Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Review Tuesday: 'The Book Thief'

Having absolute executive control of Farmdoc’s Blog content, I’ve decided that, starting today, each Tuesday will be ‘Review Tuesday’. Each Tuesday I’ll review a book, movie, article or anything else that takes my fancy. Here goes…
The start
of Markus Zusak’s 2006 novel The Book Thief [1, 2, 3] baffled me. Unsurprisingly [4]. Until I realised it’s narrated by Death. It’s a WWII story. The main characters are German: Liesel Meminger and her foster parents. Times are tough. And getting tougher. Liesel steals books. Books are her joy. And her conduit to a semblance of normality. Other characters appear: a Jew, a boyfriend, other neighbours. Allied bombing takes its tragic toll. The postwar years skip by. The girl dies an old woman. In Sydney. Where Zusak, now aged 35, lives [5]. This is an exceptional book. Zusak’s drawn all the characters – major and minor – clearly and finely. The story draws the reader in, holds on tight, and doesn’t let go. And his choice of Death as narrator underpins the book’s mystical ethos. The main thought it left me with is that in WWII some Germans were good people who suffered terribly. I can believe The Book Thief’s become a best seller. It deserves to be one. If you’ve not yet read it, it won’t disappoint. My only criticism’s the confusing beginning. But maybe that’s my problem. And no-one else’s.

1 comment:

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

This looks like one I want to read, I'll have to start a recommended list from Farmdoc. One of my other blogs was very impressed with the book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I had been planning to read.