The Book Thief: Why did I not enjoy this?

The Book Thief - Trudy White, Markus Zusak

This is definitely a book that I had a hard time rating. It was one of those books where I had to place it in the 'what-the-heck-do-I-rate-this' shelf. Needless to say, this book is definitely one of those books where I didn't like it but everyone around me adored it. (this situation was very similar to when I read The Fault in Our Stars)


So why didn't I like this book while everybody else loved it? Well part of my problem was that it just wasn't really interesting and, surprisingly, it was very difficult to keep reading. I just didn't find myself that invested in this book. The pacing was incredibly slow and I really didn't understand Death following around the main character. She wasn't interesting, nothing really special happened, and I was really puzzled on why Death was really interested in 'the book thief'.


I mean the writing was beautiful but I had mixed feelings about Death's narration throughout the whole book. It was both interesting and annoying. I really liked Death's inability to feel when taking people's souls and carrying them into the after life but that was about it. The rest of him was pretty annoying. I felt like I should be fascinated by his narration, I mean it's Death for crying out loud! But no, he wasn't that impressive. Which was a shame because that was the big thing I kept hearing about this book.


Death kept saying that this person died or so-and-so died like this and then he would go back and continue the narration like it was nothing. Now I don't mind his detachment towards people dying, what I do mind is how he just tells us that certain characters die and he goes back to telling us how that person died and just continues the story. That probably didn't bother most people but to me that just ruined any emotional connection that I might have had with any of these characters. It also didn't help that the majority of the characters really weren't that interesting. The only ones that were memorable to me were the Liesel's foster parents. I kinda liked them. The foster father (Hans) was kind and very giving towards her and the mother (Rosa) was stern but also very likeable.


The others? I don't remember them. Rudy was boring and dull. I tried to like Max but he had nothing going for him besides him loathing Hitler and him feeling that he's not worthy of Hans and Rosa to care for him. Both parts understandable and predictable. But that's it and not very complex or interesting.


There wasn't even a plot to this book. It just followed Liesel around but nothing happened except for the 'shocking ending' that Death just so happened to spoil for us.


I wish there was more that I could say but there isn't much more. This book was just a difficult book to get through. It took me over a month to finish it. I would read around 100 pages or so before I had to put it down but then I wouldn't pick it up for about a week until I read another 100-150 pages.


So in conclusion, I didn't like it. For those of you that did, I'm glad. Maybe you found something good in it that I didn't.