AFTER READING THE BOOK DISCUSSION 1: Death

The narrator of The Book Thief is rather unusual, don’t you think?  I know I’ve never read a book where Death narrated and found it gave a unique perspective to the book.  What do you think of the narrator?  How do you think the narrator created understanding in the story?  Did you like this approach?  Do you think this made the story too negative? What was the narrator’s view of the events?  How did he feel about Nazi Germany?

You may answer any or all of these questions, and of course, can add thoughts of your own related to the narration that may not have been asked.

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89 thoughts on “AFTER READING THE BOOK DISCUSSION 1: Death

  1. The end was a traggedy, depressing, but so devine. If the narrarator was not death I think I would never have liked this book, but the way that “Death” felt bad and was upset about all that he had done he had sympathized with leisel.

    • I also agree with Jack, that I do not think that I would have liked this book if dealth was not the narrator. It gave the book an edger and more intersting perspective that it made you think differntly about the story. I think that dealth as the narrator was a great unique asset to the “The Book Theif.” “Death” as the narrator gave the reader emotions that if “Death” wasn’t the narrator the reader would not have experience those emotions in a way that really had you envolved in the story.

      • Caitlin and Jack both bring out strong points of the narrator. I agree with your choice of the word unusual to describe the narration. I got confused many times during the book about narration but it all pulled together at the end. I thought it was cool that “death” was the narrator it gave the book a whole new outlook. “Death” created understanding by relating to Liesel and using key points. The approach was unique but made the story different and better. I didn’t think it was too negative, it tied in with the atmosphere of Himmel street at the time and gave readers a realistic understanding of how thats how the people did live.

      • I agree with Caitlin. The whole “Death” being the narrator was a little different. It definitely made my emotions turn. It was really unexpected. I also agree with Jack because it was a great ending because “Death” felt so bad for everyone that died and it felt bad for Liesel. I personally think that if death wasn’t the narrator, this book definitely would not have been as interesting as it was with “Death” being the narrator.

        • The fact that death wasn’t so edgy made the book a lot more enjoyable but i would of found it interesting if Death himself had a different personalitiy. For example if he was more angry at his job he would comment saying how much he dispised to pick up souls or remark that he didnt want to do it. Instead he seemed solem about it and he felt sorry for the souls. There are many different personalities that Death could of had and i think it would be an interesting sroty if Markus chose one of those charastics. I personally would of chosen a more sarcastic personalitiy for Death.

          • I agree with ben on the aspect of the narrator’s personality. It would have been nice if the narrator had a different personality. A lot of the time I missed his sarcasm. I thought that Death liked picking up souls after the war because it was his job. I disagree that Death should be more sarcastic because I would have found it less confusing if death spoke his mind.

      • Caitlin,
        I agree with you on the fact that having Death as the narrator did make the book interesting. But, I feel as though the story wasn’t complete. You were just saying that Death has a more interesting perspective. But, the truth is, we will never know if Death’s perspective was more interesting than the others because, we don’t have the book in anyone else’s perspective. Different people have different perspectives and thoughts on what happened in those tragic years. Something that Hans says could completely contradict something that Max could say. So we really will never know if Death had a more interesting perspective.

    • I agree with Jack for the most part, but although it was fairly sad, it was also nice to know that the mayor’s was as thoughtful as she was to watch over Leisel until she grew up. The ending was so surprising to me as I never imagined everybody dead from the attack except for Leisel who was reading in the basement for ole’ times sake thinking of Max.

    • I personally think that this book was a little negative since a lot of people died and death is the narrator. But that is what actually happened. Many people died during that time. Many people died for no reason and would be piled up with other bodies. So its negative but to explain to us on how and why people died back then.

      • Dear Pramod,
        I can see your point of veiw on how this would be negative but i also see some rather positive points about this book. With all the death going on and friends and family dieing i can see how you would think this is negative. However, there are some rather uplifting scenes in this book. For example when The book theif finds her first book and is learning how to read with hans, that was a touching moment that wasnt negative at all. Rather than looking at the bad parts about the book there are also plenty of good parts .

