Book 101: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Finished reading on January 18th 2014

Rating: 6/10

Do you ever feel like you are criticizing something a lot more than you usually would just because something’s really popular among people?

Maybe I’m just a vogon (hint: Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), but I didn’t seem to enjoy it as much as I might have if I wouldn’t have been hearing all the people on booktube talking about how great this book is.

The likelier explanation is that I’m a heartless vogon…

The Book Thief tells the story of a girl who gets sent to another family together with her younger brother, because their mother can’t feed them. Unfortunately the boy dies on the way to the new parents, the girl sees it, funeral etc ensues and a book gets stolen.

And then there’s the whole rest of the book telling you about the girls’s life, how she learns to read and how her parents hide a Jew in their basement, end what books get stolen.

For me the characters seem a bit shallow, or empty inside – yes it’s well enough explained why they do things, but there’s just something missing, they could easily have not done it…

It’s a little dream-like – you see people do things, and talk, but it all happens in silence (yes, even when the characters in the book talk, it seems as if there’s only silence).

Although given how much praise the book has gotten, maybe I just wasn’t really seeing the book, and it was me that was shallow, and I wasn’t really interested in the characters in the first place….

I do see why people like it – kind of milder, not-so-violent and not-so-Jewish, no concentration-camp another Anne Frank story with a semi-happy ending…

 

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4 thoughts on “Book 101: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

  1. I’m a little over half way through The Book Thief right now, and I feel the same way. I couldn’t decide if I was being overly critical or if it really is just overrated. I’m still going to finish it though, so maybe something wild change for me.

    • I was also hoping that the ending would be more than the rest of it, and in a way it certainly is. Let me know what you think, when you’ve finished reading it!

  2. Agree with you about books being “popular” so everyone jumps on the bandwagon and are all gushing about how good it is… but then you read it, and its like, “what the ??” This was one and another one was “The Night Circus” – have you read that one?
    Get so disappointed when books are overrated!

    • I haven’t read “The Night Circus”, I try to not go into reading popular books with any expectations, although sometimes it seems I’m more likely to try and find any and all mistakes in popular books, which unfortunately makes it more likely to end up disappointed in the book.

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