Review: The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

The Book Thief - Markus ZusakTitle: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Publication date: January 1, 2005
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Serie: No, standalone

You can add this book to Goodreads by clicking the cover.

Goodreads synopsis:
HERE IS A SMALL FACT – YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.

Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION – THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH.

It’s a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW – DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES

My thoughts:

This book was really hard for me to get into. I started reading this more than a month ago and I just couldn’t get into the story. To be honest, I was a little dissappointed because this book is extremely hyped up, especially with the release of the film adaptation. It did however decide to give it a second change and I picked it up again a couple of days ago. And I must say, now that I’ve finished it, I am glad I did.

I really liked the interesting point of view: this book is narrated by death. An advantage of this pov is that you get to know the main character Liesel really well. I really admire Liesel. She has such a strong passion for reading and she shows that you can accomplish and overcome anything as long as you try. Liesel clearly matures in the course of the book, and this makes her a very three dimensional character.

The downside of death as a narrator is that many plot twists are already given away before the events really happen. The narrator is remember Liesel’s story and therefore jumps ahead sometimes. Consequently I was not overwhelmed by emotion, despite the sadness of some parts of the book. This is mainly because you often already know what is going to happen, as the narrator gave it away 100 or 200 pages earlier.

I loved the inclusion of drawings and letters in the book, especially because they made the book personal. I loved the allegory of the word shaker halfway through the book. It really captures how Hitler was able to exert so much power.

Despite the thickness of the book it didn’t feel long. The chapters were really short and that immensely added to the flow of this book. Also the quotations in Bold really set the scenes, which made the read very clear.

I liked this book and I would certainly recommend you read it, but I was not blown away by it. I think this mainly because I such high expectations of this book. However, I think that there is a beautiful message in this book: that there is compassion everywhere, especially in the darkest days of our past. I therefore give The Book Thief 4 stars.

4 Stars

 

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2 thoughts on “Review: The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

    • I just got the movie as well. I am really curious how they managed to get the ‘death’ pov across. Hope you enjoy the movie and thank for stopping by!

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