Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
I had my doubts about reading this book. I have a hard time with books about WWII Germany. I knew this would probably be a heartbreaker too but for some reason I decided to take it on. Maybe because the book was about books, and I usually like that genre; maybe because the reviews were so good; certainly not because I read it was appropriate for "sophisticated teens and adults." For whatever reason, I am glad I selected The Book Thief. It was incredibly well-written. The characters completely came to life. While there certainly was heart-brake, the heart-warming more than made up for it. This is a book for all ages. The narrator was outstanding and all and all, it was a book I will not soon forget.
I could not call this a great book but easily I rate it a wonderful one. Some of the reviewers commented on the violence. I abhor violence and one of the reasons I liked the book so much had to do with its minimal violence. The description of a violent act in the very beginning leaves more to the reader's imagination than to the words of the narrator. The hero, Bod is totally nonviolent. He never threatens and hardly even defends. He allows the villains to do themselves in. Scary goules and ghosts? I think not. They are pretty much all loving and caring souls.
Throughout the book I considered whether this was a book for children. As an adult, I certainly enjoyed it and believe many children would also. Hansel and Gretel now that's violent and horrific. Little Red Riding Hood? That's perverted and violent. None of that here... just a delightful story in which good completely triumphs over evil... or better yet, evil does-in evil. And to top it all off, the narration was excellent.
Star-wise I find the book difficult to rate. For what it is I would rate the book 5 stars. Compared to all books in general maybe only 4. In Netflix, 4 stars means "I really liked it." That settles it.
I love books! All kinds... classics, mysteries, Christian fiction, suspense and action! I'm also a sucker for anything romantic. ;) And just recently started getting into some non-fiction, philosophical books.
It is quite different than the movie. Some parts are similar, sometimes things that happened at the beginning of the movie happen at the end of the book and vice versa. I liked the characters a lot more, in the book, as there was plenty of time to flesh them out and get into their issues.
This all being said, I might have had a difficult time understanding the magical side of things, the house in 4 places, the change, Calcifer, the scarecrow... without having seen the movie first. Personally, I'm glad I saw it first, then read the book. I was so much more pleased with it then had it been the other way around.
The movie had it's own agenda, which wasn't in this book at all, and that was the war. I mean, war was suggested as a possibility in the future, but that wasn't the point of the book. And honestly, that annoyed me in the movie. The book, instead, focused on characters, vibrant descriptions, mystery and excitement.
Quite good and very enjoyable. :)