Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

I've got mixed feelings about this one. It's the tale of Liesel, a girl growing up in a foster home in Nazi Germany. She arrives soon after burying her brother and being separated from her mother, a political undesirable. The family who fosters her is struggling to get by and hardly appears like the ideal environment for a hurting child. But there is love and healing in Liesel's life with them and we're treated to a number of years in her life as she grows and is buffeted by the sorrows of wartime Germany. In that respect, the story is admirable. What puts me off is the narrator, Death. The Reaper comes across as a Kurt Vonnegut wannabe, trying to present the pain and suffering with a bemused indifference. The prose is not as dispassionate as Slaughterhouse Five, but it still fails to capture my heart or mind. So I guess, while there a certainly many worse books to read out there, I really couldn't give this one a recommendation.

It's just waiting room material to me.
LibraryThing link


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