Well. Hmm. I was home sick yesterday and watched about 12 episodes of How I Met Your Mother (awesome show, btw) instead of starting this book. I felt silly at the time (I haven’t spent so much time watching TV since I had finals to procrastinate!), but I think I’m pretty glad I didn’t read this until I felt less like vomiting.
Note: John Boyne (the author) thinks that books should be read without knowing what’s going to happen in them. In the case of this book, I would agree. If you’re planning to read this with or without my notes, please go do that now. It won’t take long.
This is a very short book (200 pages of large type, YA reading level, took me 3-ish hours to read), so I can’t say much about it without giving away the whole darn thing, but here’s a synopsis: our protagonist, Bruno, moves to a place called “Out-With” in 1943 as his father, a newly promoted commandant, has been assigned to a new job there. He’s not terribly pleased at leaving Berlin, but learns to get along in his new home with only three floors and not five, especially after he goes on a walk along the fence by his house and discovers a new friend called Shmuel, who wears striped pyjamas* like the rest of the people on his side of the fence. Then the climax happens and the book is over.
When I heard about this book, I didn’t realize it was YA (and apparently young YA, at that), so I guess I was expecting a little bit better characterization and plot — the characters are very flat and the plot saves itself all up until the end — but I did rather enjoy it nonetheless. I also would like to see the movie (is it out yet/still?), because I think that might help me out a bit — the author also doesn’t do much with descriptions, though I think there might be a point hidden in there about all of us being the same. Subtle.
(Countdown Challenge: 2006)
*So this book is totally supposed to be called The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, but for some reason (the fact that it’s YA?) it’s been Americanized to “pajamas.” Strangely enough, the word “tyre” appears several times, and two instances of “pyjamas” are left unchanged. Is that “y” so difficult?