In general, I find it difficult to write about fiction books I’ve read, primarily because I don’t want to share too many spoilers.
While The Book Thief is now a movie, I had not yet even seen the trailer or heard the synopsis before going into the book. As with other fiction I’ve read simply after seeing several recommendations for the title alone, I went into this book knowing very little about the plot, characters, or author.
The first moments into this story seemed like a rather caucaphonic introduction, but I quickly grasped the unique narration of this book and was quickly drawn in. Narrated by Death, this story takes place in World War II era, following the life of Liesel Meminger. At the story’s start, the then illiterate Liesel begins her career as a book thief, her book thievery being the thread that laces together this story of hope and sorrow.
Good literature requires a good story. But to be great in this field, the writing must go beyond combining excellence of plot, characters, and historical accuracy. The Book Thief is a book that immerses us into a gritty, but beautiful portrayal of humanity, presenting us with a different picture through each character. To me, the greatest literary element was the unique narrator, which sets this book apart from others of a similar nature and theme.
I am certain this story has conveyed well into a film version, and I look forward to watching now that I’ve finished the book. Yet from this standpoint, I can’t imagine that the same literary brilliance can be transmitted through a film version. But we shall see!
If you’ve read and seen the movie, I’d love to see how you felt the two compare!