    • I personally thought the book was a little negative since death was the narrator and a lot of people died in a very harsh way. But, t the same time, it makes sense since that was what actually happened back then. Many people died for no reason and were piled up with other innocent bodies. Even though the book was trying to express the pain of the people back then I would’ve liked a little more if less people died in the book. That is my opinion.

      • I think your reaction is exactly what the author wanted. The Holocaust was extreme and harsh; it’s hard to believe the amount that were killed in such despicable ways, but unfortunately it was true, and it is one of the black marks of humanity.

      • I agree with Pramod, but at the same time the setting of the story took place in sad period of our history, so the story is naturally going to have some gloomy parts. The author did do a good job expressing the pain from the characters. I believe the author was trying to make us feel that way, considering the author did make the narrator “death” and wrote about numerous deaths in a dark period in Germany. In my opinion I think the book had a lot negative parts, but it was was informative.

        • Pramod, Ilyana, and Ms. Iaccarino,
          I agree with you; the book was written in a sad period of history so naturally, the book is supposed to be sad. When you express the pain or joy that a specific character is experiencing, I believe you grow closer to the character. I’m sure that you have all seen The Titanic. Well, during the movie, I noticed that Jack and Rose were sharing their joy and love on screen for us to see. I believe that I grew closer to their characters throughout the movie. And when the boat sank and Jack died, you can’t tell me that you didn’t feel sorry for them; maybe you even cried. The producer/author was trying to make you grow closer to the characters so that when they got hurt and/or died, you would experience some of the pain that they did. You may study a war or read a book about the troubling times, but your never going to really get it until you experience some of the suffering yourself. I believe that’s why the author was making you, even if you didn’t realize it, grow closer to the characters.

      • I completely agree with Pramod. The book was a little too harsh for me. Although that is what happened in Germany in that time period, the deaths were pretty tragic. I did not like how the characters just died by being bombed without doing anything wrong. However, I did enjoy when Hans and Alex were sent to war. It added a nice exciting twist to the book.

        • I agree with Ross this book had many twist and it was pretty harsh. The time setting of Germany during this time was a scary scene. This book was very interesting, although confusing at times it had it’s moments. The death was quite an episode and huge plot twist.

    • I agree with Jack because death is such an unique character the story would not be the same without him. It came from a different point of view and death did feel guilty for what he had done. I think the story was for the most part was negative because the Holocaust was a bitter time, although the author had a great way of describing it. In some points of the story I was confused from the narration but I read on and I figured it out.

      • I agree with Ilyana that the narrator, death, was confusing at some points, but made sense once I read it again. I think that the book was different because of death, but also because the point of view was from the Germans. Most Holocaust books are from the point of view of the Jews. I thought the topic of colors was confusing, but I liked how he talked about them.

        • McKenzie,
          I agree with you on the fact that Death as the narrator was confusing at points in the novel. But, I did not think the point of view was from the Germans; I thought that the point of view was from Death. I think it’s from Death’s point of view, but he is telling the German’s story instead of the Jews. And you are right, most of the books from the Holocaust are from the point of view of the Jews; but I think that is just so that we, the present day Jews/non Jews, can understand what the Jews went through during the Holocaust, in the concentration camps. And, if they weren’t in the concentration camps, they were on the run from the Germans. I really liked it when Death talked about the colors of the sky. It made me think about what the colors of the sky could tell us, throughout the day. Overall, this book caught my attention and I would recommend it to anyone who asks me.

      • Ilyana,
        The thing is, I don’t think it was guilt that Death felt when he took the souls away. I think he felt sorry for them, sorry that they had to die. I love how when Death took a body away, he looked up at the colors of the sky. I honestly have no idea why he would examine the colors. Maybe the colors told him what kind of a life this person had. For example, maybe gray and darker colors meant that he had a bad life. I don’t think that the book would’ve been good from Death’s perspective if he hadn’t said the part in the beginning about the colors of the sky. I think that part set the interesting tone for the rest of the book.

    • I agree with Jack, the end was a tragedy and depressing, but it was great and unique. Death was a great narrator for a story with this kind of setting and mood. The way death felt about the things he had done to Liesel changed the mood in the story. Without death as the narrator the mood in the story would have been a lot different.

