The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

October 1, 2009
By JRMee BRONZE, San Francisco, California
JRMee BRONZE, San Francisco, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

If death were a person, what would he say? What would he think about the job of taking people lives? If you want to find out, just read The Book Thief. It’s narrated by death, a sad person who hates his job. However, the story is not about him.

Liesel is an adopted preadolescent girl who lives on Himmel st. in Nazi Germany. Her Father, Hans Hubberman is a caring individual who helps Liesel learn to read her first book, The Gravediggers Handboook. Her mother, Rosa, is a loving person as well, despite her coarse use of language. She also meets several other characters her age, like Rudy, the boy she would end up kissing and the culprit of the Jesse Owens incident.

The effects of the Nazi effort start to make their way into Molching, and her family hides a young Jewish man named Max. However, how will this affect the family? Is there more to the Hubberman’s relationship with Max than meets the eye? What will happen if the Nazis find out?

I found this to be one of the best books I have ever read. It amazes me that an author’s first book could be so deep, thought provoking, and sad. Also, because the book is narrated by death, I thought that the language might be morbid and unsettling. But instead of a killing machine, death is more of an over-worked, cold-humored, and thoughtful character. Death is intrigued by human behavior as well, and just like learning about a new culture or set of ideas, this is very interesting to learn about, regardless of the fact that death is a fake character.

I’m a pretty thick-skinned reader, but I still choked up a couple times while reading this book. My mom read it this summer too, and she put the book down several times because of its effectiveness at making the reader feel the emotions of the story. I was joyful, I was gloomy, I felt lucky, and I also felt angry. What makes it really hard emotionally is the constant change in emotion. Unlike Lemony Snickets Series of Unfortunate Events, this book would be cheery, and the next moment sad. At one moment funny, and at another, maddening. It’s this build and then drop and then build back to drop that is really hard to deal with. With the Snicket books, you can expect exactly what is going to happen, and when literature is predicted and repeated, your body starts getting used to the style and tempo of the book. The sad parts don’t really make you sad anymore because you expect it and the story feels unrealistic. You may think that I’m selling the book short, but I just have to warn you that this book is not for the faint of heart. Although there is little to no descriptive violence in this book, it’s still a little hard to read.

In conclusion, I think that anyone who can handle this book should definitely read it. Although it is published as a young adult book, adults could enjoy this piece of literature. Actually, it was published as a regular, adult book in Brittan. This book will offer you a new look into Nazi Germany, and a new perspective on animosity. Make sure to read the best historical fiction book of 2006.

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