Saturday, 14 December 2013


THE BOY IN STRIPED PYJAMAS is a heart-breaking novel, which shocked the world, written by JOHN BOYNE in 2006. It became such a bestseller that couple of years ago it was made to a film. And when it hit the silver screen, it was a success.

The story of this book takes us to the horrible times of human history - World War II, and the time when the most horrible man of the world, who ever existed, Adolf Hilter, was in charge of Germany.

We are meeting a nine-year-old Bruno, who lives in Germany and has a very happy childhood. That is until all of sudden, his father gets a new job and they have to re-locate to live in Outwith (as he calls it). Bruno is unhappy about the change, he doesn't like the new place and new house one little bit. But that all changes when one late afternoon, on one of his exploration journeys, he finds a boy behind a fence. Shmuel. A boy in Striped pyjamas. They become firm friends who share long talks about their families, backgrounds, hopes and dreams.

One thing I will make sure of. It's clear actually as soon as you spot the book in your book shop! This story is powerful. It's the most powerful story I have ever read. Might be due to the fact that it's based on events which has actually happen in not so distant history and we live in a constant fear that they might repeat. It just simply gets under yours skin. Slowly creeps up on you and never leaves. It will get a permanent ever-lasting mark on you and you won't be able to look at the world the same way.

Wonderfully written from the point of a nine-year-old boy who doesn't have a slightest idea of what is really going on around him. He doesn't fully understand the events surrounding his family and new life. For him the most important thing is that he had to leave his four best friends behind along with a five-floor-house.

This story is beautiful. Charming. HEART-BREAKING. Make sure to have a box of tissues ready at your side. You will need it. It's a must-read so we, readers and survivors, can fully understand what was happening in that dark time in our history. It's a story of unlikely friendship formed in one of the most horrifying places in the world - Auschwitz. It will make you stop and think. You will think about the cruelty the world and people are capable of. And you will be terrified. Petrified at what one little German man with horrifying agenda did to the world and its people.

It's unique. Original. Wonderful. Eye-opening. Absolutely petrifying. Thoughtful. An extra-ordinary story about extra-ordinary friendship. Boyne delivers a wonder. One in a billion stories - which will make you stop and look at the world in a completely different way. You will appreciate life the way it is now. And you will respect the people who lived through it all with a new-found respect. So much greater than before.

You find yourself compelled to this novel. You will want to read on. Find out what has really happened in those dark times. How the book ends.

It's very easy to read. Sometimes it's hard to forget about the events which this book describes, but the originality of this book is found in its writing. Simple. Naive. Wonderful. A boy who calls Hitler Fury. Auschwitz is Outwith. People aren't wearing prisoner's uniforms but  pyjamas. You will connect the dots and realise the horrifying events of this story.

Boyne has manages to open eyes of all those who didn't really appreciate or didn't really pay much attention to the events of WWII and terror which Hitler caused. After reading this book, you will find yourself glued to your computer re-searching more about it. You will rent movies (including the film adaptation of this novel) and want to suck up more information about the dark times in human's history. And you will feel partially guilty. Either because you haven't paid enough attention to it before, or just purely somehow that we let it happen.

And that is the true power of this book. You will never find another book like this one. Simple written with the a strong message. It will beg you, not to let it happen again.

A one in a billion books, which should be definitely a permanent part of your library, passed from one generation to other. Hugo & Shmuel's story will live with you forever.

Here are some Quotes from the book which left the ever-lasting impression:

“Sitting around miserable all day won't make you any happier.” 

“...Despite the mayhem that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel's hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go.” 

“The thing about exploring is that you have to know whether the thing you've found is worth finding. Some things are just sitting there, minding their own business, waiting to be discovered. Like America. And other things are probably better off left alone. Like a dead mouse at the back of the cupboard.” 

“What exactly was the difference? he wondered to himself. And who decided which people wore the striped pajamas and which people wore the uniforms?”

“He looked down and did something quite out of character for him: he took hold of Shmuel's tiny hand in his and squeezed it tightly.
"You're my best friend, Shmuel," he said. "My best friend for life.”

“Don't make it worse by thinking it's more painful than it actually is.” 

“. . .only the victims and survivors can truly comprehend the awfulness of that time and place; the rest of us live on the other side of the fence, staring through from our own comfortable place, trying in our own clumsy ways to make sense of it all.” 

“Well you've been brought here against your will, just like I have. If you ask me, we're all in the same boat. And it's leaking.”

“In his heart, he knew that there was no reason to be impolite to someone, even if they did work for you. There was such a thing as manners after all.” 

“Very slowly he turned his head back to look at Shmuel, who wasn't crying anymore, merely staring at the floor and looking as if he was trying to convince his soul not to live inside his tiny body anymore, but to slip away and sail to the door and rise up into the sky, gliding through the clouds until it was very far away.''

“But still there are moments when a brother and sister can lay down their instruments of torture for a moment and speak as civilized human beings and Bruno decided to make this one of those moments.” 

“It reminds me of how grandmother always had the right costume for me to wear. You wear the right outfit and you feel like the person you're pretending to be.” 

“And shortly after that the blob became a figure. And then, as Bruno got even closer, he saw that the thing was neither a dot nor a speck nor a blob nor a figure, but a person.”

“When I make mistakes I get punished,' insisted Bruno, irritated by the fact that the rules that always applied to children never seemed to apply to grown-ups at all (despite the fact that they were the ones ho enforced them).” 

“Those people... well, they're not people at all, Bruno” 

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