Once by Morris Gleitzman/The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
I read Once and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in close succession. Both books deal with the Holocaust and both manage to communicate the unimaginable realities of life under Nazi rule to a younger audience. Of the two, I found Once the more convincing and the better book. It manages to remain realistic and plausible whereas the very premise of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a narrative device which feels a stretch too far (a boy in a concentration camp is supposedly able to move freely about the camp, freely enough to allow him to regularly speak to his German friend, Bruno, on the other side). Nevertheless, both are extraordinarily powerful, moving and important books. Continue reading
Amongst other bookish things, my plan for this blog is to record and review my reading but, before I get going with all the books lined up for this year, I need to catch up with some of my reading from 2015. So, this post and one or two to follow will briefly record these books with a few words on each. Here goes:
The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
Stunning art work to go with a stunning book, which tells the story of a murder on board a brilliantly imagined mega-train making its inaugural journey across the Canadian wilderness. It’s packed with heart-racing adventures in, on, between and under the carriages as the train hurtles through the Rockies.
This was my first read of a Canadian author who deserves a big audience this side of the pond. An absolute must-read.