Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The Book Thief

Over the Easter weekend I finished reading this year's City Reads book which is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Being completely honest with you my heart sank when I realised that the book was set during World War II as at the risk of sounding churlish I sometimes wonder if we might have reached saturation point when it comes to books, films and television programmes set during this period. I think part of my problem is the fact that to a certain extent I have become desensitised to the atrocities of the war as the facts and figures quoted end up being just statistics and it is difficult for numbers to generate an emotional response.

However Zusak's book uses a fresh approach and adds a human factor to all the terrifying statistics. Although I don't want to give the wrong impression and imply that this is by any means a depressing book, as while there are some very sad moments (particularly towards the end) overall this is a heart-warming story. The story of the book thief is thoroughly engaging and you quickly feel completely engrossed with the characters and are eager to know their fate. I particularly loved the fact that the story was told by Death as it was an unusual twist on the traditional use of an omnipotent narrator.

So would I recommend this book to a friend? Yes I certainly would, although not if you are looking for a fast paced action packed Grisham-esque thriller (which I also love by the way) but if you enjoy novels about people and rites of passage then this is for you. The ideal book to get absorbed in on a summers day sat on the beach :)

Anyway don't take my word for it, grab a copy and let us know what you think and get involved with the City Reads events happening until 23rd May. Don't forget that if you are visiting the city then book your accommodation through VisitBrighton and you'll get a free copy of 'The Book Thief'


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