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 Post subject: The Book Thief
PostPosted: May 7th, 2007, 3:13 pm 
Maia
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Has anyone else read it, cos I'd love the chance to talk about it. If you haven't I'd hugeley recommend it, it's breathtakingly well written and very thought provoking. It's written from the point of view of Death, and is about a young girl who hides a Jew in her house during Nazi rule.
*prays not to be the only one who's read it*

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PostPosted: May 11th, 2007, 7:14 pm 
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That sounds really good! Is it by an american author? I have to read two books for american lit class, and this sounds like it would be a good one.

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PostPosted: January 9th, 2008, 11:58 pm 
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I just got through reading this!

The most stunning historical fiction I've <i>ever</i> read. It seemed like I could relate to all of the characters. And reading it from the viewpoint of Death was refreshingly unique too. Markus Zusak has a <i>beautiful</i> way with words; he's not just a writer, he's an artist.

*AHEM. SPOILER DISCUSSION*
(of course, this book doesn't have many spoilers, because he pretty much reveals the ending in the middle.)

When Liesel see's Max being marched through the street, and that whole scene where she gets beat, and then Rudy takes the beating for her - at that point I wanted to scream at humanity in general. It's like Death says at the end: when you see such horror, tragedy, and such <i>love</i> all mingled together in one race of people - it's at the very least difficult to grasp.

But nevertheless, I think that remains my favorite scene from the book. Liesel goes through a change there, because isn't it after that when she begins to feel sorry for stealing the books? Rudy - oh my - Rudy is perfectly beautiful in that scene, because you see just how deep his love for Liesel was. And Max, just seeing Max alive again in the book, it was a wonder in itself.

*END SPOILER*

I want to buy this book now. It's something I believe I could read over and over again. It's a picture of humans in their best and worst.

And who better to write about WWII than Death himself?

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PostPosted: January 11th, 2008, 5:09 pm 
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This is one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life. No jokes. It makes me cry every single time. Markus has such a way with words, it's simply astounding. I dont even know what he does, but it just paints vivd pictures in my head.

Seeing the German point of view of WW II, even though it is fiction, it's a fresh new take on the whole debacle. It's amazing, and thsi is exactly how I imagined Death, if Death had a personality.

I also like using te German insults on people. It's very useful.

I also reccomend that you read his other book, the title of it escapes me at the moment, but it's just as good.

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PostPosted: January 13th, 2009, 4:39 am 
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I'm gonna make a small pathetic post here, just to remind myself to read the book. Great reviews everyone. I got the book for a friend for Christmas - now I wish I had gotten it for myself. :P
But I'm gonna have to borrow it from her now!

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2009, 1:32 pm 
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I just finished the book a few minutes ago. Admittedly, I didn't love reading it. The length was a bit long, the pacing a bit slow, and the plot a bit scattered.

That said, it's a stunning work of art.

It's an ugly story - so devastatingly, heartbreakingly ugly that it's beautiful. The ending, though predictable, swept me away. Everything was out there. Every character was stripped bare for the world to see, in all their human strengths and weaknesses. I wanted to scream: This is humanity, packed into these pages, bound between these covers. This is humanity in all its cruelty, its sorrow, its quiet triumph.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who's wandered across this thread.

Fencing Maiden wrote:
*AHEM. SPOILER DISCUSSION*
(of course, this book doesn't have many spoilers, because he pretty much reveals the ending in the middle.)

When Liesel see's Max being marched through the street, and that whole scene where she gets beat, and then Rudy takes the beating for her - at that point I wanted to scream at humanity in general. It's like Death says at the end: when you see such horror, tragedy, and such <i>love</i> all mingled together in one race of people - it's at the very least difficult to grasp.

But nevertheless, I think that remains my favorite scene from the book. Liesel goes through a change there, because isn't it after that when she begins to feel sorry for stealing the books? Rudy - oh my - Rudy is perfectly beautiful in that scene, because you see just how deep his love for Liesel was. And Max, just seeing Max alive again in the book, it was a wonder in itself.

Holy effing crap I love Max to little pieces. That was my favorite scene too. That was the point I set the book down, stared at the page, and told myself "he's going to die, he's going to die, I KNOW it." But then the ending... aaaaaahhhhhh. Yeah :P Thanks for recommending the book, by the way. I decided to see what all your raving was about.

