Star Rating: 5/5
Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Black Swan
Genre: World War Two, Historical, Contemporary
HERE IS A SMALL FACT – YOU ARE GOING TO DIE
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION – THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH
It’s a small story, about: a girl an accordionist some fanatical Germans a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery.
ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW – DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES
I was expecting this book to have quite a fantasy feel to it, purely because of the narration being done by death. But it wasn’t like that at all, it was really true to the events of Nazi Germany (I studied World War one and two for four years) and it felt so real. I loved the extra lengths that the author went to to make sure that the book was factual and correct, this to me is what can sometimes make a good author, especially of books set during a real time in history because then you’re also learning about this time period as well as getting a story along with it.
This story is about a girl named Leisel who is given to a couple during world war two, where a lot of children were evacuated into towns that were safer for them (both my Grandma and Great Grandad were evacuated from my town). The couple she is given to are Hans and Rosa Hubermann; Hans is quite possibly the most generous and kindest man to have ever lived, I absolutely adored his character and he is probably my favourite through-out the whole book, perhaps because he reminded me of some members of my own family. Rosa, on the other hand, is strict and at times quite mean, she swears like a sailor and she doesn’t take any crap! She’s a strong woman, and at first you really hate her, but as the book goes on, she grows on you. Another character that I feel is worth mentioning is Rudy, he’s a neighbour of Rosa and Hans and he and Leisel become really close friends, I both love and hate Rudy, I don’t know what it is, perhaps its his attitude at times, I’m not sure. I felt so connected to the characters in this book, whether it be through like or dislike, they were incredibly well written.
I would definitely say that this book is great for us book lovers, it has a strong theme of books through-out and titles are mentioned in it, you get to see Leisel’s love for reading grow as the book progresses and it’s just really amazing.
I genuinely really loved that this book was narrated by death, it’s so different to anything that I have ever read, it’s incredibly original and it just works I liked that I could see what happened exactly to everybody at all times, but it was still written from the perspective of a character, it was so cleverly done.
As for the writing, oh my god, it might just have to be the most beautiful writing I have ever read. I would seriously go that far, there are so many quotes that I loved and everything was described so beautifully that whenever I was reading this book I just felt like I was there. Another thing I really loved is that there was a mixture of both German and English, which means I now know some words in German that I didn’t be honest (most of which are insults/swear words thanks to Rosa Hubermann) but I really liked this aspect of the book.
The story was incredible, there was never a boring part to this book, and it always jumped back and forth through-out the plot line and you’d think that knowing some of the end before it actually happens would ruin it, but it doesn’t, it just makes you want to read on, with so many unanswered questions and wanting to know exactly when and how. The overall outcome of this book was devastating and this is definitely not one of those books that you read when you are looking for a nice happy ending but I loved it, it was so real, so right, it worked so well.
Overall, this book was amazing, I really enjoyed it and also really enjoyed the film, I urge you to get this book and if it’s sat on your shelves, pick it up… NOW.
Have you read this book? What did you think?