So a million years ago, or in 2011, my friend Martha directed me to a website wherein a guy named Mark does play-by-play summaries and commentaries of various books. Super-detailed ones. And he once read The Book Thief. I read through a few posts when I started The Book Thief and it seemed really interesting. Now that I’m just past the halfway point I have no idea how he managed to spend that much time with this book! There is simply not that much going on. Were I to do play-by-play on this book I’d have to delve into what was going on in the rest of Germany and the world and not spend as much time with the text. I’m not saying I’m not enjoying it. I am. But after living in the world of The Luminaries the plot of this one is awfully simple. (I have this bad feeling I’m going to be comparing books to The Luminaries for a while. I apologize in advance.)
So what’s been going on in Liesel’s world since I last posted? Well, time is passing. It’s 1941 now, and everyone is the town is hungry. Also, Liesel and her foster parents have a Jew named Max living in the basement. How very The Diary of a Young Girl. Max’s father knew Hans in The Great War, and Max goes to him in the hope that the memory of the friendship these two men shared thirty years before will be enough to find a safe haven. It is. Liesel is also hitting her teenage years, and has developed a rebellious streak. There is stealing of apples and potatoes, and a few books, and also a telling off of the mayor’s crazy wife. We are getting to know Liesel and her best friend Rudy, and also Max the basement dweller. Not as much time is spent with the adults, and I suppose that’s fine. Adults are so boring, anyway.
I am enjoying The Book Thief, for the most part. Max is an artist of sorts, and Zusak adds in many of his drawings throughout the middle part of the book. I do enjoy pictures in a book from time to time, but I am finding them slightly distracting. Somewhat along the lines of the boldface interjections that abound throughout the book. Perhaps I’m being overly critical. The drawings help the reader to get to know Max, and that’s good. I know Zusak is trying some things here, and how can I truly fault someone for attempting to be an innovator? That being said, this is our blog and we can say what we want. I’m going to reserve final judgment on the drawings for a bit. I am pretty sure my opinion of the boldface interjections is set: thumbs down.
And please, if you want a play-by-play of this book, check out the Mark Reads website. He does such a good job summarizing and commentating on The Book Thief I am not going to make an attempt to compete.