AUTHOR: John Boyne
NARRATOR: Michael Maloney
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: September 20, 2006
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 5 hrs
GENRE: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
The story of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is very difficult to describe. Usually we give some information about the audiobook, but in this case we think that would spoil the listening. We think it's important that you start to listen without knowing what it is about.
If you do start to listen, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy named Bruno. (Though this isn't a story for nine-year-olds.) And sooner or later, you will arrive with Bruno at the fence.
Fences like this exist all over the world. We hope that you never have to encounter such a fence.
Oh, how my heart aches! This is such a moving and powerful story, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. This is my new favourite read for 2016!
Bruno is a nine-year-old boy, whose father is a Nazi Commandant. Their family moves from Berlin, Germany to Poland for their father’s job, and Bruno is intrigued by the view from his window. In the distance, he sees a fence and the people within the area are all dressed in the same grey striped pajamas. He decides to do some investigating on his own, and he finds a sad-looking and thin boy near the fence whose name is Shmuel. They strike up a conversation, and the boys find that they are the same age and even share the same birthday! Bruno doesn’t understand why he is not allowed to go inside the fenced area, and Shmuel doesn’t reveal too much about what goes on there, except to say that he doesn’t think that Bruno would like it there.
This story is so tragic, and the beauty of Bruno’s innocence is so poignant. He has no idea of the atrocities that are happening on the other side of the fence, and he does not realize that the people there are prisoners in a concentration camp. The ending just left me so bereft, and it emphasized the love and true friendship between Bruno and Shmuel and how hatred and racism are learned behaviours.
Boyne often spoke volumes in what he did NOT say. Instead of going into graphic detail about how Lieutenant Kotler attacked Pavel for spilling wine on him, Boyne only says:
“Lieutenant Kotler grew very angry with Pavel and no one - not Bruno, not Gretel, not Mother and not even Father - stepped in to stop him doing what he did next, even though none of them could watch."
Boyne writes in such a compelling way, and I will definitely be checking into his other books.
Narrator Michael Maloney is new-to-me, and he was utterly amazing! He took this remarkable story and brought it to the next level. I think he captured the essence of Bruno’s personality so perfectly, and his cadence and rhythm matched each character’s vocalization. For example, Maloney often spoke in a quick and lively manner when Bruno was speaking, just as a nine-year-old boy often does! Maloney’s voice was so haunting during the somber moments of the story, and it really had a huge impact on me. Here is a sound clip of the narration:
I have requested the DVD from the library and will come back to add my thoughts on the movie.
#54 for my 2016 You Read How Many Books? Challenge
#54 for my 2016 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
#3 for my European Reading Challenge 2016
#14 for my New Author Challenge 2016
#13 for my 2016 New Narrator Reading Challenge
#15 for my 2016 New To You Reading Challenge
#48 for my Backlist Books Reading Challenge
#40 for my 2016 Audiobook Challenge
#23 for my 2016 I Love Libraries Reading Challenge
#6 for my 2016 Eclectic Reader Challenge
#9 for my 2016 The Color Coded Reading Challenge
#4 for my 2016 Book to Movie Challenge
#15 for my 2016 YA Reading Challenge
Task #4 for my Goodreads Fall 2016 Scavenger
#2A for my Semi-Charmed Winter 2016 Book Challenge
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