Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

It kills me sometimes, how people die

It has been a while since I read a standalone novel and this one has secretly been on my list since the movie came out. The name and the book cover do not stand out from other books, so remembering you wanted to read it, without writing down, became very difficult. But I have finally done it and do not regret it!

Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


Title & Author: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Genre: History
Release Date: March 14 2006
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Knopf Books


Here is a small fact

You are going to die

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath.
Death has never been busier.

Liesl, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmelstreet. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesl steals books. This is her story and the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

Some important information
This novel is narrated by Death.
It’s a small story, about:
a girl
an accordionist
some fanatical Germans
a Jew fist fighter
and quite a lot of thievery.

Another thing you should know
Death will visit the book thief three times.

I started on The Book Thief by Markus Zusak with an open mind. It had been a while since I read a standalone, but even a longer while since I read anything other than fantasy.

Immediately I got drawn in by the narrator, Death. He has been written with so much empathy (I am not sure if empathy is the right word, but you will understand in a bit what I mean). Death is portrayed as this kind hearted soul, tasked with carrying the departing souls to another realm. He is funny and he shows empathy for the souls of good people and caring for the main character, Liesl. I just loved him, even when he took the souls you most care about in the book way.

Liesl is kind of a tomboy, she plays soccer with the children in her street and running around town. But she also loves to read (after learning it). I think she uses reading to deal with the war, that has torn her first family apart and later tries to do the same to her new family, and the horrible things she sees, like her brother dying.

Rudy is a boy that knows what he wants and he would rather die than not be himself. I really liked how he kept trying to be Jesse Owens, even though everyone tells him not to because it is a colored man and not suited for a good German boy. And he keeps trying to get a kiss from his beloved Liesl. I liked the silliness of that small fact.

Mr. Hubermann is warm and caring man that already fought in the first war. He cares about every one and I liked that, even the people that could not even pay for his services, he painted their windows. I actually feel very sad about his demise at the end of the book.

Mrs. Hubermann to me felt like a true Second World War German. Very cold. You notice how the poverty of the people on Himmelstreet influences her and she is always hard to every one. She calls Liesl Saumensch all the time, but deep inside loves the girl never the less.

I really liked The Book Thief, I actually think it is one of my most favorite books I read this year.

The Movie

The movies was released to the public November 27 2013, with the (to me) unknown Sophie NĂ©lisse as Liesl, Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson as the Hubermanns.

I think the book is very well translated into the movie. There were no point that I thought they should have put in it and also know point that I felt were bad. I even think the accents were not too bad.

The movie was just as fun and as sad as the book. So if you don’t think you will like the narrative of the book, just watch the movie. You won’t miss a lot.

Let me know what you thought of this book and/or movie!
If you have any requests for which book I should talk about next, please let me know in the comments down below.

For now, let books enrich your life!


Leave a Reply