Mark Zusak’s The Book Thief

A friend suggested this book to me, and I wanted to enjoy it. It, unfortunately, was not meant to be.

The book takes place in World War II, Nazi Germany. It follows one family, a little girl in particular, sort of. You see, it took me until the first chapter, as I read the prologue, to realize that the narrator is none other than Death himself. This was the first two strikes against the novel for me. It is a historical fiction, strike one. And it is a pretty gloomy story, with Death narrating, how can one expect anything but a dreary ending. Strike two. The deal breaker was the narration style. The book was disjointed, and it seemed as if Mr. Zusak intended to soften the brutality of the World War with humor. It seemed inappropriate most times, to say the least. While one could claim the book a literary genius, as it does attempt to pass on several strong lessons, it is not my style.

I would strongly advise a non-fictional account if you are interested in World War II. As it was, I just sped-read the book.


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