[Rezension] Markus Zusak: The Book Thief

893136Maybe it was a mistake to read the English version, because to me those names, German sounding, but written in an English fashion (Rudy instad of Rudi, Tommy instead of Tommi) and some sloppily dropped facts made me doubt every last info or fact and made the whole book seem sloppy. To me it made it so obvious that the writer was penning his novel from quite a distance from a very foreign point of view. (I heard though that the translators „corrected“ these and other things too when transferring it to German.)

But I had more severe problems with the book:

The narrator. Death himself: I liked the idea and here and there it did work out nicely, but overall it seemed overdone and frankly ridiculous. And it never felt like „death“ was telling the story, it felt like a quirky idea the author came up with to set his book apart from others.

The little breaks in the narrative, little inserts, which I enjoyed in the beginning became annoying after about 50 pages and felt just pretentious to me. I rarely felt like they added much to the story, let alone the atmosphere.

The fact that „death“ threw out spoilers all the time could have worked, but it was just too much for me, every bit of suspense was killed ahead of even starting to grow. The whole narrative especially in the last part was so anticlimactic, it felt like a slap in the face in parts (I guess it was meant to be shocking, well – didn’t work out that way to me, I just felt let down by the author to get deaths of beloved characters thrown into my face. (I guess that’s the way „death“ is supposed to be, huh?) )

I did like the (potential of the) characters a lot and the story itself is a good and strong one but to me it was pushed aside by a „show-off-y“ narrative/ style.

I tried to like it but this book didn’t work for me at all. Overall I felt like the narrative was far more important to the author than characters or storyline and to me it was killing the feeling of connection to the characters or events.2-sterne-schw


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