I bought The book thief (Markus Zusak,2014) this past winter, excited to pick it up because everyone was talking and writing about it. I haven’t read it until recently because I read other books that seemed more interesting to me (and some of them were awesome, like Maus, Man’s search for meaning or Of mice and men. Not to mention The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes which I LOVE!).
Firstly, I have to say that I had very high expectations from this book and unfortunately they weren’t fulfilled. It took me a while to read it, which doesn’t usually bother me, but in this case, I feel like the book could have been a lot shorter – and still getting the point across, probably even in a better way. I think that the idea behind the story is interesting, but it lacked credibility and it was told in a simple, cliche plot recipe: there’s a naive girl, a goofy boy, the girl’s two-dimensional parents(with one or two slips) and a poor Jew hiding in their basement, who is probably the only character in the book that I empathized with. Although reading a book from Death’s perspective sounds intriguing, in The Book Thief, Death’s point of view was tiring at times, while he was repeating the same ideas until it made me want to scream “OK, I get it! Move on already!”.
I do understand why people enjoy it, but a story that has too many romanticised ideas/actions is not for me! I do love reading Holocaust literature, either fiction or non-fiction, and I am sad to say that this book hasn’t brought any new knowledge about the subject for me. It wasn’t that touching to me either: while several people say they cried at this book, I did not. Instead, I did became a little bit teary-eyed when it came to Max’s story.
Towards the end of the book, everything felt a bit rushed, especially the ending, which, to me, is an obvious deus ex machina.
Right after finishing the book, I rated it 4/5 stars, but now, after some time passed and I thought more about it, I rate it 2.5/5 stars.