Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

The Book Thief 

 Summary

GoodreadsIt is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.



Thoughts

 Let me start with this:  This was a truly memorable book, and I am glad I read it.  Now remember that I have said this as you read through the rest of this post.

So.  I finally read this.  It took me 5 years to work up the courage to do it, and I'm glad I did.  Even if I will never read this again.  I am not going to review this book.  There are so many great reviews out already, and honestly I just don't want to revisit the details of this book.  I am going to talk about how it made me feel.  Guys, this book destroyed me.  I honestly can't think of a book that made my soul hurt more at the end of the book, and that includes The Amber Spyglass, The Bridge to Terabithia, and The Island of the Blue Dolphins combined.  I don't think I knew how invested I was in the characters until...well things happened.  You know at the beginning who is going to die, so it isn't even a surprise!  I seriously ugly cried through the last quarter of this book.  I literally had to put the book down because I was crying so hard I couldn't read.  It wrecked me.  And I still can't tell you why this hit me so hard (I mean it surpassed my epic crying in the last Harry Potter book!  And I had a connection with those characters for years! I could still read the end of the book after the last battle, if barely)

So yes, this book is phenomenal, and I'm glad I read it, even if it hurts to think about.  But what I don't understand...people do this to themselves YEARLY!  They reread this book every. single. year.  How do you survive that?!?  I read this book and immediately went into hermit mode and didn't want to talk to anyone about it at all!  I had been looking forward to watching the movie, but even Geoffrey Rush won't get me to see this, because why would you want to relive this??

Would I recommend this to everyone?  No.  Should everyone read this?  Probably.  But you know what?  Some people don't like reading books that hurt, and I wouldn't inflict this book on anyone who wasn't prepared to be devastated. 

13 comments:

  1. Yes!! This is EXACTLY how I felt. I won't be able to read this book again. Not when I know the ultimate outcome. I was gutted and couldn't pick up another pick up another book for days. I have no desire to see the movie either.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one who was as traumatized as I was devastated by the book haha!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ok, so I mostly agree with you. I actually read The Book Thief in 2010, and I loved it, and I was so heartbroken (just like you, I had to stop reading, so I can calm myself and go on, and that never happens, I mean sure, I always cry at the end of HP7, too, and always will, but that is nothing compared to how much I bawled my eyes out on The Book Thief), but I can't say I was destroyed. I've read some other books that kinda destroyed me and made me feel awful & made me not want to read anything again any time soon, but The Book Thief wasn't that type of book, it was the good heartbreak, if there is such a thing.
    That being said, I don't think I can read The Book Thief every year, and I'm someone who loves rereading. I can read Zusak's I Am the Messenger every year, actually the moment I finish it, I want to start it again, and there are some other books I can never get enough of, but I haven't read The Book Thief since that 1st time, and although I've been thinking about reading it again in the last year or two, I still haven't, and now I don't think I will, and that changed only a few days ago.
    A few days ago, I decided to watch the movie, and after 5 or 6 minutes I started to cry when I saw Rudy because I was thinking about what will happen, but I calmed myself, then soon Rudy & Liesel were about to have their first race, and Rudy was talking about what will be his prize if he wins, and I just couldn't take it anymore, so stopped watching it. So, it happened something else that never happened to me before - I started crying at the beginning of the movie about something that will happen later, and I just couldn't take it, so I can see your point about being devastated.
    I didn't think I'll have any trouble with reading the book again or watching the movie, but now I think I'll never watch the movie or read the book again.

    Having said that, I'm going to keep recommending it, because I think it's an amazing book, one of those rare memorable books that will stay with you long after you've read them, and that everyone would like & should read. Also, Zusak's writing is amazing, and I think that has big influense over the level of heartbreak this book causes.
    And even though I'm one of those people that don't like books that hurt, I don't mind it if the story & the writing style is brilliant, which for me The Book Thief is :)
    And sorry for the long comment, sometimes I tend to forget myself ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love long comments - this is awesome! And I totally know what you mean about books hurting in a good way. I must be a masochist, because those are almost always my favourite books haha. When my biggest complaint with Cinda Williams Chima's Seven Realms series was that no one important enough to devastate me died, I knew I had a problem hahaha. I'm a big rereader too, so I definitely get that!


    Yeah I think is book is definitely well worth everyone reading (I just happen to know that as a person with pretty much no irl reading friends, that if I managed to make them read this book, they would hate me forever hahaha). The subject matter is obviously important - and I liked that it was actually more about the Germans, since we don't often get to hear about how things also sucked for some of them too. And I loved the way it was narrated and all of Death's interjections, it definitely added to the story! I really need to read Zusak's I Am The Messenger - this is my first book I've ever read by him!


    Thanks again for stopping by, this comment totally made my day!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love long comments, too :D

    I might be a masochist, too, I guess ;) For example, I kinda had similar feelings about Neal Shusterman's Unwind & Antonia Michaelis' The Storyteller, I was heartbroken, although not on the level as The Book Thief, though The Storyteller tore my heart to shreds, but that's one of the reasons why these books are staying with me long after I've finished them, and I'm remembering them in details, and only after one read, that's something, and I don't get to read books like that every day, they're quite rare.

