Monday, April 30, 2012

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak [Review]

4.5 out of 5 Robots!

The Book Thief By Markus Zusak
Genre: Historical Fiction/YA
Release: March 14, 2006
Hardcover: 550 Pages
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
My Copy:Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book 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, 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.

Shannon's Thoughts:
First of all, The Book Thief is not a light read.  It took me a couple chapters to settle into the writing style.  The writing packs a punch and you really have to read the sentences fully to understand the beauty of them.  But this is a book that deserves your time and attention.  I have honestly never read anything like it.  First of all,  it is such a unique choice to have the story is narrated by Death.  His observations are at once detached and intimate.  He sees the overall picture, but is still affected by individuals.  It really drives home the devastation of World War II on both a large and a personal level. 

Secondly, the writing style itself is very unique.  Like I mentioned, it can take some getting used to, but there is real beauty in the words.  It shows how powerful words can be.  And again, it is not a book you can get through quickly, but you don't really want to either.

Lastly, the characters are very very real.  They have faults.  They fight.  They falter.  But they also love and hope and dream.  There are some disturbing and some very devastating events in The Book Thief.  But ultimately, Liesel is a survivor and finds hope in even her darkest times.  She finds a way to pick up the pieces and live on, and so to do we as readers.

As a warning though, the subject matter is pretty heavy.  I think it falls into that category of Young-Adult-But-Not-Really-Young-Adult.  The Book Thief does not shy away from the tough subjects of Nazi Germany, poverty, death, and war.  Some parts left me gutted, I won't lie.  But I am glad I read this book.


  1. This is such a fabulous book. I really need to go read it again...but sadly I have too many other unread books on my shelf right now.

    Thanks for a great review.

  2. I've heard a lot of talk about this book, I didn't know it was narrated by Death (that's actually really cool). I've wanted to pick this one up, definitely need to get on it. I like knowing that it's got some heavy subject matter, everything I've been reading has been really light. Thanks for the great review :)



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