A novel narrated by death. I was more than a little cynical before reading, for it sounded more than a little like a gimmick to me. How wrong I was. From the first-especially the “small fact” that “you are going to die”, to the last, I was hooked. Captivated. Drawn in by Markus Zusak’s intriguing tale The Book Thief. This is not a normal book. This is something special, something magical, something to be treasured. An instant classic, the wartime drama stars Liesel, a small girl growing up in wartime Germany. Her brother died in front of her, and her parents are gone. All she has is a foster home near Munich.
Lisel’s parents were Communists, and as such among the first wave of people the NSDAP sent to the concentration camps. On the journey to her foster parents, she watched her brother die in front of her. It is fair to say she has not had the best start in life. She becomes best friends with a young boy named Rudy, and their reactions to the war, the Jews, the bombs, books, and life in Germany itself make for an enthralling read.
The ending to the book is superbly done, despite it being no secret to the reader from the very beginning, what will happen is repeated several times throughout the story. Yet I was hugely moved when I read it, Zusak’s way with words was wonderful and beautiful, the tragedy perfectly highlighted by his writing. It was one of the most moving things I have ever read, painting a beautifully moving scene.
I’ve heard some people call it slow, or say that the narrative voice is dull. It is true that the first couple of hundred pages read like scene setting, introducing the characters. But I loved all of it, the charge that it is slow seems to betray an impatience for action (an impatience which I have been guilty of before) and goes with the fact that there isn’t really a plot. However, that’s part of the draw of The Book Thief, it’s taking us through the life of a girl in Nazi Germany. What she has to do, what she chooses to do-it covers the resistance of youth, which was, on the surface, controlled effectively bar a few notable exceptions. But this takes us through the private lives of the young, how they feel and act about the world’s most notorious regime in private.
First the colours.
Character development-all the primary characters are superbly developed-as I should expect in a novel 554 pages long-★★★★★
Readability-personally, I was gripped from start to finish, another of the fantastic books I have been lucky enough to read recently-★★★★★
Overall-there are many adjectives I could use to describe The Book Thief, personally I loved it, Zusak has produced a moving and emotionally charged masterpiece-★★★★★ (100)
“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.”
Have you read The Book Thief or other similar books? Did you agree or disagree with my review? Please leave a comment or contact me, I would be interested to discuss it. Otherwise, please share with the buttons below and rate.