Best of: books for ages 18+ #2: ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak
Published only ten years ago, this book has received numerous awards and remained on the New York Times Bestseller List for over 230 weeks.
Set in Germany during World War Two, the story follows Liesel, a little girl being looked after by a foster family following the death of her brother.
‘The Book Thief’ is narrated by Death. The choice to do this was contested by some critics, but leads to a powerful exploration of what stories can mean to people in desperate times. It’s experimental, it’s long, and at times it is dark, but deeply satisfying, particularly if you don’t mind difficult subject matters. The writing style is at times distracting, but never frustrating, as it is so fundamental to everything that makes this novel so great.
Many people avoid books that make them cry, but this one is so guaranteed to provoke a tear that you’d choose it particularly for that reason. Sob your heart out and enjoy.
By the same author: Another high-quality novel called ‘The Messenger’ and a series of books, which starts with ‘The Underdog’.