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Publisher's Summary

What happens when innocence is confronted by monstrous evil?

Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and 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.

Bruno's friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

©2016 John Boyce (P)2016 Random House AudioBooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Very much enjoyed

Honest and captivating and short and sweet. I enjoyed this book. Would only have wanted the end to be more concise.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A wonderful perspective

It is a wonderful book from a 9 year old German boy who seems oblivious to what is happening and questions some the the happenings that time in a very innocent perspective. It is true that not everyone knew especially kids at that time what was going on and it is a great start to knowing more about world war 2 and read more serious books later on about the subject. The narration is excellent and overall an amazing experience. Love it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • anne levine
  • 12-11-16

One of the best books I have ever read.

Would you listen to The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas again? Why?

Yes. Loved the reader and characters.

What other book might you compare The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas to, and why?

Buddha in the attic and Farm and War Horse.

Which character – as performed by Michael Maloney – was your favourite?

Shmoul.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes but I don't have the time.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 07-12-18

I'm Now The Man With Striped Feelings!

When I read some of the rather angry reactions to this book that have appeared on sites like Goodreads coupled with the effusive praise that the majority of readers documented for it I thought I saw the signs of intriguing literature in The Boy With Striped Pyjamas. Even though it's billed as a Young Adult book I thought that to have provoked so much strong reaction there must be a lot of interest even to us (ahem!) older sorts too.

So that's how I found myself being carried along inside the mind of nine year old Bruno who did seem to come across as younger to me. A bit too innocent and naive maybe. Then again the book is described as a fable and that's exactly what it turns out to be. It's a moving story of childish curiosity and innocence being thrown hard up against the wall of the worst sort of evil that mankind has produced.

It really does take liberties with the history though and as the author and publisher explain in a fascinating interview at the end this was deliberate and why they billed it as a fable. There are obvious question marks over the approach and whether it weakens the historical message of the holocaust and these nagged at me all the way through. However, in that final interview Boyne very eloquently talks through his reasoning and gives a largely compelling case for his approach though it won't satisfy everyone.

If you accept the nature of a fable for this story though it's a moving, almost heartbreaking tale with a very dramatic ending that juxtaposes justice and injustice into a single tragic event. If you accept this for what it is you will be rewarded with an emotional and thought-provoking story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Suswati
  • 01-07-17

An important and terrifying fable still relevant

It's probably quite important to understand that this is a novel and so there is a lot of artistic license taken with it by the author. That being said the main protagonist, nine-year-old Bruno was brilliantly written, a great juxtaposition of unwaning innocence and extreme cruelty in a time of brutality.

Having visited Auschwitz myself, the naive descriptions of the young boy is gut churning especially as he is so unaware of his fate. The reader does a great job in performing the role of an innocent child.

The most significant chapter, however, is the last one where the author himself describes the reasoning for his decisions as many feel that it was unrealistic and a little insensitive in dealing with the subject matter. It is a moral story about complacency and how easy it is to fall into patterns, so it is essential to read with an open mind.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • M. Price
  • 09-21-18

Innocence destroyed.

If you haven't read or listened to this book before please do so. It isn't a book to be categorised as for children or for adults, it's an important book that carries a message for all.

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  • JACQUI
  • 08-31-18

nievety

unbelievable. traggic. nieve. difficult to comprehend. sad. nasty. torn values challenged. readable. child not knowing who and where he is.

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  • GILLIAN
  • 08-22-18

very cleverly written book

love the innocence of Bruno the way this book was written it was all from his point of view he only knew the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas as his friend I think we could all learn a lot from children

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  • maria alexandri
  • 08-19-18

enjoyable!

I picked up this book because of the film I've seen. It's much better, I loved it!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-22-18

Surprised

I loved it and would definitely recommend, be prepared. The story was very moving and thought provoking.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rose Urmston
  • 09-12-17

Loved it!

Wanted to listen non-stop. For all ages. A great story. Absolutely loved it and will re-listen..

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ms. M. C. Edwards
  • 09-10-17

For once the film was better than the book

Given that the story is told from the point of view of a young boy, the boys dialogue is too adult even given that he is well educated.

Maybe I shouldn't compare the book with the film but it's one of those rare occasions where the film is better than the book.

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  • Chris
  • 10-29-17

A Deeply Moving Fable

I listened to this audio book in one sitting after my grandson (age 11) had been given it to read at school and was very distressed by it.
I grew up in Germany post WWll, with my father being in the British Army and occupying there, wives and families were accommodated there too. My father had been one of the original troops who liberated Bergen-Belsen, and at age 8, I overheard his distress and anger, and observed his out-of-character anger towards the German population at the time. So this book was a poignant reminder of my own loss of innocence at that dreadful time in history.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kellie Grealy
  • 02-09-17

Worthy

Absolutely loved this voice! The best I have heard so far. The story was wonderful and short enough to listen in one day.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-27-18

Great Book

Very well written. Made me cry. Recommend for all ages over 12 years old. John Boyne is a great author!

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  • Loretta G Winter
  • 05-03-18

A DEFINATE 5 STAR BOOK

The book takes you on a visual journey from the eyes of a young boy. So cruel the events yet so innocent the from the child's perspective. The father the instigator yet the hero in his son's eyes. I experienced such sadness. My dad was a German child in Germany and this was his reality. I knew of the atrocities but this book took me step by step with the child as if I was there. No war has a good ending and this account, a snippet of life in war, is no different. A brilliantly written and narrated book. Have the movie set aside to watch now I have read the book. A book I will definitely read again.

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  • Sue Tresidder
  • 04-15-18

It is Amazing!

I loved this book because it had a great story line to it and was a very sad book.
I would recommend it to people 12 and above because it is probably to depressing for younger ages.