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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

24 Dec
The Book Thief

The Book Thief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This was recommended to me by my boss at work and as we wouldn’t usually share similar tastes in anything in life I wasn’t convinced that I would enjoy it. However it proves that we do have something in common after all as this is really a brilliant novel. It’s just so original and different it kept me hooked the whole way through!

First of all this book is written from the Death’s point of view. As in, Death is an actual being with feelings and emotions and not the type of feelings you would think that Death would have. He isn’t this Grim Reaper, scythe-holding, black-robe-wearing boogeyman but just a person with a tough job. A job that probably was never as tough as during World War II which is the time period this book is set in. By the end of this book you will empathise and, funnily enough, fall a little in love with Death.

He follows a young German girl, Liesel, throughout a number of her younger years. She is an amazing little girl who unfortunately meets Death along her travels throughout the book much too often for someone so young. Liesel was one of those characters that you want to be when you grow up even though she’s about ten years younger than me. She experiences so much pain and troubles in her early years but remains strong and positive throughout. As a young girl living in Nazi Germany she questions the new ideals and views that are being pushed upon her. For someone so young she had the Nazis figured out way before a lot of older and supposedly wiser people did.

There are other lesser characters that are just as gripping. I especially loved Rudy and Max. I was disappointed that Rudy and Liesel didn’t get their day in the sun but the way the author writes the book it’s almost like he’s unapologetic about the fact that there isn’t going to be a stereotypical happy ending for most of the characters. This was strange but quite refreshing and because the book was set during World War II and contained the hidden Jewish man and the terrible reality of war and bombings and Death, you feel like it is justified. There were very little real happy endings happening back then and so why should the author make one up just for the sake of it.

I really enjoyed this book and thought that it was well paced, exciting and kept me hooked the whole way through. And it made me feel a little sorry for Death, which was weird.

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Posted by on December 24, 2012 in Book Review

 

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