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Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Saturday, April 13, 2013 22:08
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Every so often you read a book that you know will always stick with you. This is one of those books. The Book Thief  had been on the New York Times Children Bestsellers list for over 5 years (The Times finally figured out a several months ago that there is a difference between young adult, middle school and children’s books. As of right now, it’s still on the young adult list.) Having now read the book, I think I understand why.

One of the most unique features about this book is the narrative voice. It is actually told from the perspective of the Grim Reaper as he tells the story of the book thief, Liesel Meminger. As he tells us in the end of the book, “There’s a multitude of stories that I allow to distract me as I work…” We usually conceive of the Reaper as this evil, hate filled creature. Instead, the Reaper in the book really just has a job to do. When we die he comes to harvest our souls. Sometimes we humans like to create a lot of work for him. It makes him a little cranky. The voice is brilliant, and it really makes this story work in ways that are not possible with a normal first or third person narration.

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