Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Review: Markus Zusak's The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Every so often, I'll stumble upon a book that changes my perspective, that leaves me thinking about the story, the characters, or the circumstances days after I've finished it. The Book Thief was one such book, which is probably why it took me so long to gather my thoughts and write this review!

The Book Thief is a very unique story. It is narrated by Death himself (who happened to have a great sense of humor), and it deals with the home front in Germany during WWII. I loved that aspect of it because I've read so many books that take place in the US and England during the war, but never in Nazi Germany. The story follows a young girl named Liesel Meminger from when she goes to live with her new foster parents in the late 1930s through most of the war. As I said before, Death is narrating, so he tells us how he first got to know about Liesel in the beginning.

"I saw the book thief three times." Says Death in the beginning of the story.

The story then leads us through each of Death's visits to Liesel (or the Book Thief, as we come to know her as).

This story is both insightful and heartbreaking. The fact that a German family takes in and hides a Jewish man was intriguing because the whole time you're like "Oh my gosh. I hope they don't get caught." This is a story about war, love, friendship, and family, and it is sure to win a spot in your heart. The writing was amazing too.

Here are some snippets of my favorite passages:

Pg. 13: "Here is a small fact: You are going to die. /I am in all truthfulness attempting to be cheerful about this whole topic, though most people find themselves hindered in believing me, no matter my protestations. Please, trust me. I most definitely can be cheerful."

How can you NOT love Death as narrator?! He may have been my favorite character, besides from Papa and Rudy of course.

Pg. 16: "White is without question a color, and personally, I don't think you want to argue./ A reassuring annoucement: Please, be calm, despite that previous threat. I am all bluster-I am not violent. I am not malicious. I am a result."

Pg. 80: "A halo surrounded the grim reaper nun, Sister Maria. (By the way-I like this human idea of the grim reaper. I like the scythe. It amuses me.)"

Pg. 259: "'The sky is blue today, Max, and there is a big long cloud, and it's stretched out, like a rope. At the end of it, the sun is like a yellow hole…'/Max, at that moment, knew that only a child could have given him a weather report like that."

I don't usually like to give star ratings, but this book definitely deserves a 5 out of 5. Go read it!

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Date of Publication: 2005
Number of Pages: 554
Source: Gift from Friend

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