  2. I thought it was interesting having read a book where the narrator is death. He brought a whole different perspective to the story. I did not think that he made it negative because he had some sympathy for the characters in the book. He did not like Nazi Germany and from the way he spoke I can tell that he does not like or approve of the war. The parts that confused me where when he described days as different colors. In those parts I was always a little confused.

    • Elijah brings up a great point when he says death brings a new perspective to the book. Most of us have never read a book that has death as a narrator. I know I haven’t, and it certainly is a different way to read a book. I also agree when Elijah says that death did not make the book negative but I don’t think it is just because he shows some sympathy for characters. I think the reason why death surprisingly did not make the book dark is because he is written as almost a normal person. It certainly does bring a new perspective to the book as Elijah stated, but certainly not a dark one. I do agree however when Elijah says he was confused with the days being colors at times. I at the time interpreted him using warm colors for happy days, and cold colors for bad days. But I am not completely sure. It is a very confusing aspect of the book.

      • I also am still trying to figure out what the colors mean. I have read the book twice now, but perhaps a third reading will do the trick. I am excited to look back on the book with you all in the fall to see if we can figure out if Andrew’s theory regarding the warm colors on happy days and cold on sad works out. There must be some reasoning behind why the author chose them and I bet someone in your class probably has a very interesting theory!

        • I also did enjoy the narrator perspective when the story’s being told. Death keeps it light in the beginning and progressively gets more descriptive and sympathetic as the story goes on. I like how this showed progression throughout the story of Death character. He is not a flat character, even though he is not one of the main characters in the story. He gives a more in depth description of Liesel to make you feel like he’s inside her mind showing her emotions and thoughts. My thought on the colors the narrator describes is that whatever the dominant color the surrounding is at the time of the incident, the narrator focus’s on as the only color and describes the surrounding in that color. For example, when Liesel’s brother dies, death describes it as white because they bury him in the snow. Also, when the enemy pilot crashes the plane, Death describes this as black because of the crashed, burned, smokey plane. Overall, there was a good balance with Death and his description of the colors painting a vivid picture in our minds.

        • Well, I think the colors are a reflection of the person’s soul, mixed in with the weather and the time (night or day). I first arrived at this theory when I read the part about Hans’ son going off to Stalingrad, where the sun was blocked first by ash from the German warplanes, then by the cruel white clouds of a Russian winter. So many people died at Stalingrad, civilians and soldiers, that their souls all melted together into a sort of melancholy white, following the horrific battle. Death must of been bust during those most terrible of months.

      • I also agree that Elijah brought up a great point. Death did bring a new perspective. I have also never read a book which had death as the narrator. It was actually very interesting to read. It was at the same time very confusing throughout the book but as Katie said, it all made sense in the end. I think death is a good narrator because it makes the readers understand how death was back then when the Germans were there, when they killed so many innocent people of all ages. I think the narrator wasn’t being negative. He was just making us understand death of many people back then during the time of the story.

    • One addition that I think really benefited the story was the narrator being Death. I agree with Elijah, that it made the book more interesting, and also unique. Because Death was the narrator, we were given much more information on what was happening during the war, things that were not happening in Molching. This perspective in the novel helped the story immensely.

    • I think the colors in the book were there to set the atmosphere. When there were a lot of deaths where Death was working, the sky would be dripping with red. There would be more red as Death picked up more souls. The colors in the book were very symbolic of something. I am 100% sure of what it was symbolic of though.

      • I agree with Maggie the descriptive words of the sky was a little different but interesting. It definitely foreshadowed deaths to come. The pick had a tempo and the language was intense. The colors confused me but as the book continued I understood its importance. The book’s setting and time period also signified that deaths were to come.

  3. I completely agree that the narrator of The Book Thief is very unusual. But the fact that death is the narrator makes the book extremely intriguing. To me, it almost felt like a very long amusement park ride, where from the outside your observing everything that is going on while at the same time being so engaged, that it feels like everything is real and right in your face. I think I still would’ve enjoyed the book if it was just a regular 3rd person narrator, but death certainly gives the book a special twist. Admitadly, it can become very confusing at times, but overall it was an interesting twist. But even though the narrator is DEATH, which many people view as a very dark and forbidding subject, it didn’t at all make the book dark or negative. It really just wasn’t narrated in that style. Death just seems like a normal person with a regular personality. He just happens to be death, and therefore is a little strange at times. But not at all dark. Overall I thought it was genius to make death the narrator, although the author could have been more clear at times in the story.

