Monday, July 27, 2009

The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak

It seems I am the last person on earth to read this book! Somehow I missed this one and just recently picked it up at my favorite place in the world… Barnes and Noble. When choosing my books to take on our beach trip last week, The Book Thief just kept calling to me from the shelf,….”Take me, read me, you will like me….”, so I did. And The Book Thief was right, I did like the book.

For those of you living under a rock, like me, the book is set in Munich during World War II. It follows the story of a Liesel, a 10 year old girl and the people who touch her life during the war. The book is narrated by Death. This in and of itself makes the book different, but what makes it amazing is the writing. The story is beautifully written and pulls you along with beautiful characters that make you ache with sorrow and smile at the love shared between the most unlikely people. This is a story of what it was like to live in Germany during the war and it pulls no punches. Hunger, fear, inhumanity and death all play a prominent role, but so does love and compassion, friendship and learning.

As a reader, the central theme of Liesel learning to read and the way she acquires the books she reads, thorough stealing them, really hits home. The world that opens up for her thorough books is what keeps her going though the war. The relationship she builds with the mayor’s wife and her library takes some amazing turns. The comfort her books bring to others is just another thread that draws a group of unlikely people together, to survive.

The best part of the book however was the author’s style. The book is full of interjections from Death as the story goes along. He will explain things, including himself and his duty, as well as give you teasers of what is to come. In a book that should be dark, drab and depressing, Death uses colors and the most beautiful imagery to tell Liesel’s story.

“It felt as though the whole globe was dressed in snow. Like it has pulled it on, the way you pull on a sweater.”

“The last time I saw her was red. The sky was like soup, boiling and stirring. In some places it was burned. There were black crumbs, and pepper streaked across the redness.”

Now, who wouldn’t want to read a book written that beautifully? I am just sorry It took me so long to read this book.

Rating - A+


  1. So glad you enjoyed this. It was a favourite of mine the year it came out.

  2. I too, just finished this book. LOVED IT!

  3. I haven't read this book yet, though it's on my daughter's shelf. I thoroughly enjoyed your review. :)