Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

September 19, 2016 Book review 6 ★★★★★

It’s hard to know what to say about The Book Thief by Markus Zusak that probably hasn’t already been said by thousands of other reviewers.  But when I love a book as much I loved this one, I can’t help but add in my two cents worth.

Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Published by Black Swan on September 8th 2007
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 560
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

BOOKLOVE CREATIVE Historical Tear Jerker Well Written

First Line of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak:

“Here is a small fact: You are going to die.”

5 Things I loved about The Book Thief by Markus Zusak:

The characters:

Liesel is such a strong character.  She stole my heart just like she stole Death’s heart (more about that soon).  I loved watching her progression as she slowly learnt to read and learnt the power of words.  I also loved that in the midst of war, she was also just an ordinary girl who loved street football and went stealing apples.  It hammered home the brutality of war even further.  I could actually write about every character here; her tender hearted foster dad with his huge acts of kindess or her fierce foster mother with her wicked tongue, ready wooden spoon but loving heart.  I could write about them but you’d be better off to meet them in the book as I could never do them justice.

The writing:

OMG, the writing.  I want to lick the words off the page and hope they somehow get into my blood stream and stay with me forever.

The quirky layout:

Each chapter has some key words forshadowing what’s ahead which just wet my appetite.  And then there were loads of lists, which I adored.  There is a book within the book, written by Max, a friend of Liesel’s and it was everything to me when I saw it.  I read it and my heart sang.

The feels:

I am now haunted by this book, by the story and all the characters.  It’s so beautiful, so devastating and it’s a horrific reminder of the awful events of WW2.

The narration by Death:

This was genius.  Death as we have never seen him before, death with a heart, with a gentle swoop in to gather a soul.  I’ll leave the last word to him as he is always the one who gets that.

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: five-stars


Talk to Trish:  Have you read this or seen the film?  Are you as affected as much as I am by the horrible beauty in this book?


Never miss a bookish post! Plus you get a free download - Note to Book - to document your own bookish thoughts.

Signup now and receive blog posts by email.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

6 Responses to “Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak”

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.