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The Book Thief

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what age would u classify as a young adult? that always makes me wonder.

To me, a young adult is someone at the age and maturity level that they are beginning to read adult books as well as children's books. So I guess about 14+ after getting into GCSE level work. Young adult fiction should be a good read that also provides more in the way of subtle hints of things to read onto or deeper meanings to the basic story.

 

I'm really pleased to see that both you, Barnsey, and tiz enjoyed The Book Thief. Looking forward to seeing your posts about other books you have enjoyed, whether they are "young" adult, "old" adult or picture books!!!

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Favourite book of all time. I adore this book. I got it as an Easter present two years ago, and I've read it around fifteen times since. I love every word of it, every character. i particularly had a soft spot for Max. I think Zusack's style of writing this is wonderfully poetic. It was great that he drew on experiences his family had had during the war. Absolutely devasting, the ending was so sad, but it still captures perfectly the nature of humans.

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I think it will be good for teens and naive adults such as my self to show there are 2 sides to every war and it's not all "Hooray" for one side and "boo" for the others as it seems to be taught in school history!

 

I know this is a very old post but I am afraid I can not let it go. As a "school history teacher" I am quite offended by this remark. I have been teaching History for 15 years now and have never taught "Hooray" for one side and "boo" for the other. In fact I had one 14 year old tell me that Britain and France had to take some responisibity for the rise of Hitler because of the Treaty at the end of the war. Also, when we teach WW1 we do a trench diary and the class is divided into French, British, German and Austrian soldiers who give their account of their experiences of war. I can assure you History is not taught in the way you describe today, if it is then those schools are few and far between. We give and expect respect for all nations involved in war, not just the "winners" if in fact anyone ever does win, again something we are keen to enforce.

I am sure you did not mean to offend and I hope you accept this is the spirit in which it is given, but professional pride would not allow me to not reply.

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As a "school history teacher" I am quite offended by this remark.

Interestingly San1968 is a school history teacher too. If she passes this way again you could compare notes on this.

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I found The Book Thief a very poignant story. It's quirky style is deceptive, and what seems at first to be quite a simplistic account of WWII develops into something quite deep, and often very moving.

 

The writing is very poetic, and often oddly phrased. Zusak uses some strange, but effective metaphors and similes. It takes a little while to get used to.

There were points at which I had to put the book down for a while, as there were some odd, seemingly 'throw-away' lines that just hit me quite hard. I was puzzled at this in a book for young teens, but I suppose such things are 'history' to them, while they are much nearer to me, and the hints did not seem so subtle.

 

I became very fond of Death as the book progressed, and some of the most moving passages were those in which he described the care and tenderness with which he carried the souls away, and I found myself with wet eyes more and more times as I read through the final chapters.

 

I know I haven't made it sound very appealing, but I found it a very affecting book, andI know is going to be one I remember for a long time.

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I'm about 3/4s of the way through and thoroughly enjoying it. It is very different to the other Zusak books I have read. I like Death too, his pragmatic and loving voice, occasionally playful, makes for a great narrator. I love his wee tidbits that he fills in. I don't see a happy ending coming so am a little wary of reaching the end.

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I finished this book the other night in a pillow-soaked hour. People have said before how this story seems like a simple tale about the Holocaust, and it really does seem like that at first - a early teen book about the Holocaust. But it really fools and seduces you and eventually delivers a succession of sucker punches that leave you sobbing. I was so worried that the sobs wracking my body would wake up hubby.

 

I loved the relationships between Liesel and the three men in her life: Rudy, Hans and Max. Brother, Father, Uncle. I loved her swearing, hardened, but oh-so-soft in the middle stepmother. I loved the town of Molching and the various residents. I loved Death's voice, his apologetic, playful, sympathetic tones.

 

Another great book from Zusak, who has become one of my favourite and most treasured authors. I can't wait for his next book.

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I haven't read a book that made me cry or smile like this in a long time. What an amazing piece of work. There's so much to enjoy here. I love the characters: Liesel, Hans, and Max are probably my favourites, but there is something very affecting about all the characters, even the ones who only appear for a few pages like Arthur Berg.

 

Hans and Rudy made me cry, and I wanted Max to survive so badly.

I think using Death as the narrator brought a great poignancy to the story because Death saw these characters in their greatest sorrows, but also their moments of greatest strength and bravery. I loved the descriptions of the souls and the colours, and the things that Death notices.

 

I loved the quiet dignity of Hans and Max's will to survive, and the scene where

 

Death comes for Hans and his soul sits up, ready to leave, but not wanting to, and he thinks of Liesel

will stay with me forever.

 

And then, of course, it's such a good depiction of the power of words, and the power of love and friendship.

 

Really a book to treasure.

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Just read this with my RL book club. Most of the members really really loved it, only one couldn't come to terms with death as the narrator. But everyone agreed that this was a book where you could see that also the Germans had suffered during the war and didn't really have a choice. (There was no other German present besides me.)

I loved death as the narrator, it gave him a sort of human face, the way he complains that he has so much to do that he can't take proper care of every single soul. Also, the colours he associates with the different scenes, I could totally relate to that.

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I have just read The Book Thief and I think it is one of the most extraordinary, moving and totally unforgettable books I have ever read I think its a story about the ability of books to feed the soul which is something I have always thought about reading.

I have to say that I was sold as soon as I knew it was set in Germany during the Second World War, but it was the characters in this book who you became invested in and cared about as soon as you started reading they are rich, deep and interesting, it is a very strong story and the writing was just phenomenal it was a pleasure to read.

The most original thing for me was the fact it is narrated by Death. It added something different which I had never come across before and I think it is a stroke of genius how it is done, the way it has been written it builds the suspense, I love the way Death suggests that something unpleasant is going to happen, so we know a bit about which of the characters will die.

It never skirts the horror and reality of the second world war, and you would assume that something narrated by death and containing so much death at a time when death is an every day occurrence would be depressing and hard to get through but its not at all because this is more about celebration of life its an uplifting story and having death tell you and warn you about the up coming deaths which are going to happen is another stroke of genius as it builds anticipation and it also made my feeling of impending dread rise dramatically, and it didn't ruin  the shock value of each death at all. I thought that there is also exactly the right amount of black humour throughout the story, the tone of which is set right at the beginning and continues right through the book, it basically was a book were everything was right and came together in a beautiful way. It is incredibly moving and I was in bits I sobbed most of the way through it – but that’s me, I mean I cried when Snape died in Harry Potter! But I defy anyone to read this without showing some emotion. This book is in my opinion quite simply a masterpiece.

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On Friday evening at Toppings Bookshop in St. Andrews, Markus Zusak spoke with wit and intelligence about the writing process. How he creates his books, where his ideas come from and the editing process. He was entertaining and informative, openly receptive to questions and gave (what seemed like) very honest answers. He talked briefly about his family life and then the Book Thief and finishing with his new book Bridge of Clay. At the end of the talk he took up a seat behind a desk and started signing books. There was a sizeable audience that evening and it took approximately an hour for the signings. We were the last customers to have our books signed and he was still engaging and chatty. Answering further questions from us and at all times remaining interested and polite. A true gentleman. If he does a book signing near you I would recommend you go along.  

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