Monday, 30 April 2012

Z is for The Book Thief by Markus Zusak



Link to Goodreads
Apart from being a fantastic story, this book stood out for me because it's narrated by Death. As a result the viewpoint is pretty much omnipotent. Done badly, using an unexpected narrator can either be a gimmick or a mistake. But done well, like in The Book Thief, it makes the story very special and memorable.

I've recently completed a story narrated by a ghost. Now, I'm actually foolish enough not to pay attention to rules or conventions, so I'd probably have always written that particular story in that way; but it's reassuring to know that non-conventional narrators are accepted - and can really add something to the way a story is told.

The Book Thief takes the very serious and important issue of Nazi Germany and weaves a wonderfully poignant and sad story amongst the plight of the Jewish people. I cried, several times. Whatever I say here won't do the novel justice - I'm not a great reviewer - but I highly recommend this book to everyone.


And this brief post concludes the A-Z Challenge. I'm not sure how to finish - it's been lots of fun and I've discovered some great new bloggers, but I'm also a little bit glad I'll be able to get back to normal. My laptop could do with some down-time.

Thank you to everyone who's stopped by or followed me this month.

If you've followed me during the course of the challenge, and I haven't yet followed you back, please comment and let me know - it was just an oversight and easily rectified! I'm looking forward to getting to know you all in the coming weeks and months.

59 comments:

  1. I've never heard of this book before. It sounds like it would be very moving. And death as the narrator is a very different concept. I'm glad it is one that was pulled off. I'm currently playing around with a story that is from the POV of the Antagonist, which I've been told is a no-no. :)

    Thank you for sharing this book. I'm adding it to my TBR shelf on Goodreads right now.

    It's been great blogging with you through the challenge!

    Michelle
    www.michelle-pickett.com/blog

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    1. The POV of the antagonist sounds interesting. I don't agree with people who say things are no-nos, it makes me want to do it all the more, just to see if I can. Good luck with it.

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  2. I have a copy of this book kicking around the house somewhere because it's been on my To Be Read list for quite a while now. I always read such great things about it.

    Congratulations on having finished the challenge!

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    1. It's worth moving to the top of your list!

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  3. Never heard of this book :(

    Congrats on making it to the end of the challenge! :D

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    1. It's one of the best novels I've read for a long time, and the story stays with you.

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  4. Although I haven't read this boo, narated by Death interests me. What an unusual concept.


    http://francene-wordstitcher.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi Francene, thanks for the follow. It is unusual, but it works perfectly. The author definitely had a 'ping' moment with that idea :-)

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  5. Oops. I missed the 'k' on the end of book. I just read your 'about me' and imagine my delight to find you live in Cornwall. I'm in outer London, but all my 9 books are about Cornwall. A series of 4 written with co-author Edith Parzefall, of which the first is just published by Double Dragon, and four of my own, the first in the series to be published by Solstice soon. I've placed your book on my shelf to read as soon as I can work out how to work my Kindle.

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    1. Thanks Francene. I'll check out your books. I love novels that are set around places I know. I'll be over to your blog soon!

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  6. I love this book! When I first read it ages ago, I was so moved that I emailed the author. He was so gracious in his reply, it made me love the book even more. I also read I AM THE MESSENGER, one of Zusak's earlier novels and I enjoyed that one as well. :)

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    1. That's so cool - I'd never think to email the author, even though I'd have no problem emailing an author I've met through blogging. In my head, I still have a distinction between the authors I know and the authors in Waterstones. How bad is that! Must change my mindset instantly.

      I've not read anything else of his, but I really should.

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  7. excellent choice & fantastic job w/the challenge! will be so nice to blog normal again!

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    1. Thanks Tara, although my days are going to be so empty. I'll certainly never fret about keeping up with people's blogs again, not after visiting so many each day!

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  8. Haven't had a chance to read the book yet.
    And we did it! A whole months of posts. Tomorrow, I'm not posting a thing.

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    1. Tomorrow, I might not even switch on my laptop!

      It's a beautiful book, well-worth it.

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  9. My daughter has this book. I need to ask her if she's read it. I'm so sorry A to Z is over. This was my first time to participate and I loved it. Already looking forward to next year!

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    1. It's been my first time too. I'm thinking about next year's theme already :-)

      Thanks for the follow.

