The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Published by Picador in 2005.

Pages 583

Anniversary Edition


I have been meaning to read this book for approximately one year. I had seen many booktuber’s promote this book and rave about how much they loved this story. One day last month I took the plunge and bought The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. I read this book with very high expectation’s and must say I was not disappointed.


While I haven’t read many historical fiction novels, I believe The book thief is a realistic historical fiction novel.From the moment I opened this book, I felt as though I was living in World War two. At the beginning of the book I didn’t understand the significance of ‘The Gravedigger’s Handbook’, that is until Hans Hubermann began to teach Liesel how to read. From the moment Han’s began to tutor Liesel how to write I got to get a glimpse, into the beautiful relationship that would blossom between the two soon afterwards.


While there are many relationship’s which are important to this novel, in my opinion the relationship between Liesel and Han’s is pivotal. It has nothing to do with the plot but the fact Liesel has never had a father figure in her life, until she met Han’s. Han’s teaches her about kindness, loyalty and most importantly love. Throughout the novel Liesel and Han’s bond over books, music and the rolling of cigarettes. Han not only treated Liesel like a daughter but thought of her as one of his own. He stayed up with her at night and helped her with her reading. Not to mention the fact he slept in a chair at night while she slept, so that when she woke up Liesel would know she was safe.


While my favourite relationship formed was between Liesel and Han, my favourite character was Rudy Steiner. He brought both humor and thievery to this novel. I especially loved how Rudy covered himself in charcoal to resemble the famous athlete Jesse Owen’s, and then proceeded to run at the Hubert Oval Track. I personally loved how rudy would request a kiss from Liesel many times throughout the book. My favourite scene with Rudy is not when he requests a kiss off Liesel while freezing in the Amper river nor is it the scene where he helps Liesel steal books, but when he gives bread to the Jews. It showed me even though Rudy didn’t know a Jew personally, he believed that nobody should go without food, nor should they be treated as they had been.


I adored how Death was the narrator of this book. I was expecting possibly Liesel to be the narrator or possibly for Marcus Zusak or third person. I love how death also added in his own opinion’s of certain character’s and the effect people’s death’s had on him/her. The small bold paragraphs, were just icing on the cake. They gave a little insight into scenes and death’s thought’s.

My favourite scene of this whole novel, was the ending. Reading about the death’s of Rudy, Rosa, Frau and many other character’s had my chest constricting. But the deatch which had me crying like a baby was Han’s death. When I read the line ‘Papa,She would not, and could not look at Papa.Not yet.Not now.’That was when tear’s began to descend down my face. It took a whole five minutes before I could even begin to read the rest of Han’s death.Rudy’s death also almost had me in tear’s because while I had been warned by death earlier on in the novel that he would die, I had envisioned Liesel and Rudy happily married with children. True to death’s word’s,Rudy died, and Liesel finally kissed Rudy.A bittersweet kiss, filled with love, pain and sorrow.I chocked as I read the impact of Rudy’s death on Liesel.


Overall this was an amazing novel set in World War two. it gave reader’s many insight’s into life. From loving unconditionally to losing loved ones and growing up. In this book we are given scenes of love, anger, happiness, pain and hate. While World War two is generally a sad time period, this book made it much more than that. This book is officially one of my all time favourites! 5/5 stars.




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