John Boyne was our Guest Editor in May 2010 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing.
John Boyne was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1971, and studied English Literature at Trinity College, Dublin, and creative writing at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where he was awarded the Curtis Brown prize.
His early writing consisted mostly of short stories and he published a number of them. His first story, The Entertainments Jar, was shortlisted for the Hennessy Literary Award in Ireland. In total, he has published about 70 short stories.
He has published seven novels: THE THIEF OF TIME (2000), THE CONGRESS OF ROUGH RIDERS (2001), CRIPPEN (2004), THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS (2006), NEXT OF KIN (2006), MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (2008) and THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE (2009).
His 2006 novel, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS, was made into an award-winning Miramax film. The novel itself won 2 Irish Book Awards, the Bisto Book of the Year, and was shortlisted or won a host of international awards. Amongst other accolades, it spent more than 80 weeks at no.1 in Ireland, topped the New York Times Bestseller List, and was the bestselling book in Spain in both 2007 and 2008. Worldwide, it has sold more than 5 million copies and was the 6th highest selling novel of 2008.
His novels are published in 42 languages.
He lives in Dublin.
Cyril Avery is not a real Avery or at least that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he? Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more. In this, Boyne's most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart's Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.
The secrets we keep and the ways in which they shape us, the impossibility of shared loss, the lengths we will go to in order to protect our families and the distance we will run to protect ourselves. This, his first collection of short stories, is some of John Boyne's finest writing to date. It includes 'Rest Day' which won the 2015 Writing.ie Short Story of the Year award in Ireland.
Odran Yates enters Clonliffe Seminary in 1972 after his mother informs him that he has a vocation to the priesthood. He goes in full of ambition and hope, dedicated to his studies and keen to make friends. Forty years later, Odran's devotion has been challenged by the revelations that have shattered the Irish people's faith in the church. He has seen friends stand trial, colleagues jailed, the lives of young parishioners destroyed and has become nervous of venturing out in public for fear of disapproving stares and insulting remarks. But when a family tragedy opens wounds from his past, he is forced to confront the demons that have raged within a once respected institution and recognise his own complicity in their propagation. It has taken John Boyne fifteen years and twelve novels to write about his home country of Ireland but he has done so now in his most powerful novel to date, a novel about blind dogma and moral courage, and about the dark places where the two can meet. At once courageous and intensely personal, A History of Loneliness confirms Boyne as one of the most searching chroniclers of his generation.
1867. On a dark and chilling night Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall. As she makes her way across the station platform, a pair of invisible hands push her from behind into the path of an approaching train. She is only saved by the vigilance of a passing doctor. It is the start of a journey into a world of abandoned children, unexplained occurrences and terrifying experiences which Eliza will have to overcome if she is to survive the secrets that lie within Gaudlin's walls.
Owen Montignac has run up huge gambling debts and casino boss Nicholas Delfy has given him a choice: find GBP50,000 by Christmas - or find yourself six feet under. So when Owen discovers that he has been cut out of his late uncle's will in favor of his beautiful cousin Stella, it is time to prove just how cunning he can be...And Owen is nothing if not inventive - even a royal crisis can provide the means for profit. And for murder...
One of our Great Reads You May Have Missed in 2012. From the hugely successful author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas comes The Absolutist, a novel that examines the events of the Great War from the perspective of two young privates, one of them who declared himself a conscientious objector but both struggling with the complexity of their emotions and the confusion of their friendship. July 2012 Book of the Month.
William Cody grows up surrounded by his father's tales of Buffalo Bill, to whom he is distantly related, and his fantasies of the Wild West. Though he escapes his heritage by fleeing abroad and starting a new life for himself, he finds that he is always drawn back to England and to his ancestry. When his father proposes that together they should recreate Buffalo Bill's stage show, The Congress of Rough Riders of the World for a contemporary audience, William refuses to have any part of it. When tragedy strikes, however, it is to his father that he must eventually return.
Brilliantly weaving history and personal experience, this is a dazzling story of love, murder, missed chances, treachery and redemption. It's France in 1758, Matthieu Zela has lived his life well. In fact, he's lived several lives well. Because Matthew Zela's life is characterised by one amazing fact: his body stopped ageing before the end of the eighteenth century.
