Book Review: The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Okay, so I finished Zusak's The Book Thief about 2 hours ago, and I might be recovered enough to write a short review without deteriorating into heaving sobs. Jesus, the last 100 pages are a wringer.

What can I say about a coming of age story set in Nazi Germany and narrarated by Death, himself? An excellent read for Young Adults (as it is geared to) and adults, alike. Liesel Meminger is abandoned by her mother, shortly after her 6 year old brother dies beside them in a chilly boxcar. Liesel, in shock, does some self soothing by stealing her first book, The Grave Digger's Handbook. She is taken to Himmel Street in Molching, a few miles from Dachau, to the home of Hans and Rosa Hubberman, who raise her like one of their own. Rosa, the potty mouthed washer woman and Hans the accordianist with a heart and eyes of silver. The book traces Liesel's life as a book thief and is told in sections related to each of the stolen books.

Suffice it to say, any story told by Death and involving nazi's and Jews, cannot end without delving into the horrors of that war. Zusak delivers a tale that is surprisingly gentle while effective in portraying the atrocities of World War II. While never lingering on the Nazi's activity at the concentration camp, for long, the author coats the sky with an ashen grey as the Jews are marched through town to "concentrate" and this grey does linger throughout the course of the story.

Fantastic! Read it, now.

Next up: The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld


Anonymous said…
I recently read The Book Thief and I LOVED it. It was a sad, yet wonderful story and I couldn't put it down. I look forward to exploring more of Marcus Zusak's books!
Anonymous said…
yes i agree with you, i recently read it. it is definently a must read. its a great book i really cannot describe it in a couple sentences. please read it if u havent yet! i love marcus zusak, one of my favorites is I AM THE MESSENGER, omg, a MUST READ! someone should def make a movie outta that book, not kidding!!!