Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Synopsis: "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."

My Review: I have heard people rave about this book and it is set in a time period I find interesting, after hearing that it is narrated by Death I decided it was time to read it. At first I tried to listen to it in audio version but was really struggling to make sense of it, after seeing the print version I understood why, there are random notations that pertain to the story but are not part of the story. I must admit that even once I started reading the print version, I still really struggled to get into this book. It wasn't that it was a bad story, I think that the way death approaches it and tells the story is as if there is a disconnect and that in turn made it hard for me to connect with any of the characters. It was also a very slow story to read, it covers a time period of several years and while there are several things occurring in the world, for Liesel it was mostly the same hardships with a few changes. Now don't get me wrong, this is really a great book, it just was difficult to immerse yourself in. After reading it, I think this is maybe one of those books that would be better upon re-reading, I would be better able to pick out the little details and become better absorbed in the story.
My Rating: I know my opinions on this book are a little controversial, I have heard so many people rave about this book and rate it as one of their favorite books of all time but I really struggled with it, maybe it was because I tried to read it during a readathon. I do really respect and appreciate what Zusak did with this book and maybe if I try it again some time when I can really focus on just this book and nothing else I will like it more, but for now I give it a rating of Three Paws.


  1. While I think Markus is an amazing author and I was blown away by the writing in this one, I too found it very slow and hard to get through. Upon a reread I enjoyed it much more. You should try some of his other books. They're very different and much quicker.

    1. I really do think this is a good book, I think the impact is greater than the readability though, does that make it a great book or just a great statement being made through a book? Either way it is one that will stick with me, and I really do think that a re-read would be better on this one.

  2. I adore this book. I cry every time. I love the characters, and the writing is amazing to me. Everyone has their own tastes though.