Books by John Boyne

John Boyne was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1971. He studied English Literature at Trinity College, Dublin, and was a student on the MA course in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia under the late Professor Malcolm Bradbury, where he was awar


A LADDER TO THE SKY by John Boyne
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 13, 2018

"Boyne's singular villain and well-sustained tension merit a good audience."
An all-consuming ambition to be a successful writer drives a young man down unusual paths to literary acclaim in this compelling character study. Read full book review >
THE HEART'S INVISIBLE FURIES by John Boyne
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 22, 2017

"A dark novel marred by occasional melodrama but lightened by often hilarious dialogue."
The Irish writer's 10th novel for adults examines one man's life over the course of 70 years to reveal the personal and societal toll of Ireland's repression of homosexuality. Read full book review >
THE BOY AT THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN by John Boyne
YOUNG ADULT
Released: June 7, 2016

"Chilling, difficult, and definitely not for readers without a solid understanding of the Holocaust despite the relatively simple reading level. (Historical fiction. 12-14)"
A young boy grows up in Adolf Hitler's mountain home in Austria. Read full book review >
A HISTORY OF LONELINESS by John Boyne
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"There might have been more art in a subtler take on this Irish horror, but Boyne has conveyed well the message most needed, that silence and denial are heinous crimes as well."
A priest in Ireland provides a lens on his brethren's sexual abuse of young boys. Read full book review >
STAY WHERE YOU ARE AND THEN LEAVE by John Boyne
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 25, 2014

"A vivid, accessible tale of the staggering price war exacts from those who had no voice in waging it. (Historical fiction. 9-14)"
Another child's-eye view of war from the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2006); here the child is working-class, the conflict, World War I. Read full book review >
THIS HOUSE IS HAUNTED by John Boyne
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 2013

"Boyne saves a nice surprise for the last word of the novel, but otherwise, this is not edge-of-your-seat scary."
Standard gothic fare, from the frisson of cold hands on one's throat to creepy ghosts. Read full book review >
THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE by John Boyne
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 2, 2013

"Boyne re-creates both Georgy's personal life and the life of pre-Revolutionary Russia with astonishing density and power."
Narrator Georgy Daniilovich Jachmenev reviews his long life, from being a servant in the household of Czar Nicholas II to his post-retirement years in London. Read full book review >
THE TERRIBLE THING THAT HAPPENED TO BARNABY BROCKET by John Boyne
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 8, 2013

"A story of self-empowerment told with wry humor and purpose. (Fable. 8-12)"
Barnaby Brocket has been defying the laws of gravity since the day he was born. Now, at the ripe old age of 8, his life continues to be ruled by this fact: If he's not held down by outside forces, he floats. Read full book review >
THE ABSOLUTIST by John Boyne
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 10, 2012

"Some of the key moments of the book—notably an encounter with a frightened German soldier—are very effective. "
A novel set in the trenches of World War I, one of several by Irish author Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, 2006, etc.) staged amid the 20th century's worst moments. Read full book review >
THE THIEF OF TIME by John Boyne
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 6, 2007

"A gimmick in search of a plot, and far duller than it should have been, given the material."
Boyne (Crippen, 2006, etc.) offers a historical fantasy about a 256-year-old man. Read full book review >
THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS by John Boyne
FICTION
Released: Sept. 12, 2006

After Hitler appoints Bruno's father commandant of Auschwitz, Bruno (nine) is unhappy with his new surroundings compared to the luxury of his home in Berlin. The literal-minded Bruno, with amazingly little political and social awareness, never gains comprehension of the prisoners (all in "striped pajamas") or the malignant nature of the death camp. He overcomes loneliness and isolation only when he discovers another boy, Shmuel, on the other side of the camp's fence. For months, the two meet, becoming secret best friends even though they can never play together. Although Bruno's family corrects him, he childishly calls the camp "Out-With" and the Fuhrer "Fury." As a literary device, it could be said to be credibly rooted in Bruno's consistent, guileless characterization, though it's difficult to believe in reality. The tragic story's point of view is unique: the corrosive effect of brutality on Nazi family life as seen through the eyes of a naïf. Some will believe that the fable form, in which the illogical may serve the objective of moral instruction, succeeds in Boyle's narrative; others will believe it was the wrong choice. Certain to provoke controversy and difficult to see as a book for children, who could easily miss the painful point. (Fiction. 12-14)Read full book review >
CRIPPEN by John Boyne
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 9, 2006

"Unconvincing."
An Irish novelist's copious recasting of the sensational Crippen murder hunt. Read full book review >