Monday, June 23, 2008



Book Review #116
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I just finished this book several minutes ago.  My tears are gone, but my eyes are still red from crying.  For the longest time (apparently five minutes) I was unable to move.  I sat there trying to figure out what I thought about this book, and what I was going to rate it, but my mind seemed blank.  All I could think about were the events that had happened and I saw all the pictures my mind had created floating in a jumbled mass, completely distorting my view.  
I really liked the way Markus used words, the way he took an ordinary word and used it to describe something you wouldn't normally attribute it to.  I felt like I knew the characters and cared for their well-being and hoped that they would be alright, cried when I found out what was going to happen to them.  The way the narrator told this story was a little bit choppy, I found myself annoyed in the beginning and wished that he would just take his story and put it in a straight line.  But once I got to the end I didn't know what I thought of the story line, I wondered if maybe it would have been to much to bear to, to not have it in bits and pieces along the way, sort of like softening a blow that you know is coming.  
I didn't care for the amount of language that was in this book, granted, most of it was in German and since I don't speak German it didn't have an affect on me, but the other profanities that were scattered here and there were just bothersome and slightly offensive to be coming out of the mouths children.  I also didn't care for the narrator that much, his jerky way of telling the story was a bit chaffing and I wished that he wouldn't make those weird little interruptions that included bits of information I was only going to find out later.  
This story was sad, if you don't like depressing books then I'd say to steer clear of this one.  But I didn't ever feel as if the sadness was unnecessary, never felt like it was too much.  I did almost bawl at the end, clutching the book tightly in my hands, tears streaking down my face, to read the last couple pages.  For those first few anxious moments right after I finished the book, I almost didn't know what to do with myself.  I couldn't figure out where this book stood in my mind.  I didn't know if it was four stars or three stars.  And when I finally made my choice, I concluded that because of the language and the way in which the story was told, it didn't quite make my list of all time favorites.  I'd recommend this book, it had poetic images, terrific prose that almost made you gasp with the heart-breaking truth of reality and elements of profound beauty that made it an altogether sensational read.

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