The Book Thief is a story of a little German girl, Leisel, who suffers many hardships during the years of WWII in Hitler’s homeland. The story is narrated by Death, who is not scary or sinister or morbid as you might expect. He is simply Death and he tells a tale of human loss, heartbreak, triumph and strength. I very much enjoyed seeing WWII from a German perspective. As naive as it sounds, I never really thought about the suffering of the German people. I always thought of them as the evil-doers who deserved no sympathy. What a silly thought.
I enjoyed this book but for whatever reason I could not get into it like I have been able to do with other books. Let’s just say I was not counting down the minutes until my lunch break to go read it. One thing I did not like about the book was that it used a lot of strange metaphors and symbolism, which I don’t particularly enjoy. I was also a bit distracted by little sections throughout the book that were sort of separated from the rest of the story and in bold print (such as a random thought by Death or a fact he wanted the reader to know). Maybe I’m a boring reader. Or an old-fashioned reader. But I’d rather the author just tell me the story and stop trying to be so clever.
I thought the beginning, while interesting, was slow. It wasn’t until the last 100 pages or so that I actually got into it. But, I loved Leisel’s character. I also loved Papa and I even grew to love Mama. I loved Max. In fact, I think the characters were all very well developed. But the story just seemed to drag on for me. So, it was good, but it wasn’t great…for me.