The Book Thief by

5 April 2014

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Rated :

At the end of the nineteen thirties in Germany a little girl travelled with her mother and brother on the train. The children were being sent to live with foster parents. Their mother could no longer take care of them. But en route the little boy dies. This is the first death in a book narrated by Death.

A book about living in Germany during World War II.

As you can imagine, Death has quite a busy time. But is also a book about a little girl growing up in that atmosphere. About the power of words, and the kindness of some people.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

It is a book that many people love. And it seemed perfect for me when my book club chose it for a read. It also fits into the fantasy category for my OUaT reading.

But I just didn’t get it.

Yes it was a sad story, and I felt for many of the characters, but I didn’t enjoy the way the story was told. Death itself was too much a distancing character for me to really get into any of the characters heads. It felt as though there was this great story that was just being dangled out of my reach. Death as a narrator felt clumsy to me.

Some of the writing in the book is wonderfully descriptive and beautiful. But what use is that if I feel no connection to the people. People, for me, are the heart of a good read. And in this I just couldn’t get near them.

Other reviews : Reading books with coffee (who didn’t finish it) ; I read a lot of books (who loved it)

Once Upon a Time review site

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8 Responses

  1. Priya says:

    I didn't realize at first how this could be fantasy, but I suppose with Death as the narrator, it's fitting. I'm not sure how I feel about this book. It was really simple and honest in places. But for me, the problem was that often it was almost as if the book was trying too hard to make me cry. I read it a while ago, but I do remember wishing like you that the focus was not on Death's musings but on the characters.
    My recent post A Short History of the World – A Book Spine Poem

  2. This one ended up not being at all what I was expecting. With the title of "The Book Thief," I had the impression it would be about stealing books the Nazis were burning (sort of Farenheit 451) and it…wasn't really. I mean, sort of, but not really… An interesting book, but I also had some trouble connecting with it.

  3. kail84 says:

    I am reading this right now. I will try to remember to come back and offer my two cents once I am done!
    My recent post Book Review: Trinity Stones (The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles, Book 1) by L.G. O'Connor

  4. I find it weirdly comforting when not everyone is over the moon about a certain book. I haven't read this one yet, but it seems to be all over and it's been on my TBR list for a while. Maybe I'll get to it sooner rather than later. (I'm catching up on OUaT reviews; sorry this comment is so late!)

    • fence says:

      I know, sometimes when everyone is loving a book it takes a negative review for me to get around to reading it.