    • I like your use of similes here. I also agree that I don’t think Death creates a negative vibe. It seems like Death actually gets a bit annoyed that he’s dealing with so much death. He’s not exactly happy to be doing his job!

    • I agree that it was a very unusual twist in the dialogue to have the narrator be death. I think the book still would have good if it was narrated from a first or third person view. I do think though that it made the book more intriguing. I felt that the story was a little confusing in the beginning but it became more clear as I continued to read the story.

      • I agree with Jake. The book would’ve been a little less confusing if the narrator was in first or third person view. I actually think it would’ve been even better if the book was put that way. That way from the first page you can be hooked into the book instead of waiting to read the first 40 or 50 pages to actually understand what the book is actually talking about.

        • I agree with you both, and I’m betting the author may have known this could have been confusing. Why do you think he chose to go that way anyway?

    • Andrew brings up many good things that I completely agree with. I agree with the thought of the amusement park simile. I thought his comment was a very true and clever way to think about the book’s story. I also agree when he said that death would seem like a negative thing in the book but it did not come off as negative. When i was reading the book, death seemed like it was a regular person and with regular feelings, knowing the fact that it is death is is going to have different feelings and different emotions than your typical person. With the colors I did not completely get the idea that the author was trying to give. With death being the narrator it was a great element to the book.

  4. I found that Death as the narrator in the book didn’t make the story negative, it was just harder to follow the Book Thief’s story than it would be if it was told from the actual writers perspective. For instance, the part towards the end got really confusing for me because everyone got bombed, and before I knew it, Liesel was waiting for Hans Huberman to come back from work on the train. After I read a few more chapters I started to understand the way Death told the story. Although it was really confusing, having the perspective of Death when he/she takes the souls and leaves corpses behind was really deep and moving. Especially the part when he takes the pilots’ soul from the bombing plane with the teddy bear.

      • I did not find Death as the narrator confusing because it was like a character to me. Death could have been just another character in “The Book Thief” who was looking onto the scene and describing the events. Although, I do agree that it is unusual and the beginning surprised me when I realized it was Death’s voice. Another little touch that made an impact was when Death came to pick up Liesel’s soul and it gave her “The Book Thief”, the book she wrote in her basement.

        • Just as Courtney said, I was not confused having Death as the narrator because he was viewed as just another character or even a person. When Death gave Liesel her book she wrote I became curious as to how. It was awesome that the narrator could take such an incredibly depressing thing and be able to make it not sadden you. This book wouldn’t be half as good without death as a character.

  5. Before totally recognizing that it was death that was the narrator, I had thought that the person telling the story was just another man, standing in the background, unnoticed. I kind of like having the narrator being death. It gives the story a whole other meaning, a kind of sense that as no one can see him, he can see them, watching over them. The thought of death changed the understanding of the book by showing, not telling, the reader that he was watching closely on the people of the world. Another way he shows the reader little by little about his identity is through the little captions throughout the book. Even in the prologue, he’s trying to show the reader his identity, although very little at a time. Like a guessing game through the story line. I like how he (Death) describes his surroundings so that we can get a good enough picture inside of our minds, so that we can follow his exact footsteps as he tells of his journey and of others.

    • I agree with Andrew, I thought that the narrator was just another man but once I found out the narrator was “death” I thought it made the book more interesting. I thought it was very different “death” was telling the story. I also liked how death described everything I could picture everything in my head perfectly.

  6. So, as you know, death is the narrator to The Book Thief. I am starting to realize that he is seeming kind of like a human being. He has feelings, like sadness and happiness, or joy. I even think that somewhere in the book he gets a feeling of depression, like his job, that’s about as depressing as it gets, having to watch people suffer, gaining pain throughout their body, than collapsing into a heap of dead mix of flesh and bone. Pretty sad, right? Death tells us (the readers) that he likes to focus on the beautiful sky as each and every human he takes away the separated soul from the body.

      • Ms. Iaccarino that is not enough sentences!!! Though I do agree with you on the point of the colors. I did not really get what death meant by them, and have re-read that individual part multiple times.

