Reader reviews and comments on The Book Thief, plus links to write your own review.

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The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak X
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2006, 560 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2007, 576 pages

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There are currently 77 reader reviews for The Book Thief
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Kelli Hilty

WHere's The MoVie!! ((:
This book did not grab my attention in the beginning. I read it for a school project, as I am in eighth grade. I got to about the fourth section. Other readers, I'm letting you know, it gets good. When she starts taking the books, you realize how she is feeling and living through this time of the world. It's a cold tragedy with many characters. I'd like to see a movie from this.
Alice

Fascinating
I found this book fascinating. I loved the characters they each had their own unique personality. This book will make you laugh, cry, and then cry some more. I enjoyed reading this book from beginning to end.
SAM

Why books? Because they hold the words of the world.
This book isn't for everyone, but its premise is. It is a tale of redemption - of why, and how, people are redeemed. In modern time there isn't a better setting than Nazi Germany.

It is mostly for young people, as it is a gentle, almost tender, insertion into the horror that was Nazism and the second world war. Most of the German characters are treated kindly, with full focus on their humaness. It is a measured introduction to the harshness of the stark history of the time for those who are not yet students of it, but is also a balm for those who are steeped in its facts, and who may have forgotten that the predominant stereotype of any group or era reflects only a majority - not an entirety.

Books tie her to almost every character as she moves through her days, and Liesel, the central character, is redeemed many times, by her relationship to the books and the other characters. In life, there is her delivery to responsible step-parents, her relationship to the mayor's wife, Rudy's guidance and companionship through childhood and puberty; in destruction there is her memory of her parents, her acknowledgment of Rudy, her discovery by the LSE, her adoption by the mayor's wife, and even a reunion with Max. In death, she is served well by her history, and by Death.

Almost every other character is an additional example of redemption: Mama, Mrs. Holtzapfel, Max, in the basement, and after the war, Papa, and Ilsa Hermann, who got back her own life helping Liesel.

The book says much more than the obvious, and can be enjoyed by a wide audience, but it is definitely a book best for the audience for whom it was written - the young.
Gary

Death and Life
Death is alive. Does that make sense? In Nazi Germany in 1939 and beyond - death as a narrator in the insanity of the times is almost too real; but there's also life! Sometimes depressing, sometimes glorious. Read the book! Laugh, cry, but remember. A great read for everybody.
DAZ

The Book Thief
While this book was written from a unique point of view and gave the Holocaust a most personal perspective, I did not find myself particularly involved with the characters or their story. The story of book thievery and other thievery was an unusual combination with the story of Jewish persecution. In a small way, I felt the author was understanding of the Germans who "went along" with Hitler although he certainly represented the other side, those who helped the Jews, convincingly and poignantly. I found the book bleak which I imagine was intended. It should be an interesting book for classroom or reading group discussion however.
John Smith

Not sure
This book is quiet boring. Out of the about 500 pages only 200 would be needed to understand the story. Death as the narrator is very different but in a good way. I wish Markus, the author had choose a little different path to writing the book. For it's length its not worth taking the time to read the book.
Penny

Just didn't like it
I tried, many many times, to read this book. I heard good reviews. Frankly it bored me. The obvious plight of an orphan in the Holocaust - well of COURSE you are going to feel sorry for her. But in my opinion, there was no lyricism to this story. It felt broken up (like some other reviewers, I also found the headlines annoying - I don't need headlines to tell me what is important or of note in a story), disjointed, and if I had to see the work Saukerl or saumensch again I thought I would go nuts. The characters were obvious, the tug on the heartstrings Hollywood, and I didn't find the book to offer anything - whether a voice, a character, a story - to me.
Georgia

eh...
I have to read this book for a book club that im in. I don't like it at all because of all the curse words and German used in Markus Zusak's writing. it is hard for me to understand. other then that the concept is very good and it is an enjoyable book. however the previously listed dislikes rate very high on my scale and are why I reviewed this book with only a 2.

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