19 April 2013

Review: The Book Thief (no spoilers)

One of the items on my 101 in 1001 list was to have ten people recommend a book to me and I'd read it. I was especially excited to read The Book Thief, so I started with that one.

Front Cover

The Book Thief is about a little German girl in a small town outside of Munich during Nazi Germany. She steals her first book, though she doesn't know how to read. She eventually learns from her foster father, who reads to her after she wakes from her nightly nightmares. The author, Markus Zusak, describes books like a lot of bibliophiles would describe them. It's an intimate relationship with the pages and covers. A reader falls in love with the physical book.

This book captured my heart. I knew it was a slow, progressive plot so I was prepared for a lot of details and not much happening. Zusak writes a lot like life happens: not all at once, but day to day details are what make the story memorable.

Liesel is sweet and the reader falls in love with her onery best friend on Himmel Street. I espeically loved the German vocabulary and expletives thrown around by all the characters. I loved Mama's harshness contrasting with Papa's gentleness. The characters are likeable but also have their realistic flaws.

Death made an interesting narrator. Usually authors like to show death as a sinister creature or monster, but Zusak shows it as more of a spiritual being that's just doing a job.

Keep your tissues handy. This book will tug on your heartstrings.

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