Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

184 of 204 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A 'clever' book, but not for everyone, 20 Mar. 2008
This review is from: The Book Thief (Paperback)
I am ambivalent towards this book. The writing style was definitely unique; I enjoyed the frequent intermissions by the narrator, which gave the story a light-hearted and a nostalgic back-in-your-childhood feel. The ending was particularly well done - poignant, perhaps tear-jerking for many readers.

However, I felt the characterisation altogether a little weak - there were very few characters I could care about; many of them appear to be cardboard cutouts of stereotypical personalities. The story meanders a lot in the middle of the book without much really happening and most of the events seem to have no purpose at all. All in all, I don't know what this book wants to be. It doesn't deliver the full atmosphere of what it was like living in Nazi Germany, as I had expected; nor is it a simple idyllic bildungsroman. It is neither happy nor depressing; its target audience appears to be neither for adults nor for children. Many would undoubtedly argue that it is precisely this ambiguity that makes the book so enjoyable; I believe it is a matter of taste whether you like those kinds of books or not.

If there is one word I would sum up the book with, it would be 'clever' - the structure certainly is ingenious and the narration with Death works very well in some parts. However, I do think that Zusak had tried a tad too hard; I felt the basics of a good book - the characters, the plot and writing style - had suffered as a result of pursuing style over content. While some people (as testified by the many positive reviews) would love this book, others will find it is not entirely up their street. Try it, and find out!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 3 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Jan 2010 14:23:28 GMT
D. Galstaun says:
Definitely agree, it's a clever book, fresh and inventive. However, about a third of the way into the novel, you begin to feel the author is preoccupied more with his own verbal flair than the characters or story, which is a real shame. Some of the lines are altogether cringe worthy too, so much so that I had to stop reading e.g. It kills me sometimes, how people die! Still, I guess it's a bit like Strene's Tristram Shandy - it sticks in the mind, whether you like it or not.

Posted on 2 May 2012 13:06:40 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 May 2012 13:07:12 BDT
Oh my gosh, it is like you crept into my mind, extracted the words I have been trying to cleverly knit into a review and posted for the world to see. I could NOT have put this better myself if I had sat here for a month of Sundays. I totally agree with your review, from the amount of stars assigned to the final punctuation mark at the end of your sentiments. :)

Posted on 28 Oct 2013 20:33:19 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Feb 2014 15:53:37 GMT
booksy says:
How on earth is it a patronising review? I found it very helpful and informative. I started The Book Thief years ago and didn't take to it. It gets a lot of 5-star reviews and also some 1 and 2-star reviews but, often, the 3-star reviews are the most helpful and balanced; especially for those who are thinking about re-starting a novel. They're neither gushing nor totally dismissive. Based on this review, I'm not certain I would revisit the novel. I recall finding the style rather annoying; as though the author was trying to be too clever. I simply couldn't lose myself in the book and was aware the whole time that I was reading something someone had written (the best books, I find, are where you totally lose yourself in the story because the writing is so fluid; you lose the sense of an author and are simply carried along by the prose). This didn't happen with The Book Thief and this review makes me think that I won't like it any better a second time. It's far from a patronising review - just very well balanced. And, since some people are divided on the novel, you can't say fairer to people than that they should try it for themselves.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Mar 2014 18:16:10 GMT
Dee says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer

J. Takata
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: London, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,480,440