Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

May 14, 2009
One of my students recommended this book to me last year. I started the book today. I'm on page 66 and I like it. It feels refreshing to read good fiction again.

The Book Thief begins with a nine year old girl, Liesel Meminger, in Nazi Germany. As she is traveling with her mother and her brother, her brother dies. Leisel picks up a book she finds by her brother's grave, left there by accident. This is the first book that the book thief, Liesel acquires. NOTE: I find it interesting that the narrator of the story is Death.

The book is targeted towards young adult readers.

May 15, 2009
I'm on page 154. Book is still good. Characters are rich. I especially like the German boy who smeared charcoal all over himself, pretending to be Jesse Owens and ran an imaginary olympic event in a local field--he was caught by his conservative father.

The book has a melancholic flavor to it; though, not in a bad way.

QUESTION: Is this book full of profanity? There is actually quite a bit of foul language in the book but it is in German. The German profanity doesn't affect me the same way that English profanity does. Should it?

May 16, 2009
QUOTE, The Book Thief, page 154. "In years to come, he would be a giver of bread, not a stealer--proof again of the contradictory human being. So much good, so much evil. Just add water."

May 20, 2009
I just finished the Book Thief. Overall, I would give it an A. It was good from beginning to end. Last night I read about 200 pages in one sitting--which is a lot of pages for me. The ending didn't make me cry...but it almost did.

I have two reservations about the book. (1) I didn't like how many fragmented sentences there were. I think the author did it intentionally but I found the fragments distracting. (2) I don't know how I felt about how he described a lot of sensory observations with respect to colors. It reminded me of thoses people who literally see in different tints when different music is playing. I don't know if this was what he was going for--but it reminded me of these people. I think that colors are important in the book but I couldn't figure out why they were important. Maybe if someone explains it's importance to me, it won't be so enigmatic.

I would highly recommend this book. Easy read but a good read.

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