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Archive: Other Books > The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 4 stars

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message 1: by Hope (new)

Hope | 150 comments (Of course I was reading this for last month's tag but didn't quite make it...)

In an uncommon perspective told by an unusual narrative voice, we follow Liesl a foster child coming of age in Nazi Germany. In some ways it's a typical coming of age story but in between children playing ball in the street Zusak shows how the lives of ordinary Germans were affected by Hitler's rise. The characters are colorful without losing their subtlety and it's easy to care what happens to them. A beautiful ode to humanity and friendship with definite tear-jerker moments. This has been on my tbr pile for a while and I'm happy I finally read it!


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6248 comments Better late than never! Glad you enjoyed it. I cried, and I so rarely cry when reading (although honestly the tears seem to be coming more easily now that I'm older).


message 3: by Denizen (new)

Denizen (den13) | 1138 comments I know that feeling of coming in a month late! I love that book and would never have picked it up if it wasn't for Shelfari.


message 4: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8155 comments I cry all the time reading. Wept openly through Mariage of Opposites!


message 5: by Karin (new)

Karin | 6882 comments My mother loved this and lent it to us for my kids to read. I read it, but as wonderfully as it was written, I wasn't that keen on Death as the narrator and a few other things.

At any rate, it's a worthy read and I'm glad to see people who enjoy it as much as my mother did.


message 6: by annapi (new)

annapi | 4855 comments Karin wrote: "I wasn't that keen on Death as the narrator and a few other things. "

For me, that was one of the things that made the book better. Sure, it's a little gimmicky but it worked for me and I gave the book 5 stars.


message 7: by Karin (new)

Karin | 6882 comments annapi wrote: "Karin wrote: "I wasn't that keen on Death as the narrator and a few other things. "

For me, that was one of the things that made the book better. Sure, it's a little gimmicky but it worked for me ..."


Yes, I am amazed at how many people, including my mother, like that. I just thought it rather macabre. That said, I probably would have reacted differently if I'd read it at 17.


message 8: by Hope (new)

Hope | 150 comments Yeah I thought Death as a narrator was a bit of a gimmick but it worked.

I also find that I cry more easily at books and movies the older I get. I never used to!


message 9: by Karin (last edited Mar 13, 2016 12:47PM) (new)

Karin | 6882 comments Hope wrote: "Yeah I thought Death as a narrator was a bit of a gimmick but it worked.

I also find that I cry more easily at books and movies the older I get. I never used to!"


I cry less, but when I was growing up I cried A LOT for books and movies, so I'm still a crier in books and movies.


message 10: by Hope (new)

Hope | 150 comments I guess I have a thicker skin for some things now than I did as a kid but when I was little I didn't really understand why anyone would cry at fiction when real life provided enough opportunities. Now that I have more life experience I think I also have more empathy so I do get choked up sometimes in front of movies or reading or, you know, watching adorable YouTube videos ;-)


message 11: by Jenni Elyse (new)

Jenni Elyse (jenni_elyse) | 1264 comments My favorite passage from The Book Thief is the following because it's so profound and it shows how much powers words have, which I think is the whole point Zusak was trying to make.

“She had seen her brother die with one eye open, one still in a dream. She had said goodbye to her mother and imagine her lonely wait for a train back home to oblivion. A woman of wire had laid herself down, her scream traveling the street, till it fell sideways like a rolling coin starved of momentum. A young man was hung by a rope made of Stallingrad snow. She had watched a bomber pilot die in a metal case. She had seen a Jewish man who had twice given her the most beautiful pages of her life marched to a concentration camp. And at the center of all of it, she saw the Führer shouting his words and passing them around.

“… She tore a page from the book and ripped it in half.

“Then a chapter.

“Soon, there was nothing but scraps of words littered between her legs and all around her. The words. Why did they have to exist? Without them, there wouldn’t be any of this. Without words, the Führer was nothing. There would be no limping prisoners, no need for consolation or worldly tricks to make us feel better.

“What good were the words?”


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