Review: The Book Thief

Inspired By Max
I’ve never reviewed a book here before… and in fact, whilst being an avid reader, I suspect it’s because I’m not a really good reviewer. I can read it, tell you what I think, but I just don’t know if my reviews making inspiring reading. However, Max has inspired me (even his dad is the king of reviews…)

Markus Zusak has written the kind of novel that transcends genre. It’s both historical, highly fictionalised, stylised and character-driven. The narrator, Death, leads you through an interesting, impersonal and yet thoroughly emotive perspective on humanity and death. The motivations of the characters are almost as interesting as wondering why the author chose to include their story, or in fact, why Death remembered each of them. Some of the most fascinating back stories are left thoroughly in the dark.

It’s both poetic, stylistic in construction and deeply moving, yet solidly in novel form, which is very different to House of Letters, that I’m also trying to work my way through.

At times it’s very dark, but never so far that you feel trapped in the awfulness. It’s not a heavy read at all, and consumable over several sittings – the kind of story that wanders at the back of your mind but doesn’t incapacitate you from participating in reality while not reading.

Available in a kids version as well, appropriate given the nature of the main (human) character, I could see teens and adults alike devouring this piece at different levels – there are interesting family dynamics at play that could make for interesting dinnertime conversation.

What do you think?