Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Book Thief

First, a note: I have no idea how I missed this book in the decades I have been reading but I am so glad to have found it and it is one of the top books I’ve read in my lifetime.

This is an amazing tale of a young girl, named Liesel, in a neighborhood filled with soccer, lots of kids, a best friend – Rudy, stirring up trouble, fistfights, summer misadventures. In the early parts, it is like To Kill a Mockingbird in a way – a seemingly idyllic neighborhood with the gathering of little things (a button, a pinecone), strange neighbors and their mysterious ways (the mayor’s wife) and a kind father encouraging his daughter to read and learn while trying to explain the world that crumbles around them. Of course, the setting is more dire in 1939 in a fictional town, Molching, Germany, where the foster father and his headstrong wife have not only taken the abandoned book thief in to their home but they have also hidden a Jewish fistfighter - Max, who becomes Leisel’s foster brother. The narrator’s identity is genius and I will leave it at that (although it took me half the book to figure out who it was; how I made it through four years of college English, I’ll never know) and although the narrator’s presence can be intrusive within the telling of the story, it’s also amazing and makes me want to read the book again (which I will at some point).

Intricate stories with a little humor but also a lot of despair and sadness, this novel is one of the best I have read about Nazi Germany aside from Night and The Diary of Anne Frank. This is one story I never wanted to end and so I took my time reading it. The hunger for books, knowledge, imagination, dreams and peace grabs the book thief’s spirit and won’t let go and it does the same for the reader. In the end, don’t be a “saumensch” and read this book – it will captivate you and change you.

Book Rating: AH! - Amazing, must-read book.


Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books said...

I'm so glad you loved this book! I completely agree about wanting to read this book slow, it's such an amazing story that you don't want to let it go. The narrator is completely genius and unique and amazing!

Kate@Midnight Book Girl said...

I love this book! The Hubs even wants to read it, and he's not a huge reader. Great review, I didn't want it to end either!