The Book Thief – Discussion 3/3

This is last of three discussion posts for a read-a-long of The Book Thief, being hosted by Suey at It’s All About Books, Kami at Kami’s Library Thoughts, and Kathy at Read This Instead. That means that this post WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. You have been warned 🙂

  1. How did you feel when Max had to leave the Hubermanns? What did you expect would happen to him?
    • Honestly, I was pretty angry at Hans. I thought that while what Hans did was kind, it was also stupid and thoughtless since he had other people to care for. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was certainly worried about Max!
  2. Why do you think Liesel ran out to Max when they finally did cross paths, even after she had seen what happened to Hans earlier in the book?
    • Although it could be as simple as because she cares about Max, I think there was more too it than that. I think the last story he wrote her made it clear how much her friendship meant to him and how protecting that friendship was a way of standing up to Hitler. I also felt like the Jews being marched through town were being treated like they were subhuman and recognizing Max as a friend helped just a little bit to make that right, because Liesel was recognizing him as a person.
  3. What did you think of Death spoiling the ending a couple chapters before it actually happened? Did the warning make it easier to handle?
    • I could completely understand if this drove some people crazy, but thank goodness. I do think it made it easier to handle, which is good because I cried a lot anyway! Actually, given that I knew what was going to happen, I was completely bowled over by how much it affected me anyway.
  4. Which death impacted you the most?
    • Rudy’s death made me the most sad. A lot of the book seemed to be about savoring happiness while it lasted, but in Rudy’s case there was also the missed opportunity of Liesel just realizing she loved him and never giving him the kiss he’d been asking for. Poor Rudy!
  5. How did your view of Ilsa Herman change over the course of the book? 
    • I actually liked her from the beginning. I liked her better as we saw her being kind to Liesel and Max and I admired her more for being so brave about hiding Max, but my view of her didn’t change too dramatically.
  6. The power of words is such a big theme throughout the book. Which instances of powerful words stuck out to you? Or, which quotes from the book stuck out to you?
    • I was thinking again today about what Liesel said about Hitler not having been able to come to power without words. I thought that was interesting. The image of Liesel reading to everyone in the bomb shelter was a very powerful image as was Max’s story.
  7. Thoughts on Liesel and Death finally meeting?
    • I liked that Death seemed to admire Liesel for her courage, something that seems especially appropriate given what she survives later.
  8. If this was your first time reading The Book Thief, is it what you expected? If it was a reread, what did you notice this time around?
    • It was as sad as I was afraid it would be, but it was so incredibly beautifully well written that I was extremely glad I read it anyway. I usually hate books that make me cry, but something about this one was different. I think it’s because I felt like the emotion had a purpose. I hate when an author kills off a character and I feel like they didn’t have to die and it was just to add drama. In this case, the whole book was about beauty and loss and I thought it was a very carefully thought out ending with the author intending the reader to feel very specific things.
  9. Will you see the movie?
    • Heck yes! It might be bad, but the book was so amazing, I can’t pass up the chance that they’ll do it justice.

7 Comments

Filed under Blogger Events, Fiction

7 responses to “The Book Thief – Discussion 3/3

  1. I love your thoughts! Poor Rudy, for sure. I was so crushed about his death, but I agree none of the deaths were manipulative. I hated having the ending spoiled, but at the same time it was so sad that I probably needed the warning!
    Thanks so much for reading along with us. 🙂

  2. Oh Max. . . I just really felt for his character and loved the book he made for Liesel!!!

  3. “In this case, the whole book was about beauty and loss and I thought it was a very carefully thought out ending with the author intending the reader to feel very specific things.”

    Yes, agreed. Beautifully written book.

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