The Book Thief The Book Thief discussion


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question about the ending.

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Maria So, I couldn't tell if the author was implying that Max and Liesel got together in the end or if they were just friends. I know it is kind of a side note and I am fine with either answer, I just felt like it was ambiguous and wondered if anyone had an idea?


Tami That was the big debate in my book club. I really didn't have the notion they were a couple until the others mentioned the hints. I figured they were just close friends.


Mweene Death would surely have told us if Max was the one who married Liesel. We can safely assume that it was not him who married her because her husband is not mentioned by name.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I believe that Max and Liesel ended up together!


message 5: by Sammy (last edited Mar 31, 2011 12:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sammy Either way, I'm glad that he and Liesel at least got to see eachother again, because I was so sad when he was found by the Nazis! I hope they ended up together, but I don't think that they did, because Death would probably have mentioned it.


A Kid Named Megan☮ My god I cried.It was just amazing.Yeah but,I personally wanted so badlyyy for Max and Liesel to get together.But I believe kinda realistically...they didn't:/


Marjorie Seward It is my believe that Max and Liesel got together, why else would Max have sought Liesel out at the end of the book.


Mereworth Bosh I cried too my god especially when Rudy died! he was like the funnyiest sweetest person in the entire book
i dont think Max and Leisel got together, he probably would have sought her out anyway, since she's helped him so much and they had been really close friends before


Mereworth Bosh Tami wrote: "That was the big debate in my book club. I really didn't have the notion they were a couple until the others mentioned the hints. I figured they were just close friends. "
yeah me too i never suspected that because the main focus was on the deaths


message 10: by Emilia (last edited Apr 02, 2011 12:58PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emilia i honestly don't think max and Liesel get togther in the end. I'm pretty sure that Max thinks of Liesel as a little sister who's a close friend. I cried and had to stop reading the book for two days after Rudy died. Him and Liesel where ment for each other. Anyway, I'm sure Death would have told us if Max and Liesel got together in the end. ♥ The Book Thief!!!!!!!


A Kid Named Megan☮ ^^^

ditto.

the book thief was hands down the most amazing book i've ever read.


message 12: by Judy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judy Wonderful story, I read it just a month ago. I think the ending was ambiguous on purpose, and I didn't leave the book with a strong sense of whether they ended up together or not.


Paula Humphrey I am only about a quarter of the way through this book and it is very difficult for me to get into it. I have stopped reading it to buzz throught 2 other books I've been waiting to read, but what you are all saying is making me go back to this one again. So I will try it again.


message 14: by Nina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nina Paula, I struggled as well when I first started reading the book. I just couldn't get in to it. But, do try again. I think you will be rewarded for the effort.


Mereworth Bosh Nina you really should it will be absolutely worth the while I cried buckets when I read it and it really does twist something inside you when you're finished.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Trueinsanity wrote: "Nina you really should it will be absolutely worth the while I cried buckets when I read it and it really does twist something inside you when you're finished."

I cried buckets too--by far the best read of my entire life---hands down.


Mereworth Bosh J wrote: "Trueinsanity wrote: "Nina you really should it will be absolutely worth the while I cried buckets when I read it and it really does twist something inside you when you're finished."

I cried buck..."


yeah i think this is one of those few rare books that will probably stay with me for aeons to come :)


Sofia I've read it twice, and never had the idea of Max and Liesel ending up together. Moreover can't remember any hints of the kind.. Besides for me that book had no need for any romantic implications.


message 19: by Dee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dee I enjoyed it, but it wasn't (at least to me) as awesome as everyone made it out to be...i think in part due to the one scene with the concentration camp...i've done enough academic study on the Holocuast to dislike the idea that the german population was innocent in knowing what was going on, which is how it felt to me


Jason Page I felt like Max and Lisel ended up together, but I didn't really feel like it was a question thati needed answered. It was such a beautiful story that the ending was perfect just knowing Liesel's life ended after living a long and happy life surrounded by people she loved.


Mereworth Bosh Well it wasnt really like that, since she'd lost most of the people who were near and dear to each other


Nathan I also didn't get the impression that Max and Liesel ended up together either. In fact, Max's return was the only disappointing fact about this book. For me, initially thinking that Max had been exterminated by the Nazis kept congruous with the rest of the story. How could he possibly have ever escaped from the trappings in which he found himself?

Other than this single point, I loved loved LOVED this book. I can't recall ever having words on a page grip me so thoroughly and wreck my heart so soundly as the chapter "Death's Diaries: The Parisians." It's only 2 pages, but the tears were flowing by the end.

As a bookseller, I'm often asked for suggestions from my customers. This book (along with Carlos Ruiz Zafon's "The Shadow of the Wind") is an easy go-to and easy sell.


Zulfiya I think that one of the last scenes when they were together hugging and falling on the floor is just a small moment of happiness in this world stricken by war, tragedy, and loss. This is a song of life. We have survived. We are alive. We do remember the loss and what we have gone through.
And I and quite confident that there was no sexual implication in their relations. The author emphasized several times in the novel that at the time of the described events Lizzie had not bled yet, thus underlining the idea of the pre-puberty of her state.
But the writer is here to write, and the readers are here to interpret. And,as you know, so many men, so many minds.


Maciel i think they would have mention that small detail because its a huge detail for us ( the readers) so in my opinion i don't think they end up together.


Catalina Ramirez I love this book, one of the best. I don't think they ended up together, they had a relationship thas was more of a friendship than a Love story.


Emilee Yes, I don't think Max and Liesel were a couple. I never even had the idea that they could be a couple until I saw this discussion. I guess I just pictured Max as an adult and Liesel as a child. They never seemed to have a love that a couple does. Liesel was a friend to Max when he was going through a hard time. Their similar interests helped them become closer friends, but Max could not have been her husband. He was her friend.


