You know when you hear book are *GREAT*, and it kind of puts you off reading them in case they’re disappointing? I kind of had that with The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
I knew it was going to be good, I wanted it to be a good read. As a result, it sat on my bookshelf for months before I finally decided to see if it lived up to my expectations…
The Book Thief is narrated by death (this is on the blurb so no spoilers here). Death narrates the whole tale, giving a completely new perspective on the holocaust. Set in Nazi Germany, Death is quite understandably very busy, when he becomes enticed by a young girl who goes by the name Leisel.
Whilst Liesel does nothing too extraordinary per se, her joie de vivre and love of a good book captures the attention of Death. The novel consequently follows her life as she lives in Nazi Germany, with a peppering of a few of Death’s memories and experiences along the way.
As to be expected, a large amount of the content is quite bleak, and the first ending of the book is by no means peachy, but Liesel’s love for life and words and Death’s admiration and fascination with this makes the novel feel quite uplifting.
The second ending, as I like to call it, is when the novel actually ends. The novel comes to a kind of succinct point towards the end, where I felt it probably could have ended. However, it continues a few more chapters which are nice to read but don’t necessarily add to much to the novel as a whole.
I’d definitely recommend this book. In places it is dark and the subject matter is undoubtedly upsetting, but as mentioned it is written with a youthful, light tone which makes it a great read.