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Monday, March 10, 2014

Book Thoughts – The Book Thief

I posted a few weeks ago that I was reading The Book Thief.  I finished it about a week ago and decided I needed to write a review. 

I have a fascination to stories during the holocaust.  I don’t know what it is exactly.  It has something to do with the claims of so many in Germany “that had no idea” what was going on.  It’s also the stories of survival.  How very strong the human soul is.  I say soul as sometimes I truly believe that is what holds people here on this earth.  When the body wants to give up, it’s the fighting of the soul that holds on.  That’s me though. 

I picked up the book simply because I wanted to see the movie.  I try to always read the book before seeing the movie of a book.  It’s a quirk of mine.  Had I not wanted to see the movie, I never would have picked up this book. I wouldn’t have known it was out there.  I am so very happy that I did. 

This book was the story from a different view.  The view of death and the story of one girl, one family, that didn’t choose to look away.  That didn’t choose to pretend it wasn’t happening. It tells of their struggles, their own bouts of hunger, their own moments in the face of violence and death. 

Here is the book description stolen from Amazon:

  It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

  Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who 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. 

  In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.




That is such a bare bones description if I have every read one.  This was a story of love.  Love for our parents.  Love for our siblings.  Love for our friends and neighbors.  Love of life.  It’s also a story of fear.  Fear of the color of your eyes or hair.  Fear of death and dying.  Fear of being left behind.  Fear of the unknown.  Yes, there is book thievery.  Yes, there is accordion playing.  But these are only the outside moments of the story.  It’s the people met along the journey that make this book what is. 

Liesel is a wonderful character.  The author brings her to life with such color and emotion that you find yourself cheering her along and crying right beside her.  Yes, I spent several moments during the read of this book with tears coursing down my cheeks.  I am not much of a crier either.  I couldn’t help myself. 

The secondary characters, didn’t feel secondary to me.  The were alive and front and center, holding hands with Liesel during her journey.  

The first chapter or two were a bit slow.  I’m so sorry to say this, but I don’t want someone to read the first chapter and think, what the hell is this crap?  Get past the first chapter or two and you won’t be sorry.  If you are, feel free to contact me and tell me how much you hated it and why and how it’s all my fault you read it in the first place. 

Let me know what you think or thought of the book.  I really want to know. Have a great week everyone!

ctny

9 comments:

  1. Hi Courtney,

    You know how, sometimes in an interview, the person will ask you if you've ever read a book you wished you had written? Up until I read The Book Thief a year ago, I always said no. But from the day I began that book, until I finished it about 3 days later, I have wished I had written it. The depth of character, of understanding, the emotions that lie hidden and then suddenly spring to the surface, all this and much more, make this one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. I have mixed feelings about the movie: if it doesn't follow the book line for line and page for page I'm going to be angry and upset. How dare they take a book of this caliber and cheapen it by not telling the story EXACTLY as on each page? So...since often the movie doesn't follow the book closely, I'm torn, and afraid to go see it. Tell you what...you go see it, and then tell me if it follows the book! LOL

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Mikki. I am waiting for the movie to come out on DVD so anytime now. I'll be sure to let you know if its worth the time. The book was so good, I can't imagine the movie is as well done.

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  2. I'm so glad you loved the book as much as I did. I'm also kind of fascinated with all things 'Holocaust' and can watch those documentaries for hours, horrified at the things that went on right under people's noses. Can you imagine the fear that those victims lived with?
    I loved the POV, and like Mikki, feel that this is the one book I wish I had written. Your review is awesome, Courtney.

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    1. This was one of the easiest posts I have written in a while. I really felt this book and my thoughts and opinions just poured out. Haven't felt that way about a book in awhile. So glad I picked it up.

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  3. I always have to read a book before a movie, too. It spoils the book otherwise, and you can't picture things with your own imagination. I am really intrigued by this book, and I'm adding it to my reading list! Thank you.

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    1. Definitely hunt down the book, Carrie. Well worth your time and energy. Oh and thanks for stopping over.

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  4. I'm so glad you warned us about the first 2 chapters because I'm one of those that will get bored and put the book aside if it doesn't grab me right away. But I must say your review has grabbed me and I'm going to have to read this sucker! Great review and thanks for sharing!

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    1. I was a bit annoyed with the first chapter. All the hype and that was it? Then I got past it and wow. Give it a go, Allyn. I think you will like it.

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  5. Courtney,

    I've nominated you for the Sunflower Award. Check it out http://allynstotz.blogspot.com/2014/03/last-week-spotlight-was-on-author.html

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