The Book Thief (Paperback)
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DescriptionHERE 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
- Published: 01 January 2008
- Format: Paperback 560 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780552773898 ISBN 10: 0552773891
- Sales rank: 8
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Reviews for The Book Thief
I did enjoy this read, but found it a little drawn out in places. His characters are by far the strength of the book, they keep you enthralled throughout. Death and Liesel are the victims in the book, the life appears in the characters surrounding them. It is an interesting take on WWII and it does give a pro German stance which is good for a change. But i did find it long, and tiresome until Max arrived. Still worth a read. by Sinead McManusunder review
My favourite book.
Of all the books I've read to date, this has got to be my favourite. The detail, the use of the colours. I love this book, it is a fantastic read from start to finish. by Evanunder review
Book Thief - must read
Markus Zusak is known for his teen fiction, but don't let that put you off this wonderful book.
Depressing, yet an ultimately uplifting book about WWII, that puts a very human face on the suffering and loss. It is a simple and beautiful story told from 2 perspectives - Leisel (the book thief of the title) and Death - both being fascinating observers.
Leisel watches her brother die in freezing Germany and steals 'The Gravedigger's Handbook' which is her first trophy and inspires her to learn to read, and ultimately write her own story. She is later fostered out to the Hubermanns in a small German town, and it is here that the novel really captures your attention. The characters in this little village are richly drawn - from Leisel's accordion-playing foster father who gave her her first sip of champagne, to the mayor's sad wife who leaves her library window open for the thief, and to Leisel's best friend who paints his face black like his idol Jesse Owens, and runs through town. When the air raid sirens go off, you are in the shelter with these people and their fears, worries and grief are palpable. The ending will shock and move you; tears welled and the lump in my throat took some time to settle down, and it left a very lingering impression. A must read!
EA by Efy Alexandratosunder review
The Book Thief
When this book was handed to me by a dear friend I glanced at it and immediately was drawn to it. It was good and chunky and the cover unlike anything I have seen. When I read it however, I was whirled into a world of Nazis, ghostly narrators and nine year old thieves. I really enjoy the the originality of the book and the patented "paragraphs thrown into the middle of the page" style. Death makes a great narrator for the setting of Nazi Germany and i could feel the cold bite of the German winter wind as i stood with Liesel at her brothers grave. I could see the thick, red soupy sky in the aftermath of the Himmel Street bombing. Zusack has out done himself with a wonderfully moving book, and, even though I am only thirteen, i can quote long passages by heart and constantly refer to it as a reference. I know there is a one to five rating for this web site bit i will give it ten out of ten and fifty gold stars. by Grace
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
I have just finished this wonderfully moving book, about a young girl in Germany living through the war. Her love of books and more importantly words helped her get through the people she loved one by one dying and leaving her. This book I think should be on every schools reading list. It shows the resiliance of the human race faced with tragedy. by Penny Cunningham
Larger than Death
The Book Thief
During the last months I happened (sometimes on purpose, sometimes by chance) to read quite a number of books having something to do with the Shoah tragedy. The last one of these readings has been Zusak's Book Thief. And I think that, of the many different ways writers find today to read the worst of all the II WW tragedies, Zusak's isn't the worst, nor the less useful.
With a surprisingly light and loving hand, Death Himself (The Dark Lady in Italian imaginary) tells us the story of a small German girl, Liesel, a book thief even before learning to read. Having been trusted into the caring hands of a foster family to shelter her from Nazi persecution, Liesel already has got, at nine, a painful and heavy past weighing on her shoulders. But this weight is somewhat lighted by the tender love of her new parents and of the many friends she will make in the German small town where she grows up. Hers is a life made of small, trifling adventures, kids games, meetings with Death and with the petty peevishness of small towns people surrounding her... ordinary people, neither good nor bad: people with their own small obsessions, with their own more or less harmless fads. Ordinary people overwhelmed by a madness which ordinary Germans (in which I obviously don't include the SS fanatics, of course) weren't able to rebel against or to subtract themselves from. Yet, over this madness somebody, somewhere, sometimes, in her or his daily trivial life, manage to prevail by means of their love and humaneness.
