Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Friday, 4 April 2008

"The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak (Doubleday, 2007)

  • The Narrator - Sometimes Death is narrating. Death reminds me of the Terry Pratchett character of the same name - "For some reason, dying men always ask questions they know the answer to. Perhaps it's so they can die being right." (p.476). Sometimes s/he's reporting what s/he subsequently read - "I didn't discover any of that until I came back a few months later and read something called 'The Book Thief'". That book has 10 sections, and ends with "I have hated the words/and I have loved them and I/hope I have made them right" (p.532). But there's other material too, whose provenence is uncertain. Death doesn't seem to be ubiquitous, and yet ...
  • The Insertions - There are multipage facsimile insertions, and also many smaller ones that are asides, comments, definitions of German words, etc.
  • The Style - There's lots of foreshadowing and reminding. I struggle with metaphors like "The tears grappled with her face" (p.539)

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