The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne – This one is something Special

The Boy at the Top of the MountainThe Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A short novel but intriguing and disturbing in equal measures.
Forget the links to Boy in the Striped Pyjamas as this is quite a different book all together , while it is set in WW2 and has the Fuhrer , the main character is very different and the book has a bit more meat to it than the simpler fable of The Boy in the striped Pyjamas. This is definitely a good thing. The predecessor is a brilliant book but trying to replicate it wouldn’t have worked nearly as well.
The main character here is Pierrot / Pieter and there is a certain amount of naivety and innocence to begin with, the story develops into one about bullys, propaganda, brain washing, and what people will do because they are told or are protected by a uniform.
The path of the main character is both sad and disturbing. The loss of innocence and the rise of hatred is well written and I felt sad at the changes as the book progresses.
The finish is quite poignant with brings the book nicely full circle.
I really loved Boy in the Striped Pyjamas ( and Boyne’s other YA war related novel Stay Where You are and Then Leave) but I was a little wary starting this as I expected a similar confused innocence book but I am glad I was quite wrong. This is another great book by Boyne and I will not hesitate to recommend it freely.
Happy to give it a full 5 .But be prepared to be disturbed by the content.

View all my reviews


About Paul Walsh

I'm a big fan of fantasy and scifi, which would make up most of my reading but will branch out often enough. Favourite authors vary over time but generally include Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Conn Iggulden, Robert Harris, Karen Maitlan, Kate Mosse, Anne Rice, Philip K Dick, Ray Bradbury. John Scalzi, Mark Lawrence, Pat Rothfuss and a host of others. I'm not the harshest reviewer but will note down a few words on all books I read.
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