        • Dan, you caught me! But I think since I’ve responded so many times, I’ll get a buy. Plus, I get to grade myself. : )

          Lisa Iaccarino Middle School Dean of Students Middle School English Worcester Academy 81 Providence St. Worcester, MA 01604 Phone 508-754-5302 x517 lisa.iaccarino@worcesteracademy.org

          WORCESTER ACADEMY is a co-ed day and boarding school for grades 6 to 12 and postgraduates. Our urban setting, diverse community, and challenging curriculum provide students with a solid, real-world education. Information at http://www.worcesteracademy.org.

    • I agree with Andrew. The narrator has feelings. You wouldn’t think of “Death” to be a thing that feels bad for people and has sympathy for people. Instead you would think of him to really think nothing of it because theres a good chance he sees people dying a lot. I think that it is great that the author made the narrator so similar to a real person yet so different.

  7. I find that Liesel is particularly interesting to death because of her courage, and personality. She reads stories to keep her hopes up, and, i think that death does the same, though in a different way. Death tries to find ways to give meaning to his work. One of the things that he does is to gather stories and memories of brave and courageous people. He retells these stories over and over in his mind (also human like) to “prove to myself that you, and your human existence, are worth it” (4.33). Basically he’s saying that he wants to find the goodness in everyone. He wants to find the hope and light of gathering, reading, and telling of stories. Pretty human to me.

    • I agree that Death found interest in Liesel, especially once he found her book, she wrote, in the bombing ruins. I thought it was interesting that when Liesel died he showed her the book. I found it facinating that he took such notice to the colors in the sky. Death explained that it was a sense of distraction from his job. Like Andrew expressed, I think that the colors gave Death hope.

      • I agree with Sydney that Death liked Liesel and enjoyed reading her book. I liked how Death sometimes gave us a glimpse ahead and showed us what was going to happen later on in the book. I think it gave us a heads up for what was coming. Also, I found it interesting that Death had feelings for the characters and liked certain characters over others.

  8. I do not think having death as the narrator was too negative. I thought it was a nice change from a character’s point of view, which is how most books I have read are written. I thought it was interesting that he foreshadowed a lot in the book by telling the reader what happens before each chapter. I think death had a very different perspective than most humans on war. For him it was just a busy day at work.

    • Death was not too negative when telling this story. Like Jake, I too thought that it was interesting how Death foreshadowed multiple times in the story. He did have a different perspective of war and for him it was just a busy day of work. I do think he enjoyed days like that though.

      • Death being the narrator was like the cherry on top for this book. Not only that, but the fact that it’s a holocaust book about a german. Most people- like I did-would have read the back of this book and thought “Okay, so there’s mention of a jew hiding in a basement, a dead brother, and a girl who stole a book. Then there’s someone referred to as Death” Right then and there I started reading. Death is what hooks in the reader to start reading. And once you start it’s like you never wanna put the book down. Death is always leaving pieces of the story around while you’re reading. Forcing you to keep on reading and put the pieces together like a puzzle. I found it difficult to look away.

      • I agree and disagree with Elijah’s perspective on the narrator’s view of his work. In the beginning of the story, Death treats his job as something he has to do and he does it without any hesitation or emotions. Throughout the book, however, his perspective changes making him become more sympathetic and emotion to his job and what he is actually doing. He forms a non-communicative bond with Liesel while telling her story. Death sees all the heartache she has gone through, begins to sympathize with her, and starts to dislike his job.

      • Dear Elijah,
        I rather though of death as being interested in the souls. He did not seem negative at all but rather interested in what kind of person the souls was in life. He would describe their personalities, for example he would say that this person was always kind and gentel but this other person would always love to fight and would try to pick one where ever he went. But yes i agree he was more of a positive person and not a negative one. He would try to find the “Silver lining” in everything and wouldnt always dwell on the negative.

      • Elijah,
        I agree with you point that Death tried not to be negative while he was narrating Liesel’s story, and how he occasionally foreshadowed upcoming events. However, I disagree with you when you say that warzones were enjoyed by Death. Of course, those days he was busy with the labor of carrying the souls of the deceased, but it was never expressed or suggested that these times brought joy to him. I even felt that Death was disappointed with the human race in the mass homicide war brings. On page 550, he says ‘I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race’. War would be a time were he has overestimated the people, and is disappointed that they have resulted in this.

