Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Book Thief

The Book Thief
The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
Evan’s ESS = 8.5 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = 8 out of 10
Content = PG
(Adult Content, Violence, Language, Five-Finger-Reading Discounts)

Why: For some reason we get into the habit of postponing those books consistently hyped throughout the halls of literature. The only explanation that makes a little sense is that we sometimes like to ensure our TBR pile maintains a level of anticipation. It’s imperative to maintain a healthy balance of excitement between what you’ve just completed and what you’re about to complete. Well, in the case of The Book Thief we waited about 5 years too long to read this one.

We’ve heard it said before, but Markus Zusak’s novel is so much more than just a book. For starters, the narrative perspective is entirely unique and perfect for the events that take place. We are introduced to little girl named Liesel Meminger who is complex, imaginative, and courageous during one of the most turbulent periods in German history. Her journey is filled with heartache piled on top of heartache which only makes the relationships she preserves that much more significant. We also encounter one of the most touching personal diaries ever expressed in picture and word, created on the most profound medium possible. Sorry for our annoying vagueness, but we really don’t want to give anything away. We will mention that several incidences of book thievery occur...

The only thing we can’t quite figure out is why the conclusion of The Book Thief didn’t have us treading in a pool of tears. There were so many great elements, yet if there was anything lacking it was the quiver-lip factor. We wanted the dramatic elements built up a little more. Admittedly, the narrator was very upfront about his indifference for suspense, but we thought he was a little too quick to reveal certain facts. Sometimes, you just really want a book to make you bawl your little eyes dry, and in this case, it just didn’t happen. Overall though, Zusak wrote a wonderful novel and we are eagerly anticipating the release of Bridge of Clay.


  1. I do the same thing with putting off hype books. I have yet to read this book, but I may just have to bump this up on my list.

  2. Wonderful review! I see this book every time I'm rifling though the stacks at the book store, but have yet to pick it up. I'm glad to see that the hype surrounding this book is well deserved.

  3. I really liked this book and I liked the ending-here in Manila it is marketed strictly as a YA book which is sad.

  4. This book is so great-- I put off reading it too, worried it would be depressing. Coincidentally I just wrote my review and will be posting it next week. Seems these "old" books won't go away when they're this good!

  5. Finally got to this gem of a book, huh? Isn't it wonderful? I always warn readers about the weird narrator, death. I am a big Zusak fan. Older teen boys (and me) also like his other book: I am the Messenger.

    Today I am visiting on the Read my Review event.


    My Head is Full of Books

  6. I loved this book. Maybe it was just timing, but I DID get the tear-jerk factor from this! I have it in the back of my mind if I ever find I need a book for a challenge that needs a re-read!
    Great review!!