Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Book Thief

I just finished The Book Thief, ten years (well, five years) after everybody else. I loved the last third of it, but I'd set it down once before soon after starting it, and I forced myself through this time, interested in it if not fully engaged, and figuring that if everyone else loved it so much, it had to be worth reading. I'm extremely annoyed by the blurb on the back from the USA Today review: "Deserves a place on the same shelf with The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank..." looking at that full review now, though, I see that the reviewer also notes that "the first forty or so pages are dismal and tough to slog through."

Anyway the blurb annoys me because this book has so little in common with Anne Frank, really. The protagonists are about the same age, and both are set during WWII and have a lot to do with Nazis persecuting Jews. But one is fiction, one non-fiction; one is the story of a German girl in Germany, the other is the story of a Jewish girl in Amsterdam. I love Anne Frank, but this is such a different book in so many ways. One is narrated by death, the other by Anne Frank.

Though I guess, yeah, in your own personal library, you might put them on the same shelf.

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