The Book Thief Review

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The Thief of Books and Affections

Welcome to the world of Death. The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak, is a captivating book that is narrated by Death. He quickly introduces you to a girl named Liesel, living in the tragic times of World War Two. The reader is given a story of this girl’s adolescence second-hand from a black journal she wrote. After taking a little black book from a graveyard, stealing becomes a hobby. Anything from apples to books to the heart of Rudy Steiner, Liesel is there to take it in the blink of an eye. The Book Thief is an intriguing book full of excitement, friendship and love.

The Book Thief is told in first person by Death. This lets the reader “hear” little asides that Death tells about humans, decisions, feelings, and colors. Death is a witty, immortal existence who vacations daily. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Liesel. A young girl who is not well educated. Given up for adoption by her own mother, she becomes a likable protagonist as she moves in with Hans Hubermann and his wife. Enter Rudy Steiner, who is known to most as the “Jessie Owens Incident.” He is quick to befriend Liesel and is the average German boy. Blue eyes, smart, strong and lemon hair, he is what appears to be a perfect candidate to be a Nazi. Rudy, however, would be quick to tell you that he was no Nazi. He is always messing around in Hitler Youth. Rudy is the all-around naught little boy, who somehow always manages to fall.

“How ‘bout a kiss?” becomes Rudy Steiner’s catch phrase, any time he feels he has accomplished something. Throughout the book it is so painfully clear that he has fallen for Liesel it makes you wonder how she never fell for him. Or did she? Occasional fantasies of Rudy in the Nazi examination room naked confirm the suspicions that she reciprocates his feelings. He is a good friend even when he doesn’t get what he wants, constantly being tormented by somebody and usually with no leverage on them it’s like life hands him the short...
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