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The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#16  Postby Redlegs » 28 Apr 2012, 01:55

Cnc_theft_auto wrote:I started reading this a few days ago after lots of hype at my school, but I find the writing style a little plain and boring. To me the story progression is slow, although I have only read about 40 pages so far...does the rest of the book get any better? I'm going to read it anyway, but I just want to know what I'm getting into.

Read the other posts here - I recommend you stick with it and you will be rewarded. :D
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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#17  Postby Cnc_theft_auto » 28 May 2012, 15:25

I just finished it yesterday and loved it! The first 150 pages bored me to death but after that I LOVED it!!
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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#18  Postby primrose777 » 13 Jun 2012, 05:52

I have just completed The Book Thief. Unfortunately I finished it during break at work... and cried..... not a great look.
I don't think I have read a book that has moved me as much, not only by the content and story but by the shape and structure of the words. Markus Zusak writes in such a way that words that would not normally be melded together are constructed in such a way that my heart was penetrated and the words lingered for a very long time.
The subject is not an easy one. WW2, Hitler, The Jews and the terrible inhumanity to man. I thought it a stroke of genius that the narrator was death, and very apt for the time. I have never read a book abut WW2 from the German peoples perspective,those caught in the crossfire if you like and found that insight very interesting. I think it can be forgotten that there were probably many Germans who were as appalled by Hitler as the rest of the world.
I thought this book brilliantly written, so sad, so moving, the characters vivid yet ordinary in an extraordinary situation.
I finish with these words... some of my favourite.

" Papa sat with me tonight. He brought his accordion down and sat close to where Max used to sit. I often look at his fingers and face when he plays. The accordion breathes. There are lines on his cheeks. They look drawn on,and for some reason, when I see them, I want to cry. It is not for any sadness or pride. I just like the way they move and change. Sometimes I think my Papa is an accordion. When he looks ay me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes."

Beautiful.
There are years that ask questions and years that answer. Zora Neale Hurston.
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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#19  Postby Maud Fitch » 13 Jun 2012, 07:16

Great to read your review, Primrose. As you rightly said, it is a very moving story.

On the topic of WWII, have you read "Maus", a graphic novel by American cartoonist Art Spiegelman?
I find the cartoons overwhelming, the message is very powerful.

It's hard for me to explain because it evokes similar reactions as "The Book Thief". Art Spiegelman was born in Sweden to parents who were Holocaust survivors. His brother, Richieu, did not survive, having been poisoned by an aunt in order to avoid capture by the Nazis four years before Art was born. He immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1951.

Growing up, his mother would occasionally talk about Auschwitz, but his father didn't want him to know about it. Because his father wouldn't talk openly about the Holocaust, Spiegelman interviews him about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. The book (originally serialised) uses post-modern techniques and depicts different races of humans as different breeds of animal, with Jews as mice - hence "Maus" - Germans as cats and Poles as pigs. Sometimes labelled memoir, biography, history, fiction, a mixture of genres with a chilling subtitle A Survivor's Tale - My Father Bleeds History.

It was the first comic book to win a Pulitzer Prize. But definitely not one for kids.
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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#20  Postby primrose777 » 16 Jun 2012, 02:31

@ Maud. Maus sounds very interesting, will try and source it and NOT read it to the kids :D :D
There are years that ask questions and years that answer. Zora Neale Hurston.
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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#21  Postby michelet3005 » 14 Nov 2012, 18:36

I had never heard of this book before until I was in the store one day and randomly picked it up. Sounded alright but wasn't going to get it until a woman walked past and said it was amazing. She wasn't wrong. I absolutely LOVED it. I don't think I've ever read a book from the point of view of Death. It was so moving! A definate must read!
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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#22  Postby MelMariah » 17 Nov 2012, 21:28

I think you speak for the majority in great words, Maud.
Everything you've said is perfectly correct. Zusak has done an amazing job on this book and it's definitely a favourite of mine.
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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#23  Postby ambvoz1920 » 23 Dec 2012, 19:24

Wonderful, heartrending book. I got it after a recommendation from my grandmother (who's literary opinion I highly value), and incredibly moved by the prose and character relationships. The premise, the narrator as death, was such an attention grabber, especially given the subject matter. I've been fascinated and haunted by Holocaust and WW2 stories, fiction and historical, since I was young, and this one I couldn't put down. I'm going to email my Mimi and ask her to mail it to me so I can read it again : )
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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#24  Postby MelMariah » 24 Dec 2012, 03:41

Are there any other book recommendations for the reader who enjoyed this one?
I love stories of WW2, for no particular reason. It'd be great if someone could recommend other WW2 stories, not including the Boy in Striped Pajamas :)
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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#25  Postby Fran » 24 Dec 2012, 06:07

MelMariah wrote:Are there any other book recommendations for the reader who enjoyed this one?
I love stories of WW2, for no particular reason. It'd be great if someone could recommend other WW2 stories, not including the Boy in Striped Pajamas :)


@Mel
If you haven't read Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada I highly recommend it.
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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#26  Postby MelMariah » 24 Dec 2012, 17:07

Thanks, I'll look it up :D
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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#27  Postby jester184 » 03 Jan 2013, 16:25

This book is one that stayed with me for a long time after I finished it! I really liked the approach of having Death as narrator. I found him to be an extremely well-balanced character, not merely a non-feeling grim reaper, but a character possessing internal debates. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a thought-provoking, unique read.
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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#28  Postby lawz_1 » 05 Jan 2013, 09:02

MelMariah wrote:Are there any other book recommendations for the reader who enjoyed this one?
I love stories of WW2, for no particular reason. It'd be great if someone could recommend other WW2 stories, not including the Boy in Striped Pajamas :)


I think All That I Am by Anna Funder is an excellent book with WWII as the background. Not set right in the action, but a beautiful story about people working against the Nazis.
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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#29  Postby blewis15 » 26 Jan 2013, 21:17

I had to put this book down several times and come back to it. It was just too depressing for me to read at once. The lines I remember most from this book are, “Five hundred souls. I carried them in my fingers, like suitcases. Or I'd throw them over my shoulder. It was only the the children I carried in my arms.” I teared up quite a few times during this book.
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Re: The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Post Number:#30  Postby Ellie Woods » 11 Feb 2013, 13:18

When I finished this book a few days ago I sort of just sat there with it clutched to my chest. I found it very hard to part with (it was a friend's copy). I had become so enamored with the characters, and even the narrator! Imagine that, feeling compassion for Death! I truly did feel the loss after the bombing on Himmel St....This author made that time in that town come alive for me. It was written with beautiful descriptive prose and witty humor. I really enjoyed imagining how the light looked in each of the scenes where Death described it. This is definately a book I will revisit again.
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