May 2010 Book of the Month. Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 22 April 2010. The structure here is interesting. It begins in London in 1981 with Georgy and his wife Zoya. She is dying. Chapter two takes us to Russia in 1915 and Georgy’s young life. So, in alternating chapters, the contemporary story moves back and the historical one forward until they meet in 1918. The historical episodes centre on the Romanovs to whom Georgy was a bodyguard. After their deaths Georgy and Zoya flee and seem to spend their lives in fear, we know not from what. When it is revealed I certainly didn’t see it coming …. Brilliant. A lovely book, highly recommended. Comparison: Sebastian Faulks, Tom Rob Smith, Kate Furnivall. John Boyne introduces THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE..."My previous two novels were narrated by children – a 9 year old and 14 year old respectively – so when I began THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE I knew that I wanted a break from this and so I began chapter one with the voice of an 82 year old Russian emigre in London, a man for whom English is not his first language and who therefore speaks in a rather formal and elegant style. The novel takes place over more than sixty years, following the journey of Georgy, a young peasant from his wood-framed hut in the farmlands of Russia to the Winter Palace of Tsar Nicholas II, where he becomes a bodyguard-companion to the Tsarevich Alexei and onwards to Paris and London between 1920 and 1980, as Georgy and his wife Zoya leave behind the dramatic events of the Russian Revolution but are never fully able forget them.I’d never written a love story before and at its heart, that’s what this novel is. Georgy and Zoya are a couple who have been through many traumas together but their affection and loyalty to each other marks their relationship and maintains the strength at its core."
Author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas turns to a nautical adventure for his next offering and takes it a step beyond the classic tale, expanding on the story in masterful fashion. Excellent in historical detail, human drama and danger, it is an impressive work of note. The man can certainly hold a plot however well known the story, and there is certainly lots of this you won’t know. Comparison: Sebastian Faulks, Harry Thompson, Barry Unsworth.
A deeply moving and thought-provoking stage play based on the bestselling novel by John Boyne.
Where is 'Outwith' and who is Bruno? How is he connected? Soon he will meet the boy in striped pyjamas and befriend him. But why must the boy stay behind the wire?
What a thing of wonder a mobile phone is. Six ounces of metal, glass and plastic, fashioned into a sleek, shiny, precious object. At once, a gateway to other worlds - and a treacherous weapon in the hands of the unwary, the unwitting, the inept. The Cleverley family live a gilded life, little realising how precarious their privilege is, just one tweet away from disaster. George, the patriarch, is a stalwart of television interviewing, a 'national treasure' (his words), his wife Beverley, a celebrated novelist (although not as celebrated as she would like), and their children, Nelson, Elizabeth, Achilles, various degrees of catastrophe waiting to happen. Together they will go on a journey of discovery through the Hogarthian jungle of the modern living where past presumptions count for nothing and carefully curated reputations can be destroyed in an instant. Along the way they will learn how volatile, how outraged, how unforgiving the world can be when you step from the proscribed path. Powered by John Boyne's characteristic humour and razor-sharp observation, The Echo Chamber is a satiric helter skelter, a dizzying downward spiral of action and consequence, poised somewhere between farce, absurdity and oblivion. To err is maybe to be human but to really foul things up you only need a phone.
Some stories are universal. They play out across human history. And time is the river which will flow through them. It starts with a family, a family which will mutate. For now, it is a father, mother and two sons. One with his father's violence in his blood. One who lives his mother's artistry. One leaves. One stays. They will be joined by others whose deeds will change their fate. It is a beginning. Their stories will intertwine and evolve over the course of two thousand years - they will meet again and again at different times and in different places. From distant Palestine at the dawn of the first millennium to a life amongst the stars in the third. While the world will change around them, their destinies will remain the same. It must play out as foretold. It is written. A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom is the extraordinary new novel from acclaimed writer John Boyne. Ambitious, far-reaching and mythic, it introduces a group of characters whose lives we will come to know and will follow through time and space until they reach their natural conclusion.
Penguin Readers is an ELT graded reader series for learners of English as a foreign language. With carefully adapted text, new illustrations and language learning exercises, the print edition also includes instructions to access supporting material online. Titles include popular classics, exciting contemporary fiction, and thought-provoking non-fiction, introducing language learners to bestselling authors and compelling content. The eight levels of Penguin Readers follow the Common European Framework of Reference for language learning (CEFR). Exercises at the back of each Reader help language learners to practise grammar, vocabulary, and key exam skills. Before, during and after-reading questions test readers' story comprehension and develop vocabulary. Visit the Penguin Readers website Exclusively with the print edition, readers can unlock online resources including a digital book, audio edition, lesson plans and answer keys. One day, Bruno's father gets a new job, and the family have to move from Berlin, Germany, to a new place. There is a strange camp at the end of the garden. Bruno is very unhappy and bored until he meets Shmuel. The two boys become very good friends. But why is Shmuel in the camp? And why is he wearing striped pyjamas?
