Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Publication:March 14th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers 

Goodread Description:
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

My thoughts:
The Book Thief is a masterpiece. I don't read a straight up historical fiction and I loved this book. It's a new favourite of mine. I know I will revisit in down the line for a reread; it was that good.

The way in which the story is narrated it incredible. Death is our narrator. When I heard that I thought it would be weird but it's done so well. I loved Death. He/She/It was one of my favourite characters. Death really knows how to tell as story. The Book Thief is written in a conversational style, so it's like Death is talking to you which is so cool. Be warned though, Death spoils the story he's telling on multiple occasions. 

The plot is very slow moving. The Book Thief is definitely a character driven story. But despite the slow pace I found the story super engaging. The characters were just going about their daily lives but I couldn't stop reading.

I loved Liesel. I loved how determined she is to learn to read and learn. I really liked how she tried to make the best of her situation and found beauty in such a horrific period in history. I loved how she did normal kid stuff like playing football with her friends on the street. With all this violnce going on in the world there is still some normality to her life. 

All the characters have layers and depth to them. No one felt one dimensional. Because the book is so long we really get to know all the characters and come to understand them a lot better than in other books where there is a big focus on plot.

I loved how there was a big emphasis on relationships and how they form and change over time. I really liked reading how Liesel and Hans' father-daughter relationship was developed. There's also a kind of brother-sister relationship between Liesel and Max which was interesting to see unfold. I also really liked Liesels interactions with her best friend Rudy.

Overall, The Book Thief was both beautiful and tragic and it is a story that will stick with the reader for a very long time.

My rating: 5 stars out of 5

Thanks for reading,
A :)
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