  9. I liked that Death was the narrator in this book. Like many other people, I’ve never read a book where Death was the narrator, and it was kind of like a breath of fresh air; something new. I enjoyed reading the story from his perspective. Death gave you bits and pieces of information, and like Suzy said, forces you to continue reading the story. I liked that Death used colors to describe his emotions or the scene going on around him when he is collecting souls. I think this was his way of remembering certain events in history, or maybe just days that he particularly liked. I think that Death may have come across as tough, undemonstrative, or depressing to many people. However, on the very last page of the book, Death states to Liesel and the reader that he is “haunted by humans” which might mean that he gets emotionally attached to humans, their feelings, and their stories.

    • I agree with Hannah. I thought that having Death as the narrator was very unique and interesting. Having heard the story from his perspective was cool because he made it sound like taking people’s souls were nothing to him. But like Hannah said, in the end he admitted that he was “haunted by humans” which lets us know that he does care and is sensitive, not careless. I think this made the story deeper because then you know that all the souls he took meant something to him and when you read this it makes everything sadder.

    • I agree with Hannah. I thought that having Death as the narrator of the book was interesting and unique. Having the story told to me by death was cool because seemed as though he thought that taking souls from humans was no big deal. But then, like Hannah said, in the end he admits that he is “haunted by humans”. This lets us know that he is sensitive and has feelings. I thought it made the story deeper because when you find out that Death does care its makes everything sadder.

  10. The Narrator, “Death”, tells the story in a much more unusual way than I’m used to. Death is telling the main character’s, Liesel, story from the outside in. A story is typically told from the main characters view, but in this story third person is used. I enjoyed how he told it from his point of view because I get a better overview of the story. I like the narrator because he is direct and tells the story well through clarity and descriptions. He tries not to get emotional and stays matter-of-fact. The narrator transitions through the story becoming more emotional at the end, making the events more dramatic and showing a more vivid picture. Also, I think he dreads collecting souls during this time in history because so many people are dying, he has more souls to collect. His emotions are starting to get involved through exposure to Liesel. One negative thing was that he used German language a lot and so you had to think back to when he originally said it to remember what it means. I do like the narrators style. The style is different because Death talks like it knows everything and almost sounds a little cocky. The sections in bold, that are in between paragraphs, can be a little annoying, but over all they’re fine.

  11. I agree with Courtney H. when she says that Death was like a character in the book. I didn’t find that Death made the book depressing, I thought that Death added to the book and made it better. I thought that Death could have said more. Death only talked once every fifteen pages or so. I do like that death talked about taking the souls of Liesel’s friends and family after they all died.

  12. Personally I really enjoyed having “death” as the narrator, it made the book seem so interesting. And even though the book was confusing due to how it was written, it made me want to keep reading so that I could understand what was happening. The narrators view on the events varied because he continuously over estimated or he underestimated the human race, rather then just estimating, as he admitted in the end of the book. And also you would think death would be mean and scary, but he wasn’t he at times felt bad for people and he didn’t want Liesels book to be forgotten or left or ruined so he took out of the trash truck once she said her good byes and left, no books with her.

    • I agree with Julia that death was very judging of the human race. I agree on how she points out that we overestamate death and how he is a greedy unmerciful being.

    • I agree with Julia in the fact that Death was an interesting narrator and made me want to continue reading so the book made more sense. Even though, in the beginning it was very confusing, at the end all the puzzle pieces were put together and everything from the beginning made much more sense. I also agree with Julia because I defiantly thought that Death would bring some negativity but Death developed emotions and wasn’t a negative person.

    • I agree with Julia and I never really saw Death as estimating the human race, but now that I think about it I realize that throughout the story Death really did do that. I feel like in the end Death found someone who wasnt so afraid him and made him not judge Liesal. Although he still does feel somehow a bit afraid of the human race I feel like his courage had him do the nice and right thing because he really did care about her. And to me I felt like he wanted to help her very badly but could not and tried so much by showing her the book.

