Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Book Review: The Book Thief

 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way." ~Matthew 5:11-12~

The sun didn't find me.  I was hiding in a closet, reading the Book Thief with a flashlight.  I was about to take the hand of Death, the narrator of this book, for he had offered it.  He told me he would show me something if I went with him.  My fingers hesitated at the edge of the page.  Should I turn it?  Should I plummet into the darker world under the thick cover of this book?  I knew it wouldn't be safe.  But I took a deep breath, and took his hand, and he led me down into the pages of the Book Thief.
I'm drinking bitter black Allegro tea as I write this. 
It's a very intriguing book.  Even though it's slow like To Kill A Mockingbird, there's something about it that made me want to keep reading.  I would have given this book five stars if there hadn't been any bad language in it, but there was a bit of it scattered evenly throughout, in German and in English. 
I liked the book because of several things.

1.  I'm part German myself and enjoyed learning some of the German words (minus the swearing).  Wort is word, and a few others.
2.  The narrator was very intriguing.  Yes, he is Death, but I could picture someone like Lemony Snicket (also known as Hugo's dad in the movie Hugo, or Watson in the dark Sherlock Holmes movies) or David Tennant or even Tom Hiddleston playing him.  The narrator never says whether he's a man or woman, but that's how I pictured him to be: with a long coat and sympathetic.  But yet humans haunt him.  He's afraid of us.  The book explains why.
3.  The characters contrast each-other wonderfully with lots of conflict.  You can really feel for the characters.
4.  It's about books, and words, and I'm a writer (though unpublished as of yet).  It does inspire me to write.
5.  It's heart-breaking, tearing, and then mends you little by little.  I love it because it shows how we humans can enjoy simple lives, and how we help each-other and how we heal.  Hans, at one point in the book, thinks being kind is stupid.  But it isn't bad either.  This is a book that really makes you think, so be prepared to.

At first, I, like a few other people, wondered why the book cover was of dominoes.  Then I got to one of the best parts in the book.  Rudy was lining up the dominoes with his siblings and together they would knock them down and watch the show.  The "beauty of destruction".  And once they're all tumbled down, someone walks in and comments, "They look like dead bodies."
It's amazing how one action causes another, and how we can't know what the future holds.  The cover does seem to fit the book when you think about it.
Today I went into the dark garage with a book light and finished reading the book.  Sadness and numb healing.  And the last words: "I am haunted by humans."
 I will most definitely see the movie coming later this year.  Maybe there's more hope I'll lose it and actually cry.  I was expecting to cry more than I did, but when the sad parts came, I felt numb as the narrator.  But I really enjoyed it and it inspired me to keep writing.
Have you read this book?  What are your thoughts of it?


  1. Wow, sounds like a great book (bar the bad words). I love books about books. I might have to check this one out.
    Isn't odd how you can see something so many times and not notice the simplest things about it? Like, I've seen the cover of The Book Thief SO many times, yet I never noticed the dominoes. How strange. (Kind of like Holmes and Watson, when Holmes asks him how many stairs are in 221b, and Watson doesn't know.)

  2. Yeah. How many stairs are in 221b? Oh, and the narrator, I forgot to mention, made me laugh several times. To make you less afraid, he says that he doesn't have a skull face like we like to imagine on him, but that he looks like you and me. But he says he's amused by our ideas of a "grim reaper". lol

    By the way, I want to do the thingy you tagged me in (I found the post too) it might take me some time to get around to doing it though...

  3. I enjoyed The Book Thief very much, and a lot of your thoughts are the same as mine. (Including the swearing). This book was hard to read, just trying to not let the story overtake my mind completely, lest I would be equally overcome by sadness. It was intense at times, and I found that I couldn't read the whole thing in a few days like most books. I took my time, and that made it more enjoyable, I think. I had more time to chew.

    Also, I will now forever envision David Tennant as the 10th Doctor standing with his sad face whenever I think of the narrator. ^_^

  4. Yeah, it was nice to read it in the course of a little over a week.
    lol <3 <3 Tennant. I never really imagined his face though, only his long coat waving in the wind and amongst the smoke behind him. I wonder how they're going to portray him in the movie. (: