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84. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. 2006. 535 pages.
This book was never on my intended reading list, but I’m glad I read it. During parent-teacher conferences last fall, the mother of Lexi
remembered that I am a Holocaust instructor, and sent this book to me to read. I am grateful for her awesome memory. I read this book because it was on my desk waiting for me, and I had nothing else to read at the time. It is a Holocaust novel narrated unnervingly but fittingly by none other than-Death, the Grim Reaper. Through his far-reaching eyes, readers learn about Liesel Meminger and her foster parents, Hans and Rosa Huberman. The book, in its special way, absorbed me into its plot through the cunningly unique narration. Once I realized death was the first person narrator, I became hooked on the plot. Death is the grand star, of course, ushering off the newly deads’ souls in his cold but careful arms. The omniscient narration lends a dark and haunting feeling to a story that, in its own right, is stark and disturbing. As the narration tells us, “I wanted to tell the book thief many things about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell Liesel about these things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race—that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and actions so damning and brilliant.” Paradoxically, the narrator concludes by telling readers he “is haunted by humans.” Feel the chill? ****+ = Four and One half stars.  

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One of the best books I ever read, and would recommend it to anyone who has a love of historical fiction.

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My all-time favorite book. I had to read it in about two weeks for school, but it was still great. Those of you who say you stopped in the middle of it, I have to say, the beginning was quite slow, but it gets MUCH better. Please give it another chance.

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This was our June book club book and honestly, I was really glad to re-read and discuss this book. It is a powerful novel and though I enjoyed it more the first time that I read it (in just one sitting), I savored it more on this re-read two years later. It is such a wonderful book of beauty amidst the ugly brutality of WWII. Truly, it is very well done with a lot of writing skill. I am looking forward to reading more of this talented author's work.  

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The story is told by the narrator "Death". He first meets Liesel Meminger when he comes to get her little brother. He is fascinated by her for some reason and follows her life. Illiterate, Liesel steals t book "A Grave Digger's Manual" from the men burying her brother. This book is used by her foster father to teacher her how to read. It is one of many books she steals as books become more important to her. This book is beautifully worded, which is great since the underlying theme seems to be how important words are, and the good or damage they can do. Set during the time of Hitler it describes the plight of so many during that period. I was touched by how loving and caring her foster father was and angered by how abusive her foster mother was 

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A thrilling novel by Markus Zusak, has a very new way of telling a story. The whole book is narrated by Death and the discription is utterly vivid. By the end of the book, my tears were unconrollable as Liesel Meminger's life takes so many unkown turns. This is a true masterpiece.

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This is very much an adult book, it just happens to have a young girl as the main character. The setting is Nazi Germany during the second World War and the story is told by the personified spirit of Death; a sympathetic Death who is worn out and tired from years of gathering up the souls of the recently departed. Death is so discouraged by man's inhumanity to man that when he sees something special in young Liesle Meminger, the book thief, against his better judgment he feels something for her and follows her story over the years. The story begins in 1939 and Liesel is nine, almost ten-years-old. She has had a miserable life by anyone’s standards, but she’s resilient.
She lives with her foster parents in a poor suburb of Munich Germany next-door to Rudy Steiner. (READ: some facts about Rudy, pg. 48). Life is grim, but Liesel finds hope in spite of Hitler, in spite of poverty and in spite of fear. Liesel also discovers the power of words both to cause harm, as in Third Reich propaganda, and to heal, when her foster father and the Jewish man they hide in their basement help her learn to read.
Death calls Liesel “a perpetual survivor --- an expert at being left behind.”
I have never read a story about war and love and life and death that has broken my heart so completely.
 

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I recently just finished reading this book. I can honestly say it is one of the best books I have ever read. I am a big bookworm, I have never read a book quite like this one. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys reading about struggles, love, and also learning a bit about history. That is one main reason i like this book, its a story of a young girl alive during world war 2. Its very very good. 

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I really don't know what post modern means. If something is described as post-modern, I figure the person describing it didn't really understand it and is hiding behind a term that few understand but that many, even the most uneducated cretins, bandy about freely.
As I am one of those uneducated cretins, you may wish to take this review with that proverbial grain of salt.
Death narrates. The flow is odd and disjunct. Phrases are turned on their ears. The language is often overwrought trying to mask itself as effortless; the language of magical realism pulled out of Marquez and Esquivel and plonked down in magic-less Nazi Germany. This book is working hard; almost working too hard.
But through all of that, the characters come through. Perhaps in spite of the writing. Or perhaps because of it. I don't know. I am, as previously mentioned, an uneducated cretin.
After the first 20 pages I thought to myself "sheesh" and seriously considered putting the darn thing down and never picking it up again. But I pressed on, not because I hoped it would get better but because a book started and not finished tends to taunt me mercilessly.
As I forced myself to read, I stopped noticing the clunky structure and the outrageous use of typical words. Maybe I got accustomed. Maybe it got better. Cretins can only guess at things of this nature.
But the book ended up telling its compelling story in a way that I ended up caring about what happened to these characters who spoke and acted like no one I've ever known. Or ever will know. Who lived in a world I hope never to know. A world described with phraseology that tried its best to be perfectly peculiar while simultaneously being distinctly descriptive.
I liked it. And it moved me.
Score points, I guess, for the borderline obsessive compulsive need to finish what I start.
 

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I absolutley love this book. It has a wonderful way of describing things and i love the narration from deaths point of view. I love the character Liesel and her Pappa Hans, i especially love Rudy, but Rosa is also an awsome character, i think that my favorite character, however, is Max. The whole book is heartbreaingly wonderfull. I recomend you read this book but make sure you are ready, it will make you cry. 


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