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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review of The Book Thief


Hello Readers, 

I know, this really isn't quite review time but I thought I would encourage you with a little  comparison review from the New York Times.  Included  at the bottom of this post is only the first few paragraphs but if you want to read the entire review go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/27/books/27masl.html

It is a fascinating thing to try and write on this blog about a book we are all reading and yet we don't want to talk about the book specifically before we are all done.  How does it feel to be Leisel?  or her mother at the beginning of the book?  What stories are told about Germany, Japan, and America during the 1930's and 1940's.  I am glad I was born into the time I was!  How about you?

I am over 50% done, my dear husband is working on it!  It's over 500 pages!  Get cracking!  Dear Sister is way ahead of us.  How many of you out there are reading this book?  

What else are you reading?  I got some great suggestions for future months by Jennifer Christopher this past week and they are on my list to read.  If you have submission please submit!  Are you in other reading clubs?  What books are you reading there?  Is it a library club? Friends, book store?  

Have a happy day.  

Barbara

Stealing to Settle a Score With Life
Markus Zusak has not really written "Harry Potter and the Holocaust." It just feels that way. "The Book Thief" is perched on the cusp between grown-up and young-adult fiction, and it is loaded with librarian appeal. It deplores human misery. It celebrates the power of language. It may encourage adolescents to read. It has an element of the fanciful. And it's a book that bestows a self-congratulatory glow upon anyone willing to grapple with it.
"The Book Thief" resembles other, better novels that have been widely popular. Its roundabout approach to the Holocaust suggests "Everything Is Illuminated" Lite. Its embattled, feisty young heroine has a Potterish appeal as she makes her way through a mystifying adult world. There is a Vonnegut whimsy to the mordant turns of fate here. And Mr. Zusak's narrator offers constant manipulative asides, as in the clever Lemony Snicket books, although in this case wit is not much of an option. The narrator is Death.
How can a tale told by Death be mistaken for young-adult storytelling? Easily: because this book's narrator is sorry for what he has to do. "To me, war is like the new boss who expects the impossible," he confides, on one of many occasions when he campaigns to win readers' approval. "You see?" he says, about the demise of one of the book's best-liked characters. "Even death has a heart."
The youthful sensibility of "The Book Thief" also contributes to a wider innocence. While it is set in Germany during World War II and is not immune to bloodshed, most of this story is figurative: it unfolds as symbolic or metaphorical abstraction. The dominoes lined up on its cover are compared to falling bodies. The book thief of the title is a schoolgirl named Liesel Meminger, and the meaning of her stealing is not left unexplained. She has been robbed of a brother, who dies at the start of the book. Her mother disappears, and then Liesel is left in foster care. A great deal has been taken away from her. She steals books to settle the score.

1 comment:

  1. I heard that "Defending Jacob" was a very good book! It's a new one. Just a suggestion.....

    I am in a library book club as well. Their last few books have not been very good, so I have not participated. This month I wouldn't have had time anyhow because "The Book Thief" was pretty long.

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