'...this poignant and disarming story is full of heart and its crescendo will give you tingles' Attitude Magazine 'Outstanding' Irish Examiner Sam has known his sister Jessica all his life. Tonight is the first time they're going to meet. Sam Waver has always been a loner: bullied, struggling at school, with parents who have very little time for him. The one person he has always been able to rely on is his beloved older sibling - but when they announce that they are transitioning, Sam's life is thrown upside down. He's convinced nothing will ever be the same again - but as Sam is about to discover, nothing is more constant than love. A moving and heartfelt portrait of one family's journey to acceptance, from a master storyteller. 'A story with so much heart that the pages practically pulse. Both funny and moving... this is a must-read for all ages' Irish Independent
'A deliciously dark tale of ambition, seduction and literary theft . . . an ingeniously conceived novel that confirms Boyne as one of the most assured writers of his generation.' Hannah Beckerman, Observer * You've heard the old proverb about ambition, that it's like setting a ladder to the sky. It can lead to a long and painful fall. If you look hard enough, you will find stories pretty much anywhere. They don't even have to be your own. Or so would-be-novelist Maurice Swift decides early on in his career. A chance encounter in a Berlin hotel with celebrated author Erich Ackerman gives Maurice an opportunity. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell; whether or not he should is another matter. Once Maurice has made his name, he finds himself in need of a fresh idea. He doesn't care where he finds it, as long as it helps him rise to the top. Stories will make him famous, but they will also make him beg, borrow and steal. They may even make him do worse. This is a novel about ambition. * 'Maurice Swift, the novelist protagonist of John Boyne's A Ladder to the Sky, is a bookish version of Patricia Highsmith's psychopathic antihero Tom Ripley' The Times 'A dark morality tale in the mould of Patricia Highsmith . . . consistently intriguing' Daily Mail
Part of a stunning new design partnership between Puffin and the Imperial War Museum, this is an unforgettable story from the bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. This special edition features a foreword from Eoin Colfer. The day the First World War broke out, Alfie Summerfield's father promised he wouldn't go away to fight - but he broke that promise the following day. Four years later, Alfie doesn't know where his father might be, other than that he's away on a special, secret mission. Then, while shining shoes at King's Cross Station, Alfie unexpectedly sees his father's name - on a sheaf of papers belonging to a military doctor. Bewildered and confused, Alfie realises his father is in a hospital close by - a hospital treating soldiers with an unusual condition. And Alfie becomes determined to rescue his father from this strange, unnerving place . . .
Random House presents the audiobook edition of A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne, read by Richard E. Grant, Richard Cordery, Nina Sosanya and Laurence Kennedy. A psychological drama of cat and mouse, A Ladder to the Sky shows how easy it is to achieve the world if you are prepared to sacrifice your soul.If you look hard enough, you can find stories pretty much anywhere. They don't even have to be your own. Or so would-be writer Maurice Swift decides very early on in his career.A chance encounter in a Berlin hotel with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann gives him an opportunity to ingratiate himself with someone more powerful than him. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell. Whether or not he should do so is another matter entirely.Once Maurice has made his name, he sets off in pursuit of other people's stories. He doesn't care where he finds them - or to whom they belong - as long as they help him rise to the top.Stories will make him famous but they will also make him beg, borrow and steal. They may even make him do worse.
Seit seiner Geburt steht Cyril Averys Leben unter einem ungunstigen Stern. Als uneheliches Kind hat er namlich keinen Platz in der konservativen irischen Gesellschaft der 1940er Jahre. Ein exzentrisches Dubliner Ehepaar nimmt ihn in die Familie auf, doch auch dort findet er nicht das Zuhause, nach dem er sich sehnt. In dem katholischen Jungeninternat, auf das sie ihn schicken, lernt er schlielich Julian Woodbead kennen und schliet innige Freundschaft mit ihm. Bis er mehr fur den rebellischen Lebemann zu empfinden beginnt und auch dieser Halt fur ihn verloren geht. Einsam und verzweifelt verlasst Cyril letztendlich das Land - ohne zu wissen, dass diese Reise uber Amsterdam und New York ihn an den Ort fuhrt, nach dem er immer gesucht hat: Heimat.
