During this past week I participated in the #ayearathon by attempting to read the group book choice of this month's read-a-thon, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.
Here is the synopsis of this book which has since been made into a movie (that I have yet to see):
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.
By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.
So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found.
But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down.
My initial impressions:
It took me a little while to get used to the narrator being Death, and remembering that as the story progressed (as there are times when the story seems to not have a narrator at all before "he" appears again). Also I didn't care for the times when Death was too impatient to let the story progress before the reader finds out a character's ultimate fate and instead tells you seeming out of the blue sometimes years ahead of the natural story progression.
I also realized that this is the first book I remember reading from the perspective of the Germans that sheltered Jews during WWII instead of the perspective of those being sheltered. Which was a nice change.
During the RAT I wasn't able to complete this book. I did however read 366 of 550 pages this week. I hope to be able to finish this book soon as I was enjoying it very much (despite Death at times) and am now even more eager to watch the movie as I have heard from several sources that it is well worth seeing.
Have you read The Book Thief and/or seen the movie? If so what did you think? (remember I don't know how it ends, officially, yet)