Wednesday, January 4

The Book Thief: Book Review

by Markus Zusak

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.
Reviewed by Womble Dean

In rating a book with a number of stars, I usually have to round up or down.  This book was not rounded in any degree;  It really is a full five stars as far as I'm concerned.  There aren't many books this perfect.  Everything I can say about it will fail in describing its true beauty.  Set in Nazi Germany, the story revolves around a young girl and her family and friends in a poor neighborhood.  It's one of those stories that shows the brilliant sheen of character development and incredible relationships that are forged in the furnace of brutal hardships.   Warning, you may cry if you read this book.  I listen to books on CD while I'm at work as an animator and my eyes were getting runny at many points during the story.  My co-worker sitting a few feet away from me might have thought that it was the cute little puppy I was animating that was making me get all emotional, but it really was the book, honest.  I don't like giving much away in a book review, it spoils the surprise.  If you like being reminded that you have a heart somewhere deep inside you, read the damn book!

Oh, I should also mention that there's a lot of swearing in case you have sensitive ears.  Most of it is in German, but they give you the translations too, so it's a lot of fun.  Nothing too nasty.  Trust me, I looked up the list of German swear words online because I wanted to use the German word for "damn" above.  Surprisingly, I couldn't find it on the list that seemed to scroll down forever!  I think I need to wash my eyes and brain out after reading all of those.