Thursday, 18 December 2014

''The Book Thief''- Book Review

Author: Markus Zusak
Published: 2006

Genres: Novel, Historical fiction

Rating: 5 out of 5


By the time I finished reading ''The Book Thief'', my face was drenched with tears. This book is... unique. It's so powerful. So astounding. It sparked in me my deepest emotions. This novel made me cry, it made me deeply attached to the characters. ''The Book Thief'' made me go through the same emotions that the characters were going through. It made me cry with the characters, it made me laugh with the characters, it made me feel relieved when the characters were relieved.  ''The Book Thief'' was a heartbreaking novel; it was extremely powerful and emotionally intense, and it also had humor. It is a book reading which I felt happy, I felt sad, and I felt devastated. 

The novel is narrated by Death. Yes, Death. The story is set in Nazi Germany, during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Liesel Meminger is a young girl who is taken to Molching where she has to live with foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann. While she was on her way to Munich, her infant brother had died on the train.At the home of her foster parents, Liesel misses her dead brother, and also her real mother, who, being a Communist, had to leave her with foster parents. Liesel has nightmares everyday. Her foster father, whom she refers to as ''Papa'', comforts her. Her Papa decides to teach her how to read and write. Helped by Hans, Liesel learns to read, and soon, she develops a fascination with books, with words. She falls in love with books, with words. On one occassion, when the Nazis are burning books by Jewish authors or with Jewish subjects, or books that deal with subjects that oppose the Nazi idealogies, Liesel steals a book that managed to escape unburnt. Our narrator, Death, refers to Liesel as ''The Book Thief''. 

The Second World War takes away the smoothness and happiness from their lives. There is poverty, there are wants. And there is also another danger. The Hubermanns hide a Jew, Max Vandenburg, in their basement. If the Gestapos find out about this, then they will all be in grave peril. Meanwhile, Liesel and Max become great friends, amidst all the dangers and fears and poverty.

Throughout the novel, Death noticed Liesel, the book thief, three times. This is what the narrator announces at the very beginning of the novel. Death briefly discusses the situations under which he noticed the book thief.

''The Book Thief'' is driven by it's plot, it's characters, and it's words. The words are simply so powerful, I really, really, really loved the way the story is told. The storytelling is simply beautiful, simply powerful. There were characters I started to love. I got deeply attached to the characters. Liesel. Hans. Rosa. Max. Rudy Steiner, Liesel's best friend. Ilsa Hermann, the Mayor's wife. These characters were so powerful, so excellently-developed. Excellent character development is one of the reasons I absolutely fell in love with this novel. 

Bond between people. The bond between Liesel and Hans. Liesel and Max. Liesel and Rudy. Liesel and Ilsa. All these bonds were so beautifully developed.

The storytelling. It's so emotionally intense. I ended up with tears in my eyes, with a lump in my throat, not once, but numerous times while reading this book. How powerful and intense this book is! It is really beautiful, it really is.

The horrors and devastation of wars are really well explored in this novel. The poverty and the misery that wars can bring. The fears, the horrors. The deaths, the tragedy. All these are deeply explored in this book.

''The Book Thief'' is an extraordinarily powerful novel that I will recommend to everybody. It is so deep, so beautiful. The characters are so wonderfully developed. The storytelling is beautiful.  It is a beautiful and extremely powerful book that I simply loved.

5 out of 5

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