The Book Thief
Mr B's review
This has been one of my favourite books for years – it’s a great example of YA fiction that really can be read by anyone at any age. The story is narrated with brilliant dry humour and poignancy by Death, as a young girl, Liesel, grows up with foster parents in Nazi Germany, their lives upended when they decide to shelter a Jewish man in their basement. It’s a fantastic testimony to the magical power of books and words to unite people and bring hope, and an incredibly rich story that manages to be heart-breaking without being completely depressing.
‘Life affirming, triumphant and tragic . . . masterfully told. . . but also a wonderful page-turner’ Guardian
‘Brilliant and hugely ambitious’ New York Times
HERE IS A SMALL FACT – YOU ARE GOING TO DIE
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION – THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH
What readers are saying about The Book Thief:
***** ‘I loved every page of this book. So many great quotes, observations on humanity and images…I just didn’t want it to end.
***** ‘I loved this book. It is not only one of the best I’ve read this year, it is one of the best I’ve ever read.’
***** ‘This is the sort of book the restores your faith in humanity and leaves you feeling uplifted, even when it makes you shed a tear.
“Extraordinary, resonant and relevant, beautiful and angry.” — Lisa Hilton * Sunday Telegraph * “…a beautifully balanced piece of storytelling…Unsettling, thought-provoking, life affirming, triumphant and tragic, this is a novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told. It is an important piece of work, but also a wonderful page-turner.” * Guardian * “A moving work which will make many eyes brim.” — Marianne Brace * Independent on Sunday * “This is a weighty novel worthy of universal acclaim. A sense of dread prevades this beautifully written novel. As The Book Thief draws to a close, Death says: “There’s a multitude of stories that i allow to distract me as I work.” The story of the Book Thief, who tried to change the world in her own small way, proves one formidable and inspiring distraction.” — Lianne Kolirin * The Daily Express * “Brilliant and hugely ambitious … the kind of book that could be life-changing” * New York Times Book Review * “…breathtakingly good.” — Becky Stradwick, Buyer, Borders * The Bookseller * “A magical tale.” * Elle * “…a fantastic book…it packs a huge emotional punch.” — Angela Lockton, The Golden Treasury, London * The Bookseller * “A tonic much needed amid the ominous menace of an era of such calamity.” — Alexandra Hamlyn * FT magazine * “Quirky, engaging and beautifully written” * Woman and Home * “His faith in the transformative power of storytelling bestows this gentle but worthwhile novel with its own narrative strength and power.” — Claire Allfree * Metro * “Absorbing and searing” * Washington Post * “A major achievement” * People * “Deserves a place on the shelf with The Diary of Anne Frank – set to become a classic” * USA Today * “Zusak makes his ostensibly gloomy subject bearable in the same way Kurt Vonnegut did in Slaughterhouse 5, with grim, darkly consoling humour” * Time * “Zusak’s playfulness with language leavens the horror and makes the theme more resonant – words can save your life …It’s a measure of how sucessfully Zusak has humanized these characters that even though we know they are doomed, it’s no less devastating when Death finally reaches them” * Publishers Weekly * “One of the most highly anticipated young-adult books in years” * The Wall Street Journal * “‘Elegant, philosophical and moving. A work to read slowly and savour. Beautiful and important” * Kirkus Reviews * “Both gripping and touching, a work that kept me up late into the night feverishly reading the last 300 pages” * Cleveland Plain-Dealer * “Zusak’s novel is a highwire act of inventiveness and emotional suppleness” * The Australian *
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