“The Book Thief”

I’ve finally finished “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. Based on it’s dedicated fan base and great critical reception, I wanted to love this book. Sadly, I detested it! For several reasons I thought the book attempted to be a life lesson but failed. Usually stories about war, especially the Holocaust, move me to tears. Again, I wanted to cry at “The Book Thief” but I simply could not. I cannot think of a quote from the book as it had very little impact on me.

I must confess that I wasn’t particularly interested in the main character Liesel, her adoptive parents or her best friend Rudi. I did not dislike these characters, however I was disinterested in them. I wasn’t particularly bothered about their fate, which is unusual as I generally become very “involved” with books. As for the narrator, I found the whole concept of Death recounting the story completely ludicrous. I found myself praying for a sudden plot twist in which the narrator turned out to be someone completely different; sadly no plot twists occurred! I felt the book tried to be sentimental but failed, as the characters showed.

I disliked the way the book was written. Technically, I cannot fault Zusak’s writing. That being said, I hated the way the story intentionally went off topic. When it comes to historical novels, I prefer straight forward recounts- “The Book Thief” was the complete opposite to straight forward. The writing was imaginative but totally unnecessary!

Overall, “The Book Thief” had the potential to be a moving war time tale but failed dramatically. Whilst historically accurate, the book was written in such a way that it could not move me. I tend to be moved by straight forward facts, rather than whimsical ranting. It’s with deep regret that I say I disliked this book, as I genuinely wanted to enjoy it and give it a high rating. I would be lying if I said I could bring myself to recommend this book to anyone. Sadly, it would probably make my worst books list. I was most infuriated by the “lazy” ending. In my opinion the writer ran out of ideas and decide to turn the book into a bloodbath. I can definitely say I’ll never read “The Book Thief” again.

Rating: 3/10

(I hope to start reading “The Green Mile” when I borrow it from my aunt tomorrow. In the meantime follow my twitter @101rupert)


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