Monday, March 9, 2009

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 2007
Pages: 576

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

I picked up this book because 1) it won, like, a million awards so I thought it must be good and 2) this was the next book in the book club I take part in. I'm going to be honest with you: I don't like historical fiction. Atleast, not most historical fiction novels but I thought that this book would be the exception to my rule. I was wrong.

Personally, at first I hated this book. Sure the narrator (Death) was really cool but that was the only thing I really enjoyed about this book. Markus Zusak stuffed a lot of pointless information into this novel. Okay, I have to give the author some credit -- it was well written pointless information. I'm pretty sure it was to build character development but I just kind of found it boring.

So, if I disliked this book so much why didn't I just stop reading it?

Well, as I mentioned before, this was for a book club so I was set on finishing it. And you know what? I'm glad I did. 100 pages before the end it started getting interesting. It was a little sad, but I think the story would be worse if it was all happy and predictable. I'm not going to give anything else away because I don't want the book spoiled.

So as a summary, the beginning was blah and almost painful to read but the very end was good. I would give this book a C.


Senfaye said...

Great review!!!!
-Senfaye :)

Iryna said...

Thanks a million Senfaye!