✿Sandra I don't think they ended up together as a couple. I think he sought Liesel out because they shared such a hard time in their lives and would always be close because of that. I think he wanted to find her and see if she was okay, and to let her know that he had survived.


1luvbooks Are you crazy?!!!!
Okay, sorry. Seriously though, Liesel is 12-13 years old when Max who is a thirty something year-old shows up. If they have a romantic connection that is just downright pedophilic. All they are is close friends. Their friendship is quite powerful and absolutely not romantic. At the end, I'm sure Max is NOT the one Liesel is with romantically. They are just close friends who have survived the worst and bond over it.


message 29: by Huda (new) - rated it 5 stars

Huda i so wanted to believe but I don’t think that happened .... death was really good with the details and im sure he wont miss on such important details :) again the fact that liesel was a kid in front of max can be a reason.. but i soo waned them together


Hayley No, I don't think Liesel and Max got together. I never saw their relationship as anything other than friendship and probably even a brother/sister bond.


Edward Err... that would just be weird. Max is twice her age, and it was more a brother-sister bond between them, as Hayley said. And he came back because he loved her in that way, and wanted to say thanks. I mean, them getting together makes me feel slightly queasy.


Kidhawk i agree i think that max just wanted to see leisel again and they are really great friends


message 33: by Beth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Beth I think they did get married because at the end of the book it says "In her final visions, she saw her three children, her grandchildren, her husband, and the long list of lives that merged with hers. Among them, lit like lanterns, were Hans and Rosa Hubermann, her brother, and the boy whose hair remained the color of lemons forever." If Max wasn't the husband, then he would have been mentioned by name in the list of lives lit like lanterns. Great book.


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Beth wrote: "I think they did get married because at the end of the book it says "In her final visions, she saw her three children, her grandchildren, her husband, and the long list of lives that merged with h..."

I agree with you totally---which is why I posed the question to begin with. That exact passage leads me to believe that the two ended up together--despite age difference.


message 35: by Dee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dee they might not have had a romance in the book but when they got older, I think they got married...15 years back during that time wasn't that unheard of for age differences (IIRC my history classes)


Edward Beth wrote: "I think they did get married because at the end of the book it says "In her final visions, she saw her three children, her grandchildren, her husband, and the long list of lives that merged with h..."

Yeah, but I don't necessarily think that implies that they got married. I think her's and Max's ways just parted. But maybe she did get married...


Linda Burden I think they end up together and then death come to get her.


Julia Mukuddem I'm surprised that people think they ended up together - it didn't even cross my mind. :) This was an excellent book - sad ending, but I will remember this for a very long time. If I have to sum this book up in one word - endearing ...


✿Sandra Julia wrote: "I'm surprised that people think they ended up together - it didn't even cross my mind. :) This was an excellent book - sad ending, but I will remember this for a very long time. If I have to sum ..."

I agree with you, it never even crossed my mind. At first when I read the question, I thought it just meant did they get together, as in see each other. Also, I agree that this was an excellent book!


Julia Mukuddem Sandra wrote: "Julia wrote: "I'm surprised that people think they ended up together - it didn't even cross my mind. :) This was an excellent book - sad ending, but I will remember this for a very long time. If ..."

:) Well, we all have different opinions hey. The book was sad, but I felt so good afterwards ... it was like drinking wine slowly ...


Linda Burden I love your comment about "it was liking drinking wine slowly......" In the school I work in this is required reading for students taking US History.


Dwight Lawrence Am i the only one that remembers that Max is 10+ years older than Liesel, and he met her when she was a pre-pubescent child? I know it may have been a different time, but I think it would have been a little creepy for him to come back and marry her.


✿Sandra Dwight wrote: "Am i the only one that remembers that Max is 10+ years older than Liesel, and he met her when she was a pre-pubescent child? I know it may have been a different time, but I think it would have bee..."

No, you are not the only one. I responded above, and as I said, the thought never even entered my mind. When I first read the question, I thought it just meant did they see each other again. I never once thought of their relationship in that way.


Julia Mukuddem Linda - I'm glad you know what I mean. :) Dwight & Sandra - yes, creepy ...


Linda Burden Dwight, I did remember that Max was older but then my parents were 25 years apart. I found that having Death tell the story was a unique voice, who else should tell the story of war and heartbreak. It is like watching it from my seat in the mud and cold.


message 46: by Lorrie (last edited Jun 22, 2011 02:00PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lorrie Sofia wrote "I've read it twice, and never had the idea of Max and Liesel ending up together. Moreover can't remember any hints of the kind.. Besides for me that book had no need for any romantic implications."

It wasn't about romance it was about how a child survived a war and delt with the loss of many people who were close to her.

I thought Death as the narrator was really cool!


Debbie I loved Death as narrator also! I loved this book but was very dissapointed that everyone dies in the end. I felt pretty down for a while after reading it. I never would have read it had I known. But, I would have missed the excellent story.
But all in all - A MAJOR bummer!!!


Edward Debbie wrote: "I loved Death as narrator also! I loved this book but was very dissapointed that everyone dies in the end. I felt pretty down for a while after reading it. I never would have read it had I known...."

Why? The death of the characters really works within the framework of the story, and it really helps to highlight how many innocent civilians the "good guys" (i.e. the Allies in WWII) actually killed.


Julia Mukuddem I agree with Edward ... Yes, i was extremely sad, but I still felt good and satisfied after reading it. It was real and not like the movies with happy endings. But Debbie - you're entitled to your opinion. :)


Linda Burden I think I mentioned before that it is required reading in the high school where I work. It is a very powerful read for students taking US History. It makes it less about dates and numbers and what generals commanded what battles and the students are learning about the human loss and sadness in Germany. War is never good for either side.


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