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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Wow. This was a phenomenal read. The first thing that I noticed when I picked this book up was that the prose and the writing style was refreshing for me. I have not been reading a lot of “great” prose recently. This novel may have been intended for a younger audience but the themes are still universal.

The novel was definitely written with those themes in mind, but that does not bother me. It’s nice (or horrifying) to sit back and think about the issues that this novel brought up. Obviously the big one has to do with the Holocaust and Nazi Germany. The story gives interesting insight into the juxtaposition between the people living in Germany. You meet the hardcore Nazis, and the regular people who actually care about human lives no matter the differences. I like how important books and reading are to Liesel throughout the story too. I can see why this is on many required reading lists for schools now and I agree that it should be.

While the characters are not the best written, you end up feeling a lot for all of them. All of the characters were designed to give you that heart-warming feel as you get to know them. I can appreciate how well the author did at making this happen. As you get towards the end of the book you really get to know these people. I liked Liesel, but Hans and Max really stood out for me. I felt more for those characters than any other in the story.

This novel has been on my radar for quite a while and I am glad I finally got around to reading it. It will easily leave an emotional impact and you will be thinking about it even after you finish reading. A few days after I finished this, I was actually in Boston and I got to re-visit the Holocaust Memorial. Being able to walk through the memorial with this story still being fresh in my mind was chill inducing. It’s worth the read.

“I guess humans like to watch a little destruction. Sand castles, houses of cards, that’s where they begin. Their great skill is their capacity to escalate.”

Buy the book here! – The Book Thief


41 comments on “The Book Thief 

  1. I love The Book Thief! When I visited the Holocaust Museum in D.C. a couple years ago, this book came to my mind too. Very powerful

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Life of Chaz says:

      Yeah, powerful indeed.


  2. Great review. Nice photos. Good to e-meet you.


  3. Mrs.JMM says:

    I’m going to add this to my list of books to pick up. Thanks for the review!


  4. Somya Sahni says:

    I saw the movie and I knew I had to read the book. Max stood out for me too. ! 🙂


  5. BeccaBlue says:

    Great review, I loved this one too. I was also totally blown away by Zusak’s “I Am the Messenger” which has a totally different feel. I highly recommend it if you get a chance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. jennasday says:

      I’m going to add that to my list because I really was impressed by “The Book Thief.” Thanks for the recommendation!


  6. rebeccamariemiller says:

    I absolutely loved the Book Thief. Not only did it hold a great deal of sentimental value having received it from my literature teacher at the end of year 12, but it was actually the first book that I cried with. Full on tears streaming down my face. I now regard it as one of my favourite books. Likewise, when I first picked it up and started reading it was very refreshing to read something of a different style as to what I normally read. I grew to adore the characters and the writing of it.
    I remember it being the first book i read out of high school and the one that preceded Anna Karenina and many others. Hands down I would recommend this to any new or advanced reader that appreciates a good book.
    (can you tell I loved it)

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Life of Chaz says:

      This is a very powerful book. I appreciate how it can make us feel the way we do. There were times when I was reading this that I got almost to the point of tears too.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ilya Horatio says:

    Nice review Chaz! I truly enjoyed it!
    Starting the book today 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. rebeccamix says:

    This is my FAVORITE book! I’ve read it about fifteen times. I’m a fantasy writer, so it’s always made me chuckle that my favorite book is a historical fiction set in Nazi Germany but ah, well. I first read it when I was twelve and I read at least once a year, every year, because I feel like every time I learn something new.

    If you liked this you might like his “I Am The Messenger” book. It’s a completely different subject matter, but another example of Zusak having a refreshing and different style.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. logophile says:

    I remember by favorite teacher (who never actually became my teacher in a subject, but was teacher in my school) gave me a list of books to read. He recommended The Book Thief. Damn, good book, good memories.


  10. Grace Teri says:

    Great review! I can remember feeling a great deal for the characters in narrative, even the character of death (who reminded me just a little of Terry Pratchett’s Death).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a good review! The Book Thief is one of my favorite books about World War II. It is so poignant and it is written in such a unique style. I loved all of the characters, especially Max.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I really need to do a re-read of The Book Thief. It took me a long time to finish it the first time around, but in the end, I loved it. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. saloni says:

    I loved this book! I found it really interesting that the narrator was Death. The film was also pretty great.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ‘The Book Thief’ has been sitting on my shelf for a while now, but I watched the movie. It was lovely. I’ll read the book soon.


  15. I have watched the movie and I liked it! I’ve got the book already but haven’t got to reading it. I think I should now!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. theFerkel says:

    Great review. I had the audiobook in my car and it made me cry so hard when Rudy died. And the almost kiss . And the kindness of death. Keep on writing


  17. The Book Thief is absolutely a pleasure to read. I loved the movie too.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Noel Bleu says:

    This was a great review, how do you pick which books you’re going to read?


  19. jennasday says:

    This book was surprising and interesting. I’d be inclined to disagree with you about the characters; I liked the character development. I think the limitations were deliberate because it was told through the eyes of a child. I agree that you end up feeling for the characters, though! They became real.

    I found it to be a heartbreaking and engaging read, and I’ll probably read it again in the future. Thanks for your review!


  20. This is one of my favorites!


  21. Peachy says:

    I agree, The Book Thief is phenomenal – it’s actually in my top 2 favorites (I can never decide whether I really think of it as my #1). I just think that it being narrated by Death brought a whole new dimension to the narrative – it is haunting and compelling and heartbreaking. For me, the lemon-haired boy will always be the most memorable one.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Shelby says:

    I love this book. I read it in middle school/high school and it inspired an interest in WWII and the Holocaust that continued throughout college. I even took an entire class on the subject! Glad you enjoyed it!


  23. JandWs says:

    This was a great book. I liked the way Death was given character as the narrator.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. snowqueensvt says:

    Nice review. You do realise that one of the characters is Death itself… I found this book very penetrating and haunting. Being born and raised on the other side of the War (USSR) it was a refreshing immersion…


  25. Thanks for stopping g by my blog Chaz! I loved this review. This was one of those books that I was still thinking about long after I finished reading it. Do you read much historical fiction? I’d love to hear about some more of your favorites in that genre!


  26. This is one of those books that everyone seems to just love. I’m not sure if I’ll get a chance to read it just because I’m always on the lookout for the newest books out there, but maybe one day I’ll get into it. Books about the Holocaust always make me cry!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. goreting says:

    Great review! I really enjoyed reading this book.


  28. Eva O'Reilly says:

    I loved that book. Reading it reminded me why I wanted to be a writer. And her adoptive father reminded me so much of my grandfather, and everything him and I were to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. JandWs says:

    I loved The Book Thief, especially using Death as a character and narrator.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I loved this book! It is one I think goes on the reread in the future pile because once was not enough for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. This books has the best lines.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Wanderer says:

    I read a few years ago, absolutely wonderful book !

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Definitely one of my all-time favorites!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. One of my all time favorite books. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Coralie says:

    I keep seeing this pop up. I love reading stories that take place in the Holocaust. It is a truly horrific time, but I am fascinated by it. I really should pick this one up!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Chat, thanks for the review. I will add this to my TBR pile.

    Best regards from England.


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