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  10. I loved, loved, loved this book - but I cried buckets! Great post and well done for being such an active A-Z visitor - I've seen comments you've made on lots of blogs on my travels! Your laptop's probably smoking! :-)

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who cried. I love it when a book sweeps you along like that. I've tried to comment, but really didn't get through as much of the list as I'd hoped. Maybe next year...

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  11. Oh, this is the second recommendation I've seen for this book today! I definitely need to put it at the top of my TBR list.

    I really enjoyed your theme for the Challenge, it was great to get so many recommendations!

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    1. Thanks Julie - I just hope people like the books I've recommended!

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  12. This is going to be my very next read. Congrats on making it all the way through the challenge!

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    1. Thanks Matthew - I hope you enjoy the book.

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  13. Good choice for Z. I've had this book for a long time now, but still haven't read it.

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    1. It's a beautiful book. Be prepared for a couple of tears though.

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  14. Good move on Z.


    Congratulations on making it through the A to Z Challenge. Join us on May 7th with your Challenge Reflections post.

    Lee
    Places I Remember
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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  15. Ooo, a ghost narrator. I'll look forward to reading that, Annalisa. I love unconventional.

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    1. Thanks you Mary - hopefully it'll be out there one day!

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  16. It's been so fun to get to know you through the challenge! And I really want to read this book. I've heard wonderful things. I need to quit putting it off!

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    1. I'd say it's definitely a must-read-now book :-)

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  17. I loved The Book Thief. It took me some pages to realize that Death was the narrator, and I loved Death's sarcasm and--dare I say it--tender side.

    Congratulations on finishing the challenge and it's good to cyber meet you!

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    1. Yes, Death was certainly not how I usually picture him! It was nice meeting you too.

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  18. 'Done badly, using an unexpected narrator can either be a gimmick or a mistake. But done well, like in The Book Thief, it makes the story very special and memorable.'

    I could not agree more with this statement.

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  19. Just want to get caught up with your Z post! Great blogging! Blessings
    Bishop Leo Michael
    http://episcoblog.holycatholicanglican.org/

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  20. Thanks for posting. I have not read this book, but want to. It sounds great.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, and for the follow.

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  21. I've never read a book that's made me cry before. Wil defo need to check this one out, and stock up on Ben and Jerry's! :)

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    1. I very rarely cry at books. The other one I read at the same time was The Boy With the Stripped Pyjamas - I cried at that one too.

      I should have thought about Ben and Jerry's too :-)

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  22. Hi Annalisa .. it sounds a very interesting book - but I struggle to read these .. also The Boy with the Striped Pyjamas ... I'm not good in that direction - I know, but the detail I don't need to be reminded about. It's too horrific .. but what a good Z ..

    Congratulations on finishing .. here's to a merry May! Hilary

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    1. A merry May indeed!

      I don't want to watch the film of The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas, because I know I'd be in tears from the very start. The good thing about the book is that it's written for children, with a child narrator, so words are spelt as he hears them. Even Fuhrer is spelt differently, so it adds a bit of distance. Both very good books.

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  23. This is on my bookshelf; I just haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Maybe I should push it up on the TBR list.

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  24. I've heard this is really good, and I have the sample on my Kindle, but I haven't read it yet!

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  25. I just finished this one, actually, and I have to agree with you. It's one that sticks with you for a long time afterwards. Very powerful.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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    1. I'm surprised how many people haven't read it - I assumed this post would be redundant. I'm glad you liked it too.

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  26. I tried to read this book. I started it twice but it was too painful to read. Sometimes it's good to read a book that moves you to tears and sometimes it's just not the right time to do it. Maybe I'll try it again in a few years' time.

    Well done for completing A to Z. It's quite a relief, isn't it!

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    1. I had the same reaction to The Lovely Bones. But I blame that on my hormones as I was pregnant at the time. As soon as I'd had my son, I could read the book.

      I understand what you mean though, but I hope you're able to come back to it because it really is a wonderful story.

      I celebrated finishing the challenge by doing some (neglected) housework!

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  27. I haven't read this book yet, but I know I very much need to. Congratulations on surviving the A-to-Z!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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    1. Oops. Sorry Shannon, I've only just seen this comment. It was a whirlwind month - I'm missing all the blogs and comments!

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  28. Thanks for a great finish to the challenge & I love this book :)

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    1. Thanks Anita - yes, it's almost a perfect book, I think!

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  29. Ahhh the Beatles. So very classic. Excellent taste Annalisa.

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Please comment - I love a good chat!