Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Rating: 4 Tell a Friend over a Derby pie (ääää)
Pages 552
Challenges: A-Z Challenge: Z Author; 2008 Chunkster; Spring Thing
This is about Liesel Meminger whose mother drops her off at a foster family in Germany during World War II. Her foster mother is very stern but seems to love Liesel, but her close relationship is with her foster father Hans. They adore each other. Liesel has a habit of stealing books. She stole the first one before she even knew how to read - it was a Grave Diggers Handbook. Her second book was stolen from a fire of censored books the Nazi's were burning. Her book stealing benefits many people. Liesel in that Hans teaches her to read - usually at 2:00 am when she has nightmares. She reads to people in the bomb shelter to calm them, and an old lady. Reading becomes a core activity for her and the books are her prized possessions. The stories around Liesel and her friends are incredible, from Rudy who is reluctantly training to be a Nazi, Hans who does not agree with the Nazi attitudes, Max a Jew who the foster family takes in and many neighbors.
Lisa at Breaking the Fourth Wall reviewed this book and it intrigued me. I needed a Z author for the A-Z challenge...and I kept seeing it on other people's blogs. So I requested it from the library.
I really enjoyed this book - although there were several slow parts that were difficult to get through. I really liked all the characters and liked that Zusak carried the story through the years giving us more of a long term snapshot of them. Although Max was lost towards the end of the story and that was disappointing. I almost wish that he would write about Liesel after the significant ending point. He has an epilogue that says what happens to her, but it isn't enough. I want to know more details of her life. This book was very unique and was narrated by death! It is interesting that death narrated it and gave the reader an advantage of seeing the whole story develop and know the story of many characters lives.
Also this book made me cry - I always think that books should be rated high if they make me cry. It means I am really believing the characters and what they are going through. Do you agree?


Carl V. Anderson said...

I bought this for my wife and she loved it and has been begging me to read it. She started reading me his other book, I Am The Messenger while I was painting our room the other day and I'm really enjoying it.

Anonymous said...

I rarely cry in books, although I cry in movies. Maybe because when the subject matter is something hard like this I try to distance myself on purpose. This book was excellent and I enjoyed it a lot.

Susan O'Bryant said...

I'm planning on reading this in the next couple of weeks. I've had it in my TBR pile for a while, and I think I've been avoiding it because I know it will make me cry. Sometimes it's a good thing to get emotionally involved in a book, I believe. It's life-affirming and helps us put things in perspective.