yet humorous and intelligent point of view.
The storyline is a morbid one but one finds themselves chuckling at the many amusing events that take place. Caveat lector: please be aware that you may appear strange and possibly a little sadistic should you be found giggling at the contents of a book underpinned by misfortunes.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas touches on the micro-effects of social and political issues. It allows readers to open their minds to the duality of situations, so often overlooked when discussing topical issues. It is a book that reminds one that perceptions are shaped by perspectives; perspectives often taught through a narrow lens.
I would love to discuss the experiences, thought processes and choices of each character, however, such an in-depth analysis would surely ruin your adventure with Bruno. I am, however, not opposed to sharing my thoughts over a hearty meal and some wine with anyone who was, in any way, touched by this book.