Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review: The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak
Publish date: 2006
Source: Library
"It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. 

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

You guys...I wanted to LOVE this book. I've known about it for a while and everyone in my little world of blogging adores it and cries at it...but I didn't and I feel bad for not enjoying it that much. Allow me to explain my thoughts.

I am all for experimenting with narrative styles, but unfortunately, Zusak's fell flat for me. I liked the drawings and some of the lists, but I didn't like the writing style itself. It felt like the author was trying too hard to be literary, although I know that in Australia, where this book was published, it was originally marked as an adult novel and not YA. I get the feeling it should have been an "adult" book here too.

At 550 pages, this book also was too long (in my opinion, of course). I don't shy away from longer novels, but this just seemed way too long. Some parts dragged on and on while others seem to go by too quickly, like the more major events at the end.

Like I said, I wanted to like the book and I thought and still think the premise is fascinating. Death as the narrator? Cool, but just didn't mesh with me. I am a big fan of historical fiction, but not this one, unfortunately. Any thoughts?

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