The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (final thoughts)
They say that war is death’s best friend, but I must offer you a different point of view on that one. To me, war is like the new boss who expects the impossible. He stands over your shoulder repeating one thing, incessantly: “Get it done, get it done.” So you work harder. You get the job done. The boss, however, does not thank you. He asks for more. (p. 309)
This book. This book.
Oh my it was a good one.
All you need to know about it is that it is set in Germany and starts in 1939 with 9-year-old Liesel en route to her new foster parents. And that it is narrated by Death.
I bought The Book Thief over a year a go, on a whim (a rarity for me, honest), and it has been sitting on my bookshelf ever since. Two fears kept me from reading it for so long: 1. It’s not as good as everyone says it is, and 2. It is full of unbearable, never ending, gut wrenching sads. I’m happy to report that my doubts were unfounded. For the most part. Let me explain.
1. It’s not as good as everyone says it is. Well, that wasn’t something I had to worry about. True, The Book Thief isn’t an action-packed, fast-paced read. Time is spent building up characters and various storylines. It’s time well spent. And the writing is poetic and fantastic. I’m so glad took advantage of that whim and bough this book, because I have a feeling I’ll want to read it again. Or at least pick it up and randomly flip through the pages now and then. Yes, it’s that good.
2. It is full of unbearable, never ending, gut wrenching sads. Well, it is set in Germany during World War II, so it’s not exactly a light laugh of a read. And yes, it did make be cry. Okay, it made sob. You do not want to read the last bit of it in public. But the majority of the book was full of wonderful storytelling and wonderful characters and wonderful moments. And did I mention the writing? There are phrases about Death catching souls that will stay with me for a long long time, not just because they’re heart wrenching, but also because of how poetically beautiful they are.
If you’ve been holding out on reading The Book Thief for either of these reasons, let me assure you: it really is a fantastic book and yes it is sad, but it’s also hopeful and lovely.
My rating: 10/10