Sunday, June 8, 2014

Review 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20737476-the-book-thief
It is 1939. In Nazi Germany, the country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier - and will become busier still.

By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed forever when she picks up a single object, abandoned in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, and this is her first act of book thievery. So begins Liesel's love affair with books and words, and soon she is stealing from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library . . . wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times, and when Liesel's foster family hides a Jew in their basement, nothing will ever be the same again.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
 

I have heard about ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak for a couple of years. Many times I was holding the book in my hand, but somehow I never bought it. My mom read the book a view years ago and always told me that it was such a great book. When the movie came out I decided it was definitely time for me to start reading ‘The Book Thief’. I always try to read the book before the movie so when I was packing my bags for Mexico two weeks ago, I decided it was time to take this book with me. And I’m so glad I finally started reading it.

In ‘The Book Thief’ we follow the life of Liesel Meminger. A 9 year old girl living in Germany in 1939 when the ‘Führer’ was ruling. The story is told through the eyes of ‘Death’. There is a lot going on in Liesel’s life. Not only is Germany getting more and more controlled by the ‘Führer’ but Liesel is also getting adopted and she is losing people she loves. Slowly Liesel tries to find her way in her new life, with her new parents. Fortunately Liesel loves her new dad Hans and she quickly becomes friends with the boy next door Rudy.  
But Liesel is having a hard time in school. She is very behind on school and doesn’t know how to read, but slowly with the help of Hans, Liesel discovers the world of books and reading. And soon books are Liesel’s escape in a hard world full of war and rules. Through her love of books, Liesel finds new friends and learns how to help people in need. When Liesel meets Max, a Jew born in 1916, she shares her passion with him and soon they become friends. But life in Germany isn’t easy in this time and soon everything Liesel knows and loves is about to change.

Before I started in ‘The Book Thief’ I didn’t really know what I could expect about this book. I knew that the book would take place in the time of the second World War but I couldn’t imagine why this book was called ‘The Book Thief’. Although it took me a long time to start in this book, I’m so happy that I finally read it. I loved this story. It took me a little while to get used to the way this book was written. Through the eyes of Death and with little notes throughout the book. But soon I was completely compelled by this book. I couldn’t get enough and I really wanted to know what would happen with Liesel, Max and Rudy. Even though this book takes place in the time of the second World War, this book is filled with love and friendship. There are parts where I couldn’t hold in my tears but that was to be expected. I grew up with stories about the second World War but reading this book it made me only realize more how hard it must have been to life in that time. And how scared people must have been.

The character I liked the most in this book was definitely Liesel. I loved her journey to learn how to read and how she developed such a passion with books. She was such a strong character. There where so many bad things happening but Liesel kept strong and found a way to escape from all the horror happening around her. The part when Liesel saw how books where burned was just heartbreaking for me. I can’t imagine what that would do to me. Books being burned is just an enormous crime in my eyes. But off course there were much more terrible things happening in that time.
I also really liked the character Rudy. I really love how fun and surprising he was. 

This review is getting very long, and I’m sure I can keep talking about this book for a long time. I really loved the story and I’m awed by how Markus Zusak was able to tell such a beautiful story about such a horrible time. I think everybody should have read this book. It’s definitely going on my favorite list.  

About the Author:


Markus Zusak was born in 1975 and is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief , which is translated into more than forty languages. First released in 2005, The Book Thief has spent a total of 375 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and still remains there eight years after it first came out.

His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and When Dogs Cry (also known as Getting the Girl ), released between 1999 and 2001, were all published internationally and garnered a number of awards and honours in his native Australia, and the USA.

The Messenger (or I am the Messenger ), published in 2002, won the 2003 Australian Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award (Older Readers) and the 2003 NSW Premier's Literary Award (Ethel Turner Prize), as well as receiving a Printz Honour in America. It also won numerous national readers choice awards across Europe, including the highly regarded Deutscher Jugendliteratur prize in Germany.

It is The Book Thief , however, that has established Markus Zusak as one of the most successful authors to come out of Australia. To date, The Book Thief has held the number one position at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, the New York Times bestseller list, as well as in countries across South America, Europe and Asia. It has also been in the top five bestsellers in the UK and several other territories. It has amassed many and varied awards, ranging from literary prizes to readers choice awards to prizes voted on by booksellers. It was the only book to feature on both the USA and UK World Book Night Lists in 2012, and has now been adapted into a major motion picture.

Markus Zusak grew up in Sydney, Australia, and still lives there with his wife and two children.

For more information about 'The Book Thief' and Markus Zusak please visit his website, Goodreads or Amazon. Or look for Markus Zusak on Twitter and Facebook.

2 comments:

  1. Brilliant review. I didn't know what to expect from the book when I read it either, but it totally blew me away. I loved the narration by Death, thought that was such a great idea. I really want to see the film and see if it does the book justice.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you ;)
      I really loved the narration by Death to. But it took me a little while to understand. The first few pages I really didn’t get who he was. LOL. I also very curious about the movie. Most times I find the movie a little disappointing.
      Thanks for the follow! :D

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