I read The Book Thief as a result of 2 reviews linked in to Books You Loved which I featured
'The Book Thief by Markus Zusak was reviewed by BermudaOnion's Weblog and Stray Thoughts Bermuda Onion said 'Let me tell you, I am kicking myself for waiting so long. I loved this book – it may be one of my favorites of all time.' Stray Thoughts said 'It’s a beautiful story. It’s mainly about the power of words. As Liesel’s world opens up with reading, she finds books a help as she reads to Max to alleviate boredom, to comfort him when he is sick, and to help distract people in air raids shelter. But at one point, after so much loss in her life, which she traces back to Hitler, she hates the power of words for evil and rips apart a book, vowing to never read again. Then she is given a blank book to write her own words and discovers the healing power of being able to express her own thoughts and to combat hate with words. She concludes, “I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.''
I was at a bit of a loss when I finished The Book Thief – I can definitely recommend it but I didn't enjoy it as much as I Am The Messenger.
The setting is a difficult one – Germany during WWII – and the topic of what happened to Jewish people is a large part of the book – but it is not dealt with in an overtly harrowing way. The author clearly does have real psychological insight.
That said, the narrator in the book is Death – which is pretty ghoulish. I'm not that into narrators – this was the only part of the book that didn't really work for me.
The most important theme in the book is the power of words, spoken or unspoken, written or not.