The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped PyjamasI read The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas while on the train, travelling from Bedford to Nottingham, on the day I was travelling there to start my new job three months ago. The train journey is only an hour & a half, but luckily, this isn’t a very thick book (it’s only 214 pages long), so I had read most of it before I arrived at my destination. This is such a great book, that upon arriving, because I was sooo close to finishing, I had all I could do to not just sit on the train & finish this book. I really wouldn’t have cared if the train had left the station with me on it still – I needed to finish reading this book!

Luckily, sense prevailed & I waited until I got to my hotel room to finish devouring The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. I was not disappointed!

For those of you who might not have read this book yet, I suggest that you do so. When I had bought this the movie had already come out, so there was lots of hype surrounding it. I have yet to see the movie & I’m not sure that I ever will. I really don’t see how any Hollywood celluloid facsimile could ever live up to the printed version of this story. It is heart-wrenching, thought-provoking and generally a brilliant read. If you do choose to read this, please try to avoid reading any reviews about it. (& try to avoid the soft cover versions of the book as they give the plot away, which the hard cover doesn’t. The hardcover lets you read this book as it’s intended – innocently, like a child.) You will be taken in by it. You will love it (which may seem odd, given the subject matter), you may well cry (I did) & you sure will be left both thinking & talking about this very poignant book. That’s no bad thing!

My understanding is that this book has been marketed as a children’s book. Well, I think that the subject matter would be lost on anyone under 10, I would recommend it for older children, though. I can easily see this becoming a book that is read in classrooms, much like when we read “To Kill A Mockingbird” when I was at school. I can easily see this becoming the kind of book that parents & teens read & discuss together, which, I think, is as it should be!

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