Stay Where You Are And Then Leave (英語) ペーパーバック – 2014/7/3
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"Pat Barker meets Michelle Magorian . . . Comic as well as poignantly enlightening" (Independent on Sunday)
"John Boyne’s children’s novels tackle difficult subjects . . . and this latest book looks at the horrors of trench warfare in World War 1. With the anniversary of that war next year, this is a timely examination of moral, physical and mental bravery and pain" (Daily Mail)
"Beautifully paced and affecting" (The Bookseller)
"Stay Where You Are and Then Leave is beautifully written, as are all John Boyne's books for children. Although it's a book aimed primarily at younger readers, it's equally as satisfying for adults, and should be widely read by everyone" (Wondrous Reads)
"A beautifully paced and affecting tale" (Independent on Sunday)
John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of eleven novels for adults, six for younger readers and a collection of short stories. Perhaps best known for his 2006 multi-award-winning book The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, John’s other novels, notably The Absolutist and A History of Loneliness, have been widely praised and are international bestsellers. Most recently, The Heart's Invisible Furies was a Richard & Judy Bookclub word-of-mouth bestseller, and A Ladder to the Sky was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award in association with Listowel Writers’ Week.
His novels are published in over fifty languages.
Alfie - 5 in 1914; 9 in 1918; 13 in 1922 - is both extraordinarily naïve and unnaturally sophisticated, at all three of these ages. Both characteristics are developed in highly positive ways. He is a very nice guy, in everything he does. This is so refreshing, considering the bad behavior of many fictional protagonists. I kept wishing there were more children just like Alfie.
While Alfie's story is the main thread running through the entire book, the author also gives major consideration to father-son relations (Georgie, his father, is well drawn), and to an aspect of war often neglected in World War I treatments, i.e., shell shock, or what we now call PTSD. So many books about WW I emphasize the horrific loss of life, on both sides, that dragged on for more than four years without any notable gain for either side. But Boyne highlights the equally tragic circumstance of those who managed to live through the carnage but were nevertheless permanently damaged psychologically.
Boyne also gives attention to life in England during WW I, by describing both general conditions on the home front and the activities of individuals - both the good guys and the not-so-good guys. In a relatively short book, he convincingly covers an amazing range of topics and scenarios. Of course I'm an avid Boyne fan, and "Stay Where You Are and Then Leave" convinces me that I should read everything he writes, whether it's theoretically for the YA set, or for YK or OA readers. 4-1/2 stars.
I would recommend Stay Where You Are and Then Leave.