It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
Before I start the review, here is some back story. I listened to this book on Audible over the course of 4 months. That's right. 4 months. For one audio book. Way too long. I would listen to it in short amounts and often times I would listen to it while I was going to sleep so I would miss some parts of the story. At about 60% I decided to just get it over and done with and I completed the rest of the book (4 hours or so) in one sitting. You might wonder why I am saying all of this at the start of the review, but I am pretty sure once you read this next part you'll understand.
I'm going to be honest, the first 65% of this was completely boring to me. I didn't like it at all and I was getting more and more annoyed as it went on. However as mentioned above, my reading/listening of this book was spread out over a long time so I think this has a lot to do with my enjoyment. Because when I listened to the ending I was hooked. Although it definitely did have a lot to do with what was happening in the book.
I still do not think that this book lives up to the hype that surrounds it. I've seen very few reviews below 4 stars and it seems to be everyone's favourite book. From what I have gathered most people seem to love the fact that the story is told from Death's perspective. But I really disagree. I felt like because of this perspective I didn't really connect with the characters as much, and it jumped around from telling Liesles story, to his story so much that I would get confused as to what was going on.
The story itself was very interesting (when I knew what was happening). I liked that it was historically accurate (as far as I know) and the fiction aspect of the story was very believable (minus the whole Death thing).
As I listened to this book on Audible, I'll give a small review of the audio book here. If you are going to read this book, I really do NOT recommend listening to the audio version. The reason I picked this up on Audible in the first place was because I watched some BookTube video where someone said that it was the best audio book they have heard but man, it just made the book drag on and on and on!! I didn't mind the narrators voice, but man did he have some saliva going on. Every time he would whisper (which was a lot) I could hear his saliva loud and bloody clear and it was making me sick! going back to where I spoke about the fact that the changing stories being confusing, I think one of the main causes of that was the audio book. When reading you can differentiate that sort of thing easier, but with an audio it's much harder. So apart from the fact that the audio literally made me feel sick, and that it made the story much harder to follow, I did like the narrators voice (minus saliva sounds) and felt like it fit with the story. I just wouldn't recommend listening to this one.
Ok but the big turn around for me with this book was the ending (by that I mean the last 30%) because man it broke my heart! It's quite odd as well as I went from being completely unattached to completely falling apart! I'm pretty sure this quote from You've Got Mail sums it up perfectly "They'll hate us in the beginning...
Overall, wouldn't recommend the audio but if you're interested in WWII then check out the story. I don't think it's for everyone though, that's for sure.
Publisher: ABC Audio
Format: Audio Book, 14 hrs 22min
Narrated by: Dennis Olsen
Genre: Historical Fiction
Acquired from: Audible
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