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A Short Book Review – “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

I went treasure hunting earlier today, well officially yesterday in 2 minutes (almost midnight here). I had been hoping for months to pickup a hard cover copy of “The Book Thief”, alas no luck, however I picked up a decent reading copy today.. I had hoped to find some time to read it over the next week…

Once I started reading, I could not put the book down. I got through a 3rd, thought maybe I can get halfway through today… Half way came then 2/3rds until I had finished… In a 10 hour session I got through the 580+ page book. It was so easy to read, simple language with a spattering of the occasional German (usually with the English version following shortly.

Without any spoilers, the narrator of the story was Death – and it followed the story of a young German girl through out WWII in Germany, her foster family & friends. The writing was dynamic, it jumped a little in the timeline, I think this made for more compelling story telling. I’ve not encountered a book previously from a German perspective… Parts of the book reminded me of some of Maxim Gorky’s autobiographical writing, it was a pleasure to read. The author does an amazing job of presenting fiction in a realistic enough way.

Initially I assumed this was some sort of teen fiction, but the tone is adult orientated… the themes deal with concepts such as death, loss, humanity and also inhumanity. It was a lovely read and not what I was expecting. I don’t read anywhere as much as I used to, but I feel a rising need to tackle more books. Really glad I found a reading copy of this today. I picked up another Markus Zusak book a few weeks ago, and I may read that soon.

I would thoroughly recommend reading this book, in the right headspace I think it would be possible to read in one weekend (yes I read it in a 10 hour session – but that required abandoning all responsibilities for the entire day).

Check out the blog for more book reviews and treasure hunting adventures.

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