2014 Goals

Reading 2014: The Book Thief

June 4, 2014


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! 


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  • Anne Cook June 4, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Just have to say that I LOVE this book. I’m almost finished listening to it, and the character development has captured me completely.

    • Keren June 4, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Yes, I loved that element, too.

      This is one of the few books that has made me cry this year! 🙂 Not to mention that I was quite sad when I finished the book. Enjoy the last little bit. 🙂

  • Elizabeth Johnson June 4, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I usually say the book is better than the movie, but in this case I’m almost hesitant to read the book, because the movie adaptation was so fantastic. I didn’t know too much of the plot beforehand, so wasn’t sure what to expect (although books + history almost always equals awesomeness), but I thought they did a fabulous job of keeping the literariness while still moving things along smoothly.

    • Keren June 6, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Ooh, you must read it! Though it’s probably harder now that you have already seen the movie! 🙂

      Thanks for the good recommend; looking forward to watching it now!

  • Susana June 5, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I was aware of this best-selling book (I even bought it for my FIL as a Christmas gift), but was reluctant to actually read it; as I’m not big on violent or graphic tales, and it’s set in 1938 Germany. My husband came home with the movie, and my words were, “Ok, I’ll start it with you, but I may not be able to finish it. We’ll see how it goes.” To my surprise, the movie was poignant, thought-provoking, and somehow managed to be narrated by Death without being overly graphic or morbid. I have not yet read the book, but added it to my Goodreads list after watching the movie (twice).

    • Keren June 6, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Okay, I this is definitely the next movie I plan to watch. (Though so far in 2014, I’ve only squeeze one in! ;))

      Totally understand–I am the same way with movies, though I can get through it better with books. I felt the book was also very tasteful, though I did cry!!

  • Top 10 Books from 2014 January 19, 2015 at 11:06 am

    […] Book Thief (review here) (Markus […]