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Is there anyone else on here who didn't love The Book Thief?

(265 Posts)
TunipTheVegedude Sun 07-Jul-13 20:54:58

I was told to persevere with it and I'm now 63% through and it's annoying me more than ever.
I'm finding it pretentious and dull and while some of the characters are fine, the girl is totally unconvincing - she reads like someone has sat down and decided on some interesting characteristics to give her ('I know! I'll make her good at fighting and football!') rather than the character growing naturally.
Is it going to get better in the last 37%?

TunipTheVegedude Sun 07-Jul-13 21:49:59

I am interested to know what you liked about it BOF. In a totally open-minded, what-am-I-missing kind of way.
I don't read much literary fiction but I don't assume that's because it's all rubbish, just that it's not my thing.

NettoSuperstar Sun 07-Jul-13 21:53:28

I loved it, but then as a single Mum on benefits, what would I know.

NettoSuperstar Sun 07-Jul-13 21:55:05

Mind you, it did make a change from my usual reading, the Sun. (Paper, rather than the large hot thing in the sky)

Inthebeginning Sun 07-Jul-13 21:58:56

I thought it was a beautiful book. I read it a few years ago. Thoughtful and graceful in my opinion.

Khara Sun 07-Jul-13 22:24:27

I hated it - don't know why - but I didn't finish it and I never don't finish a book.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sun 07-Jul-13 22:30:08

I liked the foster mother, she is very like my mil

JackieTheFart Sun 07-Jul-13 22:31:06

I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. I don't think I'd read it again.

Floralnomad Sun 07-Jul-13 22:31:38

I loved it ,but I'm not really a big reader and tend to dislike things other people like ( curious incident of the dog for example) . Now Cloud Atlas I gave up on after the first few pages .

milkwasabadchoice Sun 07-Jul-13 22:34:20

Loathed it. Ugh.

hackmum Mon 08-Jul-13 08:58:24

I didn't like it. I particularly disliked the conceit of using Death as a character.

valiumredhead Mon 08-Jul-13 09:05:36

Never been able to get past third chapter or so and I've tried a few times. Have given up now!

MissAnnersley Mon 08-Jul-13 09:19:02

I've picked it up a few times but have never got past the first two or three pages. I kept giving up because I didn't understand it. blush

SoupDragon Mon 08-Jul-13 09:22:42

I enjoyed it but I'm not entirely sure I understood it completely.

Rather nicely, I actually "stole" the book from the supply in out holiday villa a couple of years back smile I did leave several of mine behind though.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 08-Jul-13 09:36:16

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about books taking that sort of mythic approach to the Holocaust.
The conceit of Death taking the people makes the whole thing feel inevitable and takes away some of the sense of human responsibility for what happened. It's oddly cozy and morally I'm afraid it might be a bit of a cop-out.

AnonYonimousBird Mon 08-Jul-13 09:39:17

I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I felt the need to finish it, but wasn't that bothered.

Uptheairymountain Mon 08-Jul-13 09:42:51

I didn't mind it, but there are many better books out there that address the holocaust using mythic tropes - Jane Yolen's novel Briar Rose and short story Sister Death, for example.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 08-Jul-13 09:50:43

Thanks for the tip, Uptheairymountain <makes note>

Trills Mon 08-Jul-13 09:58:01

I thought it was quite meh. I read it a year or two ago and I don't really remember it much at all.

lljkk Mon 08-Jul-13 10:03:34

I loved it, I guess I just bought into the magical realism and the way the girl was emotionally stunted, forced to just survive. A lot of it is portrait of ordinary poor Germans caught up on an ideological maelstorm they can't see objectively. Interviews with the author are good, too.

If you don't like, just move on quickly! Something like The Woman in White would be dull & turgid to me. Isn't it great we're all different & like different things?

TunipTheVegedude Mon 08-Jul-13 10:06:23

I'm 82% through now. I'm going to skim the rest.

I love The Woman In White grin

Clawdy Mon 08-Jul-13 14:06:19

I read it,quite enjoyed it then re-read it for a book group a couple of years later. The second time,I loved it.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 08-Jul-13 14:34:25

The Woman in White is fabulous, certainly knocks the Woman in Black into a cocked hat.

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Jul-13 16:11:58

"I think you either get it or you don't. <shakes head sadly>"

What is sad is that you call yourself a Professor of English Literature but are unable to explain what you feel has gone "over our heads" in a book written for teenagers fgs hmm

I hope your students get slightly more intellectual replies from you in class than "either you get it or you don't".

TunipTheVegedude Mon 08-Jul-13 16:21:07

I'm not sure BOF still teaches students formally, I think she's in one of those very senior posts where she just sits on funding councils, runs her department and gets loads of study leave.

LRDLearningKnigaBook Mon 08-Jul-13 16:22:20

How dare you? angry

I learned everything I know at BOF's knee.

Or, you know, the professorly equivalent of knees.

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