  13. I agree with Julia that Death was a rather enjoyable narrator. This book brought out a new view of death which made this book very riveting. His sarcasm makes him enjoyable and the author made this story unique by putting Death as the narrator. Also, I didn’t think that making Death a narrator made the story negative because he isn’t gloomy like what people think. I agree with Ilyana about the Holocaust being a horrible time because many innocent people died. Death disliked the Nazis and he actually dislikes war and mortality.

  14. At Last! I finnaly figured out how to use this thing…anyway, I really enjoyed the fact that death was the narrator because it allowed the author to operate in a sort of pseudo-third person style, giving you more information because the reader has access to multiple people thoughts, versus a character narrating, the reader would only have access to their own characters thoughts. I also like the fact that the narrator “Death” likes the idea of a human grim reaper. The scythe amuses him.

  15. Personally, I think that adding “Death” as the narrator was one of the best things that the author did. It added so much suspense. I was really excited to keep reading on to find out who the narrator was. When I figured out that it was “Death,” I had mixed emotions. I was excited, shocked and a little creeped out. If the narrator wasn’t “Death” I think that the book wouldn’t have made much sense. Personally, I thought that it was a great approach by the author. I also didn’t think that it made the story negative because the Death was almost like a person that also had feelings and felt bad for Liesel when everyone she knew and loved around her, died. I also liked how you got a few little hints throughout the book to get the narrator across. So, I personally thought that making “Death” as the narrator was a great approach.

    • I agree with Caroline on the fact that when we heard that the narrator is death, that we are apprehensive on what will happen. My first thought was that somebody important in the story is going to die and I was right. Death did bring much suspense to the book and personally I like it.

    • I agree Caroline. Death being a narrator was a superb addition to the story! I was really surprised that the author chose death instead of a character in the story. For me, once I found out that death was narrating the story, the story made more sense. I certainly agree that death being narrator was a great addition to the story.

  16. I loved having Death as the narrator. Sure, it made the book rather unusual, but It made me see the story from a different view. I liked that Death gave little facts and details that we as the readers would not have known. He made the story complete. Like Caroline said, if Death was not the narrator, the book would not have made sense. I do not think that Death made the story too negative. I actually think he made the story somewhat positive by adding his own feelings and emotions. Having Death as the narrator was a great touch to the book!

    • I agree with Emma that the book was strange having a narrator who is Death, but it made the story much more interesting. When I first started reading the book, I was confused and didn’t know who the narrator was, but as I kept reading, I figured it out. I liked having Death as the narrator because you could find out what was happening during the war with Papa and you could figure out what happened before Liesel. For example, Death told us about how Papa started to play the accordion. It made the book really stand out!

      • The same thing happened to me McKenzie, I was very perplexed in the beginning, and it took me a while to find out who was the narrator and what exactly was going on. I like how death is the narrator, because it told us the history behind what a chapter was based on.

  17. The fact that death was the narrator brought character and meaning to the book. I believe that death was the perfect narrator due to the book’s setting. With death going on everywhere whether it was on the battlefield, in concentration of war camps, or in everyday life in Germany, it had an overview of all that was going on. At first when you hear that death is the narrator, your mood weakens. As time goes on near the end of the book, death starts to feel bad for Liesel. I do believe that death was the perfect narrator because it was good to hear from a different point of view during these times.

    • I agree with max that death was a great narrator for this book because he does set the mood an your mood does change when you find out that death is the narrator. I also agree that the book does give a good overview of the deaths and the wars going on. During the ending of the book death does start to feel bad for Liesel. The books setting did need a narrator like death because they needed something to fit that mood an death was a great choice.

  18. Having death be the narrator was quite unusual, but I think it made the book more interesting. Death made the story clearer by telling us what happened before and sometimes after a specific event ( like about the Jessie Owens “accident”). I liked the ‘death as the narrator’ approach because it shows the whole story from a different perspective (death). I think death felt bittersweet towards Nazi Germany, but he may be more on the sadder side seeing that thousands of innocent children died because of the bombing(s).

  19. When I first started reading The Book Thief (italicized), I was also very confused. I had never read a story where the narrator was an idea opposed to a person. After reading a couple of chapters, I realized Death was the narrator and was slowly becoming its own character. I agree with everyone that said Death gave the book a different perspective in many ways. Throughout the book, Death was slowly built up into a character with many human characteristics. By the end of the book, I felt that Death was actually a person with many actions and thoughts. I did feel that it gave the book a gloomy tone, but it applied perfectly with the setting of Himmel Street and the time period of the Holocaust. I don’t think it was too negative because this was a very harsh time period and many deaths occurred. Overall, I think having Death as the narrator made the book have more of a realistic aspect and made me want to read more and more.

