BookBrowse Reviews The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2006, 560 pages
    Sep 2007, 576 pages

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An exceptionally readable, highly memorable novel. Older Teens & Adults

The Book Thief is an extraordinary, heartbreaking book.  Like The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time, which was initially targeted at young adults in Britain but to adults in the USA, The Book Thief is one of those rare books that really does speak to both young and old alike. 

The excerpt that you can read at BookBrowse doesn't do this exceptionally readable, highly memorable book justice.  It's not so much that it's not representative of the book, but more that the style of writing grows on one to the point that the prose ends up reading almost like poetry.  Take, for example, this single sentence from the middle of the book when Liesel is reading aloud in the shelter during an air-raid:

"She didn't dare to look up, but she could feel their frightened eyes hanging on to her as she hauled the words in and breathed them out.  A voice played the notes inside her.  This, it said, is your accordion."

The Book Thief was one of the first two books offered to members as part of our First Impressions program.  Fifteen of the twenty members given a copy have submitted reviews so far.  13 rated it 5 out of 5, two gave it a 4 out of 5.  Here are a handful of the many excellent reviews we received:

"Exceptional, captivating, heartwarming... so many words to describe how excellent I found The Book Thief. One needs Liesel's "words" to describe the many emotions provoked by this wonderful story. The characterizations are outstanding. Each character has their own special quality to regard. I highly recommend The Book Thief. And have already done so! " - Lisa.

"The Book Thief challenges our humanity & inhumanity. This is a must read for book clubs!" - Ann.

"Fabulous. Insightful. Heartbreaking. Full of hope for the future of that era. A testimonial for the indestructible human spirit. Quite truthful historically as well as in terms of human suffering during that war. I know this because I was there." - Gunta.

"I have read the book twice and enjoyed it even more the second time. I was originally a little concerned as to how I would feel about Death as the narrator but found him to be a compassionate, likable character. Instead of spoiling the story, his telling of events in advance seemed to soften the impact, resulting in a thoughtful, powerful and sweet story rather than a thriller. I continue to recommend this book to everyone I know." - Joe.

More member reviews of The Book Thief

Reviewed Sept 2007

This review was originally published in March 2006, and has been updated for the September 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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