Leila's Reviews > The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
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Sep 15, 12

bookshelves: book-club
Read in September, 2007

The story of Liesel, a young girl in WW2 Germany. Sent to live with a foster family because her mother cannot keep her (for reasons not completely described). During the trip to the foster family her brother dies. The book that she finds in the snow near her brothers grave site is the only connection she feels she still has to her brother. When her foster father finds the illiterate girls book, it begins a relationship between the two of them; the first connection she has to her new family. Night after night, her father stays up late and teaches her to read.

Three other connections are built up throughout the book as well. Her best friend Rudy who has a mad crush on her, Max who is the jew her foster father hides in the basement, and the Mayors wife who still morns the loss of her only son as a baby and allows Liesel to read in her Library.

The problem for me was that in 600 pages, the most compelling character in the book is the narrator, Death, who follows the girl starting with the loss of her brother. Even in 600 pages, the author could not build build convincing relationships. Every relationship seems forced and over-emphasized. I couldn't make myself feel for any of the characters and at the end of the book realized that I had not even given any of the characters faces.

The next problem was the style of writing. This also seemed overdone. The author tries to describe the emotional aftermath of words spoken by giving the words movement.

"two giant words were struggled with, carried on her shoulder, and dropped as a bungling pair at Ilsa Hermann's feet. They fell off sideways as the girl veered with them and could no longer sustain their weight"


This book was just too much to struggle with. Everything about it seemed clumsy and forced. Not my type of book at all.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Kayla 'at the end of the book realized that I had not even given any of the characters faces. '.

Lol. I gave L- what the hell is her name? Black hair. That's about it


Multivitamin "Sent to live with a foster family because her mother cannot keep her (for reasons not completely described)."
Her mother was Jewish. It is said in the book. :)


Micah No, her parents were accused of being communists.


Mehar Bharatiya The relationships weren't forced at all, they were incredibly natural and realistic. The whole book was realistic. I mean, what do you expect? Liesel and Rudy to fall in love, and when he dies (sorry spoiler) for Liesel to kill herself? In reality, relationships aren't formed by dramas and sagas. There formed by common interests, and thats how Liesel makes relationships.


Sturgmom The mayor's son died in a war, presumably WWI. He was not a baby. The mayor's wife says he froze to death, and Death says that he died tangled in barbed wire-and likely frozen to death. (I know this is an old review, but I just finished the boom. And it's hard to take seriously a review in which the reader missed some relevant points in the story.)


Raeshantael Clay As stated earlier, her mother wasn't Jewish. If she were, according to custom, that would make Leisel and her brother Jewish and they'd be in hiding too.


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