    That being said, I would've probably been quite angry if Chima decided to kill some of the characters I loved, though I was sad about the girl that died (not writing the name, not to spoil it for someone, I've run into spoilers in the strangest & unexpected places) ;)

    And yeah, that's something I loved, too, seeing it from the regular Germans PoV, and I loved the way the story was narrated, Zusak is so talented.

    And I hope you'll enjoy I Am the Messenger :) Zusak's Wolfe Brothers books aren't as good, but they were his first, so it's understandable, but I Am the Messenger is amazing. I finally bought it almost a couple of years ago, The Book Thief was my 1st Zusak read, too, and I've already read it twice, and only twice because although I love rereading, I have this thing that I do - I don't read the same book twice in a year, if not for that, I would've read it a lot more than once, but it's a new year, so I can read it again ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsJanuary 20, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Now you just scared me off it. :P I really do want to read it though, but I don't think I'm ready for it yet.I've cried over a few (which eh, doesn't include the last HP) yes, I know, what? I did cry after the film though, which is probably why I didn't cry over the book, since it didn't feel over. It makes sense in my head, anyway. The last book I had to just put down (and haven't gone back to) is Faking Normal, got to me big time. The only one I've really ugly cried over was The Fault in Our Stars, and I'm not sorry whatsoever.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I haven't actually read either of those yet, although the Shusterman has been on my TBR for AGES. I think you're right though, the more
    intense the feelings (and that almost 100% of the time means devastation) the more impact it has on you. So you remember more. I'd never really thought about that before.

    I'd forgotten about that! I knew there was someone I was sad about. But still not devastated. That being said, that last book seriously got my adrenaline pumping! It may not have made it to my favourites shelf, but it was
    well worth the read.

    That seems like a sensible rule haha. I have so many books that I reread every year, that's probably
    what it ends up being for me as well. I'll have to let you know when I get around to reading I Am the Messenger :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm definitely a weepy reader haha I cry so easily! But some are
    full out bawling and tears, and others are just teary eyes. Both HP and
    this definitely fall in the former. I think I get it? I wasn't
    particularly attached to the movies though (much to many of my friends'
    chagrin). So that was more the reverse to me (although I still teared
    up in the movie as well haha). I STILL haven't read TFIOS (probably for
    the same reasons you haven't read this book yet). The movie might make
    me end up reading it...although I probably won't see it in theaters if I
    do watch it. I don't like crying in public...

    And you
    should read this for sure! But I'd agree, wait til you're ready
    (you'll never really be ready, but you know what I mean)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've read Unwind so long ago, even before The Book Thief. It was among the first dystopias I've read, and it stayed a top fav since then, but haven't been able to reread it. Hopefully, I'll read it again this year, I need to catch up on the sequels (at the time there weren't any), and the last comes out this year. Also, Neal Shusterman's Skinjacker trilogy was amazing, too, so I recommend it. He's definitely one of those authors with brilliant imagination. I just realised how long has been since I've read him.


    And yeah, that rule is necessary, or I'll be stuck rereading Neil Gaiman over & over again (though I already reread him every year, though not all of his books in one year, but around 3 minimum definitely), and of course some other alltime favs :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsJanuary 22, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    I really anxious for TFIOS, I can't wait to watch it, but then it's the thing of will it at least live up to the book? I don't know if I'm ready for that either.:( But oh, the horror of crying in public. I've done it once or twice. Awkward.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I read this a long time ago.. but I remember loving it. It's not the type of book I usually like. I don't like to be sad and cry when I read. This is why I have avoided The Fault in Our Stars. No weepy weepy for me!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm definitely a weepy reader haha I cry so easily! But some are
    full out bawling and tears, and others are just teary eyes. Both HP and
    this definitely fall in the former. I think I get it? I wasn't
    particularly attached to the movies though (much to many of my friends'
    chagrin). So that was more the reverse to me (although I still teared
    up in the movie as well haha). I STILL haven't read TFIOS (probably for
    the same reasons you haven't read this book yet). The movie might make
    me end up reading it...although I probably won't see it in theaters if I
    do watch it. I don't like crying in public...

    And you
    should read this for sure! But I'd agree, wait til you're ready
    (you'll never really be ready, but you know what I mean)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I haven't actually read either of those yet, although the Shusterman has been on my TBR for AGES. I think you're right though, the more
    intense the feelings (and that almost 100% of the time means devastation) the more impact it has on you. So you remember more. I'd never really thought about that before.

    I'd forgotten about that! I knew there was someone I was sad about. But still not devastated. That being said, that last book seriously got my adrenaline pumping! It may not have made it to my favourites shelf, but it was
    well worth the read.

    That seems like a sensible rule haha. I have so many books that I reread every year, that's probably
    what it ends up being for me as well. I'll have to let you know when I get around to reading I Am the Messenger :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving a comment! You've totally made my day :D

I love talking to you guys, so I always respond to comments. Be sure to check back!