Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Downloaded from my local library
“It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.”Going into this book I had no idea what I was getting into. A book club I belong to had chosen this book and I decided I was going to get in on it. I hadn’t read anything set during World War II and I loved the book blurb – which was great because that style was carried throughout the novel.
This isn’t your typical World War II novel – you really don’t see any of the war efforts and battles. You instead get more of the air raids and bombings, hiding of Jews, and the economic effects on the community. And all of this is seen from the perspective of Death and a little girl.
I loved how the book was narrated by Death. He became a multi-layered character with thoughts and emotions and compassion for the job that he does. He speaks directly to the reader and tells you how it is. He is also quite hilarious. He will periodically break away from the main story and tell you a tangent. And while this can be confusing in some books it was not distracting here – it actually added to the story. The author was awesome at creating characters that you could love and connect with their stories. There were times when tears were brought to my eyes and other where I was angry.
This was an unexpectedly great read and I would highly recommend this to all. Especially on the audiobook.
The narrator of this book was fantastic. It was great to have a narrator in this story because there is a large amount of German words and I liked hearing how they sounded. He also had a great range of voices for the different characters. It really felt like you were listening to a man tell his story - not someone read a novel to you.
Markus Zusak also has written I Am the Messenger. You can visit the author’s website for additional information about the book. Here is an excerpt of the first chapter for your reading pleasure.
You can watch this interview with the author below:
You can also listen to an excerpt from the audiobook here: