Allison Hurd's Reviews > The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
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it was amazing
bookshelves: on-overdrive, fantasy, man-author

I'm not sure about you, but I feel like I've read a lot about WW2 not because I've sought it out, but because our culture is so determined not to have it happen again (ha! uughhh...) that it was pounded into us. Nazis bad. Ethnic cleansing the hallmark of fascism. People died by the millions. Never forget.

And after awhile, you just sort of switch off the ability to feel new things about that. It's a shared horror, the eternal fear, but there's only so many times you can see piles of infant shoes and picture each face that might have been above those shoes before you shut down. You can't fall apart every time someone says Hitler, because he's the bogeyman in our collective closet and we need to be ready for the next time the hangman comes for us.

So, it was a surprise to me that this book still made me feel loss in the context of WW2. I thought I'd killed those nerves, but I cried again for all the shoes, all of the loved ones torn apart, and all the kids choosing between starvation and killing someone, all the families not sure if the greater evil is to bow down or get yourself killed for righteousness. Nazis still bad. Ethnic cleansing still the hallmark of fascism. No disguising the number of people who died. I can't forget. But this book makes you look at the faces of the owners of the shoes, the wearers of the uniforms and says "don't just promise not to forget. Also remember these people as they lived and died."

I loved the angle this book takes, and the narrator. It was masterfully written, with words put together like sculptures, with chapters built like War Memorials. The audiobook narrator was fantastic as well. Highly recommend, if you need to remember the true scope--depravity and soaring beauty--of humans.

CONTENT WARNINGS: (no actual spoilers, just a list of topics) (view spoiler)
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Reading Progress

September 23, 2016 – Shelved
September 23, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
May 24, 2017 – Shelved as: on-overdrive
August 7, 2018 – Started Reading
August 7, 2018 –
1.0% ""I am not violent. I am not malicious. I am a result."

This is much better for my mood."
August 7, 2018 –
10.0% "Yikes. Too close to home these days."
August 9, 2018 –
August 10, 2018 –
32.0% ""I've seen so many young men over the years who think they're running at other young men.

They're not. They're running at me.""
August 10, 2018 –
August 14, 2018 –
August 17, 2018 –
70.0% "*listening while cooking*

Spouse: Is this the book with the Nazis?
Me: Yeah.
Spouse: I thought you said you *didn't* want to listen to the news today.
Me: Ha! ...Aw..."
August 20, 2018 –
75.0% "Oh no, now it's getting very sad. Who could have seen that coming?"
August 23, 2018 –
91.0% "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, this poor kid."
August 24, 2018 –
97.0% "*sudden, unanticipated sobbing*"
August 24, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy
August 24, 2018 – Shelved as: man-author
August 24, 2018 – Finished Reading

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