Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
on 31 May 2012
Having read and loved 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' a couple of years ago and being out of ideas for any new books to read, I walked in the book store a couple of weeks ago and decided to just grab a book by John Boyne. And to be honest, I have never been this happy with such an uninformed decision. Keep in mind though that this book shouldn't be compared to 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas'. They are both set during war, but the story is of another kind and it's told in a completely different way. But just like that earlier book, I barely managed to set it aside to attend to other matters.
The story is written in a style that is enjoyable: the story is told by the 21-year old protagonist, in such a way that you immediately feel a connection with him, even though it's mostly out of pity. There are four distinctive time lines in the book: when Tristan was a young adult; when he had just joined the army; shortly after the 1st World War; and the 'present'; scrambled within the book to obtain a story of perfect order.
The story itself is very intriguing, mostly because the main storyline deals with certain aspects that aren't regularly discussed when talking about war. I would love to elaborate on this, but it would most likely spoil the experience of reading the book yourself. And if that part of the plot isn't enough to keep you glued to this book, then you should know that writing about the 1st World War gives the author the opportunity to talk about certain details (the trainingcamps, life in the trenches,...) of that tragic occurrence, and he does this so skillfully and vivid, that it's hard not to feel very emotional while reading those passages. In short the story can best be described as a combination of Mystery, Drama and Romance.
To conclude, with this book John Boyne has shown me that he possesses a very broad writingskill. Wether you liked 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' or not or you have never even heard of it, you should definitely read this book. It's a gripping tale, with an end that makes you unsure how to feel about it and makes you want to discuss it further.
I'll be sure to pick out a random 'John Boyne'-novel again next time I'm out of ideas for books to read!