Described by its author as a fable, this book chronicles events in the life of a nine-year-old Berliner, Bruno, from his own (often mystified) point of view. Bruno knows his father is an important man and that is why the family must leave Berlin and the neighbourhood he loves so much. Their new home is an isolated house in a desolate place and there is no one to play with, despite glimpses of children housed in an adjacent camp. Bruno tries to make sense of what is happening around him (why can’t he say what he feels?; why is the man who serves the family at dinner actually a doctor by profession?) but neither the adults around nor his elder sister Gretel will talk about what is going on. As things become increasingly disturbing and unpleasant, Bruno goes for walks on his own and finds a friend his own age on the other side of the fence that surrounds the camp. His parents decide he should return to Berlin, but for Bruno, who has found a way into the camp, it is too late. Reminiscent of Jerry Spinelli’s Milkweed, Boyne conveys Bruno’s mixture of innocence and denial convincingly for the most part. There is a powerful sense of the murky undercurrents that surround him. But when a teller of fables begins to name names, the convention is lost and thereby, at the end of the book, some of its power to convince. An ambitious debut.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Richard Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Richard Hill2006-03-01 11:29:362023-04-11 11:33:19The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas