Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Black Swan
Publication date: 01/01/2007
Book source: Swapped
My Rating: 10/10
Buy the book

Summary:
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


 My thoughts:
I have honestly never – considering the amount of books I have actually read – read a book as beautiful and well-written as this one. Never. At all. Nope. Wow.

I kind of don’t know what to say when I start to think about what happened throughout the book and what I thought about it. It left me shell-shocked the whole way through. I was just in a constant state of shock. I still am and I finished it two days ago. It just overwhelms me when I think back to how utterly fantastic it really was.

It kind of reminded me of one of those old stories my Granddad still tells me….it has that sort of feel to it I think, but in a better, more masterfully written sort of way – no offense to my Granddad of course!

There is just no faulting this book there really isn’t. The story was breath-taking, wonderful description, a unique narrative, whole and realistic characters and the events that occurred were just….like I said shell-shocking.

This book was so well-written that there didn’t need to be a build up of suspense to any disastrous event. In fact, before anything happened the narrator of the story (death) mentions that such a thing is going to happen and that that was the only warning you was going to get in the meantime. And yet, when it came to happen, I was still as surprised as if I hadn’t been told it would happen in the first place. Only a story as masterfully written as The Book Thief  could make you feel like that.

This is another one of those books that will stay with me forever and one that I will never tire of reading. It’s just so thought-provoking and heart-breaking it left me numb with surprise….I actually sat for about an hour, in the same place, without moving, just thinking about it and not knowing what to do.

I suppose this kind of seems like an exaggerated review reading back but this book is seriously glorious in every way. If you haven’t read it I strongly suggest you do so because it certainly is one of my all-time favourite reads now!

Great quotes:
"I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn't already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant."
"He was the crazy one who had painted himself black and defeated the world.
She was the book thief without the words.
Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain."

About the author:

Markus Zusak (born in 1975 in Sydney) is an Australian author. He is the son of an Austrian father and German mother and he is the youngest of four children.
Zusak is best known for his novels I Am The Messenger and The Book Thief. These have been very successful both in Australia and internationally, and have sold more copies and received more publicity and critical acclaim than his other novels.


In November 2006, a book video of The Book Thief was created by Jon Haller, a student at the Columbia University graduate film program and was nominated in The Book Standard's Teen Book Video Awards.

Zusak lives in Sydney, with his wife and daughter and has taken up surfing.

This is book #4 in the 100 books in a year challenge


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7 comments:

Rabid Fox said...

Wow,that's pretty high praise for this book. The title seems familiar, but by the review it is far and away a different story than the quaint YA adventure I was thinking of. I may have to look this one up.

I found this review via Cym Lowell's blog.

Cym Lowell said...

I posted this review to my Facebook page. Thanks for linking up!

http://www.facebook.com/cymlowell

Clover said...

I'm a little ashamed to admit that I've never read this one. I've started it several times but it didn't feel like the timing was right. I've read other books by Markus Zusak though and I think he's incredible. I will definitely get this one, and soonish, as everyone raves about it..

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

I also read, loved and gave this one a 5 star review .. it was truly artistic without being pretentiously so .. something that any serious reader (and some light readers as well) would totally enjoy, no matter their preferred genre.

Katy F. said...

This has been on my wishlist, and now I'm really anxious to read it. It sounds wonderful. :)

Aleetha said...

I just got this book last Friday.
Cant hardly wait to start reading it.

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

I've read this: it's sooo good! I absolutely loved it. A great review, about a brilliant book!