Book Review: The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. No Spoilers.
Illustration by Finn Campbell-Notman, Design by Claire Ward

I’ve been meaning to read this book for years. I first picked it up in twelfth grade. I had been on a streak of Holocaust stories including The Diary of Anne Frank, Hanna’s Briefcase, and Yellow Star. It blew my mind (and still does) at the scale of destruction and death that one man managed to cause, and these stories of survival and humanity in the face of such horrors were amazing to me. The Book Thief would have shown me the war from a very different angle, had I gotten beyond the first chapter at that time.

A couple of months ago, I showed my teacher a first chapter I had written. It was all I had of what might eventually become a novel, and it was told from the perspective of the devil. My teacher quite liked it, and he suggested I read The Book Thief because it was narrated by Death. By now, I had completely forgotten the first chapter I’d read years ago, but it piqued my interest and after class I went to the library and borrowed it.

Let me tell you, it was definitely worth getting through the slow first chapter to read the rest of it.