Margot (midnight_birth) wrote in margot_quotes,
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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Title: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
Author: John Boyne.
Genre: Fiction, children's lit, wwii lit.
Country: Ireland.
Language: English.
Publication Date: January 5th, 2006.
Summary: Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people 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 from his own, from the other side of the fence, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

My rating: 7/10.


♥ ...And Bruno liked nothing better than to get on board the banister at the top floor and slide his way through the house, making whooshing sounds as he went.

Down from the top floor to the next one, where Mother and Father's room was, and the large bathroom, and where he wasn't supposed to be in any case.

Down to the next floor, where his own room was, and Gretel's room too, and the smaller bathroom which he was supposed to to use more often than he really did.

Down to the ground floor, where you fell off the end banister and had to land flat on your two feet or it was five points against you and you had to start all over.

♥ 'You see?' said Bruno from the corner of the room, feeling quietly pleased with himself because whatever it was that was out there - and whoever they were - he had seen it first and he could see it whenever he wanted because they were outside his bedroom window and not hers and therefore they belonged to him and he was the king of everything they surveyed and she was his lowly subject.

♥ He pushed his two feet together and shot his right arm into the air before clicking his two heels together and saying in as deep and clear a voice as possible - as much like Father's as he could manage - the words he said every time he left a soldier's presence.

'Heil Hitler,' he said, which, he presumed, was another was of saying, 'Well, goodbye for now, have a pleasant afternoon.

♥ ...'But you're a waiter,' he said slowly. 'And you peel the vegetables for dinner. How can you be a doctor too?'

'Young man,' said Pavel (and Bruno appreciated the fact that he had the courtesy to call him 'young man' instead of 'little man' as Lieutenant Kotler had), 'I certainly am a doctor. Just because a man glances up at the sky at night does not make him an astronomer, you know.'

♥ It was as if it were another city entirely, the people all living and working together side by side with the house where he lived. And were they really so different? All the people in the camp wore the same clothes, those pajamas and their striped cloth caps too; and all the people who wandered thorough his house (with the exception of Mother, Gretel and him) wore uniforms of varying quality and decoration and caps and helmets with bright red-and-black arm-bands and carried guns and always looked terribly stern, as if it was all very important really and no one should think otherwise.

What exactly was the difference? he wondered to himself. And who decided which people wore the striped pajamas and which people wore the uniforms?

♥ The Fury was far shorter than Father and not, Bruno supposed, quite as strong. He had dark hair, which was cut quite short, and a tiny moustache - so tiny in fact that Bruno wondered why he bothered with it at all or whether he had simply forgotten a piece when he was shaving.

♥ He stared at the boy and considered asking him why he looked so sad but hesitated because he thought it might sound rude. He knew that sometimes people who were sad didn't want to be asked about it; sometimes they'd offer the information themselves and sometimes they wouldn't stop talking about it for months on end, but on this occasion Bruno thought that he should wait before saying anything.

♥ ... Very slowly he turned to Shmuel, who wasn't crying any more, merely staring at the floor and looking as if he was trying to convince his soul not to live inside his tiny body any more, but to slip away and sail to the door and rise up into the sky, gliding through the clouds until it was very far away.

♥ Bruno was interrupted by the sound of Gretel breaking into a piercing scream; one that woke Mother up from her afternoon nap and brought her running into the bedroom to find out which of her children had murdered the other one.

♥ Shmuel turned just as Bruno applied the finishing touch to his costume, placing the striped cloth cap on his head. Shmuel blinked and shook his head. It was quite extraordinary. If it wasn't for the fact that Bruno was nowhere near as skinny as the boys on his side of the fence, and not quite so pale either, it would have been difficult to tel them apart. It was almost (Shmuel thought) as if they were all exactly the same really.
Tags: 1940s in fiction, 2000s, 20th century in fiction, 21st century - fiction, 3rd-person narrative, bildungsroman, children's lit, fiction, german in fiction, irish - fiction, race, world war ii lit
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