Sunday, November 20, 2011

Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Release Date: 11th September 2007
Pan Macmillan Australia

Format: Paperback 
Pages: 584
Rating: 5.0/5.0

Summary from Amazon:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"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 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."

This is both the most uplifting and most saddening book I have ever read. Its a rare find and I can't believe it took me so long to get around to reading this book. I was actually a bit reluctant to start the book at first, being almost 600 pages long, but it's one of the easiest books to read because the story is so enthralling. And the characters - don't even get me started on the characters - Liesel, Rudy, Max, Hans...each character is just so amazing in their own special way

The way this story is written is special - from early in the book, you know exactly how it will end. But that doesn't help when you do reach the end of the book, and pray that something different will happen. Zusak - why must you do this to us? You make us fall in love with these characters, and then you stomp all over our feelings about them! And the setting - Nazi Germany, 1939. A perfect setting for this story, and a really great interpretation of one poor, German family's struggle during this time (or two, if you count both Liesel and Rudy's family)

I'll keep this short and simple because I know by now you are dying to go out and buy this book. I'll finish with this...the writing style is poetic, the setting is perfect, the characters are real people, many of whom you can easily relate to, or to the relationships they form with others, and the ending is truly moving. Drop everything you are doing and go out and buy a copy NOW, because this is one book that you just have to read.

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