Monday, January 24, 2011

The Book Thief

Sadly, I must admit that I was not expecting Markus Zusak's The Book Thief to be such a compelling novel. As an English Major, I am ashamed to admit that I thought that all of the Holocaust books and Literature I read in middle school, high school, and college would provide me with enough of a grasp of the time period. I am ashamed.

Zusak's The Book Thief proved me wrong about Holocaust Literature on a multitude of levels. First of all, as a work of historical fiction (and also as a Young Adult text--although there is some controversy as to this text's classification) I was expecting the main character to be a young girl or boy. However, the entire story is narrated by "Death" and it follows Liesel, a German girl living during the Holocaust. When she is brought to live with foster p
arents who struggle to make ends meet, Liesel tries to have a carefree childhood but faces many obstacles. Although the story was narrated by Death, the other characters I read about were round, complex characters.

If you want to hear Zusak explaining his inspiration for penning The Book Thief, please watch the following YouTube video:
The Book Thief is a must-read! No matter how many texts you have read that take place during this time period, none can compare to the emotional rollercoater that you will experience while reading Zusak's masterpiece!

1 comment:

  1. I always felt the same way about Holocaust Lit for YA's so don't feel so bad! Zusak's Book Thief definitely proved me wrong. What I find so intriguing are the multifaceted characters that you find throughout the book. They all have their own unique quirks. I think that often times we tend to forget that Germany was filled with people other than Nazis. This book helps to remind us of that.

    In regards to the interview, I don't know how the book could have ever been set in Australia! I'd like to hear more about that....