Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Book Thief

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First, before I review The Book Thief (and oh how I can't wait to review The Book Thief), I wanted to apologize to anyone that has been following my blog from the beginning.  It seems that about 3 months ago I lost my voice.  Not my literal voice (obviously) but my blogging voice.  I have been in a little ginormous writing rut the last few months and I feel like with the new year I was granted a fountain of renewed inspiration to write again.  I am apologizing because I know that my reviews have been a little dry, but I am back and ready to blog.  So... With out further ado...  The Book Thief...

Heavens, where do I even begin!?  There were so many elements to this book and I want to discuss them all so that you all feel the need to stop what your doing (after you leave a comment of course), and run sprint to your nearest book shop and pick up a copy or two of The Book Thief.  (Can you tell I enjoyed this book?  Maybe... Just a little...).  Mark Zusak hit the ball out of the park and across the street with this little gem of a novel.  His writing is beautiful and he paints a beautiful picture with his words.  To describe The Book Thief to someone without summarizing the story I would say that it is a tribute to reading, set in Nazi Germany, narrated by Death.  Then if you were still not interested in reading The Book Thief I may resort to hitting you upside the head with volume and calling you a Saumench (OK so probably I wouldn't resort to violence, but I would probably still call you a Saumench, since it is my new favorite word thanks to this book).

So the plot is very simple and goes like this...  Liesel Meminger is a young German girl that is being taken to live with a new foster family in Molching Germany during WWII.  On the way to Molching her little brother passes away and when they bury him she steals her first book.  When she arrives at her new home alone, confused, and afraid, her new Papa Hans Hubermann, teaches Liesel to read using her stolen book.  Thus begins Liesel's fascination with words, reading, and stealing books.  Through out the story Liesel encounters a great group of characters such as her best fiend Rudy who is obsessed with American Track star Jessie Owens.  Max, the Jewish man that is hiding in her basement.  Rosa, her foul mouthed foster mother.  And of course in a round about way Death.  Death sums up the plot of this book perfectly when he says in the beginning:

"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"

Anyway, if you couldn't tell, The Book Thief really it is one of the best books I have experienced in quite a while, I have been on a roll of bad books lately, so I am really excited about finally finding a good piece of literature.  The plot line was unique, the writing style was unique, the point of view was unique, and the characters were developed really well.  Thank you Markus Zusak for getting me out of my reading (and writing) rut!!

BOOK vs. MOVIE:  I am sure this movie will need to be watched with a hand full of tissue.  I see that 2010 is supposed to be the release year for this movie but I don't see a production house or a cast list anywhere so it probably is just a rumor at this point.  I hope they do the book justice though, because I am sure it would make a good film adaption.

RATING: 5 Stars

3 More review on The Book Thief:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
ISBN 9780375842207
Pages 560

If you liked this book try: Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund


  1. oooohhhh i LOVE this book. i especially love all the definitions Death writes they are so clever and usually heart warming. this book was the Perth Arts Festival book of the year when it was released and i think just about everyone in Perth has read it! (probably the rest of Australia too). ps thanks for following, and bag of bones scared the crap out of me while i was reading it, i can't say many books have actually done that!

  2. One of my top reads of 2009. And the number of pages is a little misleading... I know I put it off initially because of that. This is a must read for every book lover!

  3. ooh this is on my list of books to read this year. The more reviews I read of it the more I'm looking forward to it!

  4. Fantastic book - I'd love to see it made into a film, but for me the best parts were Death's introduction to each chapter, and Max's present to would be interesting to see how they'd be shown as part of a film.

  5. My friends loved this book and were pushing for me to read it. I never did. I'm thinking I should reconsider... :)

  6. First of all, I don't think your reviews have been dry at all. And this was another nice one!

    Ha - for some strange reason, I'd always thought this book was a memoir, and had mentally eliminated it as a prospect. Thanks for clearing this up for me - sounds really, really good!

  7. This is definitely on my list, I've seen it everywhere! Can't wait to read it now!

  8. This has been on my TBR for quite a while, but I think it's time it became a bool-I-need-to-read-NOW! Heard a lot of great things about this book.

  9. Thank you for the comments! I agree with all of you that mentioned moving this book to the top of your TBR pile!

    @Greg thanks for your compliment, I just feel I am back in the groove again. I am glad you have enjoyed my reviews even though I was feeling a little bit of writers block.

    @mummazappa I agree about the great little asides that Death mentions. It was absolutely the best part of the book for me!

  10. Thanks for posting such a great review! I definitely want to check this book out now.
    Alayne - The Crowded Leaf.

  11. This looks awesome! It's going on my wish list for sure. Thanks for the review!

  12. I really enjoyed this book! The narration was my favorite. I loved the interesting point of view and use of forshadowing.

  13. I love love loved this book as well. It was so hard to review because the story is so wonderful and I think the effect it wuold have on people is so personal.

    Here is my review if you get a chance:

    I came via the blogger hop and have really beein enjoying havnig a look around. I will be a follower from now on :-)

  14. One of my top ten books, just read it recently and anazingly finished it in 2 days!!! A must book to read for all book lovers. HIGHLY recommended.