Saturday, 10 August 2013

Book Review: The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

There are a few books that we have in the shop that customers tell us they loved – not just simply liked it. This is one of those books. Every colleague I have who has read it says they loved it – not just simply liked it. And I am telling you now that I loved it – not just simply liked it.
The narrator of Zusak’s brilliant novel is Death. The descriptions of Death “collecting souls” are both poetic yet tragic, and Death’s voice is extremely successful in lulling you into actually liking him – a bizarre thought in itself. He tells us the story of Liesel, who has been sent to live with a foster family, after her parents are sent to a concentration camp. I never want to ruin the plot for you in these reviews so lets say that from there, the story follows her as she grows up and that’s all I’ll say.
On the surface, this is simply a fantastic read, but if you look at what Zusak’s subtext is, I think there is so much that one can get out of this novel. It’s a real “actually, I really appreciated what I have right now” book. I’m so pleased I read this – it is moving, expertly crafted and utterly engrossing. Enjoy.

Blurb from the back:

“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.”

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