Short Review on The Book Thief


A short review on a Young Adult novel titled, ‘The Book Thief’, written by Markus Zusak.

Why listen rather than read the book you might ask? I have been collecting audible books for a couple of years now, and when I want a book and don’t have it in my library, I am able to download it at once. Besides, I like to listen to books while I am busy at other things. Now, there is an added attraction to listening, rather than reading. I have developed cataracts and my vision is deteriorating.

My granddaughter read the book at the same time. She is twelve now. When she came over to visit, we rented the movie on PPV. This was an added bonus.

From the moment I began to listen to the book on, I was captivated.

I wish that I had written a daily or weekly account to help me remember certain things I could have used to write a good review. Perhaps doing so would be a spoiler for you readers who are planning to read this novel. There are a few things I will mention hoping it will not discourage you, but rather encourage you to read as soon as you can grasp or borrow a copy, if need be.

One other thing about listening rather than reading this novel I would like to mention. The narrator was so fantastic. He sounded like a German and could pronounce the German words exact. Also, at the beginning the author gives the meaning of the German words, so you are actually learning a bit of German as you read.

Liesel is the main character and a foster child. Something that is very out of the ordinary about the novel is the narrator himself…Death.

She moves in with a family in Munich on Hummel St. Her life with her foster mum is satisfactory, but her foster father and she become extraordinary soul mates. Papa teaches her how to read her first stolen book. The Grave Diggers Manual. She stole it at her brother’s funeral.

Hitler reigns over Germany and has decided to create an elite German society. Jews to him are not humans. As you know, he tries to exterminate the entire race.

Liesel’s foster family hides Max, a Jew, in their cellar for quite a time. Then when it gets too dangerous, Max leaves. During the time Max is living in the cellar, Liesel and he become good friends. She reads to him and he paints to pass the time.

Papa plays the accordion. The family thrives on watery soups, and scraps of bread. The story, written about the times of World War 11 in Nazi Germany, is an eye-opener. The scenes are vivid. But the story is wonderfully woven. You will find as you read that it is almost impossible to put the book down.

This is not a great review I realize. Leaving any parts out is like ripping pages out and discarding parts of the story. I find myself unable to write a decent short review. There is no justice in this, and so I will leave it up to you to read the entire book for a scene-by-scene take. Hope you enjoy the novel as I have.

As far as the movie is concerned, it was good. But I must say, like most other comparisons between books and movies, this turned out to be the same experience. The movie leaves so much out and therefore you just can’t get the fullness put forth by the author.

 Sophie Nélisse (Liesel) was born in Windsor, Ontario, but moved to Montreal with her family when she was just age 4.

She began her career at the age of seven in commercials, then made her movie debut at age 10 in the 2012 French-Canadian film Monsieur Lazhar. For her performance in the film, she won a Genie and a Jutra award for Best Supporting Actress.

Sophie then went on to play a role in Luc Picard’s 2012 feature Esimésac before being asked to audition for the lead role of a German girl in the English-language feature film The Book Thief. She landed the part and starred alongside Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson.

When not working, Sophie enjoys gymnastic classes. Her younger sister, Isabelle, is also an actress, who, among other credits, played a lead role in the 2013 horror movie Mama.




3 thoughts

  1. I think you did a wonderful review! Glad you were able to share the book in movie form with your granddaughter.

    • Very helpful to understand how some of the Germans felt about the war and how many of them suffered because of Hitler and his regime. Things don’t change though. Look at Russia and the Ukraine. Troubles everywhere.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts

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