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The Book Thief > DEATH...An interesting narrator

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message 1: by Brantford (last edited Jun 08, 2013 09:23AM) (new)

Brantford Public Library | 453 comments Mod
Using death as the narrator of the story has been both praised and criticized. What did you think about this? Did it add to the story or would you have preferred a different approach? Read the author's quote found below about why he chose death as the narrator. Does your opinion change after reading his quote?

"Well, I thought I'm writing a book about war, and there's that old adage that war and death are best friends, but once you start with that idea, then I thought, well, what if it's not quite like that? Then I thought what if death is more like thinking, well, war is like the boss at your shoulder, constantly wanting more, wanting more, wanting more, and then that gave me the idea that Death is weary, he's fatigued, and he's haunted by what he sees humans do to each other because he's on hand for all of our great miseries."

message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna (iudita) | 450 comments I wasn't aware of the whole death as a narrator idea when I started the book and I have to admit I was a bit confused for the first few pages. When I figured it out, I went back and re-read those first pages again and thought it was a great way to tell the story. Death is such an interesting character and it adds a whole new element to the storyline.

message 3: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn (kdrury) | 112 comments I loved this different narrator. Is the narrator a singular character or is death a collective of many characters?

message 4: by Anna (new)

Anna (iudita) | 450 comments That's an interesting thought Kathryn. I never really thought of it that way at all. For me he was a very distinct and single character but if you look at him as a collective character it really opens up a lot of possibile interpretations of his actions. That's one of the fun things about having Death as the narrator... you really don't know what to expect from him.

message 5: by Brantford (new)

Brantford Public Library | 453 comments Mod
I found an interesting quote from Death that reminded me of Kathryn's comment about the possibility of Death being a collective character...

I do not carry a sickle or scythe.I only wear a hooded black robe when it's cold.And I don't have those skull-like facial features you seem to enjoy pinning on me from a distance. You want to know what I truly look like? I'll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue."

This quote definitely hints of Death being a collective character.

message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Morrison | 5 comments I can't imagine this story being as much of a pager turner had it been written by anyone else. I think the interruptions to the story by the narrator authenticate his voice and gives the impression of someone who has seen so much, and who is not in a hurry to see more: almost an arrogant quality of someone who is master of their trade.

message 7: by Anna (new)

Anna (iudita) | 450 comments I have to agree with you Amanda. It is through those interuptions by the narrator that we get to know the character of death. He has such insight and such interesting observations about the human race. I thought some of the best quotes in the book where made by death.

message 8: by Anna (new)

Anna (iudita) | 450 comments

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