I read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak back in 2009, but it is fresh in my mind as though I read it last week. The fact that I can recall such vivid details six years later is a testament to it’s greatness (there are books I’ve read only several months ago and I couldn’t tell you the main character’s name).
First off, it’s narrated by Death. That was different. Death wasn’t all “I need dead souls!” he was more understanding and compassionate than how most people portray him. Also, Death didn’t always narrate in chronological order, he revealed which of the characters died before their actual death scene. Due to this, you have to read this book not to find out what happens at the end, but how everything unfolds. Few books can pull that off.
When I am really into a book, I can zoom through it in just a couple hours. However, even though I enjoyed it, I found it a slow read. Not slow as in boring, but slow as in you have to read every sentence carefully to fully soak in and appreciate this book.
I thought it would be horribly depressing, but it wasn’t as much as a downer as I thought. I think it is mainly due to Liesel being the main character. She was between ten and fourteen and had that sort of optimism that only a child could have in the midst of a war.
It was a great depiction of World War Two, different than most. A fair share of the stories that I found usually focus on the Jewish aspect of World War Two or the Hitler lovers. This one was in between, the reluctant Hitler supporters hiding a Jewish man in their basement.
Everybody would benefit from having The Book Thief on their shelf. You can pick up your own copy here (Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo)
9 thoughts on ““The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak”
This is definitely one of my favourite books (at least of those that were written in the last decade or two). You are right to point out how vivid some of the details remain in your memory even after a few years. Even though I saw the movie, the images in my head are from the book!
Nice website by the way!
It was definitely a very good book for picturing scenes if your head.. Maybe I should give it a reread in the near future!
I actually never got around to seeing the movie yet – was it any good?
It was. They managed to stay true to the book. You know, I didn’t see it that long ago, but the book is much clearer in my head than the movie is…
Very interesting! I’ll have to watch it soon and see what I think.
I think that’s maybe because it was written so uniquely. The writing itself is still memorable to me.
I think you are right about the uniqueness.
I have to confess that although I loved the book, I had a very hard time with the idea of the narrator. Not sure why…it did grow on me as I was reading the book.
Funny, because it being narrated by Death was the reason I wanted to read this book in the first place!
I didn’t know it was death before I started reading the book. It took me a bit of time to realize what/who it was. I guess not knowing made it a bit shocking, or uncomfortable….
Perhaps that is the feeling he wanted to accomplish 🙂
She is an adopted young girl on the verge of adolescence, with blonde hair that “was a close enough brand of German blonde” and a “smile that was starving” when she very rar 1000 ely showed it. She is fostered by the Hubermanns when her father “abandons” their family and her mother is forced to give her up as a foster child. Liesel is the “book thief” referred to in the title.