The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Publisher: Black Swan
First published 2005
Genres: Historical fiction, YA
Format: Paperback – 10th Anniversary Edition
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon
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, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel 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.
I felt that this book is not the type you fall instantly in love with. It’s a lot of people’s favorite book so I was expecting to love it from the very first page. And although I must say I felt that it was really interesting, that didn’t happen. Instead, I got a slow yet gripping, complex and emotional novel that I will never forget. It’s the type of book that grows on you… And it does leave a mark.
This book was beautiful and yet brutally realistic. There’s nothing sugar-coated here. It’s a unique story about grief, war, love, theft, and humanity.
It’s told from Death’s perspective – which I was not expecting and was instantly interested in. I mean… did you ever see another book from death’s perspective? I didn’t, otherwise, I would have already read it.
It’s no surprise that WWII is one of my favorite historical topics. It’s the most common, yes. But it’s still one of the ones that give me more pleasure to read. Maybe because it’s a time period I know more about, or just because they tend to be strong and emotional, I don’t know – but I really enjoy it! It was also the theme that made me fall in love with historical fiction. But this is one of the best I’ve read. I think that the main thing that turns this book so unique is its honesty. It’s just so brutally honest and it truly feels real.
There’s a bittersweet feeling to this book that I adore. The mixture of simple and genuine happy moments, stressed and fearful ones, angry ones and a lot of friendship and family love too. It’s just so complete and heartbreaking!
You start being interested in Liesel’s quotidian. All the difficulties, all the happy moments from being with friends to hearing her dad play music, the smiles shared and the tears slipped. It seems like a whole other world but it did happen. And I believe that it happened pretty much like this. Liesl has a way of seeing the good in things or actually making the good out of things… Maybe because the closest person to her is like that… But I just loved following her around in her thievery. It gave me such a good feeling!
I don’t want to say much more about this book other than it is definitely worth the read and I remember the movie being also really good. Although I do have to see it again because it was a long time ago. So, if you haven’t for some miracle reason read this or seen the movie, I highly recommend you to!
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? What about the movie? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!