“…a beautifully balanced piece of storytelling…Unsettling, thought-provoking, life affirming, triumphant and tragic, this is a novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

This is a strange one and I don’t really like the way the various sections are written. That was why I gave up on it when I first tried it. I bought it from Waterstones when I saw it, solely because of the number of people who said they loved it and how good it was. Therefore, I was disappointed with it, and back on the shelf it went. After nearly a year I decided to give it another go.

I began by re-reading the shout on the back cover. Narrated by Death thinks I, might be interesting, so keep at this time. And keep at it I did and finally got it finished last night. It part tells the story of WW2 and how it effects the poorer part or one small area on the outskirts of Munich, mainly Himmel Street in Molching. A foster girl living with an elderly couple is the thief of the title, who learns to read and has an urge to read more and more, hence the thieving. Along with her best friend Rudy, they get themselves into all sorts of scrapes, but always come out of them with only minor bumps and knocks.

I can’t think of any book that tells of the grinding poverty and fear here within the UK during the same period. Times were grim though, I remember my mam telling me about it; but no full book. In Germany though, there was also the race factor which came into play. German Jews were rounded up, along with Gypsies and disabled people, all because they didn’t fit into the new racially pure German ideal. Informants were a constant worry too, along with the fanatical Nazis living among them. All in all, these people lived hungry and terrified lives until 1945.

And so I stuck with the story, and boy, what a story it is. I can safely say The Book Thief is one of, if not the greatest books I have ever read. Need I say more about it?

 

Reviewed by:

Ron Clark

Added 6th August 2016

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Ron Clark

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

I have read many books about the Holocaust, about the horrors of war, and every time I have one of those books in my hands I question how much true they hold. How can someone actually understand what implies this kind of tragedies.

A tragic historical book always makes me cry, so when in my last birthday someone gave me The Book Thief, I decided I could live without reading it, now after finishing, I realized reading it was necessary. Now I am glad I couldn’t find anything else to read this week.

My week reading (The Book Thief) was actually bittersweet, and although I didn’t cry with this one I can honestly say is one of the books that has forced me to really think and to take a few minutes to consider life.

In this book I found a girl that survived through books, a girl that survived reading, something that -loving to read as much as I do- gives me hope. I found a fist fighter that forced me to consider why fighting is important, why is important to continue through all. I found a painter and accordionist that help me to understand the small pleasures of life. I found a boy whose love for running made me realize prejudice are imposed by grown-ups, and that confirmed my faith in Humanity.

The Book Thief might not be my favorite one, but it’s a book that taught me something. It’s a book that showed me that even from the darker moments of our history we could take small moments, small lives or narrations that are worth it.

 

Reviewed by:

A.B

Added 30th August 2015

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

This book far exceeded my expectations and that is saying something since I had already heard so many great things about it. It has been on my list to read for awhile and I didn’t get around to reading it until the movie came out on DVD. I find it heresy to watch a movie before I have read the book! This book was fabulous!

The story is set in WWII in Nazi Germany. A young girl and her brother are on a train with their mom to be given up to a foster home in Molching, Germany.

We know that her mother can no longer care for her children because the word is that her parents are Communists and are at risk of being sent to the concentration camps.

Leisel’s brother dies on the train and that is the first time death meets Leisel. The story unfolds as Leisel adjusts to her new family and the people she comes to know in her community.

Although the book didn’t end the way I wanted it to I have to remind myself that of the fact that war is not pretty. It will end with sad consequences every time and good people will suffer right along with the enemy and that is a fact of life. There are many profound moments in this book as one sees the way Death sees life.

The Book Thief did a very good job of portraying life in Nazi Germany and sheds light on the fact that not all Germans were supportive of Hitler and his evil ways. There were some who were very kind and sympathetic and didn’t deserve to suffer the rule of an evil dictator.

The characters in this novel are so diverse and brilliantly well developed. I know them all so well. When I finished the book, I can not express in words how much I will miss these characters. They filled my heart with both hope and sadness, but most of all, they shattered my heart.

This is one of those timeless books that I would recommend to every reader. I feel that every person who reads this book will come away from it touched.

If you have only seen the movie you have been done a great injustice. Read the book.

 

Reviewed by:

Strawberry Fields

Added 18th August 2015

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Strawberry Fields

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