November 11, 2013

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Eingestellt von wanderherz um 9:56 PM
Ok, let's try this. I hope my keyboard stays dry and I will somehow sob through this review.

I always tend to start with the cover, so I'll stick to that routine. I like a simple cover that somehow resembles the key element of the book. This cover does just that. It's simply perfect. Death is dancing with Liesel.

The layout of the whole book, the quotes and the drawings are refreshing and made the whole story unique.

The most amazing and unique thing?
The story is told from Death's perspective. I admit, first I wasn't too sure if I liked the idea of Death narrating the whole story but after reading a few pages I just couldn't get enough of this particular writing style.

The most most amazing and unique thing?
Death has a personality. He likes colours. He is kind enough to warn you ahead of time of someone's death. From the very start Death will tell you something about the ending that they will all die, so he somehow spoils his own story. I liked Death's snarky side comments, as well as his wish to grasp the human mind.

The most most most amazing and unique thing?
The characters. Liesel, Max, Hans, Rudy and even Rosa. They went directly to my heart, and never left. The development of the relationship between Liesel and her foster parents (especially with Hans) was heartwrenching and oh so sweet. The friendship/lovestory between Liesel and Rudy was so freaking cute and I always smiled whenever I've read Rudy saying "How about a kiss?". The relationship of Max and Liesel is one of the rarest and purest kind of friendship. Neither did they share blood, nor were they of same age. They were bounded to each other by the power of words and their love for books. But the most amazing character was definitely Hans Hubermann. The wise man with the Accordion. Liesel's fosterfather with silver eyes. He occupies a special little corner in my heart.

A few words on the german. Markus Zusak did an amazing job in using the bavarian language, and it was quite entertaining to read his translations. I can understand that to some readers, these phrases and translations can be irrelevant, bothersome or even frustrating, but for me it was quite funny, entertaining and hilarious. There is nothing more frustrating when authors misuse certain languages by not knowing them or by using google translator for their translations. For me, it was refreshing to spot german words and sentences while reading The Book Thief.

The Book Thief is a wonderful book, full of beauty and pain. It's heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.

"First the colours. Then the humans. That's usually how I see things. Or at least, how I try."

"The juggling comes to an end now, but the struggling does not. I have Liesel Meminger in one hand, Max Vandenburg in the other. Soon I will clap them together. Just give me a few pages." p. 175

"Even death has a heart." p. 252

"They say that war is death's best friend, but I must offer you a different point of view on that one. To me, war is like the new boss who expects the impossible. He stands over your shoulder repeating one thing, incessantly.'Get it done, get it done.' So you work harder. You get the job done. The boss, however, does not thank you. He asks for more." p. 319

"I carried them in my fingers, like suitcases. Or I'd throw them over my shoulder. It was only the children I carried in my arms." p. 345

5 of 5 stars

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