The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – So good and so bad! 2 stars! 11


And this ladies and gents was such a good and bad book!

So, even though I was prepared to LOVE this book to pieces. I DID NOT.

2 stars!

About the book

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Berlin 1942

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

Review

This is not easy, nope people it’s not. Bear with me, pretty pleeeeease.

Any holocaust story gets my immediate attention and almost automatic adoration and this book wasn’t the exception, as you can see in the Goodreads updates below. At least AT FIRST.

The story is touching, it’s about a boy AND Auschwitz, like in AUSCHWITZ, possibly one of the worse places that ever existed on earth. And there is no way you don’t need a huge soul band-aid while reading this.

Heartbreaking story, impeccable written…

However.

Let’s put a huge, underlined, fat, bold, vowels dragging “However” here…

HOOOOOWEEEEEVEEEER

I couldn’t fanatically worship this book as I was intending to.

Because, as I said, it’s about a boy AND Auschwitz but.. WHO is the boy IN Auschwitz? The ONE boy we SHOULD feel sad about?

It’s NOT the MC, Bruno as the book will make you believe. THAT is the issue I had! Even the blurb says it at the end “results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.”

So, everything that happened to the other boy that is not Bruno was irrelevant, and meh, who cares because the only devastating thing happened AFTER they meet. Because it happened to poor, little, spoiled, innocent, German BRUNO. That was, you know, just being him and living there near “Out-With”.

YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!

[OK. deep breath, I’m working myself into a rage fit here]

Even though the writer said in an interview it was not his intention, Bruno did come up childish and egocentric and the story came out SO, SO wrong!

It’s indeed possible for a very young child to be oblivious to the political atmosphere of the time. But this book took it too far, to the point to sound plainly complacent and I could definitely understand why so many people hated the book.

Intended or not, Bruno came to represent the way many Germans acted during WWII. Making him so “innocent” to the point of not being able to properly pronounce Führer or Auschwitz [which Bruno pronounces “The Fury” and “Out-With”] or not having a clue of what was happening in Auschwitz while living NEXT door… Just didn’t work AT ALL! And it din’t because…

  1. It’s SO historically incorrect.  You could NOT live NEXT DOOR to Auschwitz without seen the towers of smoke or smell the bodies burning.
  2. The character is 9-year old not FIVE so…
  3. Bruno didn’t seem “innocent” at all. What came across was that the writer was trying to minimize the responsibility of all that stood there and did nothing while million of people were murdered. It came across as if the writer was completely denying the severity of what happened and trying to make the reader feel pity for poor spoiled Bruno who had NO clue of what was happening. And Therefore…
  4. The story came across complacent, callous and disrespectful not only to the victims and their families but to the readers.

So, even though I was prepared to LOVE this book to pieces.

I DID NOT LOVE THIS BOOK AT ALL.

These are my Goodreads updates, before I got mad at the book…

What about you? Have you read this book? How did you feel about it?

Thank you for visiting!

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11 thoughts on “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – So good and so bad! 2 stars!