H00t #25 The Book Thief

I am pleased to report that I have finally finished reading The Book Thief.

Firstly, can I say that Markus Zusak is lovely, cute and funny. I loved hearing him talk about writing at the Fremantle Children's Literature Centre last year.

So, I WANTED to like this book. I know that MANY people love it and much has been written about it, so I'm going to be brief in explaining why I don't.
  • The narrative point of view, while original, didn't really do much for me. I found the foreshadowing unnecessary and disruptive.
  • This was a LONG book which needed editing. Apparently it started out as a novella but ended up at 584 pages!
  • While I loved some of the characters, Rudy and Max, I struggled with Liesel. I'm not really sure why.
  • Another book on the holocaust? Really?
  • The colour of the sky- WAY too many times.
So, opening myself up for all sorts of derision here, what was it about The Book Thief that you loved? I'd really like to know because I start teaching it in a little over a week :)

Until then, happy tales,

Barking Owl


  1. I agree, it needed an editor didn't it. It was overly long and descriptive and not in a Tim Winton way. That said I loved the idea of the narrator as death and how it challenges our perceptions of it.

  2. It will be interesting to see how they do that death bit in the upcoming movie - maybe they wont?! I liked it, can't say I remember all the bits about the sky :-)

  3. No derision here - I loved the book. I just thought it was a really interesting narrative viewpoint with which to tackle the holocaust - I loved the relationship between Liesl and the boxer, and although I was expecting it to all end up horribly I was so freaking happy when they were reunited at the end. I also loved the love of books that was throughout the whole story - but when it all boils down to it it was the relationships that made me love the book so much. Between Liesl and her friend, the strange and strained relationship with the mayor's wife, the friendship with the boxer... I just thought they were really well done and never made the book boring for me.

  4. I actually listened to it on audio and I think that contributed to my liking it. Sometimes it is easier to hear a book and like it, then to read a book and like it. The Book Thief really lent itself to a story-telling format. And I liked how it played out. And Death as a narrator was really good.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.