A moving, funny, tragic book, with all the depth, colours and contradictions of real life. It's been ages since I've shed real tears on a book - I did on this one, more than once, but smiles soon dried them up.
(A note on the Italian transation: Although I read it in English, I see the Italian title sounds more or less like "The Kid who saved books" - a misleading translation, in my opinion, because it makes you think of Liesel as a "nurse" of a sort, a heroine of Literature. But Liesel doesn't steal her books to "save" something so theoretical as "Literature", she doesn't do it to save books - she does it to save herself and her friends.) by anna
An Absolutely Fantastic Read.
'The Book Thief' is set in Nazi Germany, narrated by Death and centred around a girl who steals books. It follows her, Liesel Meminger, through the later years of her childhood, starting, and ending, with tragedy, with a lot of ups and downs in between.
It's one of the most touching books I've ever read, and I've read a lot, to be honest. The way Liesel starts off illiterate and progresses until she can write her own story is truly heartwarming, as is her relationship with her foster parents, particularly her father, and of course, Max the hidden Jew. There's a good bit of Deutsch thrown into the mix; you'll likely learn a few new words, prominently 'saumensch' and 'saukerl'.
The narrative is interestingly done; Death is written not as the heartless soul-stealer you'd expect, but a gentle, emotive character who simply has a job to do. He brings a different perspective to the deaths in the story and, as you might expect, there are quite a few.
What I couldn't understand was how a book that told me from the outset what happened at the end could make me shed a tear; but it's just that well written. Definitely worth the money. by Sam Tucker
I bought this book because I am a book lover and the word book in the title was enough for me to give it a go. I am SO glad I did. The style in which the book is written is amazing - it feels as though the writer has carefully chosen every word for it's maximum potential and delectability. The way that things are phrased just makes it a book that makes you think as you read; for example when Liesel cries he writes"a lump of salt water fell from her face". I love the fact that Death sees things in so many shades and hues of light and colour which makes it a beautifully descriptive book. The story itself is clever and moving and engaging, the writing is extraordinary and special. I have recommended this book to quite a few people and none of them have been disappointed with it. by G R THORLEY
Strange, Different But Not Bad Either!
I can't really make my mind up about this book.
There was several times i was close to putting down the book because i felt it was going no where fast!. Then times i read a chapter as quick as anything and could not put it down, such is the bitter sweetness of this novel.
There is some great points to the book, i still find the death as the narrator a little annoying after a while has alot of his sayings are like riddles and often tells the storie ahead of its time so never really leaving any cliffhangers but telling it in advance, i dont like that style tbh, will be interesting how this is made into a film because the flow to the book is not very good, the chapters flick back between each other and the book in honesty could have been half the size for alot of the repeatitve stuff in it.
Overall a nice read, some good points but in my view, its certainly overrated and as is often the case with most things 'award winning', more hype than substance, worth a read but also worth a miss. by Michael Bird
Definitely worth a read
I read this on the off chance - browsing in my local bookshop and reading the back - I liked the look of it. I was unaware of any "hype"; and even if I had been I would say it lived up to it. I disagree that it's not good - quite the opposite - I loved it! I have to admit, the first section threw me and I thought it was going to be hard going, but as I read on, I was introduced to a wonderful set of characters, without being over-sentimental. I liked the way the writer describes the anxiety of German air raids - for the ordinary German people - they must have been just as scared as our families were. The way we are taught history and learn about the 2 World Wars, we have little insight or knowledge about the experience in other countries, and yes, I know this is fiction, but it did make me think. It also made me think about the absolute fanaticism there was in Germany at the time, and how difficult this must have been for those who did not hold the same views.rnI enjoyed the build up of the characters too, and it was good to have a central character that wasn't an absolute angel. The last ten pages or so had me weeping - very few books have done that to me. (A Thousand Splendid Suns and the Kite Runner being two that managed it!)rnI would recommend and have recommended this book to friends.rnrn by Fran Wolfman