    • I agree with Tea that death seemed like a real person as the story went on. As we became more familiar with the idea that death was telling the story, we understood how death had many human characteristics and saw everything that went on in Leisel’s life in Germany. I also agree that it gave the book a different perspective on Nazi Germany at that time because no other books have that kind of view on the Holocaust, giving a clear understanding of how dangerous and deathly it really was.

    • I agree with Tea, but I didn’t think the Death brought a negative point to the book because even if Death wasn’t the narrator the book would still have many deaths. I think if anything Death was very sentimental to all the Deaths in the story, like when everyone on Himmel Street died Death said something nice about each of them. I also agree with Tea about having Death develop into an actual person with many human emotions and chararistics because at points Death has chapters about how Death feels.

  20. I thought that the narrator made the book more interesting. the word unusual strongly fits the description of the narrator. The approach to the book was different but made it more unique. I dont think the story was too negative because it blended in with the surroundings of himmel street. I think death as the narrator tied the story together an made you want to read more.

  21. I think having death as the narrator of the book was very confusing, but also very intriguing. At first, I thought it was a person narrating, but as the story went on, I slowly realized it was death. I have never read a book narrated by and idea rather than a person. It was an interesting way to show how many deaths occurred during the time period. At first, I thought having death as the narrator was a little negative, but as I kept reading, I realized that death was such a big part of the Holocaust and it was important for us to understand everything that went on to cause people to die. Although I was confused when the narrator would pick up and take away the souls, but I though it was very interesting that the author put that in the book. I think death thought that Nazi Germany was a very chaotic place during that time period because he was constantly going around to gather the souls of the dead people. During the book, it seems like he treats his job mechanically, going around and picking up hundreds of souls each day. But as we get to the end, we realize that death has a softer, more emotional side, especially when he looks at Leisel, crying by her dead father’s side. All in all, I think having death as a narrator really brought the whole story together.

  22. I think that the story was a little too negative because of all the deaths. Personally, I would have liked the book better if there was not so many deaths at the end. Rudy seemed like such a developed character, and the author wanted you to like him. So because of that, his death was more tragic. The book would have been better (to me) if Rudy either got in trouble stealing or in trouble feeding the Jewish people.

  23. I thought that having Death as the narrator gave an interesting spin to the book. In the beginning, I was very confused about how Death could be the narrator and thought it could make the book really negative. As I continued to read the book I realized that having Death as the narrator didn’t make the story negative, and I began to really like Death because Death did have feelings. Just because Death represented a negative thing didn’t make Death a negative person. If the narrator was an other person the book wouldn’t have been the same because without Death the book would just be another book about how life was like in World War II. Overall I really liked Death as the narrator.

    • I agree with Mckenna when she says she thought the book would be very negative, having death as the narrator. As I progressed in the book, I thought it was cool and different that it was told by such a thing as death. I like how this book brought death to be considered as another character and made the reader have feelings for death like they would for another human. When death desribes “its” sorrow when it takes away peoples souls it made me think of “it” like a human.

    • I agree with Mckenna, Death as the narrator did put a spin on the book because it was very different and unique. Death did not make the book negative it was in some parts like when Liesels brother dies but it also a great book and there are parts to it that are not negative, like the great relationships Liesel had.

  24. The fact that death was the narrator just showed how different this author was. Though, I do not like historical books at all, this book was not my favorite but I still was on the edge of my seat at times. Without death, I would have hated this book. But Death made me think in a different way about it than I usually would. Whenever the story was not exciting Death would make sure I was learning and learning understanding of what was going on. I felt not as overwhelmed as I thought I would be because Death brought and understanding to this book. Although the true story of what happened in Nazi, Germany was a tragedy, Death showed a different side to it which was my favorite part about it. Deaths’ view, I believe is neutral. Of course most people do not want such a horrifying war, death wanted to tell his story from a different perspective in which there is not a side to be taken, but a way to get a real meaningful message about this event.

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