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on 22 May 2017
The blurb describes this novel as being ‘a small story’. It is…but it’s a small story over a big number of pages! Five hundred and sixty-two of them, in fact. It did require a bit of a commitment from me, but it was worth every single moment.

It’s told in quite a unique way and narrated by Death. As the book is set in Nazi Germany, Death was pretty busy. The story focuses on Liesel, a nine-year-old, fostered by a family living in Himmel Street. And she steals books.

It’s a beautiful story evoking a multitude of emotions amidst the tragedy that was Nazi Germany that saw the deaths of six million Jews and many, many others. By contrast you have a touching relationship between Liesel and her foster parents…her foster ‘papa’ in particular. Then there's the awkward, but tender friendship between Liesel and her peer, Rudy. This is a story like no other, crafted in an original style.

Ultimately, I rather enjoyed the fact that it was a long book. How many times have you reluctantly reached the end of a book with that mixture of joy to have finished a good story but sad to have to leave the world of the characters you love therein? It was rather comforting to know that for many pages, I wouldn’t be leaving the very endearing Liesel and the wonderful voice of Death.

Read it. Just read it.
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on 9 January 2016
There are very few books that I often recommend to other people. This is one of them. Amongst other things I base my recommendations on how much I enjoyed it, and how much I remember. I read this years ago but still remember most of it. I also remember not putting the book down.

There are already a lot of lengthy reviews about this book. This is not so much of a review as a recommendation. A good book that I think most people would like.

Incidentally, I have typed variations of 'recommendation' 4 times now in this review and this is the first time that I have got the double 'm; single 'c' thing right. Write Amazon reviews and learn to spell.
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A fabulous book formulated in a way that very much put me in mind of 'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas'.

The novel follows the journey of an innocent girl living in the time of Nazi Germany and charts her experiences of war and loss but, more importantly, the slow building horror as she finally confronts the truth about what's happening to the Jews.

Leisel is a great fictional character. The story of her life ufolds at a slow pace and it's fair to say there's a lot of scene setting as Markus Zusak takes great care to develop Leisel's world and the host of characters sharing it with her. The historical aspects read well. There are times when the plot meanders away and I was wondering when we'd get back to the real story, at more than 500 pages there's space for self indulgence, and that's really my only 'niggle'.

There's a fair amount of fantasy running alongside the horror, having Death narrate the story is something I wouldn't have expected, but it works. The spectral figure of Death relating the surreal events of the times adds a great deal of contrast and a real hint of darkness which is beautifully evoked against the loss of Liesel's innocence as the poverty and horror of war creep into her little town blackening the air around her.

The ending is brilliantly done and, like 'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, you've read it before the true catastrophe draws you back in makes you think WHAT!.

There are many subtle messages floating around in The Book Thief not least the one of how book burning cannot quell the spirit of a people...especially Liesel. This isn't a straightforward story. It's quirky and unusual. Took me a while to read because parts of the narrative run slowly but I'd recommend it to anyone.
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on 3 April 2017
Loved this book and cried. It's loving written . Should be a book for mankind. Just because leaders dictate doesn't mean people do not have their own opinions. Makes you realise that not all humans are monsters"
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on 3 September 2014
I downloaded this book a long time ago but was reluctant to read it because I was worried I would get depressed reading about Nazi Germany, particularly after reading a book like Schindler's list but actually I was ok. The book is absolutely amazing any review I attempt to write wouldn't do it justice and there is easily 3000+ reviews posted on Amazon already so I won't even attempt to write a detailed one.

All I will say is this is a must read and one of the most moving books I have read in a long while. The narrative style of this writer draws you in immediately and you literally find you can't put the book down until it's finished. The story itself is mesmerizing and presents a life of Nazi Germany outside of the camps and the bravery of people who risked their lives to save the Jews amongst all the propaganda and brain washing of a nation. We have an orphan, foster parents, a best friend with lemon coloured hair and a young Jew desperately trying to avoid capture and what that will lead to.

The book ends on a note of hope but not before the end of so many innocent lives.

Please can we have a sequel to this ? I would so like to know what happens to Max and the Book Thief afterwards and their journey to heal from their horrific experiences!
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on 2 March 2017
A beautiful book. Definitely recommend everyone to read it.
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on 20 July 2017
A good book and a good film that really brings back a message of hoe. There are some people that will never let anything stand in their way when they want to learn-knowledge is the greatest treasure of all!
This film is a must for those who want something different from the usual gore and horror of war to something different. A message of hoe and most of all, this story was true. It will make You want to see it again and again.
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on 23 April 2017
Oh what a wonderful book. It was recommended by a friend and is amazing. Truly beautiful, read it.... Just read it.....
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on 19 April 2017
The book is thought provoking and should be read by all.Worth talking about with others that have read it. Good book
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on 11 March 2014
The author has taken a very difficult subject and made it accessible for a younger readership. At first, I thought that for me as an adult reader, everything was too simple. Things are seen in terms of good and evil and although I couldn't predict what would happen, I knew with absolute certainty how the characters would react.

However, once I got into it, I became thoroughly engrossed. Zusak has created people that I cared about, particularly the book thief herself. He's also brought to life a small German town suffering under the Nazis and during the war. The writing is very sharp, with some memorable images, and the narration, by a compassionate Death, is profound and totally original.

I have just seen the film, which oversimplifies the story and is rather dull. The book is much better and tackles issues such as the conflict in families caused by Nazi ideology. My advice would be to read the book and give the film a miss.
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