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.