Book Review: The Book Thief

15 Feb

Title: The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak

Publication Date: September 11, 2007

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Alfred A. Knop

*Purchased the book at a used bookstore*

Rating: 4/5 stars

I should probably state right off the bat that I am a history minor who concentrated on the Holocaust. As such I read so many books on the topic, both fiction and non-fiction, to gain a better understanding of that atrocities that occurred in Europe at that time. So right from the start I was pulled into to this book, curious to see how the events would play out from this unique point of view.

The use of Death as the omniscient narrator was one that was easily adapted to and it gave the book a unique feel that I don’t believe Zusak would have been able carry out any other way.  However, at times his commentary seemed to jar me out of the story and realize that I was not actually a part of what was going on.

From the beginning of the book I found myself interested in Liesel’s role as the book thief, as she stole her first book very early on. The books that she read and stole helped to build her relationships with those around her, relationships that may not have been as deep without the back drop of the stolen books. From her foster-father who uses The Gravediggers Handbook to lull her to sleep when she’s roused by regular nightmares about her younger brothers death, Max the hidden Jew who writes her a book of her very own and the mayor’s wife who has an entire library of books she allows her to steal.

This book will both bring you joy and break your heart, but it’s a journey that is worth the pan.




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