Book Review: The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak


This is a heart-warming book. It is a wonderfully narrated yarn. It is poignant, funny and overall, a reminder of a world much more difficult than the one we live in today. The Book Thief is based around wartime Munich, and in particular the  33 Himmel Street where the Hubermanns live.

The story is narrated by Death itself. It is centred around the life of the book thief, a little girl called Liesel. Death gives her the nickname of the book thief after she steals a book as her little brother dies. Thereafter Death takes a macabre interest in her life, showing emotion, love and a hatred for its own hand in life, or death if you prefer.

Markus Zusak writes with great ease in this book and the use of Death to narrate the story is borderline genius and is not what you think. This is a tale of love, life, death, happiness, sadness, triumph, elation, deflation and all the rest. It really thunders along and is what is known as a ‘page-turner’, the short anecdotes and mini-stories really makes the whole piece quite exciting and gripping. The Guardian described this as ‘A novel of breath-taking scope, masterfully told.’ They are correct: it has the best closing chapter I have read since I Am Legend. 9/10

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