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The Book Thief Book Review

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Book Cover

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Summary: 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, Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich, 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.

Minority Report

I was not a fan of The Book Thief. Due to the book’s subject matter, I feel bad for not liking it. I wanted to like The Book Thief. Since it’s a favorite among my fellow book lovers, I had high hopes for The Book Thief. In the end, it didn’t do anything for me. I can’t name anything specific about The Book Thief that turned me off. It was mostly an overall feeling of the book trying too hard to be deep and meaningful, the story dragging on for way too long, and nothing actually happening for long periods of time. All in all, reading The Book Thief felt like a chore for almost the entire time.

Death Beats a Dead Horse

“Is Death the narrator?” was the second note I wrote while reading the book. After a while, I got the gist. Yes, Death is the narrator. In the beginning, it was an interesting concept. Who could be a narrator for this story of a young girl living in Nazi Germany during World War II? Death is everywhere: the camps, the streets, the attics, and the battlefields. No matter the soul, Death is there. However, Death as the Storyteller, soon became annoying beyond words with the constant foreshadowing.

The first few times was unique storytelling. After the 4th or 5th time it becomes tired and lazy writing. OY WITH THE POODLES ALREADY!! Stop telling that someone’s going to die and how they die 300 pages before it happens. Actually, stop telling me any future events before they happen. It makes the event less impactful when it finally occurs because I already knew it was going to happen.

Miss Liesel’s Boys

Although I was not really feeling The Book Thief‘s story, I did enjoy the standout characters: the men and boys who heavily influenced the life and times of Liesel Meminger. Papa Hans has to win the award for best dad. He was the example of how to stand for justice in difficult situations. Max is the epitome of strength through adversity of every day being a life and death situation. Last, but certainly never least, is Rudy. The boy with hair the color of lemons shows how to enjoy the things in life that bring us joy because we never know when Death will come to collect our souls. Plus, how could you not love a boy who looks like Hitler’s wettest dream seeing a hero in one of Hitler’s worst nightmares, a black man. Although, I could have lived without the blackface.

Overall Opinion

Although there were parts of The Book Thief that captured my interest, those moments were few and far between. I tired of the story and the concept quickly. I couldn’t wait for The Book Thief to end and finishing the book was a struggle. Unfortunately, I am one of the few readers who was not moved by best selling classic. Rating: Laborious Literature