The Book Thief [Book Review]

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 576 pages
Year: 2006
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Personal Collection
Rating: 4/5

Summary (from the Publisher):

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.

My Thoughts:

I expected to adore this book. And I liked it a lot. But I didn’t love it like so many of you. I am not sure if it is the slow speed with which I read it. Or the heavy subject. Or something else. But I didn’t adore it.

It has all of the elements of a book about Nazi Germany: oppression, hunger, a Jew in hiding. But it also has a unique narrator – Death – and a little girl who steals books, so it is nothing like all of those other books.

A million things have been written about The Book Thief and I really don’t have much to add. It is definitely worth reading, and I am glad I finally got to it.


8 thoughts on “The Book Thief [Book Review]

  1. I totally agree with you on this one. I have had people tell me how much they love this book for years. It has actually become a classic in our area and there are adult book clubs here that do this book every year. It is “death” as the narrator that got me. I just didn’t love it.

  2. I have had this one sitting on my shelf for the longest time, and think that perhaps I would get to it sooner if it was on audio, so I am going to look for it now.I sort of felt that the hype might ruin it for me, but really, there is only one way to tell, so I am off to the library site! Thanks for being so honest with your review.

  3. I really liked this one, but I wonder if part of the problem for a lot of people was that it got so much hype! I think we lavish so much praise on certain books and then it’s impossible for them to live up to it once we read them.

  4. Pingback: TSS: February 2013 Recap | my books. my life.

  5. Hi Michelle,
    My name is Meg and I run a site called I was looking for reviews of The Book Theif to share on my site and I came across your post… If you’re open to it, shoot me an email at meg(at)booknixie(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!

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