book review: The Boy in Striped Pyjamas

I watched the movie some time last year. And so my friend Bessie generously lent me the book.

"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 in 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."

I loved the writing style. I loved hearing what Bruno was thinking, and there was so many random things that just made me laugh. He is so beautifully honest. Bruno had a way of thinking that just amazed me, the way he didn't want to blurt things out in case the other person took them the wrong way. 

He just wanted a friend, and he found one. Sure, he wore pyjamas and had no hair and sat on the other side of the fence -- but what difference did this make? He was a friend. 

There's a very simple lesson I can learn from this book. Don't judge people, persecute them, because they might be a different religion or have a different colour hair to you or maybe they're poor or rich. Just because that's what somebody else does, it doesn't mean it's right. 

I mean, Shmuel -- the litttle boy in the striped pyjamas -- he knew that Bruno's dad was the one in charge, the one who was messing up his life. But he never judged Bruno. He didn't blame him or hate him. He accepted him for who he was. 

I'm looking at the picture on the front cover as I write this. I can see so much, yet the words... they're not really flowing. 

two boys, taken away from their homes
separate trains almost a world away
in search of a hidden place
to dream and pray
they find one another
to live lives so different
yet in a corresponding way
one is like the other
with one difference 
neither understands.
they live on opposite sides 
of the fence.

Almost every page was filled with amusing lines or thoughts from Bruno, like I said earlier. 
"A strory of innocence in a world of ignorance.
The words on the cover; I think they say what is so true. And, 
"Lines may divide us, but hope will reunite us."
This applies to us, too. Think about it...


  1. i know... i am quite generous, aren't i? :P anyway, great post. love the verse thing-y. it's a good book, isn't it?

  2. thats EXACTLY the way i love a book :) gotta get this!
    nice post ;)

  3. I got this book from a garage sale, but have yet to read it. Great review Emii, love the poem! :)

  4. Oh... That movie had me in tears!!! Poor Smool I think his name is.


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