This is one of those books you can't stop listening to until you are finished. It is powerful and heartbreaking and scary. There is layer after layer of meaning in this story, enough to keep a good book club going for a year at least. It is one I will be thinking about for a long time to come. At first I thought it was going to be a children's book, but it was soon evident that it wasn't the case. Yet, I'm not sure it is an adult book either. I guess it is just a book, a very profound and powerful book. It deals with concentration camps during WWII through the eyes of a 9 year-old German boy who lived just outside the camp fence. It is a very interesting point of view and a real eye-opener! Luckily it is a relatively short book so you can finish it in one or two sittings. Otherwise your life will have to go on hold until you finish it. Can't stop thinking about it.
Addicted to Audible since 2009
This indeed was such a good story. A great author, great narrator and just a clever way of telling this terribly tragic story, through the eyes of a 9-year-old innocent and naive German.
1) The narration- what an excellent reading of the book
2) The story- the beautiful clash between the innocence of a child and the evil of the Holocaust
Bruno and Shmuel were both my "favorite" characters. The portray the basic innate needs we all have- the need for a close relationship/friendship, the need for partnership, the need to have someone believe in you and give you strength when you have none, and the need to mentor/help someone else in trouble. What an amazing portrayal of the relationship that develops between these boys
I've never listened to Michael Maloney- but I plan to search out all of his other narrations
It made me laugh, It made me cry, it made me think, it made me feel, it made me believe in the goodness of humans, and it made me fear the cruelty within.
This book and its narration ranks right up along The Book Thief and All The Light We Cannot See. Incredible.
Should be required reading for everyone on planet earth. I loved Bruno's innocence, and I loved how the author told the story from the perspective of this naive nine year old boy. To me, that made the setting and events even more horrible. Hard to believe that, so many years later, genocide is still alive and well in many parts of the world. The narrator kept me engrossed, and I believe his delivery of Bruno's speech patterns far surpassed what my mind would have conjured, had I read the book instead of listened to it. This fable will stay with me for a long, long time - because it very well could have happened during those awful years . . . or yesterday . . .
By knowing the background of the actual history before listening to this book, you get to have those funny insights. For example, when you here Bruno calling his new home "Outwith", you know it's really Auschwitz; when the boys are discussing their family's patches on their clothes, Bruno's father with the swastika and Schmuel's with the star of David, Bruno doesn't know whether he prefers his father's symbol or Schmuel's when we all know on the other side of the book that the patches showed the difference between life or death in Germany, essentially.
The ending for the two boys is unmistakably heart-wrenching. Hearing the part about how more than anything Bruno was not going to let go of Schmuel's hand made me feel vulnerable, to say the least. Listening to this story, you remember how you felt as a little kid: making new friends of all sorts; the loneliness of a new area; dealing with an older sibling who treats you like you don't know anything; trying your best to find a silver lining in everything; an innocent love and compassion for someone, whether they're like you or not.
Both. There were parts that were very funny, especially paired with Michael Maloney's voice, and parts that were very sad. I saw and own the movie, which makes me tear up every time, and the book is just as good. Usually I find the books that movies are based on to be much better than the film, but I feel like the book and film for this story are equally good.
This book is good for people of all ages, if you ask me. There would definitely be some things to discuss if you listen to this story as a family, because some things are not black and white about what happens, such as the ending. Younger readers might be confused about some of the things going on, like what happened to Pavel or why Bruno's family had to move or possibly even why Hitler believed in the Aryan race and nothing else. Even if you don't know very much beyond the top layer of WWII and the Holocaust, this story is one to embrace and internalize. Don't pass this one up if you like historical dramas.
The humanity of Bruno and his mother. The way Bruno is trying to think for himself when all around him are howling with the wolves.
Shmuel. Even after Bruno betrays him, he forgives him. He could have hated him, I mean Bruno had his freedom and was the son of a nazi but Bruno, bruises and all, forgives him.
I have not listened to any before but I enjoyed this and hopefully will find more books with this narration in the future.
Yes and I think perhaps I did.
This books is fantastic because it presents a horrible subject in a bit of a white washed way for children yet they understand a horrific thing is happening. A child listening to this would have the knowledge hindsight that the character of Bruno does not have but also sees it from his eyes. I am Jewish and so I understand the need to present accurate holocaust portrayals but when children are involved, we have to teach it in spurts and make them think. Bruno is trying to understand why things are happening and sees that what he is being told is not right. Bruno does not howl with the wolves as his father and sister do but he also loves his father. It is a moral dilemma set in horrific background and that adds to it. Bruno can either do what he think is is right or he can follow the crowd. With more people like Bruno you might not have had a place like Auschwitz to begin with.
It is a book that is not just a story. Not just a "the holocaust was bad". The kids of today know that already. This was book that should make them think "Would I have been Bruno and followed my heart, head and conviction....found courage in the face of horror or would I have been Lieutenant Kotler or Herr Liszt?"
Books like this should make us examine those questions and hopefully, within ourselves, find our own Bruno
My 3 kids and I listened to this on a 7 hour drive back home, in which, it was a horrible rain/sleet storm. It was a very quiet drive because we were all mesmerized by the story. Wonderful story and listening to Michael Maloney tell it our attention was captured from the first word! My youngest kids enjoyed it even though they had not learned too much about that time in history. We had a very engaging conversation afterwards.