Friday, February 6, 2009

My take on The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Where do I start? Yes, it was an honor book for the ALA Michael Printz award (for YA literature), yes I had some friends who LOVED it, and it came highly recommended from librarians and such. But here’s the rub: I DO NOT (big emphasis on DO NOT) like stories about the holocaust, Nazi Germany, Hitler, the effects of Hitler’s idiocy on Jewish people, his own German people, the rest of the world. SO WHY DID I READ THIS BOOK?????

Answer: I don’t know. Maybe I was hoping for another miracle like The Diary of Anne Frank, but that didn’t happen.

All of that said, here’s how I felt about the book. It was very cleverly written, very innovative and different. It was intense in the emotions it conveyed. Several elements were employed to heighten the drama of the story and I appreciate all of those efforts put forth by Zusak. It invoked some serious emotions in me so I consider it to be an exceptionally well-written book. Personally, I just couldn’t get past the yuckiness of the setting/time/situation of the world. Frankly the despair went from bad to worse (hello! It was WWII! Did I sleep through my history class? Did I really think this would be a hopeful book?) and the innovations Zusak used heightened the sense of foreboding that only a ding-a-ling like myself would be oblivious to when she picked up the book in the first place! I just hope I don’t have nightmares now.

Can you tell I’m a little mad? But I’m not mad at Zusak or anyone who recommended the book, I’m mad at myself for not being true to myself and my likes and dislikes. Hopefully I’ve learned my lesson and I won’t have a similar lapse in judgment in the future. Live and learn. How strange to read a book that you think is exceptionally well written, but not like the story. So I’m not going to rate it.

2 comments:

Lula O said...

It's okay if you didn't like it Suzette. These times in world history are also difficult for me to digest, but for some reason I liked this one, probably because it was from a child's perspective.
It also reminded me of a German elderly neighbor lady in Logan who was a Hitler youth as a child, and some of the stories I've heard her relate. This book made her experiences, and all those like her, come to life.

I hope you don't have nightmares either. Maybe it's time for a hot sex book to take your mind off it:P

Bryce and Mandy said...

I'm with you. I don't want to read this book because it sounds like it is too sad. I don't mind reading sad books but the ones that take place during WWII are always so tragic I just find them depressing.