Seit uber 10 Jahren ein Welterfolg: Der Junge im gestreiften PyjamaMit seinem neuen Roman kehrt John Boyne in das dunkelste Kapitel unserer Geschichte zuruck.Als Pierrot seine Eltern verliert, nimmt ihn seine Tante zu sich in den deutschen Haushalt, in dem sie Dienst tut. Aber dies ist keine gewohnliche Zeit: Der zweite Weltkrieg steht unmittelbar bevor. Und es ist kein gewohnliches Haus: Es ist der Berghof - Adolf Hitlers Sommerresidenz.Schnell gerat der Junge unter den direkten Einfluss des charismatischen Fuhrers. Um ihm seine Treue zu beweisen, ist er zu allem bereit - auch zum Verrat.Ein brandaktuelles Buch in Zeiten des weltweiten Rechtsrucks."e;Unfassbar und unfassbar gut. "e; The Times"e;Ein Bravourstuck ... Uberwaltigend. "e; The Guardian"e;Die Leser werden John Boynes Botschaft begreifen: Wenn das Pierrot passieren kann, dann kann es auch uns passieren."e;Irish Indipendent"e;Erneut zwingt uns diese Parabel uber einen Jungen in Kriegszeiten dazu, uber das Beste und das Schlechteste im Menschen nachzudenken. "e; The Irish Times"e;Eine tief bewegende Parabel ... Diese erschreckende Darstellung jugendlicher Verfuhrbarkeit und Suhne klingt noch lange nach. "e;Daily Mail
Named Book of the MonthClub's Book of the Year, 2017Selected one of New York Times Readers' Favorite Books of 2017From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas, a sweeping, heartfelt saga about the course of one man's life, beginning and ending in post-war IrelandCyril Avery is not a real Avery -- or at least, that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he?Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from - and over his many years, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more.In this, Boyne's most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart's Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.
Bruno doesn't like his new house. He had to leave all his friends behind in Berlin, and there are no children to play with here - until Bruno meets Shmuel, a boy who lives on the other side of the wire fence near Bruno's house, and who wears a strange uniform of striped pyjamas. A stunning anniversary edition of John Boyne's powerful classic bestseller, with illustrations from award-winning artist Oliver Jeffers.
When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he must leave his home in Paris for a new life with his Aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy household at the top of the German mountains. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler. Quickly, Pierrot is taken under Hitler's wing, and is thrown into an increasingly dangerous new world: a world of terror, secrets and betrayal, from which he may never be able to escape.
Odran Yates kommt 1972 an das renommierte Dubliner "e;Clonliffe Seminary"e;, um Priester zu werden. Voller Hingabe widmet er sich seinen Studien. Er kann es kaum erwarten, endlich Gutes zu tun. Vierzig Jahre spater ist sein Vertrauen in die katholische Kirche jedoch zutiefst erschuttert. Er muss dabei zusehen, wie Priester vor Gericht stehen, wie einstige Wurdentrager ins Gefangnis kommen und wie das Leben zahlreicher Kollegen zerstort wird. Odran zieht sich zuruck - aus Angst vor den missbilligenden Blicken seiner Umwelt. Erst als bei einem Familientreffen alte Wunden aufgerissen werden, sieht er sich gezwungen, sich den Ereignissen zu stellen und seine Komplizenschaft zu erkennen.
The riveting narrative of an honorable Irish priest who finds the church collapsing around him at a pivotal moment in its history.Propelled into the priesthood by a family tragedy, Odran Yates is full of hope and ambition. When he arrives at Clonliffe Seminary in the 1970s, it is a time in Ireland when priests are highly respected, and Odran believes that he is pledging his life to the good.Forty years later, Odrans devotion is caught in revelations that shatter the Irish peoples faith in the Catholic Church. He sees his friends stand trial, colleagues jailed, the lives of young parishioners destroyed, and he grows wary of venturing out in public for fear of disapproving stares and insults. At one point, he is even arrested when he takes the hand of a young boy and leads him out of a department store while looking for the boy's mother.But when a family event opens wounds from his past, he is forced to confront the demons that have raged within the church and to recognize his own complicity in their propagation, within both the institution and his own family.A novel as intimate as it is universal, A History of Loneliness is about the stories we tell ourselves to make peace with our lives. It confirms John Boyne as one of the most searching storytellers of his generation.
A humorous short story from the collection, BEYOND THE STARS, written by an internationally bestselling authorAbigail Crumb is forever making mistakes at the veterinary surgery where she works after school, and now she's on her final warning. So when she loses - and then finds again - one of the puppies in her care, she doesn't tell her boss; she's saving up for a houdah for her elephant, after all, and knows she has to hide the puppy if she wants to keep her job. But how will she keep her secret?After several chance encounters with Henry Brocket - a forlorn little boy who's always dressed as a pilot and is obsessed with Biggles - and discovering why he's so sad, Abigail suddenly realises what she must do.