The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Who knew that death had a sense of humour?
Not only that but a dry, deadpan humour that is combined with insightful observations about humanity, war, people, and life.
The book is refreshing in the way it is written which for anyone who hasn’t read it, it is narrated by death, and therefore we get to know his humour and observations. Now for a book narrated by Death that covers the Second World War period, in Germany, you might expect it to be dark, moody, depressing. In fact it is humanity and the horrors of the second world war that are causing him (I shall refer to death as ‘him’ for simplicity’s sake) great sadness and despair.
He’d also like to let us know that he does not carry a sickle or a scythe. The hooded black robe is saved for when it’s cold, and that he doesn’t have skull-like facial features.
The story follows that of Liesel a small German girl who is for all intents and purposes orphaned, and goes to live in a small German town with two strangers who will look after her and treat her as their daughter. During the story she will experience trials, tribulations, and learn to cope with what is a harrowing situation.
There is also loss, love, and despair throughout. She also steals some books; so death calls her the Book Thief.
I find this review difficult to write because although I liked a lot about the book, the characters, the writing and the originality of it, I just didn’t think it was a fantastic book that deserved a higher rating from me. I liked it, and I think you will too.
Now there are a lot of people who love this book and think it is fantastic, you might do, for me, I liked it, but I didn’t find it as life-changing or enthralling as others. It is a book that I enjoyed reading but wasn’t desperately trying to finish to find out what happens.
That may not be the case for you, I’d recommend you give it a try.