Friday, 4 May 2012
Book Love: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
It's been a LONG time since I have posted a Book Love post (and a BIHTEL post) so I thought I'd write a bit about The Book Thief.
Reading this book was strange because I couldn't understand some of what was happening and the narrative from Death was unusual. As Death was the narrator, I had a feeling that we would see the life of someone who would die. I won't mention any more of that if you don't want a spoiler.
In History lessons we were taught that Nazi Germany was an evil place full of evil people and were always told about Hitler and his crimes. But it was rare to see what life was like for people living in Nazi Germany and how their lives were affected by what was happening.
This was a fantastic book in my opinion. We see the life of a girl, Liesel, who is living with foster parents in Nazi Germany. She is an innocent girl surrounded by horror. But this is not a depressing tale. I wouldn't call it happy either but it's somewhere in the middle. There are moments where you'll smile and moments where you'll feel sad. You see how Nazi Germany affected now only gypsies, Jews, homosexuals and the disabled but how it affected the lives of ordinary people who were victims of the brutal regime.
I wouldn't call it a novel and see it as a fictitious account of history documented in a long book. In novels, there are usually a clear set of chapters where the pace is steady and then peaks towards the end. The Book Thief was different. While the pace was steady mostly, there were moments where it dived but it picked up again.
Why do I love this book?
I didn't care too much about the characters themselves but understood what they were going through. I was able to see what was going in the book and why they were reacting. When I was done reading, I saw the Nazi regime from a different viewpoint: the ordinary citizen's life. Plus, I read this while studying Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany so it was fascinating to see history without the facts and figures that plague the majority of History courses out there.
And for anyone who hasn't read this, be prepared for a book that will require effort. Although I love this book, it was heavy and required effort. This is not the Jersey Shore of Literature.