· Bibliophilia · 2 min read

Why I like 'The Book Thief'

· The Book Thief Fiction

I had read The Book Thief book in November and have been trying to write a review ever since but I could never finds words enough to describe it. It was the greatest reading experience I have ever had. Set in the Nazi Germany and narrated by Death(the Grim Reaper), it is the story of the life of a young girl Liesel Meminger - the book thief. The book deftly highlights the themes of destruction and loss of life in war, the viciousness of the Nazi propaganda and the power of words.

A few chapters into the book, the narrator declares

Mystery bores me. It chores me. I know what happens and so do you. It’s the machinations that wheel us there that aggravate, perplex, interest, and astound me.

Not only the book does not have suspense but it derides it by telling the events in advance. Even though I love the thrill of not knowing something in advance, in this particular instance, it was this characteristic of the novel which made it special. The revelations about the future of the story help the reader to think about the event, relate it to all that is currently happening, and have a greater impact when it actually occurs.

The book never needs suspense to build upon. It has such deep characters, such rich descriptions, such an involving story and such a powerful narration that it never during the 500 pages does it loose its charm.

The author markedly highlights the Holocaust through Max - a Jew, on the run from the authorities, who is covertly sheltered by Liesel’s family, and the countless crimes committed by the Nazi party against the Jews. But above all, the narrator Death has the most memorable impact on me with his keen observations and admiration for humans. Death in the book in many ways seems more living than dead. Death can feel joy, disappointment and can get depressed. A few of my favorite lines by Death are

I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race - that rarely do I even simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.

I am haunted by humans.

Read it. You may or may not like it but it is definitely worth a try.

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