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2009, 11:57 pm 
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For someone who has such a morbid fascination with death I'm surprised it took me so long to come across this book. I'm glad I found it now though. If I'd read it when I was younger I fear I would have missed so many wonderful and though provoking things in it. I haven't finished it yet, [and unfortunately I already know the ending, so that's a bit disappointing], but I can't wait to read the rest.

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PostPosted: January 19th, 2009, 12:03 am 
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I'm so glad you read it LDM. Now you should get Zusak's other book. :P <i>I Am the Messenger</i>. It's not near as thick or as hard of a read, but he does the same amazing depiction of humanity in it.

Lar: Oh, don't worry about knowing the ending. It won't ruin the experience, believe me. No matter in what context you read it... it's still incredibly emotional.

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PostPosted: January 19th, 2009, 12:25 am 
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Oh good. That's what worried me. Knowing the ending always seems to change how you're impacted by those final few pages when you finally read them.

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PostPosted: February 8th, 2009, 2:52 am 
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Sorry for the double post, but I finished it. Finally. And yes, I cried all the way through the ending no matter how much it had been foreshadowed.

Zusak is an absolute genius. Putting my love for Death aside, I really did enjoy this book. It was a bit long, and at some points the pacing slowed to a crawl, but for some reason I couldn't put it down. Not only was this story a fresh take on an old and often abused tale, but it was beautifully, if not poetically, written at the same time. Zusak's unusual syntax and use of figurative speech kept me interested more than anything else. This book truly was a book about words and the power that they evoke. As of right now I'm a bit unsure of how I feel about the ending. Something just didn't sit right with me concerning the deaths of everyone on Himmel street...

Also, Death picks up hundreds of thousands of souls and yet we never see where they go. Zusak seems to avoid any sort of religious connections in this story. God never answers Death, so does that mean that for the purpose of this story there is no afterlife? I wish Zusak had explored this further.

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PostPosted: February 8th, 2009, 10:34 pm 
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A book about WWII, narrated by Death, seems to be begging for controversy. If Zusak had thrown any mention of God in there, the book would have been dismissed by atheists as a sermon and bashed by different religious denominations for portraying their views incorrectly. Instead he chose to tell the story like it is and let readers find their own themes. An intelligent call on his part, I think.

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Lar. You're right about his style. Zusak's writing is poetry in prose.

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2009, 12:33 am 
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But Death does mention God once. He says "I say His name in a futile attempt to understand . . . God never says anything. You think you're the only one he never answers?" I suppose you could wring many different things out of that statement.

At any rate, I think you're right LDM. Ultimately, he wanted his readers to find and develop their own theme to fit their individual beliefs.

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PostPosted: February 10th, 2009, 6:10 pm 
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SPOILERS TO FOLLOW


Lar: Hmm, good point. Perhaps Zusak mentions God in that context to emphasize the helplessness of the entire story - the fact that millions die with their prayers unanswered and no guarantee of an afterlife. Because ultimately, helplessness is a pervading theme. Death foreshadows the characters' dooms just so that the reader can watch, helpless, as the events spiral out of control. It leaves one with the question: What's the point? What's the point of living when in the end everyone dies, and beyond death nothing exists but empty eternity?

Then again, Zusak lets Liesel live. And what you have is a tale of human triumph... how goodness survives even the deepest darkness. That's how I justify the ending, anyway.

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PostPosted: August 4th, 2009, 10:08 am 
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We read it for class this year. It was soooo good but it was so sad we were all crying in class while we were silent reading. I even wrote a poem about it just to write it, it made such an impression. Rudy was like, epic pinnacle of us being sad, and the whole thing about him having a chance to live if he had been sent away...heartbreak!
The point of living when everyone dies and there's nothing but eternity after death? The point is to live, to feel the sweetness and the sorrow that life brings, to experience everything you can before it's too late. Life is a gift but is a dream on the earth for a short while. If you have touched everything then there's nothing to be ashamed of when you pass, and nothing to fear.

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PostPosted: January 10th, 2010, 1:51 pm 
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It's about half a year since I read this book now, and I've read a ton of books in between, so I don't remember everything as vividly as I would like.
But I do remember loving it. And thinking it's one of the best books I've read.
I'll have to read it again sometime soon, to really get a hold of the story. I find that the first time you read a book, a lot of details are lost. Really, one should always read books at least twice...

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PostPosted: November 27th, 2010, 8:25 pm 
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It's on my to read list.

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